C. Donald (Don) Johnson Papers: Collection SummaryC. Donald (Don) Johnson Papers: Collection Summary

C. Donald (Don) Johnson Papers: Collection Summary

Descriptive Summary

Title: C. Donald (Don) Johnson Papers: Collection Summary
Creator: Johnson, Clete Donald (Don), Jr., 1948-
Dates: 1972-2005
Extent: 159.0 boxes (131.75 linear feet, 100 kilobytes, and 78 audiovisual items)
Collection Number: RBRL/038/CDJ
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: C. Donald (Don) Johnson is a lawyer who served in the Georgia State Senate (1987-1992) and the U.S. House (1993-1995), and held several positions in D.C. related to international trade and investment policy, national security, and foreign policy. Johnson's papers document his entire career, particularly his term in the U.S. House, and include constituent correspondence, legislative files, press files, and campaign materials.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

C. Donald (Don) Johnson, Jr., was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 30, 1948. He earned a BA degree in history in 1970 and a Juris Doctorate in 1973 from the University of Georgia. Johnson served in the United States Air Force from 1973-1977 and was stationed in California, Colorado, and the Republic of Turkey as a member of the Office of the Judge Advocate General. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal and was discharged with the rank of Captain. In 1978, he received a Master of Law degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London.

Prior to returning to Royston as a partner in the law firm of Johnson and Vandiver, Johnson held a variety of positions. He served an aide to the late Congressman Phil Landrum as well as legislative council for the U. S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. He also acted as corporate counsel for the Continental Illinois Bank of Chicago and was a member of the Atlanta law firm of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy.

Johnson was elected to the State Senate from the 47th District in 1987 to fill the unexpired term of the late Senator Parks Brown. The 47th District includes Bank, Elbert, Franklin, Hart, and portions of Jackson and Madison counties. Johnson, a Democrat, served on the Judiciary, Reapportionment, Agriculture, Transportation, Finance, Public Utilities, and Rules committees and was chair of the Appropriations Committee from 1990 to 1992. He was a member of the Senate Democratic Party Caucus Policy Committee and served as Governor Joe Frank Harris’ assistant administration floor leader in the senate from 1989 until 1992.

During his five years as State Senator, Johnson major legislative accomplishments included: author of toll free county-wide calls legislation which expanded local telephone service area in 129 counties at no additional cost to consumers; principle sponsor of Governor Joe Frank Harris’ anti-drug legislation package which gave Georgia the toughest anti-drug laws in the United States; author of civil restitution laws providing business and property owners an easier means of recovering losses from shoplifters and vandals and strengthening bad check laws; author of State Hobbs Act and constitutional amendment for circuit wide grand jury to combat political corruption and misuse of public office for personal gain; and author of reporter shield law which protects against unnecessary infringement upon confidential sources of information.

In addition to his standing committee posts, Johnson was chairman of the Georgia Senate Export Expansion Study Committee, which considered ways the state could encourage the export of Georgia products to overseas markets and boost the state’s economy. He also served on several other interim study committees including the Senate Study Committee on Rural Economic Development, the Senate Transportation Study Committee, and the Senate Fraudulent Check Study Committee.

In 1992, Johnson successfully ran for the United States Congress as a Democrat representing Georgia’s 10th District, succeeding Doug Barnard, Jr. of Augusta. While in office, Johnson served on the Armed Services Committee and Science Space and Technology Committee. He acted as a delegate to the North Atlantic Assembly (NATO's legislative advisory body) in Berlin and Copenhagen and monitored Russia's first parliamentary (Duma) election in Moscow in December 1993.

After an unsuccessful bid for a second term, Johnson spent a number of years in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in international trade and investment policy, national security and foreign policy. He was vice-president for government relations and public policy with Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations, Inc. In 1998, President Bill Clinton appointed him ambassador and he served for two and a half years as chief textile negotiator and principal advisor to both the president and the United States Trade Representative on all textile and apparel trade matters.

Johnson then became a partner in the law firm Patton Boggs until he accepted an appointment in 2004 as the director of the University of Georgia School of Law’s Dean Rusk Center. specializing in global legal and policy issues. Currently, Johnson resides in Royston with his wife Suzanne Spratlin.

Scope and Content

Johnson's papers document his entire career, particularly his term in the U.S. House, and to a lesser extent his service in the Georgia State Senate, and his service related to textiles and international trade. The papers include constituent correspondence, legislative files, press files, and campaign materials. Common subjects include the budget, the environment, health care, judicial issues, and the military.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection is organized into 8 record groups: Record Group A. State Senate Files, Record Group B. Congress, Record Group C. Post-Congressional, Record Group D. Personal, Record Group E. Photographs, Record Group F. Audiovisual Materials, Record Group G. Artifacts, and Record Group H. Maps.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research with the following exceptions:

Record Group D. Personal: Legal records that are protected by attorney-client privilege are closed for 50 years.

Record Group D. Personal: Medical records that are protected by HIPAA are closed for 100 years.

Record Group D. Personal: Box D.2 must be reviewed for sensitive information prior to research use. Please request this box 3 business days prior to your research visit to allow time for this review.

Record Group D. Personal contains digital files. To access these files, please request the folders you would like through the finding aid using your research account. An archivist will be in contact with you to explain how to access the files. Please note that not all file formats are currently supported by the library for research use.

Record Group F. Audiovisual Materials: Though the collection is open for research, reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.

Preferred citation

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Conditions Governing Use

Library acts as a "fair use" reproduction agent.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Adriane Hanson and Jordan Graham (student assistant), September 2016.


Related Materials

Access Points

Audiovisual.
Democratic Party of Georgia
Gay military personnel--Government policy--United States
Georgia--Appropriations and expenditures.
Georgia--General Assembly--Senate.
Georgia--Politics and government--1951-
Gun control--United States--Public opinion
Medical policy--United States
National health insurance--Law and legislation--United States

Related Collections in this Repository

Doug Barnard Collection

Joe Frank Harris Collection

Clete D. Johnson Collection

Linton Johnson Collection

Zell Miller Collection

Charles W. Norwood Collection


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

Record Group A. State Senate Files, 1987-1992

Extent: 44.0 boxes (27.75 linear feet)
Scope and Content: Record Group A: State Senate Files were generated while Don Johnson served in the Georgia General Assembly as a Senator from 1987 to 1993. The General Files include materials that assisted Johnson with monitoring legislative issues, researching and writing legislation, developing legislative initiatives, as well as observing local issues. Included are files relating to the Intra County Telephone Toll Bill, Johnson’s work on the Appropriations and Reapportionment Committees, the Export Study Commission, and the Hobbs Act. The Issue files contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, printed materials, reports, maps and bills. These were issues of particular interest to Johnson which included human resources, taxation and transportation. The Campaign series contains material relating to Johnson’s campaign in 1987 to fill the seat of the late Parks Brown and his subsequent races in 1988, 1990, and 1992.
Arrangement note: Record Group A: State Senate is divided into five series: General, Appropriations, Issue Files, Correspondence, and Campaign.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subgroup, visit the finding aid for this subgroup.
Series I. General, 1988-1992
Extent: 25.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The General Files include materials that assisted Johnson with monitoring legislative issues, researching and writing legislation, developing legislative initiatives, as well as observing local issues. This series is further divided into four subseries: 1988-1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992. The overall arrangement is chronological, followed by alphabetical arrangement. The 1988-1989 files consist of correspondence, reports, printed materials and bills. These files document Johnson’s general legislative work. The 1990 files consist of correspondence, reports, printed materials, bills and newspaper clippings. These files document Johnson’s committee and legislative work. Included are files relating to the Intra County Telephone Toll Bill. The 1991 files are composed of reports, bills, printed materials, correspondence, newspaper clippings and maps. These files relate to Johnson’s work on the Appropriations and Reapportionment Committees, the Export Study Commission, as well as his legislative work. The 1992 files contain reports, bills, printed materials, correspondence, newspaper clippings. They include Johnson’s legislative work on appropriations, counties, transportation and the Hobbs Act.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series II. Appropriations, 1989-1992
Extent: 5.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The Appropriations Committee files are from Johnson’s work on this particular committee. The files consist of budget reports, budget summaries, printed materials, correspondence and newspaper clippings.
Arrangement note: Arrangement is alphabetical.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series III. Issue Files, 1987-1992
Extent: 3.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The Issue files contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, printed materials, reports, maps and bills. These were issues of particular interest to Johnson which included human resources, taxation and transportation.
Arrangement note: Arrangement is alphabetical.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series IV. Correspondence, 1987-1992
Extent: 5.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The Correspondence series contains correspondence written to and by Johnson regarding legislation that he sponsored, campaigns, and constituent concerns.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series V. Press, 1987-1992
Extent: 4.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The Press series consists of photocopies of newspaper clippings regarding Johnson and legislation on which he worked.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series VI. Campaign, 1984-1989
Extent: 2.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The Campaign series contains material relating to Johnson’s campaign in 1987 to fill the seat of the late Parks Brown and his subsequent races in 1988, 1990, and 1992. The files consist of correspondence, campaign ephemera, clippings, and research files.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
 

Record Group B. Congress, 1973-2000

Extent: 97.0 boxes (96 linear feet)
Scope and Content: This record group includes constituent services correspondence documenting a rich mix of issues from the early 1990s including Clinton’s health care plan, proposed tax increases, the implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” relating to the sexual preferences of military personnel, abortion legislation, gun control, and the federal budget. There are clippings and legislative files regarding Johnson and legislation on which he worked. Legislative topics include: banking, energy, the environment, housing, judicial issues, Urban Affairs, and Appropriations. The campaign series contains items pertaining to Johnson’s two campaigns for congress including: correspondence, information about campaign events, campaign ephemera, and clippings. Also found here is material documenting the activities of Johnson’s district office in Athens, Georgia.
Arrangement note: Record Group B: Congress is organized into seven series: I. Constiuent Servies, II. Press, III. Legislative, IV. Administrative Assistant, V. Invitations, Scheduling, VI. Athens Office, and VII. Campaigns.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subgroup, visit the finding aid for this subgroup.
Series I. Constituent Services, 1992-1994
Extent: 26.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The Constituent Services series is comprised of correspondence written to Johnson from constituents in his district. At the beginning of the term in 1992, office staff assigned letters a subject heading; later in year, subjects were discarded for a numeric system roughly based on when correspondence was received in the office. The key to the system is missing and therefore correspondence is organized solely by number. Although this makes it difficult to search by date or subject, the correspondence in the series is a rich mix of issues from the early 1990s including Clinton’s health care plan, proposed tax increases, the implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” relating to the sexual preferences of military personnel, abortion legislation, gun control, and the federal budget. Johnson also sent his constituents surveys regarding the proposed health care reform. Responses that contain personal messages have been retained.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series II. Press, 1992-1994
Extent: 8.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The Press series consists of photocopies of clippings regarding Johnson and legislation on which he worked.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series III. Legislative, 1990-1995
Extent: 22.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: This consists of files generated by Johnson's staff in Washington, D.C. General files contain information on legislation relating to: banking, energy, the environment, housing, judicial issues, Urban Affairs, and Appropriations. Theresa Hooper's files contain information on Health Care reform and a special project to fund the restoration of the Augusta Canal. Leslie Picket's files contains research on education, social security, labor, the United States Postal Service, small business legislation, and abortion. Bill Owens's files contains information on Foreign Affairs, Veterans, Science and Technology, and National Security.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series IV. Administrative Assistant, 1977-1994
Extent: 6.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: This series contains the files of Beverly Bell, who was the administrative assistant for both Doug Barnard, Jr. (Johnson’s predecessor) and Don Johnson. These files contain legislative material on campaign finance reform, the federal budget, and project files relating to federal projects in the congressional district.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series V. Invitations, Scheduling, 1992-1994
Extent: 3.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: This series contains accepted invitations issued to Johnson from 1992 to 1994 for events taking place in Washington, D.C. and Georgia.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series VI. Athens Office, 1993-1994
Extent: 4.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The Athens Office series contains files from Johnson’s district office in Athens, Georgia. Material includes clippings, resource files and handouts on key issues, staff manuals, and correspondence.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Series VII. Campaign, 1992-1994
Extent: 27.0 boxes
Scope and Contents note: The campaign series contains items pertaining to Johnson’s two campaigns for congress including: correspondence, information about campaign events, campaign ephemera, and clippings.
Arrangement note: The campaign series is divided into two subseries: A. 1992 and B. 1994.
Conditions Governing Access note: This series is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this series, visit the finding aid for this series.
Subseries A. 1992 Campaign, 1991-1992
Extent: 7.0 boxes
Subseries B. 1994 Campaign, 1993-1994
Extent: 20.0 boxes
 

Record Group C. Post-Congressional, 1994-2000

Extent: 5.0 boxes (4.5 linear feet)
Scope and Content: The Post-Congressional record group pertains to Johnson’s service as chief textile negotiator and principal advisor to both the president and the United States Trade Representative on all textile and apparel trade matters.
Conditions Governing Access note: This subgroup is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subgroup, visit the finding aid for this subgroup.
 

Record Group D. Personal, 1972-2000

Extent: 4.0 boxes (2.75 linear feet, 100 kilobytes)
Scope and Content: Record Group D: Personal contains files from Johnson’s early career as a lawyer in Royston, Georgia, as well as his work in the Office of the Judge Advocate General. It also contains files from 1981 when Johnson was recipient of the Georgia Rusk International Law Award and a digital copy of an autobiography that focuses on his service in Congress.
Arrangement note: This record group is arranged by subject.
Conditions Governing Access note: This record group is open for research with the following exceptions:
Legal records that are protected by attorney-client privilege are closed for 50 years.Medical records that are protected by HIPAA are closed for 100 years.Box D.2 must be reviewed for sensitive information prior to research use. Please request this box 3 business days prior to your research visit to allow time for this review.This record group contains digital files. To access these files, please request the folders you would like through the finding aid using your research account. An archivist will be in contact with you to explain how to access the files. Please note that not all file formats are currently supported by the library for research use.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subgroup, visit the finding aid for this subgroup.
 

Record Group E. Photographs, 1987-2000

Extent: 2.0 boxes (0.75 linear feet)
Scope and Content: Record Group E: Photographs document Johnson's service in the Georgia State Senate as well as his work in the United States House of Representatives. Pictures include Johnson with other politicians and civic groups. A small document his work on committees as a U.S. Congressman as well as an ambassador in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
Arrangement note: The photographs are arranged in chronological order.
Conditions Governing Access note: This record group is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subgroup, visit the finding aid for this subgroup.
 

Record Group F. Audiovisual Materials, 1986-2005

Extent: 78.0 items
Scope and Content: C. Donald (Don) Johnson Papers, Record Group F: Audiovisual Materials includes one audiocassette, one microcassette, five quarter-inch open reel audio tapes, and 71 VHS videocassettes documenting campaign ads, speeches, press appearances, and policy-related activities of Johnson's terms in the Georgia State Senate and the U.S. Congress.
Arrangement note: C. Donald (Don) Johnson Papers, Record Group F: Audiovisual Materials is arranged by format.
Conditions Governing Access note: Though the collection is open for research, reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subgroup, visit the finding aid for this subgroup.
 

Record Group G. Artifacts, 1980-2000

Extent: 6.0 boxes
Scope and Content: C. Donald (Don) Johnson Papers, Record Group G: Artifacts primarily consists of campaign paraphenalia from Johnson's bids for Congress.
Conditions Governing Access note: This subgroup is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subgroup, visit the finding aid for this subgroup.
 

Record Group H. Maps, 1986-1994

Extent: 1.0 boxes
Scope and Content: C. Donald (Don) Johnson Papers, Record Group H: Maps contains maps of congressional districts in Georgia and other unprocessed maps.
Conditions Governing Access note: This subgroup is open for research.
Other Finding Aids note: To view more detailed information or to request materials from this subgroup, visit the finding aid for this subgroup.