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Mac Collins papers, Miscellany

 Collection
Identifier: POL-0022-07

Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of miscellaneous papers of Mac Collins from 1988 to 2004 related to his service with the Butts County Commission, the Georgia State Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives. It includes eight series: (I) Butts County Commission, (II) Georgia State Senate, (III) Legislative Materials, (IV) Washington, DC Office, (V) Constituent Letters, (VI) Audiovisual and Born Digital Materials, (VII) Awards and Artifacts, and (VIII) Restricted Files.

The Butts County Commission series includes materials generated during Collins’s service on the Butts County Commission from 1977 to 1980, at which time he was a Democrat. These folders contain meeting agendas and minutes, economic forecasts and reports, accounting spreadsheets, memoranda, official letters, election recount certification documents, maps, handwritten notes and responses, legal case documents, and political and budget materials. Of note is Collins’s role in assisting the Sylvan Grove Hospital to develop an ambulance service and install communications equipment.

The Georgia State Senate series includes materials created during Collins’s service in the Georgia State Senate as a Republican from 1988 to 1992 for the 17th district, an area containing Butts, Clayton, and Henry counties. Materials include correspondence, research files, speeches, hand-written notes, news articles and clippings, and newsletters. Of note is information from early in Collins’s career related to solid waste management in Butts County, where he previously served on the Board of County Commissioners. Named files include clippings about fellow politicians; requests for assistance with legal or police matters; and correspondence and newspaper clippings about schools, the Medic Alert System, adoptions and the foster care system. Correspondence files include Collins’ replies to constituents regarding such topics as the manufacture of dentures, education funding, the Atlanta Motor Speedway, retirement funds, health care funds, Worker’s Compensation, and others.

The legislative materials series includes materials generated by Collins’ service in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2004. Files contain documents related to or summarizing specific legislative issues, House Resolution language, committee markup materials, reports, correspondence, “Dear Colleague” letters, hand-written notes, presentation materials, newspaper clippings, amicus briefs, and printed material. Much of the material documents Collins’s work on the Ways and Means Committee, the chief tax-writing committee in the U.S. House. Major topics in these committee files include Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, disability policy, tax system proposals, the Earned Income Tax Credit, managing pension funds, corporate tax shelters, the Domestic Spirits Tax Equity Act, Health Savings Accounts, and trade promotion. Also included in this series are materials related to the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the Transportation Tax Task Force, the U.S. Army School of the Americas, Fort Benning, China Normal Trade Relations, CODEL foreign travel, and Federal Prison Industries. Topics of legislation topics include electric vehicles, estate taxes, natural gas utilities, childcare, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code, the Homeland Security Act, health care coverage, and other issues.

The Washington, DC Office series includes material created in or regarding Collins’s Washington, DC office during his U.S. House of Representatives service from 1993 to 2004. Materials include issue information, correspondence, newsletters, visit arrangements and trip details, biographies, invitations, schedules, financial statements, photos, press releases and news clippings. Of note is information about specific House Resolutions, vote justifications promulgated by the House Republican Conference, Republican Party Steering Committee materials, letters in support of presidential appointments, preparations for “Fly-ins” by Georgia civic and business leaders into Washington, DC, and media clippings, which largely document individuals and issues from Collins’s district. There are also clippings tracking Collins’s own public image as depicted in news media. The series also includes related to Collins’ participation in the annual Congressional Art Caucus art show “An Artistic Discovery” from 1994 to 2002.

The Constituent Letters series includes letters written by constituents to Representative Collins, along with Collins’s response. Materials are organized alphabetically by year, except for a few topical files. Major issues throughout the correspondence include gun control, abortion, and LGBT rights, all issues on which Collins was especially vocal. There are many letters from the early 1990s regarding President Bill Clinton’s health care plan, and many letters from the late 1990s regarding Clinton’s personal conduct while in office. There are also many letters from the earlier 2000s on the fictitious “Bill 602P,” an internet hoax claiming that Congress was considering a bill to tax emails at the rate of five cents each. Topical files include requests for flags that flew over the US Capitol, requests for tours of the US Capitol and the White House, constituent opinions on a proposed tax on tobacco introduced by Senator John McCain, constituent opinions on legislation related to credit unions, constituent opinions on a proposed tax on life insurance policies, and other issues.

The Audiovisual and Born Digital Materials series contains born digital and audiovisual materials generated during Collins’ Congressional service. Items include DVDs, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, three-inch floppy disks, VHS videotapes, beta tapes, mini videotapes, broadcast videocassettes, reel-to-reel recordings, audiotapes, and micro audiotapes. Boxes 2-4 of videotapes are numbered using a system devised by Collins’ staff, and this system was maintained during archival arrangement. Materials separated from audiovisual material include detailed descriptions of videotape contents. Of note are videotapes that include Ways and Means Committee hearings, television interviews, campaign materials, public service announcements, Mac Collins speaking at special events, and more.

The Awards and Artifacts series includes awards and artifacts obtained by Collins during his service in the Georgia State Senate (1989-1993) and the U.S. House of Representatives (1993-2004). Included are plaques, awards, baseball caps, photographs, trophies, and other artifacts.

Dates

  • 1988-2004

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright has been transferred to the University of West Georgia.

Biographical/Historical note

Mac Collins was born on October 15, 1944 in Jackson, Georgia. He attended Jackson High School, and afterwards he worked for his father’s concrete company rather than attend college. Around this time, he also married his high school girlfriend, Julie Watkins. They had four children. Later, Collins incorporated Collins Ready Mix Concrete, Inc., into Collins Trucking Co., Inc., and the business became focused on hauling timber. At its peak, Collins Trucking Co., Inc. operated over thirty trucks that hauled timber for Georgia Pacific as part of an exclusive contract. In 1992, his son Michael (Mike) Collins purchased the company from him. Collins was also a member of the Georgia Army National Guard from 1964 to 1970.

Collins began his political career in 1977 as a Democrat, and he won election to the Butts County Commission. He served on the comission until 1980, when he switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. He lost election to the Georgia State Senate in the 1984 and 1986 elections. He was successful in winning election in the Georgia State Senate’s seventeenth district in 1988. His district contained the counties of Butts, Clayton, and Henry. At the start of the 140th Georgia General Assembly, he was only one of eleven Republicans in the Georgia State Senate, compared to forty-five Democrats.

While in the State Senate, Collins served on the Special Judiciary committee. He pursued stricter drug laws, sponsoring bills that would result in longer prison sentences for those convicted of drug selling and trafficking. He also served on the Corrections committee, arguing for more funding for the prison system. He opposed early parole as a program that allowed dangerous criminals to be released back into society. He also served on the Education committee.

In 1992, the Georgia General Assembly redistricted the Sixth Congressional District, the district formerly represented by Republican Newt Gingrich. This act moved much Gingrich’s former territory into the area where Collins lived. Collins declared himself a candidate for the United States House of Representatives, and he defeated Paul Broun in the Republican primary. He defeated incumbent congressman Richard Ray in the general election by over ten points. Collins served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 2004, and held a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

In 2004, he ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary against Johnny Isakson for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate.

Mac Collins died on November 20, 2018, near Jackson, Georgia.

Extent

58.7 Linear feet (64 boxes)

Arrangement note

Arranged into eight series: (I) Butts County Commission, (II) Georgia State Senate, (III) Legislative Materials, (IV) Washington, DC Office, (V) Constituent Letters, (VI) Audiovisual and Born Digital Materials, (VII) Awards and Artifacts, and (VIII) Restricted Files.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated by Mac Collins.

Processing Information note

Processed by Lalah Manly, Anne Hunter, and W. Michael Camp, 2019.
Title
Guide to the Mac Collins Papers, Miscellany POL-0022-07
Author
Finding aid prepared by Written by Lalah Manly, Anne Hunter, and W. Michael Camp, 2019.
Date
2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States