A Lifetime of Public Service
SF Chronicle 12-28-79

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[click for full size collage image]

Governmental Accomplishments
  1. Curb worked with William French Smith (future U.S. Attorney General) and Theodore (Ted) Olson (future U.S. Solicitor General) to defend the lawsuit brought by Governor Brown challenging the authority of a Lt. Governor in the absence of the Governor. In a landmark decision, the California Supreme Court ruled in Curb's favor with a decision that the Lt. Governor not only has the power, but the responsibility of Governor when the Governor is out of state. Curb ultimately acted approximately one year as Governor. This decision was particularly important to California because a previous Lt. Governor (Glenn Anderson) was unsure of his responsibilities in the absence of Governor Pat Brown (Jerry Brown's father) during the Watts Riots in 1965. The failure to act promptly by the then Acting Governor (Lt. Governor Glenn Anderson) was cited by the McCone Commission and also by others as a factor in the destruction and burning of Watts which has had a lasting impact on California, and the rest of our country. The National Conference of Lt. Governors which is comprised of the governors of both political parties elected Curb to be their chairman because of the impact that this decision could have on other states.

  2. While Mike Curb was Lt. Governor and during the time he was Acting Governor, he made 431 appointments.

  3. Curb signed in excess of 30 bills and proclamations as Acting Governor.

  4. During the first two years of his term, Curb served as Acting Governor between 25-30 percent of the time and served as Acting Governor for approximately one year during the term.

  5. Curb signed the Rob-A-Home/Go-To-Jail bill as Acting Governor with the support of both houses of the State Legislature. John Van de Kamp and Kenneth Hahn attended the conference when the bill was signed, to show their approval.

  6. Curb signed the bill that prohibits trial courts from ordering any prosecution witness or victim in any sexual assault case, including child molestation cases, to submit to a psychiatric or psychological examination to test his or her credibility.

  7. As Acting Governor, Curb created the California Agriculture Commission that successfully dealt with a number of key issues including bringing to the public's attention important facts such as spraying for the Med-fly and measures to protect workers from being sprayed while working.

  8. During the gas-line crisis, Curb signed a proclamation as Acting Governor suspending certain ARB regulations to allow for a temporary increase in lead content in gasoline to ease the gas lines. This concept was supported by a majority of the legislators from both parties.

  9. As Acting Governor, Curb created the California Commission on Food and Nutrition to help solve the problem of malnutrition.

  10. As Acting Governor, Curb created the California Commission on Citizen Participation in Government to seek the best-qualified people for government positions. A number of people were appointed by the Governor based on recommendations by this Commission.

  11. Curb formed the Water Task Force that did the complicated job of determining the ultimate cost of the water issue that was on the ballot in 1982. The Thru-Delta proposal that the task force put together in great detail appears to be the compromise proposal that will ultimately be adopted by the current administration and the Legislature.

  12. Curb chaired the Economic Development Commission and discussed public issues relating to economic development, regulatory reform and utility rates.

  13. Curb constantly defended Proposition 13 which limited government's rights to increase property taxes and was one of the first supporters of the proposition when it was on the ballot.

  14. As Acting Governor, Curb held the first press conference to launch the State Spending Limitation action that the voters later approved.

  15. Curb took similar action to launch the Crime Victims Bill of Rights that was also later approved by the Voters.

  16. Curb helped turn the Commission of the Californias into a stronger committee to strengthen relationships with Mexico, and Curb put forth proposals to properly handle undocumented guest workers.

  17. Curb worked with county supervisor Harvey Milk to defeat a statewide initiative that would have denied gay schoolteachers their civil rights. While Curb was Acting Governor, Curb supported Governor Brown's executive order prohibiting discrimination against gays.

  18. Curb appointed Judge Armand Arabian to the second appellate district of the California Court of Appeals paving the way for Governor George Deukmajian to elevate him to the California Supreme Court.

  19. As Acting Governor, Curb signed emergency orders and state-of-emergency proclamations or otherwise assisted in approximately ten emergencies in various counties while Jerry Brown was out of state. The emergencies included fires, floods, mudslides, earthquakes and storms.

  20. Curb was elected national chairman of all of the nation's Lt. Governors from both political parties. He discussed in California various options pertaining to the Lt. Governor's office that had been tried in other states. These options include the possibility of the office being part-time, being eliminated in favor of the Senate president or Assembly speaker, the possibility of the Governor and the Lt. Governor being a ticket and defining the other opportunities for this office. In order to set an example for other office holders, Curb reduced the budget of his office during his term as Lt. Governor and instituted a policy of reimbursing the state for time spent out of state on non-state business. When Curb was appointed national Co-Chairman of President Reagan's national presidential campaign and chairman of the Republican convention program, Curb reimbursed the state for the time he was out-of-state. Curb also nominated and elected the first woman, Carol Hallett, to be elected as a legislative leader and nominated and elected the first Hispanic chairman of the California Republic Party, Tirso del Junco.


Governmental History

During the 1970s, Curb also began venturing into public service. In 1976, he served as co-chair of the Ronald Reagan California Campaign for President and later was co-chair of President Gerald Ford's California campaign. In November 1978, Curb was elected California's lieutenant governor, the same year that Democrat Jerry Brown was elected governor. During his 1979 to 1983 term, Curb, served as acting governor for about one year, guiding the state during disastrous floods, fires and a threatened prison guard strike. Also, during Curb's term, in a landmark decision, the California Supreme Court ruled in Curb's favor with a decision that the Lt. Governor not only has the power, but the responsibility of Governor when the Governor is out of state. He also served on the University of California Board of Regents and the California State University Board of Trustees. Curb also served as President of the California State Senate and Chairman of the Economic Development Commission. Curb received a presidential appointment to the United States Trade Negotiations Committee and the USO Board. In recent years, Curb has received an appointment to the Tennessee Gubernatorial Economic Board and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed Curb to be Chairman of the Tennessee Film Entertainment and Music Commission.

In 1980, Curb served as the national Co-Chairman of President Reagan's successful presidential campaign and Chairman of the convention program in Detroit. In 1982, Curb was elected chair of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors. Then in 1983, at President Reagan's request, Curb served as Chairman of the National Finance Committee during the president's re-election campaign, responsible for raising more than $100 million. In 1984, Curb was appointed Chairman of the Presidential Trust during the Reagan-Bush re-election cycle. In honor of his mentor, Curb played a major role in the Reagan Centennial by sponsoring the rebuilding of the Victory Room at the Ronald Reagan Museum and Library in California. Linda and Mike Curb are founders of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Washington, DC. where the Curb Media Center is located. Curb also became a member of the President's counsel at the George W. Bush Library and Museum in Dallas Texas.

  • 1972 Co-Master of Ceremonies (with Dr. Billy Graham), Presidential Inaugural festivities

  • 1976 Co-Chairman of the Reagan Presidential Campaign in California

  • 1976 Co-Chairman, California's President Ford Campaign

  • 1977 Elected National Committeeman representing the State of California on the National Committee. (Youngest person ever selected to serve on the RNC Executive Committee)

  • 1978 Elected Lieutenant Governor of California

  • 1978-82 President of the California State Senate

  • 1978-82 Member of the Board of Regents for The University of California

  • 1978-82 Member of the Board of Trustees for The California State University

  • 1978-82 Served as Member of the State Land's Commission

  • 1979 Appointed by the Governor to Chair California's State Economic Development Commission

  • 1979-83 Acting Governor of California (approximately 1 year)

  • 1980 Appointed National Co-Chairman of Reagan Presidential Campaign

  • 1980 Appointed Chairman of Republican National Convention Program

  • 1982 Elected Chairman of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors (comprised of lieutenant governors from both parties)

  • 1983 Appointed by President Reagan to chair Republican National Finance Committee-Washington, DC

  • 1986 Appointed by President Reagan as a Member of the World USO Board

  • 1987 Appointed by President Reagan as a member of the Committee for Trade Negotiations

  • 1995 Appointed by Governor Sundquist to Tennessee Board for Economic Growth

  • 2012 Governor Bill Haslam appoints Curb as the Chairman of the Tennessee Entertainment Commission

Collages of Mike Curb's Political History
Collages of dozens of photos of Mike Curb's during his political career
Collages of dozens of photos of Mike Curb's during his political career

Collages of dozens of photos of Mike Curb's during his political career

Collages of dozens of photos of Mike Curb's during his political career





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