This chapter focuses on Richard Nixon's campaign to “snuff out” the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). He demanded the resignation of then director Phillip V. Sanchez and other senior staff, impounded millions of dollars of congressionally appropriated funds for antipoverty work, and zeroed out the agency in his proposed budget for fiscal year 1974. The president tapped conservative activist Howard J. Phillips to serve as interim director of the agency and to manage the “wrecking operation.” As a Harvard undergraduate, Phillips had been a founding member of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), a student organization sired by William F. Buckley, Jr. In the early 1960s, YAF established chapters on college campuses across the nation and mobilized a new generation of Republican youth behind the presidential candidacy of Barry Goldwater.
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