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Political Collections


The Jim Costa Papers, (1979-2002). Costa was born in Fresno in 1952 and graduated from Fresno State in 1974. He served in the California State Assembly from 1979-1994 and the California State Senate from 1995-2002. The Costa papers received to date include selected correspondence, press releases, newsletters, speeches, and material documenting Costa’s involvement with the National Conference of State Legislatures, for which he served a term as president. The core of the collection consists of legislative bill files from Costa’s years in the state legislature, and reflects his interest in local concerns such as agriculture, crime, transportation and water. Additional records documenting other aspects of Costa’s political career will be added to his collection when they become available. Indexes to the Costa bill files are available, although the collection is unprocessed.  The transcript of an oral history interview with Costa (done by the State Archives) is available in the Central Valley Political Archive.

The Cal Dooley Papers (1990-2004).  Dooley (b. 1954) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1989.  Dooley’s papers from his years in office document his legislative activities on issues such as agriculture, international trade, and water issues such as CALFED. Additionally, the papers document his activities as co-founder and co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition, a centrist faction among Members of the House of Representatives dedicated to bipartisanship. The collection is unprocessed.

The Walter Karabian Papers (1956-2004, bulk 1968-1974) 23.5 linear feet.  Karabian was born in Fresno in 1938 and was one of the first Armenian Americans elected to public office.  He served in the state assembly from 1966-1974 and was Majority Leader from 1971.  The Karabian papers include bill files, correspondence, speeches, articles, reports, newspaper clippings, photographs, and artifacts, and document his legislative contributions such as the Species Preservation Act, the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, and the California Invasion of Privacy Act.  An online exhibit is also available.

The John Krebs Collection consists of an oral history documenting the life of Krebs, who was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1926, and who emigrated first to Palestine and then to the U.S.  He represented the Central Valley as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975-1979.  Krebs introduced the legislation that eventually led to the protection ofthe Mineral King Valley from development by adding it to Sequoia National Park.

The Rick Lehman Papers (1976-1994).  Lehman (b. 1948) attended Fresno State in 1969. A Democrat, Lehman served in the state Assembly from 1976 to 1982 and was Assistant Majority floor leader 1978-1982.  He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983-1993.  He wrote the legislation establishing the national status of the Mono Lake Basin National Forest Scenic Area as well as wild and scenic river protection for the Tuolumne and Kings rivers.  His congressional papers document these efforts, in addition to his work on the California Desert Wilderness Act, the prohibition of expansion of dams in Yosemite National Park, clarifying the title to land along the California-Nevada border, and his work on the House Banking Committee.  The papers include press files, correspondence, audio-visual material, and bill files from his years in the state legislature.  The collection is unprocessed.

The Kenneth L. Maddy Papers, (1970-1998, bulk 1987-1995) 34 linear feet. Maddy (1934-2000), a graduate of Fresno State (1957), donated his papers to the University in 1999 after a distinguished career as a California State Assemblyman (1971-1978) and State Senator (1979-1998). He served as Republican Leader of the State Senate from 1987-1995. Maddy ran for governor in 1978. The collection is divided into six series, including personal, legislative (which underscores Maddy’s efforts in the areas of health, water, and horseracing, among others), subject files, campaigns, public relations, and artifacts. The collection consists of legislative bills and resolutions authored by Maddy, correspondence, newspaper clippings, tributes and memorabilia, photographs, videotapes, posters, audiocassettes, and speeches. A list of bill and subject indexes is available.

The Charles (Chip) Pashayan, Jr. Papers, (1977-1990). Pashayan was born in 1941 in Fresno. He served as a Republican Representative to the U.S. Congress from 1979-1991. Pashayan donated his papers to Fresno State after leaving Congress in 1991. The collection includes significant material on water and reclamation legislation, and contains photographs, press releases, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and videotapes. The collection is unprocessed.

The B. F. (Bernie) Sisk Papers, (1955-1978). Sisk (1910-1995) was a Democratic Representative to the U.S. Congress from 1955-1979, and was a major force behind the San Luis Water Project, part of the Central Valley Project, and other water and agriculture related legislation. Sisk served on the House Rules Committee and was instrumental in the passage of significant House reforms which resulted in the 1970 Legislative Reorganization Act and the televising of the Watergate hearings. He also was involved in the formation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The collection includes materials covering the above legislative topics, among others, as well as speeches, newspaper clippings, press materials, subject material, and correspondence. The collection is curently being processed.

The Daniel Whitehurst Papers (1979-1984) 14 linear feet.  At the time the youngest mayor of all small cities, Whitehurst served as mayor of Fresno for eight years, from 1977 to 1985. His papers document his mayoral term and include correspondence, goals and objectives, reports, speeches and subject files.

The George N. Zenovich Papers (1942-1995).  Zenovich was born in Fresno in 1922 and served as a Democrat in the state Assembly from 1963-1970 and state Senate from 1971-1979.  He has donated a small collection of his memorabilia, photographs, scrapbooks and correspondence to the CVPA.

How to cite materials
When citing any materials from one of our collections, please use the following as our official name: Central Valley Political Archive, Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno.