The Nation: Nixon's Growing Family

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One of Richard Nixon's first organizational reforms when he took office was to place all White House staffers on the White House payroll rather than permit the traditional practice of hiding them away on the lists of other bureaus and departments. Thus the acknowledged size of his staff grew from 250 permanent positions in fiscal 1970 to 533 in 1971, with the budget increased from $3,900,000 to the present allocation of $8,000,000.

Granting that some of the rise is a matter of simple candor, the White House staff has still grown with a startling rapidity. The President's various lieutenants now spill from the White House to the Old Executive Office Building next door, to the New Executive Office Building across the street. For several months, White House reporters have badgered Press Secretary Ron Ziegler to make public a full list of the White House staff, but none has yet been made available. When it is issued, the roster will include, among others, Special Assistant Roger E. Johnson, a discreet businessman whose job is to act as liaison between Nixon and his old friends. "Some friends," says Johnson, "have been advised that if they have a problem—or just want to talk—to call me. Their problems will reach his [Nixon's] ear." For such service, Johnson earns around $30,000.