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Kenneth M. Kamerman Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-825-BC

Scope and Content

The Ken Kamerman papers consist of documents from his service as a New Mexico State Senator, his career as a business administrator, and his public life of civic engagement. The great majority of the contents come from the 1980s and 1990s, although some items come from as far back as the mid-1950s. The collection contains the following: Professional resumes; Drafts of bills from the various stages of the legislative process; Correspondences with fellow state legislators, state agencies, municipal entities and officials, federal officials, interest groups, and constituents; Memoranda and reports germane to Kamerman’s roles as lawmaker, member of committees, and member of the Republican Party; Press releases, letters to the editor, and other media tactics; News clippings; Campaign ephemera and Proceedings, documents, and correspondence from Kamerman’s civic and professional life.

The collection is divided into six series: Personal, Issues, Legislation, Communication , Committees, and Civilian Life.

Personal (1956-1994) includes biographical information on Kamerman, including curricula vitae.

Issues (1981-1994) documents particular matters that occupied Kamerman as a State Senator, but did not necessarily take the form of specific legislation. An example is material on capital outlay needs.

Legislation (1987-1993) contains drafts of bills, amendments, rules, etc. from the legislative process. It also contains memoranda, correspondences, newspaper articles, and reports about the legislation. Examples of legislation include feed and tax bills.

Communication (1977-1997) is composed of both political- and policy-related documents. There is correspondence with Kamerman, other legislators, constituents, agencies, etc.

Committees (1989-1992) contains legislation, memoranda and other material from the various committees upon which sat Senator Kamerman. Memoranda on communication strategy from the Legislative Finance Committee is representative of material from this series.

Civilian Life (1961-1984) includes correspondence, material from employment with several companies, and documents from the board of the Bernalillo County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Center.

Dates

  • 1956-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1989-1992

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. Video may not be duplicated. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publications or distribution.

Biography / History

Ken Kamerman (Box 1, Folder 1)

Kenneth M. Kamerman, born June 21, 1931, in Brooklyn, New York, served as the State Senator from the 20th District of New Mexico (eastern Albuquerque) from 1987 to 1992 as a member of the Republican Party.

Kamerman received a Bachelor of Science in Textile Engineering from Lowell Textile Institute (MA) in 1953 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Mexico in 1970. He also served in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1956, achieving the rank of lieutenant.

Kamerman was a business administrator and consultant. Of the view that public education was stifling, ineffective, and resistant to change, Kamerman worked in the development of experimental educational techniques for Teaching Machines, Inc. In 1963, he arranged TMI’s sale to Westinghouse, where he stayed on as a manager until 1973. Kamerman also worked for the real estate companies Bellamah Corp. (1973-1978) and Honor Corp. (1979-1981). From 1982 to 1987, he co-founded and ran the company Battery Power, Inc., which furnished backup power to banks, schools, and businesses.

Active in civic affairs and local politics, Kamerman served as the Vice Chair of the Republican Party of Bernalillo County. He contributed to political campaigns such as the gubernatorial candidacies of Bob Grant and Joe Mercer. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bernalillo County Mental Health Center (1981-1986), the Albuquerque Police Advisory Board (1978-1980), and the Redistricting Committee of the City of Albuquerque (1981). Occasionally he would serve as an informal advisor and campaign volunteer for politicians such as U.S. Senator Harrison Schmidt.

When Jack Stahl became Lieutenant Governor and left a vacancy in the state senate, Kamerman secured the Republican Party nomination and won a special election victory. He then served as State Senator from the 20th District of New Mexico from 1987 to 1992. He ran unopposed in the 1988 general election. He served one and a half terms before declining to seek reelection for personal reasons. The 20th district had been divided up by decennial reapportionment before the 1992 election.

In the State Legislature, Kamerman became well known as a principled legislator who stood against taxation and excessive public spending. He served as a member of the Legislative Finance Committee, where he diligently read agency and analyst reports and deliberated over the formation of state budget recommendations.

In his work on the Legislative Finance Committee, he met the communications staffer, Merilee Dannemann, who would become his wife and collaborator.

Other committees on which Kamerman served included: Senate Judiciary; Senate Corporations; Senate Public Affairs; Interim Business, Economic Development and Telecommunications; and Interim Indian Affairs.

Kamerman supported the reproductive rights of women, despite the conflict this position occasioned with the Republican Party and some of his constituency. He was against the Fort Sumner court case that mandated decentralization of mental health care. In his efforts to lower tax burdens, Kamerman devised the concept of a Subscriber District, in which individuals elect whether to pay property taxes for nonessential projects such as performing arts centers, sports stadiums, and public broadcasting. Kamerman generally advocated against higher state spending, even if it specifically benefitted his district.

Kamerman died of a heart attack on April 7, 1997.

Extent

4 boxes (4 cu. ft.)

Abstract

Ken Kamerman was the State Senator from the 20th District of New Mexico from 1987 to 1992. A local business administrator heavily involved in civic affairs and Republic Party politics, Senator Kamerman was a principled legislator who advocated against excessive taxation. The collection consists of legislation, memoranda, correspondence, press clippings, and business papers derived from Kamerman’s legislative and professional life.

Arrangement

Arranged in 6 Series:
  1. Personal
  2. Issues
  3. Legislation
  4. Communication
  5. Committees
  6. Civilian Life

Related Material

Legislative Finance Committee Records, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives. Santa Fe, NM.

Separated Material

Government publications have been transferred to New Mexico State Library.

General materials pertaining to the Legislative Finance Committee (memoranda from the LFC director and analysts; memoranda and reports from state agencies and legislators; LFC agendas, reports and hearing briefs; and bill summaries) have been transferred to the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.

Archival DVD stored in B3.

Processing Information

VHS tapes converted to DVD, May 2009.

Inquire with reference staff for access to unprocessed addition - 1 box, B3-11A Material pertains to Joe Mercer's gubernatorial campaign, 1986.
Title
Finding Aid of the Kenneth M. Kamerman Papers, 1956-1997
Status
Edited Full Draft
Author
Max Fitzpatrick
Date
© 2009
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Sponsor
Funding provided by: UNM Center for Regional Studies

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131
505-277-6451