Finding aid for the Allan Kaplan and Robert Kaplan political memorabilia collection 6119

Sue Lutschein
USC Libraries Special Collections
2016 May
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California 90089-0189

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Special Collections
Title: Allan Kaplan and Robert Kaplan political memorabilia collection
creator: Kaplan, Robert
creator: Kaplan, Allan
Identifier/Call Number: 6119
Physical Description: 11 Linear Feet (8 containers)
Date (inclusive): 1960s-2000s
Abstract: The Allan Kaplan and Robert Kaplan political memorabilia collection consists of posters, ephemera, and realia documenting national and local political and campaigns. The bulk of the material dates from the late 1960s-early 1970s and documents the brothers' earliest political activism. The collection also includes later campaigns (from the 2000s) on which Robert was involved professionally.

Biographical / Historical

Allan Kaplan first became interested in politics while volunteering for Democrat Dave Negri's campaign for California State Assembly, where he stuffed envelopes and went on "sniping" runs late at night putting up half and quarter cards on telephone and lamp poles. According to his brother Robert, "He 'dragged' me to the campaign office and I was put on the telephones to ask for votes, did some literature distribution, and in the era when you could drive around in a car with a speaker on top announcing who to vote for, etc., I was the kid on the microphone."
For a time, Allan was California's youngest Young Democrat.
Allan and Robert were pictured in the news (the Valley Green Sheet, now called the Los Angeles Daily News) attending an anti-war rally at Valley State (now California State University Northridge - CSUN) skipping school (with a note from our parents) where Phil Ochs played.
At 13, Allan and 11 year old Robert walked precincts for Clean Gene McCarthy. Somewhere in here, Allan was involved with Ed Koupal soon after he and his wife Joyce founded "People's Lobby" as they pursued their political reform initiatives.
Allan was the youth campaign manager for Tom Bradley's Pacoima office (covering the East San Fernando Valley) during his unsuccessful 1969 run for Mayor. He then, while in high school, worked for Councilman Bradley forming a city-wide Youth Corps in 1970-71. According to Robert, "After being dragged (again) by my brother, I 'volunteered,' walking precincts, making voter ID, fundraising and GOTV calls, and as usual was the kid on the loudspeaker in the car driving around the city. After this 'volunteer' experience I was hooked and eventually built a career as a result of my brother dragging me along to get me out of sitting in front of the TV. Allan's involvement with Mayor Bradley resulted in a life-long relationship for both him and me."
Allan took six months off from his freshman year at the University of California at Santa Cruz to co-manage the youth campaign for Tom Bradley's successful run for Mayor in 1973, and later worked in the Mayor's office on special projects. Allan has remained involved politically over the years through AIPAC and other activities while building a successful career in Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions.
After completing a CORO Foundation Fellowship, Robert built a career in politics. He has had the privilege of being the Finance Director of more than 30 statewide initiatives and many local initiatives across the country and abroad, developed several hundred PAC programs, worked with dozens of non-profits, and has been the lead strategist and consultant on numerous local candidate campaigns.

Content Description

The Allan Kaplan and Robert Kaplan political memorabilia collection consists of posters, ephemera, and realia documenting national and local political and campaigns. The bulk of the material dates from the late 1960s-early 1970s and documents the brothers' earliest political activism. The collection also includes later campaigns (from the 2000s) on which Robert was involved professionally.


Given the homogeneity of the collection, it is arranged and described by format.

Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder no. or item name], Allan Kaplan and Robert Kaplan political memorabilia collection, Collection no. 6119, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Kaplan family, May 17, 2016.

Processing Information

The collection is unprocessed.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- Archival resources
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century -- Archival resources
United States -- History -- Archival resources
United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century -- Archival resources
Sound recordings

Box 6, Box 7

Bumper stickers

Scope and Contents

Stickers for the presidential campaigns of Nixon, Reagan, Humphrey, McCarthy, Cranston, McGovern, Dole; various local and state elections; environment and ecology issues.
Box 3


Scope and Contents

Allan Kaplan volunteer badges; credentials and passes; miscellaneous printed ephemera and business cards; small campaign stickers; keychains; pens and pencils; matchbooks. In folders are flyers and mailers for Los Angeles area elections, both local and national; press packets; campaign information for Richard Katz election, 1980; stickers from campaigns, 1968 and 1969; miscellaneous printed ephemera from the 1960s and 1970s; and space race literature.


Scope and Contents

The material in this series consists of individual file folders created by Allan Kaplan to document early campaigns with which he was involved. Some of the items in these folders duplicates material elsewhere in the collection.
Box 4, Folder 1

People running for Congress /69/Corman '68 & 69 1968-1969

Box 4, Folder 2

Board of Ed. #4 and other 1969

Box 4, Folder 3

People Running for Jr. College Board of Trustees 1969

Box 4, Folder 4

People Running for City-Council 1969

Box 4, Folder 5

Miscellaneous 1970

Box 4, Folder 6

O'Brien/Harmer/Younger attorney general 1970

Box 4, Folder 7

Elect Duncan Judge #8/William P. Kennedy/J. Wallace McKnight 1970

Box 4, Folder 8

Thabit Congress 1970

Box 4, Folder 9

Hayden/James Corman 1970

Box 4, Folder 10

Riles, Rafferty Running for Superintendent of Instruction 1970

Box 4, Folder 11

Elect O'Nan Senator/Tom Carrel 1970

Box 4, Folder 12

Re-elect Reagan Governor/Re-elect Reinecke Lieutentant Governor 1970

Box 4, Folder 13

Unruh running for Governor 1970

Box 4, Folder 14

McCarthy & Simon; Miscellenaoues 1968-1969

Box 4, Folder 15

Murphy Re-elect Senator 1970

Box 4, Folder 16

Arklin Re-elect Assembly/ Bullough/Flores/Thabit 1970

Box 4, Folder 17

Keysor Running for Assembly 1970

Box 4, Folder 18

Brown Running for Senator 1970

Box 4, Folder 19

Bradley for Mayor 1969

Box 4, Folder 20

Yorty, Bell & Ward 1969

Box 4, Folder 21

Negri 1968

Box 4, Folder 22

George Murphy/Rafferty/Ronald Reagan 1966-1970

Box 4, Folder 23

Democratic Miscellaneous 1970

Box 4, Folder 24

Brown 1970

Box 4, Folder 25

J. Keyser [sic] 1970

Box 4, Folder 26

Arklin 1970

Box 4, Folder 27

McCarthy Campaign 1968

Box 4, Folder 28

Sam Yorty Campaign 1969

Box 4, Folder 29

Councilmanic Campaigns 1969

Box 4, Folder 30

Van De Kamp for Congress Campaign 1969

Box 4, Folder 31

Jess Unruh 1970

Box 4, Folder 32

Baxter Ward-Alphonzo Bell Campaign 1969

Box 4, Folder 33

School Bonds (A,B,C) 1969

Box 4, Folder 34

Bd. of Education (Offices #2, 4, 6) 1969

Box 4, Folder 35

Junior College Board 1969

Box 4, Folder 36

Humphrey Campaign 1968

Box 4, Folder 37

Herald Examiner Strike 1967-?

Box 4, Folder 38

Corman-Negri Campaign 1968

Box 4, Folder 39

Robert Kennedy Campaign 1968

Box 4, Folder 40

Grape Strike 1968-1969

Box 4, Folder 41

Boy's Day and Police circa 1968

Box 5, Folder 2-3

Bradley '68 1968

Box 5

Handbooks and campaign resources

Scope and Contents

Candidate Training Resource Book, Los Angeles Democratic Party, 2011; "Filling the War Chest: How to Raise Money for Political Campaigns"; "The Road to Victory"; fundraising handbooks produced by Robert Kaplan.
Box 3


Scope and Contents

Recordings of the inaugural addresses of Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon; "Man on the Moon", narrated by Walter Cronkite.
Box 2

Pins and buttons



Box 8

Campaign posters

Scope and Contents

Poster and placards for political campaigns, primarily California, including Tom Bradley, George Murphy, Tom Hayden, Jess Unruh, and local school board elections. Also included are posters for Yes on 66, a boycott of the Herald Examiner, the Israel Defense Fund, and the League of Women Voters.
Box 8

Music posters 1960s

Box 8

Movie posters

Box 8

Ecology posters

Box 8

Voters and voting rights posters and ephemera

Box 1


Scope and Contents

Hats, potholders, bags, t-shirts.
Box 3

Videos 2000, undated

Scope and Contents

Videos for various propositions, including Prop 199, Operation Secure, and a Missouri initiative (Save our Scenery).