A high-powered committee of corporate board chairmen and former Republican administration officials announced yesterday that it will try to raise between $3 million and $8 million to help Ronald Reagan become president.
The group, named Americans for an Effective Presidency, is headed by former Nixon assistant Peter Flanigan, now managing director of Dillon Read & Co. investment bankers, and former Air Force secretary Thomas C. Reed, now president of Quaker Hill Development Corp. in San Raphael, Calif.
A total of five independent committees for Reagan have sprouted recently, in part because election law changes have severely restricted the amount of money a candidate may spend on his campaign.
The law allows individuals unconnected with the campaign to raise and spend unlimited amounts independently, a practice being challenged in court by Common Cause.
The groups "threaten a return to the old Watergate tactics and influence of money in elections," Common Cause President Archibald Cox has charged. The Democrats have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission.
However, Flanigan told a news conference yesterday that his group intends "to be a counterweight to the predictable independent expenditures made by organized labor groups in support of Democratic candidates."
So far, no independent groups have been formed to support President Carter.
Summarizing his group's views, Flanigan said, "In the past three years, every American job has been jeopardized. Every American dollar has been devalued. Every American ally has been disheartened. Every American foe has been emboldened. And also every American family has been endangered."
Flanigan said the group will spend 75 percent of its funding on an advertising campaign designed by the media firm of Baily, Douglas and Deardourff, which handled the 1976 Ford campaign.
The members of the committee include Robert O. Anderson, chairman, ARCO; B. F. Biaggini, chairman, Southern Pacific Co.; Winton M. Blount, chairman, Blount Brothers, and former postmaster general; E. Mandell De Windt, chairman, Eaton Corp; Robert R. Douglass, general counsel, Chase Manhattan Bank; D. David Eisenhower, writer, Berwyn, Pa.; Robert H. Finch, partner, Fleming, Anderson, McClung & Finch, and former secretary of Health, Education & Welfare; Robert Flanigan, rancher, former state chairman, Colorado Republican Party.
Bob Fluor, chairman, Fluor Corp.; Roderick M. Hills, attorney, former chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission; Patricia Reilly Hitt, former assistant secretary of HEW; John V. James, chairman, Dresser Industries; D. S. MacNaughton, chairman, Hospital Corp. of America; Robert H. Malott, chairman, FMC Corp.; Robert H. Masson, vice president and treasurer Pepsi Co.; Howard Morgens, chairman emeritus, Procter & Gamble.
Robert Mosbacher, independent ail and gas producer; David Packard, chairman, Hewlett-Packard Co., and former deputy secretary of defense; Charles M. Piggott, chairman, PACCAR Corp.; Willard F. Rockwell Jr. former chairman, Rockwell International; Herb Stein, professor, Univesity of Virginia and former chairman, Council of Economic Advisers; George A. Stinson, chairman, National Steel Corp., and Richard Terrell, former vice chairman General Motors Corp.