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House Divided Oral History Project: Interview with Gerald Knickerbocker
Gerry Knickerbocker was assistant IR Caucus leader and a member of the 1978 negotiating team. Why the DFL lost in 1978: Knickerbocker reasons that the DFL had lost heart, Perpich was seen by the people as ineffective, Anderson had appointed himself, the Short-Fraser fight, and the strong, well-organized and well-financed Republican candidates. The time was right. He was surprised by the gains the IR made in the House. He feels that to come up with a 66-68 minority in 1978 would have been ideal in terms of learning and orderly growth. He also says that in a tie situation, everybody is responsible yet no one is responsible. "I mean from a standpoint of you were responsible to get your job done but nobody had the authority to do it." He sees this as good for the quality of the bills but not good for the output of the House. Negotiations: Knickerbocker says the goal of the IR during the negotiations was no more specific than to make sure the IR had an equal check on House power. He also says that it was to the advantage of the IR to get the Speakership because it reinforced the public perception of the IR as winners of the 1978 elections. Any disadvantage the IR had on committees was negated by the fact that there was a tie on the floor. Gerry says that Rod Searle was more interested in negotiating for House function and Irv Anderson was more interested in negotiating for the DFL caucus. The 1979 session: Knickerbocker says that a strange alliance developed between the House Republicans and the Senate Democrats. This alliance was caused by the fact that House Democrats had to frustrate IR programs to prove their strength but if Senate went along with them the DFL would be labeled obstructionist and the people would take it out on the DFL senators in the 1980 elections. Different political needs. Norton coalition: "It had to be orchestrated and it was.... It was over very quickly anbd neatly and everybody was surprised."
1 hour sound cassette
Content Category: sound recordings
01:00:11 running time
Interviewee: Knickerbocker, Gerald
Interviewer: Bjornson, Jon
Creation: Not earlier than 1980 - Not later than 1981
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 41 (Library Call Number)
AV1980.269.8 (Accession Number)
MHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'House Divided Oral History Project'