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House Divided Oral History Project: Interview with Carl Johnson
Carl Johnson was a DFL House member from St. Peter and a member of the 1979-80 negotiating team. The 1978 elections: Carl says the fighting at the top of the ticket hurt the whole party. At the legislative level, he says the pension and the pay raises hurt the DFL. In answer to the question "Why did you run against Irv [Anderson] for caucus leadership?," he said, "It was more a matter of style than philosophy. My challenge of Irv Anderson was one of feeling that I could run the House or the caucus more effectively with a style that is more cooperative than dictatorial." The negotiations: Carl says he was picked for the negotiating team to heal the split in the caucus. He says he didn't feel he had much input into the negotiating process. He did try to talk to Irv about what was going on, but Irv never solicited his advice. Carl says he was surprised that the negotiating process took as long as it did. Regarding the Pavlak case, he thought it should not have been a factor in the negotiations. "I was convinced that it would have been best for the process of the House if would have had some kind of a.... We were going to settle in December, waiting for the Pavlak case, and it didn't come and it didn't come, so we realized at that point that if we were going to get going on January first, we better have something set up for the Pavlak case. That wasn't impossible to do." The question of a strong speaker vs. a weak speaker: "When it came down to a strong speaker-weak speaker, that's the kind of help we needed from Harry Sieben - to suggest that this is the way it had to be. There is something extremely practical about that guy [Sieben]. Casserly or I couldn't suggest something like that and expect either Rod [Searle] or Irv to understand. Rod, because he was a Republican, and Irv because I had opposed him." Johnson thought the 1979 session was - if nothing else - a fine example of representative government. Good quote: "With a Republican governor and a DFL Senate, it seemed that the battleground turned out to be the House floor."
1 hour sound cassette
Content Category: sound recordings
01:00:34 running time
Interviewee: Johnson, Carl M.
Interviewer: Bjornson, Jon
Creation: Not earlier than 1980 - Not later than 1981
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 41 (Library Call Number)
AV1980.269.7 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'House Divided Oral History Project'