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House Divided Oral History Project: Interview with Robert Renner
Robert Renner was a Quie legislative aide. Renner says that the governor's staff did not play any role in the 1978 House negotiations because they were a separate branch. "In fact the governor stated on a couple of occasions that it was the role of the legislature to decide its own House organization." Renner says that the Governor's Office was satisfied and happy with the outcome of the negotiations because the IR needed to maintain its winning momentum and the speakership did that. He says that when the session (1979) got underway the administration concentrated its efforts on the committee level, feeling that this was the most effective way to get its program through the House. Interestingly, Renner says that the staff wasn't up to speed in 1979 but the tie gave them breathing space - that is, time to learn their jobs. He also says that they dealt with the House as if it were an IR majority. Renner says they had to get bills through the House unchanged so they wouldn't lose much in conference with the Senate. Renner also says that the administration played no role in the Norton coalition. "We told Rod, 'You work out what would be best for the House'." He says that the coalition did not affect the governor's approach to the House because the governor's influence is best felt on the committee level. Renner says that in 1980 the governor was able to play an expanded role in the legislative process because there was no clear leader in the House and because of Nick Coleman's lame-duck status in the Senate; these realities created a power vacumn and the governor filled it. He also says that Quie is a legislator at heart. He also talks of the governor's efforts to maintain an ongoing contact with the legislative leaders largely through breakfast meetings.
1 hour sound cassette
Content Category: sound recordings
00:57:50 running time
Interviewee: Renner, Robert G.
Interviewer: Bjornson, Jon
Creation: Not earlier than 1980 - Not later than 1981
|Holding Type||Oral History - Interview|
OH 41 (Library Call Number)
AV1980.269.15 (Accession Number)
MNHS Library Catalog
Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'House Divided Oral History Project'