Voices of Minnesota

House Divided Oral History Project


DATE: 1980-1981


For the first time in its history, the 1979 Minnesota House of Representatives was tied with 67-67 DFL-IR membership. These interviews reflect the conflicts resulting from that tie, and the subsequent resolutions.

Subjects discussed include the political maneuvering by both parties for the office of Speaker of the House and committee chair and the coalition committee that was created to negotiate an equitable agreement to resolve the deadlock; the Court ruling on Robert Pavlak for violation of the Minnesota Fair Campaign Practices Act; efforts of caucus leaders Rod Searle (IR) and Irv Anderson (DFL) to control the House and the election of Fred Norton as Speaker; the influence of IR Governor Albert Quie and his staff on the 1979-1980 session programs; the energy-assistance bill; and the controversies of the sessions as viewed by the media.

COMMENTS ON INTERVIEWS: There are no transcripts for these interviews. A written analysis prepared by the interviewer, Jon Bjornson, is available in the Oral History Office project file.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEWS: 16 hours 1 minute