MPR Special: Senate special election bill debate

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A live broadcast of the Minnesota Legislature debating the special election bill.

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Good morning lion from the gallery of the Minnesota state senate. This is Bob Hunter reporting. We're going to be bringing you for debate from the Senate today on a bill changing. The way vacancies in US Senate seats are filled our broadcast of this event made possible in part with the financial assistance for the Minneapolis Tribune, Senator David Shaffer Fridley. The chief author of the bill is now outline the provisions of it before we go to him. Let me briefly play the background for what is developing here today in the last session 1977. The House of Representatives passed a bill which generally called for a special elections for US Senate vacancies within 12 to 26 weeks after they occur if there is some there are some exceptions to that and some fairly important ones but they're details and when I get to know them at this point over the summer the senate elections committee held some hearings and worked up a bill in September which would call for special elections within 12 the 26 weeks asThere are differences between the house and the Senate versions but those were the basic provisions of it. Now last week after the death of Senator Hubert Humphrey the committee reversed its position and approved a bill requiring. They can seize be filled during an election in November of odd-numbered years under current law and election would be held any way during November of even-numbered years. That means essentially that the bacon CEO Senator Humphrey will be filled by election this coming November no matter what the legislature does, but the bill is before the Senate today would require that special election be held in November of the off-year the odd-numbered year.Bill will be approved today in the form that Senator shaft is describing. It played dfl members of the house or other the Senate met yesterday and agreed to approve the bill and the Republicans are going to be offering amendments to essentially put the bill back in the form approved by the committee last September Senator Carl Jensen of Sleepy Eye Independent Republican. The is now offering let's go to the floor. I hear his explanation. Senator Jensen, I think probably rather than to read the entire thing. I could explain it. I think you do a much better job center. Thank you president and members of the Senate. Mario Humphreys appointment to fill a vacancy yesterday makes it difficult to view this matter quite as objectively as as we could have done without that appointment. I assure you that nothing. I say should be construed to criticize Muriel Humphrey in in any way at all. We have a responsibility under the United States Constitution which states as follow? Says when vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies provided. However that the legislature of any state Manpower the executive to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies bialek as a legislature made direct you'll know what that that provision of the United States Constitution says that the executive shall issue The Ripped but then they do provide that we can allow him to make temporary appointments until a tissue. I think that we have a responsibility to our oath of office and a bigger responsibility to the people of state of Minnesota to comply reasonably with that United States constitutional provision. I tell you the longer that I am here. I feel a stronger obligation. To the people rather than anybody else. I might find some criticism of Governor purposes making this temporary appointment yesterday. I'm not exactly certain why he felt that it was necessary to do this on January 17th. I wrote a letter to am suggesting that he should action on this matter until time to take action on this bill course, this is not the first time that going to purposes not concurred with my feelings on the matter. So I will say I will say that I was very pleased with his message to us. So we are not always on opposite sides. There's logic and reason for having an election as soon as possible. But I can't see that there was any logic for an immediate appointment temporary appointment. Thankfully it's a very honest by there a lot of people who don't feel that there should even be a temporary appointment at all. There are a lot of people who feel that all we should do is to have a special election and forget about that though that short time when we would have to have a temporary appointment. This amendment that I'm proposing. Is the amendment that the senate elections committee passed in the interim last September we had several meetings on it. And we passed this very Amendment actually a very honest about I shouldn't take credit for the amenities. I think probably sent it to your shop in the Senators to Kowski had a lot more input in it than I did actually very honest about I prefer the house version. But we did work on this and I concurred in this and this was passed unanimously. I'd like to just call your attention to what the people in the state of Minnesota. Think about this issue. As reflected in some of the editorial comments sometimes editorial perhaps don't reflect the thinking of the people but in this particular instance, mostly editorial comments agree with me, and so now I think that they do reflect the people. for example on January 17th, January 17th 1978 The Minneapolis Star said Swift action by the legislature could provide for an election to fill out the remainder of Humphreys term. No later than say June 1st. That's what we would like to see. Do you want to see kadilli Journal said last year the wording of the 17th amendment allows for a temporary appointment by the governor, but we don't think the intent means a temporary appointment should last two years as it did in the case of Fritz Mondale and Wendell Anderson nor should it last before the six months proposed by Senator shop. We think the solution is simple the Senate vacancy issue does not need to be tied to any massive election Reform Bill. All that is needed is a law which says that in the event of a vacancy and election will be held 6 weeks from the following Tuesday. The Duluth Harold said Minnesota simply needs a law calling for a special election, perhaps within 30 to 60 days after a vacancy is created to choose a successor by popular vote. That's the way that's the way it. We should replace a Minnesota senator. That's the way we would place a Minnesota, Minnesota. Congressman. The Saint Paul Dispatch in an article in the paper on September 22nd 1977 stated this a Minnesota AFL-CIO convention Florida that it's wind up session here Wednesday support changing state law to provide a special election to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. the Minneapolis Tribune said During the conventions and this is relative to that AFL-CIO convention conventions final session the labor leaders approved a resolution urging the legislature to repeal a law allowing the governor to fill such vacancies by appointment and to provide for special elections instead. St. Paul Pioneer Press quarter Governor. Perfect. It said, Governor / Peach. Reaffirm Thursday his support for enactment of a law to have future US Senate vacancies in Minnesota filled through elections. We are hopeful that was your support and was this is a quote from Governor. Perfect. We are hopeful that with your support and was public opinion, which is so strong the issue will move spokesman for common cause Saturday meeting with purpose in the state capitol office. League of Women Voters recently distributed to all of us. I'm not sure the dog you had a chance to read your mail. But this so it was received just a day or two ago and said the League of Women Voters oppose has the amended Senate version suggested by Senator shop that we now have they feel that we should not have to wait as long as 15 months to elect a senator. As I indicated my Amendment had to you Nana Nana must approval of the senate elections committee last September at that meeting was the chairman stated and it was concurred in by the membership that we would not have to have hearings on this bill when we met here. It was stated by the chairman that it would be a matter of a pro-forma matter to take out this bill our first session of Elections committee and pass it out and move it. Then that's what we should do. And that's the amendment that I am proposing. We don't have two senators who's been appointed. One wasn't directly appointed by himself. This is this is not elected representative government. This is not compliance with the United States Constitution. Under under this Amanda that I'm proposing the governor would be required to schedule a final election to fill a vacancy sometime between April 11th and July 11th. The governor has the discretion to set up sometime between April 11th and July 11th. Personally. I think we could very easily have an election in May and have everybody full opportunity to have a full input. Under the original bill that we received from the house house final 1500. There is less discretion by the governor. And I'm does that bill the election would have to be by April 19th? As I said our proposal that was adopted last September. It was more discretion. It goes from April 11th to July 11th under the house bill. It would have to be my April 19th. As far as I'm concerned. passage of this bill passage of this bill without my Amendment would be a fraud on the people of the state of Minnesota. Let me tell you why I think it would be a fraud. If you pass this bill without my Amendment. How many of you are going to be going out and saying we passed a bill providing for a special election for the United States Senate? I suppose there are some of you are going to let it go at that. Actually all a bill that Senator shop is proposed to you without my diamond. All it does is to reduce the maximum time that an appointed Senator can serve from 22 months V do a possible 15 and a half months. And you're going to go out and say we did something we provided for a special election. When all you're doing is to cut down the time that an appointed senator from 22 months down to 15 and 1/2 month. I don't think that you'll find very many people who will agree with you if you tell him well, we we made it so that an appointed Senator cannot serve more than 15 and a half months. How do you like that? That's the way I would like to have you proposed at to the people that you talk to. Incidentally, I just like to make one, I don't know how many of you have had the opportunity to read the memorandum that Senator shop distributed relative to our present law. The present law which is adopted in 1925. That law provides for what we have now basic there practically no change in that 1925 lot. That 2019 25 law was adopted at a time when Congress was meeting a few months of the year, January February March and a journey for the rest of the year. It's not the case anymore. We now need an elected full-time senator. And we should not wait for as long as 15 and 1/2 months to obtain that I would ask your support for the unanimous Committee Action that we took last September. Senator Carl Jensen of Sleepy Eye and hearing is a Senator James ueland as he asked for a roll call. Get back to the reason we're all here today in the reason house file 1500 is before us it comes really from that bitter taste in the mouths of the public when Governor Anderson arranged for his own appointment that taste was so bitter that even those in his hometown of St. Paul opposed the appointment overwhelmingly as reported in the Saint Paul Dispatch. It shouldn't have been unexpected though. And I don't know why is advisors ignore the experience in other states and it happened eight times before and when those eight Governors would appointed themselves return to the public can ask that their actions be confirmed. 7 times out of eight the public rejected the governor's appointment of himself. In response to that bitterness and that rejection the people of Minnesota the press the leaders of both parties the house and the independent Republican Senators here in this in this room. Join together and work towards a solution. And yes, the solution was found a relatively short and immediate election following a vacancy. The support for that concept was deep and wide spread. There were others besides those that Senator Jensen quoted Secretary of State John grow. Most people in Minnesota would like to have the opportunity to elect a US senator when is office becomes vacant? The Pioneer Press. It seems fairly clear. What a succession law should and should not do it should provide for a prompt election of a new senator. Something that Senator Jensen's Amendment will do and Senator shafts bill without it will not. The Minneapolis Tribune the bill providing for an immediate special election would be a workable and Fair Way of assuring minnesotans the right to make a timely choice for their u.s. Senator. In Red Wing the paper said far better to hold a prompt special election. Waseca turn back to the cause of the frustration of the people when they said in the face of the burgeoning government bureaucracy more appointed officials are not needed. Responsive government needs The Ballot Box by giving the power to elect to one person or a small group The Very Foundation of democracy is being flooded. In Fergus Falls, what was being done was clear. The voters are being short circuit at the only fair way to go is through a special election said their paper in Duluth. They wanted the governor out of the process entirely for the legislature to act so quickly with a special election. They said the governor should be left out of the replacement process entirely and once the legislature an axle establishing the new special election process it to should be kept out of the process. And the public last August 26th in a in a poll by the Saint Paul Dispatch of those polled 70 71% of the public agreed that a prompt special election was the appropriate way to go and those who opposed it 5% The governor is support not really as strong as his words as we found says publicly political offices should be filled through elections rather than appointments. I think 99% of the public want it I agree. Common, cause the Minnesota daily and with this upwelling of public concern the House of Representatives our colleagues across the building acted responsibly and responsibly their leaders speaker Sable voted for a prompt special election Majority Leader herb Anderson did representative rice chairman of the elections committee sponsored and authored the bill for the entire elections committee. All of the Republicans voted for it and all of the DF ehlers with one exception voted for a prompt special election on May 3rd when they sent that legislation to this body. We had no hearings. Repeated requests by myself and Senator Jensen and other independent Republican Senators produced no hearings in the Senate. The excuse was given that there was no time for this complicated issue. At the same time the election committee had 17 meetings when they did not meet because there was no business. And this summer the mounting public pressure and concern Forest action to be taken. and in for meetings legislation was passed that paralleled the house version and was acceptable both to this body to the committee and to the public. The votes in that committee are unanimous of all those present. their thoughts follow their votes German Garrity But I must say in this is a quote. I as one individual just think that 16 or 17 months is entirely too long. Senator Schmitz it cost about two bits for every man woman and child and sure a million dollars is a lot of money and we are all concerned about a million dollars. But at the same time, I think the public would be willing to pay the $0.25 per person to see that they have the option to vote and elect a US senator. Are Senators tecosky 16 weeks is about a minimum time for the entire process from the time the vacancy occurs until the vacancy can be filled by election. The governor is going to be compelled to have an election. As soon as practicable is not going to delay is going to have it as soon as it makes sense. And if you give him 14 to 26 weeks upsetting that final date you can make a reasonable judgment and in 98% of the cases. It's going to be at the right time. What's changed the only thing that's changed is the need for the bill? Our last two US senators have been elected in the governor's mansion. They've been elected by one vote. No matter how honorable those individuals who are selected one person's will superseded that of 4 million others were not considered an equally devastating the national issues upon which these two individuals will be called to decide we're not debated. They were not discussed. Neither of the individuals had to go through the rigor of the campaign in the test of the pressure of endorsement or announcing their positions. The Grand Rapids paper put it best when it editorialized. It is virtually impossible to assign any Noble motive to the refusal to allow voters to elect their senators. Common cause said after this change on September 23rd, when a good bill was turned into what we have an appointment process and what Senator shaft puts before stood a common cause says the dfl was game playing. The Saint Paul papers agreed and they said game plane in the capital over the matter of filling the US Senate vacancy is sickening. An ill Wind Blows through Minnesota. The public is concerned the Powerline people the farmers. The taxpayers are concerned. Are responses to give them government by appointment. That's going to be further aggravated in March if attorney general Spanish who most of us respect and I consider an excellent administrator an excellent elected official goes to the federal courts. We will have yet another appointment in the five highest officials and state government Will Serve by appointment. I ordered you to change that system to restore the confidence of the public and adapt adoption Orchard Jensen's Amendment. Senator James ueland Senator David Chef Keller at a typical example of Republican economics. You pay more and you get less. What we're talking about here is being responsible enough to know state law and to know what's going on and to represent the people of Minnesota and to do the best job what the result of this amendment would be is to charge the voters $1000000 so that we could exclude effectively seven or eight hundred thousand of them from picking their United States senator for the next four and a half or four years. That doesn't make very good sense to me. It seems to me the League of Women Voters and common cause I have to understand that we need to have large meaningful voter participation in the selection of our United States senators. If you listen carefully to the quotations from the editorial writers around the state you'll find what I found is true. And what is in fact the change of circumstance in this legislation at least in its understanding and that's that universally it's misunderstood as to what the prison laws in the state of Minnesota those editorial writers said it's terrible two. Join the United States Senator and not give the people a chance to elect were that the case I would agree that's not the case in Minnesota and 35 other states of this nation have identical laws. We have a special election to fill a vacancy in the United States Senator ship that occurs at the next general election in unique circumstances that we just experienced with Senator Anderson. It turns out that the vacancy and Senator Anderson's position and the the election to fill it for the next regular term coincide in November of this year. And so the people in Minnesota assume that we're Senator Humphrey to die as he did but that vacancy will be filled by appointment and the voters are going to sort it would be precluded from filling that vacancy with a special election. They now are beginning to perceive that that's not the case. They understand the current law provides for a special election in November to fill a bag. What's the four years of that term they do not feel that's unreasonable. They did not understand this present law. So what this pill does it change present law to accelerate by one full year the opportunity to the voters have to participate in that election process Senator Jensen stated incorrectly and perhaps. He isn't too good at simple mathematics. What's the current law provides a system and was out lying to us in a 25-page legal Memo by center console that a maximum length of the vacancy could be 28 months under the bill before you it would be 14 and 1/2 months in the odd years in 15 1/2 months in the even hear clearly as shortening of slightly over a year in terms of giving the boulders an opportunity to fill that vacancy by a special election. As I indicated Senator Anderson would have run last year in November to fill out the last part of Senator mondale's term. He be running for a full year where you want this coming. November a special election between April and July the senator Jensen spoke to means that we'll have a low voter turnout. It means we'll have an inability for the system to develop candidates to run for those positions through the precinct caucus in the endorsement process. That's traditional in the state of Minnesota. If you want to take the waseeka papers example and say six weeks from the Tuesday following the vacancy. I hope you're all prepared to vote in primary next Tuesday. That's when it would be. Or in the case of Senator. Mr. Dirnberger speaking before the elections committee that the primary election be held 30 days after the vacancy. Obviously, you're going to have to close filings two weeks before that so we can prepare ballots and absentee ballots. You're talking about 72 hours at findings are going to close in. Seems to me that that's not a reasonable circumstance. We have to provide for a system that works and an instant election Cuts against the process working at its best. What do you gain when you spend a million dollars and you cut out seven or eight hundred thousand voters in Minnesota you gain 5 months that to me is a totally inappropriate situation to put the voters in the state of Minnesota. It merely means that the big names in the big money are going to be able to buy a quick instant election at the little guy in the state of Minnesota isn't going to have an opportunity to go to his caucus and elect delegates to a State Convention and go through a nomination process those let's everybody in the state of Minnesota be heard from I don't think that's a reasonable process. I think this bill which speeds up the election process to fill vacancies buy a full year is reasonable. It's reasonably cost-effective cuz currently in the state of Minnesota a million four hundred thousand people do go to election in November the odd-numbered years. There be no X Expense for holding that election there we were to pass the local government election day Bill. Obviously, there be no experience whatsoever. But in the 7th District of the state of Minnesota last year, we had a classic example of what happens in special elections two or three hundred thousand dollars were spent in 33 days to fill out seat in 1/8 of the state Time Magazine. The Press of the nation was had its eyes focused on that. Is this a trend what's going to happen when secretary Berglund seat is filled we got 35.6% turn off this coming November will have a 60% turnout the state of Minnesota difference between 35 and 60 is seven or eight hundred thousand minnesotans. Sure. They have the right to vote in the April to me. They have the right to vote if we set the election between midnight and 6 in the morning. It's not our job to discourage meaningful participation the election process. It's our job to understand that system and to encourage meaningful participation. And this measure does it. Thank you. Mr. President. I just want us to Senator George Pillsbury is are there any pain Republican? We just heard from Henry David shaft D flr from Fridley. And we've all heard the arguments pro and con on the bill, but we spent four sessions of half day sessions arguing about the pros and cons and unanimously supported the position represented by Senator Jensen's Amendment. If we then in one hour session totally reverse what we worked on all summer long in the logic of last summer is still the logic of this winter. We really are making a mockery of our committee system. We're certainly making a mockery of our endrum work and I think that we are acting and I think this is why we're speaking out. This is not an independent Republican Amendment. This is a proposal approved by an overwhelmingly dfl committee standing committee of this Senate approved in September. This is what we're asking you to support support the work of your committee, and I think that if we I do not approve your not pass out here today the bill as you might say re amended by Senator Jensen, we're being terribly terribly arrogant to in the state of Minnesota and very very unresponsive for the voted for filling vacancies in US Senate seats here. Again is Senator Carl Johnson. What's the message that those papers were trying to get across to you as if they thought that there should be no action as soon as reasonably possible. Our committee in the Senate decided that it would take from three to six months some. In there. The the house said that about three months is enough. I'm inclined to agree with that. I would hope that if we pass my amendment that the governor would not take the six months, but would probably take the four months. He says about getting out to the people. We've been told and many of us believe that England has a fairly good constitutional representative government. Am I understanding is that they never have a an election campaign for more than 30 days? I don't know whether it's our election officials are saying I will have more and more time or something like that. Actually. I was not dissatisfied with the results of the 7th District election. I was not too satisfied with the results of many other special elections that we've had Senator Schmitz was not right here right now. He said he said plenty of time. We had plenty of time to get everything out of the people and let them know exactly where we still deciding what I could have done with more time. I agree that 30 days is unreasonably short time, but I agree the 10 months is an unreasonably long time. And more than that 15 1/2 months is an unreasonably unreasonably long time. Mister chairman members of the Senate I also am on the election center near Arnold ueland once passed unanimous bill was again again amended. I would also like to comment briefly. Some of the cost of a special early special election were mentioned. So we understand that would be in the neighborhood of about 100 of $700,000 and some and some people seem to think that there's a low turnout I think first of all that we have to pay a price for democracy and that's the cost of Elections. It was commented about the low voter turnout. At least the voters would have a chance to vote this time. They had no earlier chance until next November. I think this has been a most unusual Bill my brief stay here in the Senate and in committee meetings that I've ever run across all the actions of went back and forth. One day. We were all for the next day. We are all against it or half of us were against it and I think it probably will be some books written it'll go down in history. And I imagine the historical society is now casting about for some authors. They'll have no doubt the number to people to pick from I want to remind Senator Jensen that the bill were discussing is a Statewide election in the bill. He did mention that I was involved in was he senatorial State senatorial district convention was only 167th of the bill that were talking about in his Amendment and I'll have to admit Sandra Jensen. I was pleased with the results of that election. He referred co-president. September 26th 1978 Can really go down as a happy day for the constituents in the people the state of, Minnesota. Or I can go down as a sham a disaster an extreme disappointment. The people that are looking for a representative form of government and then to be represented in that form of government. We look at all the conversation has been going on about people and what they want to do just to give an example of some of the bond issues that are up and every one of our districts throughout the state of Minnesota for various things the people use that is the one last Bastion of having a chance to vote in time and time again, they said no because they're really casting a vote against this whole system and we've had for the last couple of years and where they haven't been represented. So they're taking this opportunity on a bond issue that might do something for the local community mind. You just say no. They don't have the opportunity to be involving themselves and Statewide government through the appointment system. I'd like to listen to read a quote to you from man that I've held in quite high regard over the years at least evensen. I think we should just go back and look at what he said at a time when? We needed to be looking at representative government. And he said quote what you have inherited from your father earned over again for yourselves or it will not be yours. We Inherited Freedom. We seem to be unaware that it has been passed to be remade Andre earned in each generation of man. For Freedom demands infinitely more care and devotion than any other political system. It puts constant in personal initiative in the place of command in obedience. in the place of command in obedience By relying on the devotion and initiative of the ordinary citizen. We do not slip into happiness. It is strenuously sought and earned. Then it goes on to say that no Society has ever spent as much as we do on drink and tranquilizers they speak to us in terms of what we ourselves May there not have been a slaking of devotion compared with days gone by when what Manos to God and his neighbor was a common theme we talked about cost $0.25 per person. And freedom is not free people have died in this nation have died from this state for freedom. And we want to sit and say that were. Something other than a constitutional form of government in which we have Representatives looking out on behalf of our people that we represent and then this case a Statewide office throughout the state of Minnesota. It was mentioned to about short periods of time and getting ready and such and I had to call place to the British Embassy to find out just what is there a particular length of time that they need to get an election conflict after for some reason whatever it is the prime minister decides if things aren't going so good or perhaps there is a vacancy in the Prime Minister office. A Royal Proclamation is issued within just a very short. Of time a few days in a fat after that issue is written the final written. It's called then there is an 8-day pot finding. And then 9 days in which to accomplish that election excluding holidays and Sundays a maximum of four weeks. And by the way the comment from the person at the British Embassy in Washington said the system works very well. So it's not a length of time that were interested in and certainly we can get that job done. Just on local basis. I conducted the pool during the summer months and 93% of the people in my district said that they did want a speedy special election when there is a vacancy to be filled. So today we have a chance to perhaps have the miles of the citizens of are individuals turn up after this conversation in this debate is over or are they going to again have to curl the corners of their mouth down and say they are again being run by appointment rather than their right to have a chance to vote Amendment Senator key was Senator John Hutchinson. Here is a little bit much but we've heard I don't know if you've been listening to the bait. I should tell the people that fell asleep earlier on that not only are the Republicans not going to get a chance to have a shot at the at the Humphrey senate seat in a couple of months, but also freedom is in Jeopardy democracy is falling to pieces and so on. Republicans didn't notice this 214 years they were in control the legislature that mean this was the law that they passed when they were in power in 1923 and you know, they never noticed that democracy and freedom and Justice and everything. We're being ground under the Jack boot heels of Oppression, but let me tell you about how we got to the law where we are right now because it's really a sort of an interesting story Governor price was in office when The Senator knut Nelson died in 1923. And what happened? Well Governor price had a choice under the lot that time the Republicans passed your choice. You can either call a special election and some of his advisers were advising him to resign and and let the lieutenant governor Johnson at the time appointed him to that office. Well Magus Johnson it run against Governor price in the gubernatorial election in Lost Ones. Soundly price really beat Johnson that badly and Crazy, you would allow yourself to be appointed to that office. That's terrible. It's undemocratic. He said the same things that the senator you like crazy and in spite of the fact the governor price at beating Magnus Johnson, very badly need a gubernatorial election. He was he was nervous about all this criticism. So finally decided what he do was he'd resign he. Call special election. You could do that under the law. He resign call special election you run for the US Senate and that's what he did and you know who ran against them Magnus Johnson. You know what he said. He said this election is costing the taxpayers of Minnesota million dollars and Governor prices foisted that expense honest and you know what he did he beat him. Now this is the kind of political silliness that the Republicans are expecting us to to believe here on the floor of the Senate if this bill was so awful Senator was so awful Senator Jensen has been in the has been in the Senate the all these many years in the house before that and you know, I don't I don't believe he's introduced a bill to change it when the Republicans were in control suddenly when there's a Democratic governor, they don't like it. So well, I think that we have a remarkable. Successor to Senator Humphreys seed I don't ordinarily believe in appointing the wife of of of a deceased politician fill out his term. I think that is a that it's a Charming a tradition but it's that it doesn't make very much sense. But Muriel Humphrey isn't just the wife of a deceased politician Muriel Humphrey is a distinguished and very highly respected National and international figure in her own. Right and I think she brings to that sentence sentence eat the kind of prestige the kind of experience the kind of commitment to the issues that are important to Minnesota the kind of vote that we want from the Panama Canal treaty comes up shortly and I just think that that that the appointment the governor is made is he is excellent. It allows the both political parties to start at the very grass roots to select their candidates for the for the election in November, and I think that political bosses in the rich people the political bosses and rich people won't be buying these elections. It'll go to the same Grassroots party process has given us in the first place in such a outstanding representation in in Washington. Now the last the last appointed US senator before all this flap was Walter Mondale. I don't think that turn out too bad at all. And when he had faced the people when it was over when when the special election arrived for him, he was his appointment was was Vindicated by the people in Minnesota in his performance in Washington is is Vindicated this law. Mr. President members of the Senate minority leader Robert Ash back a list of the cost I listen to Senator Steve Keith indicate. The laws been on the books since 1923. Why wait until you? Is never been abused before? That's why we're considering it the people want to change. And that's where all our legislation comes from because of a need of change. And we have a governor. Who is appointed two United States senators? And the state of Minnesota have so many appointed top officials. They want to change your the party. Where are the party of openness you use it for campaign issues. We've always practicing. And what has happened? distinguish pagoria leader Ozark if ignored his potential candidacy. And I don't know what kind of game plans we have. We talked about doing things. Here we passed others body on 1976 the selection bill twice. This house refuse to take a nap. The house passes out of the electric bill. And we refused to take it up the dfl leadership. Center Hill and tried many times to bring it up last session. You put a 12 a.m. Playing games said so well here previously. You're passing out a bill that we all can support that the people want and then what happens? Your turn around because the game changed a little bit what it was playing. And now you got a different kind of a bill, which is really nothing. And then I hear gnashing of teeth and weeping and wringing hands of the cost. With a kinds of increases we've got in the state of Minnesota. It's really interesting to hear those people who are concern. You have no trouble passing a tax bill and 77 that'll tax senior citizens pensions $2000000 a year when you got 273 billion dollar Surplus. Who ever heard of such a kind of tax bill is that? Or tax military pay and pensions and I was state income and raise a high rate 3% tremendous concern for the people you have then they're Raising Cane and indicating that the cost is too high. How many defeated people are in public office and unclassified positions in the state? What's a cronyism aspect I increase cost of a unclassified positions play Club point. He's eventbrice 30 million dollars in the last 4 years. I don't hear your worrying about that. We're worrying about $700,000 let the people know sender keep says the Panama Canal is an issue. I agree. It's an issue. A lot of other things are important issues to that's why we need a special election. So these people these issues could be debated for the people the state of Minnesota and make your decisions not understand. Are you looking as indicated I was involved in the Summit Avenue mansion. Frankly, I think the people of Minnesota the legislative process could have been preserved. The governor could have waited with an appointment. You knew we had a special order. You knew Center Coleman wanted to bring it to the body, you know, he knows how the legislature feels and really really what he has done is ignored the legislative process and the legislature. And I think got it was an affront to the legislature. Frankly, I think we should have decided he agreed with it and we should have a special like even in his speech the other day to the Joint body in his address indicated off many times. She said the people should make the decisions. In fact quote people matter we have openings in government. but under this bill it won't happen. So I would urge that we support them in with offer by Sandra Jensen. And that way then passed the bill send it over to the house and let us know what's going on. The appointment is made if no quarrel with the appointment, but there's another principle involve a decision and we think that the bill is good today as it was we pass it to 76 and the reason is still there and the principals are still good. Many of you will vote for that bill vote against or something. You have to answer your constituents Senator, perfect. Mr. President members of the senate or whatever and then you elected a man. From the range for lieutenant governor, which is the first time Ranger one Statewide office and through the Constitution. No, no appointment or anything. He was he became the governor. And then all of a sudden all I've heard for 13 months is special election special elections. No appointments. No appointment special election, but all of a sudden because Rudy the Rangers there. things have changed I will agree. With every man and woman in the Senate will say he has not selected the best man for the job, but he has not played favorites if he selected the best man for the job if he played favorites, I would still be a senator still address that Senator, but I would not be standing here Senator Johnson. Mister a president and members of the Senate it seems that Senator per pitch was indicating that the Republicans are not very responsible from capresso. Republicans are being very responsible. We've heard a lot of political rhetoric from the Republicans today on this foolish Amendment offered by Senator Jensen and really what the Republicans are trying to do here today. They're not facing the issue and telling the people what they're really trying to do. But we know and I think most of the people know that the Republican party has a great ability to get money from powerful wealthy special interest and they would like in early election and try to buy the election because they've got candidates like mr. Boschwitz millionaires in our party doesn't have people like that and we feel we should go through the regular process go to the carcasses go through the procedure and not try to buy an election like the Republicans are trying to do in this state. Senator Pillsbury Mr. President listening to live Florida. They tromley Minnesota State Senate on legislation for filling future US Senate. They can seize the bill under discussion with the vibe special elections in November is of odd-numbered years. The debate is over an amendment offered by the Republicans that would provide special elections within 12 to 26 weeks after vacancies occur in the case of the Hubert Humphrey. They can see that the election will be held between April 11th and July 11th. And now here is GOP, Senator George Pillsbury don't understand. No one has persuaded me is why what is good in September is not also good in January centered appropriate. I guess that particularly I don't know whether you read Senator shops in random. I don't know what your study of history is what you were talking about something that we've been operating on for a hundred years. The fact of the matter is when Minnesota became a state senators were selected by the legislature and this was true up until the 17th amendment in 1913. There's been an openness growing in the whole country 1913. We said the United States Constitution says we have to elect a United States Senator. And we passed a law in 1913. It was slightly amended in 1925. And as I said before my opening remarks in 1925, we had a different situation than we have today. Congress was meeting one two three four months at the most. at the beginning of the year that no longer prevail I think if the Republicans were in control of this legislature right now, we would be the first people to pass this kind of a bill because it's a fair bill. It's a bill for the people to have the chance to elect a senator and I would think that you would support the bill on the present members of the body. I didn't intend to speak on this at all, but I couldn't help but when Senator Johnson got up here center dash box in the Jensen over here Center shaft. I don't think that I am even wise enough to say weather today. This is right or wrong. What we do today is right or wrong. And what was wrong for so long as now right or what was right so long as now wrong. I don't know that tell you how we can find out. If what we do today, we maybe have to wait a little while, but I think the best judge and jury are the people if they remember in November, that would be quite a model. Why we did today if they remember November is wrong. I think it's be very obvious as to who will win and who will lose on the Jensen. Trump wild storical Society might pay some attention to this debate. So I thought it important that we set the record straight at least as far as the author's concern. I had a press conference when I introduced my version of how this got to be done last August and it's strikingly similar to The Measure you have before you I regret to say that my colleagues on the senate election committee didn't share my concern which I think more of them do today, but partly they were reacting to the comments in the press that we've heard around the state about the voters wanting a right to vote in the special election to fill send vacancies. I think they were acting correctly. The problem was that those people writing those articles and I've talked to some of them specifically didn't in fact understand that a Humphrey vacancy. Be filled for the remainder of the four years of starting with this coming November by a special election were no laws to be changed in the state of Minnesota. I think with the committee reacted to recently was the fact that they've got a much different reading of the public and when the public understands that we do have a special election law as 35 other states in this nation do but that in fact of a fills the concerns of people have what we are doing in this measure is accelerating a problem people originally reactive to which was the Anderson appointment which appeared to be for the remainder of a senate vacancy. We talked a great deal today about the difference between appointment and election current law provides for Governors appointment the house bill provided for Governors appointment my proposal provides for Governors appointment the Jensen Amendment provides for a Governor's appointment. So I guess there's a lot of political rhetoric but all proposals provide. Governor's appointment So what we're talking about is when is the election going to occur? And I think the measure before you free from the Jensen to made Amendment provide just the most rational system to Wild all voters with state of Minnesota to participate in the process of selecting your nice state senator makes no sense to me at least to cut out seven or eight hundred thousand more effectively and to eliminate, you know, a decent time for people to gear up for campaigns to raise money and to promote their candidacies and to get the issues known instead of just a few names that might be familiar to some of them. So I think there's a clear distinction given what we know now realize the public understand between the Jensen proposal on the shop reposal and I think that we should defeat the Jensen proposal and get on with the business of the Senate. Senator Frederick, that's the president. I really hadn't intended to speak on this either but we keep hearing that 700,000 people will be cut off from their vote. Now. We just up to 800,000. We've heard that we're going to cut out the little person from having his voice. I think it can all be summed up very easily. And simply by stating that by not having a special election for million voters have been cut off from having their vote. The little person is not having his voice at all. There's only one person in the state who is having his voice and only one person who's having a vote and that person was not elected to the office which he's serving in by the people and authorized to have that vote. I think that sums it up very adequately the debate has been requested as Senator sets of Fallout is not in a senator. Present members of the wimpy kid. Going to repeat Senator Hansen's statement day I sit here. Listening to the debate that says proven quite interesting. There's lots of conflicts the young silvertongue the knowledgeable senator from Duluth to Davis during presentation. Quite a while ago. And nobody seems to be concerned about election cost. I went through a special election that my district as a result of that went through two special elections. I guess I've got no doubt in my mind that if we had a special election within the next couple 3 months it probably Congressman the Hagedorn and Congressman Fraser might end up his opponents in should either one of them when there's going to be another special election on their District do not talk about one which only talkin about to special elections. You can't run a special election of 30-60 days. I've been through that mail it it just doesn't work. I guess I was the only member of the majority the Press majority to win a special election, but I definitely heard it was a rather unusual thing. I'm not as concerned about that that as I am about cost about allowing the public to have a chance to make a wise decision from the results of a legitimate campaign. And those costs are something you know, we had a bill into trying to repay the cost of those counties in the need of the center of the hospital free to find those cost. Theoretically I guess it's possible under some special election built even end up with three special elections in one District. It makes it easier for the Encompass to run doesn't make a 4in, legislators to run. Breyer office without endangering their own spot. I'm not too sure. That's right. I'm not too sure. I would have been a candidate for the Senate if there would have been a special election. I don't know if that's all right or Fair. I think Senator Chef has an excellent idea what we had before with it with election. Every two years wasn't all that bad until. 12 months ago Now with an annual election with the opportunity for an annual election or an off-year election to replace that senate seat provide adequate time To run a good effective campaign around about the process go as it should. I guess mr. Present what I'm trying to say, it isn't all that bad. We've heard a lot of rhetoric. I think it's a r y solution to a problem that really wasn't a severe problem before and I would hope the members of the body would feel free to approve of a good middle-of-the-road approach to something. That wasn't all that bad either requested Senator bang missed your friend. I would just like to point out. That's why there's bill is here today on the special election after that they found out they couldn't couldn't win Tuesday special election. So they went to Saturday special elections found out they couldn't win those. So now they want to go all the way to November. That's why this bill is here today on the pharmacy and I think we should support the Jensen and give the people a chance to vote now. put on Now we're at where the Senate now is president. What what were discussing your basically is? The legislature has to write in a duty to set a date of election and Beyond what is interesting in trying to determine what that date should be and I want to thank senator yulin for the eloquent remarks that someone made at that Committee hearing they were attributed to me. I didn't know the statement was that good? And actually the amendment that has proposed by Senator Jensen is a motion that I made in the in the committee back in back in September, but all of these motions relative to setting the date of the election come down to try to do something that makes some common sense and we have to decide ourselves. It's what's the most appropriate way in which we we set that date and the and the proposal that Senator shop has proposed and which he has been talking about a long before that. Meeting in which we are adopted. The Jensen proposal is to have a uniform date so that everyone is forewarned and you can specify process as far as determining who the successor should be. I don't know if I guess I am older than most of the members in the Senate and I remember a lot of funny things, you know, we talked about the people having a voice in the selection of the successor and you know, like we had the People's Choice when Guy Howard got elected to the Senate and the People's Choice winner Nelson went to the United States Senate do no replacing known people are there on a Sunday, but probably one of the most interestings happened in the state of Minnesota killed. And the people had a choice in determining who that successor was going to be. There was a columnist for the Minneapolis Tribune that had his name on the front page of the paper every day year after year and lo and behold. I don't know who I apparently was the people of Minnesota got to Harold stassen and made it appear to him that he was the People's Choice and he got a pointed and lo and behold in 1942 and practically everybody was gone like Lucky Strike green gone to war Joe ball get reelected by the people and it took the people of the state of Minnesota eight years to get rid of him. And I don't know if you recall who I'm free. Now if we had an election today, but what that maybe Muriel Humphrey might not get elected to the Senate. We had a quickie hurry up election or a year ago if we had a quick hurry up election. Is there any doubt of Play games. And what you have to do is try to make some common sense out of the system and you can play games with the electric and you can play games with the with the appointment process. They're both subject to a abuse. But what do we want to do is try to devise a common sense system that the people law generally what the system is by which we can use a normal process which everyone knows what's going to happen and we would have had the two same people in the office from the state of Minnesota president. Mr. President. I think we've lost sight of the fact that it is a bill for special elections at this body is considering here today. I think the members of the opposition party of lost sight of the fact that we are changing the law and we are providing for special elections. And if we're going to talk about democracy and talk about President, I'd like to remind my friends in the Republican party that I recall in 1974 and unelected vice president of the United States was became the president and the unelected president appointed an unelected Vice President of the United States and I don't recall a single Republican in America who complained about the Democracy of this nation being jeopardized the way I hear the Democracy of our state being jeopardized today. I would suggest them the more productive use of the time of the Republican minority to work for special election similar to this bill for the presidency of the United States if it's really the genuine concern of the opposition DSLR John Chenoweth This afternoon about playing games we've heard about the cost but I think perhaps mr. Chairman. We should be serious for a moment and I'm seriously concerned about representation if we conduct a special election immediately and if you look at the timetable of events, we're going to be without the representation. I don't think I only need but all the citizens of the state of Minnesota. If we look at the process were discussing today mister chairman and consider the fact that it may take us and the other body in the legal process that we go through in our state government a few weeks to solve this issue that at least we've gone into the middle of February. We consider the process to file some of the preliminary activities leading up to the campaigns and all of a sudden we got a primary or in mid-april and after mid-april, mr. Traveler going to have a general election about the time the general election will be conducted. We're going to be in the middle of July and each of us know that Congress likes to come home in July to wear in August and September Congress to adjourn because they're going to come back and they're going to compete against each other. Relaxing to their post. So the longer we delay what the governor has done, which I think is commendable the longer. We delay this process the last time we're going to have to representation and I think it's foolish indeed to discuss an argument for probably two months of representation. We have many vital issues happening in Washington DC that I want to be represented with with a congressman and a senator for my state from Faribault. The secretary will take the role. It's the end of the debate send president Garrity is now called for the roll-call to be taken on the amendment by Senator Carl Johnson Republican sponsored Amendment, which wouldn't call for special elections in the event of the US Senate vacancy within roughly 12 to 26 weeks after that vacancy occurred that amendment was originally approved last September by the senate elections committee last week the committee reverse its position and decided instead to provide for special elections in November of odd-numbered years under current law. There will be a an election in November of the even-numbered years. The effect of the Johnson Amendment Wyndham require a special election to fill the Senate vacancy for Hubert Humphrey between April 11th and July 11th. not voting be excused from voting all those in favor signify by saying I Pause no, the eyes have it and so ordered the secretary will close the role. I will find out what the final tally is. The amendment is not adopted. We now have before us house file 1500 as amended Center pricing considering if there are $48 and the senate in 19 in dependent Republicans by the Senate January 29th hearing secretary reading Amendment offered by Senator Jim Whelan of Duluth independent Republican with that in Diamond Bar Mr. President remembers what my Amendment would do and I'd request a roll call vote would return house file 1502 exactly the wording it had when it passed the house 129 to one would return how to file 1500 through the provisions of the 12 to the 14 week. Within which the election would be held. I don't want an extensive debate on this issue. There are tattoo technical amendments. I will make if this first amendment is adopted but I do want the Senate to have the opportunity to vote on the concept which the house adopted before we adjourn today discussion on the resident. Because I store the house language this bill directly to the governor. And I don't think a lot of members of either the House and Senate would be comfortable with what's happened. But there's one interesting provision in the bill that the house passed. It says that if we have a local government election day, then instead of using this election. We use November of each year. I have that sneaky feeling that if I let this amendment passed that might be an easy way to pass another measure I'm interested in but I'm not quite that sneaky was President. So I oppose the motion by Further discussion on the yulin J Amendment a roll call has been requested. The secretary will take the role. We'll see what happens here. If this then that. Down by the exact same margin is the amendment offered by Senator Carl Johnson Center to Ulen did was offer to put the the bill back into the original form is passed by the House of Representatives in May of last year. Senators are voting. Now. You hear that little pinging sound in the background. That's to call them into the Chamber from their offices which are nearby other second and third floor is here only present. I believe that those not voting be excused from voting voting be excused from voting all those in favor will signify by say and I both know the eyes have it so ordered the secretary will close the role. And I'll get the vote count here in just a second and 41 days. The amendment is not adopted we have before us house file 1500 as amended. any further discussion Senator penny is Gemini supported the yulin amendment in spite of the fact that there may have been something in there or relating to uniform election day. I sported that bill last year when it was sent over from the house when we had an opportunity to vote and I also bought it today in support of the Johnson Amendment my convictions tell me that in a democracy when a vacancy occurs in elected office and the people must decide who should succeed to that office the fairest way to provide for that to get the people an opportunity to vote in the special election as soon as that election is reasonable. I believe that when we speak of a special election, the people expect that the election will take place within a few months and a bill which delays at election for as much as 15 months. I don't think meets people's expectations. And I just don't think it's the best we can do but in light of the fact that we have defeated the amendment that gave us a chance to do better. I will be supporting the shaft bill because it's obviously better than this right now. Senator James Johnson Amendment devoted firmament We couldn't get it past. Now he says I'm going to vote for this bill because it does something. Actually, it's better not to do something. The reduce the time from 22 months to 15 and a half month and tell the people that we did something. That is just ridiculous. Anyway, I'm glad that he said what he did because it brings out the issue and I'll certainly hope that everyone here will vote against this bill as a knowledge so that we can pass a bill that will actually do something Senator Penny this trim if we don't pass this bill today next year, it's not going to change and that's exactly what we will do is nothing. We're not going to defeat the bill today. I think reducing the time for special election by one year is quite an improvement. I would have liked it to be better at since we can't do better. I will be supporting a bill. Further discussion Senator Keith J. I guess you know, I I I went through the same sort of thought process that you have and respect you have for your your support of the various amendments and and your convictions of fun. Holly. All United States. Senator should be elected and assume there is possible. And I thought well now really what when it comes down to it and in the Amendments offered by Senator Jensen instead of you and if they already feed it, should I should I support this bill because it obviously does reduce a very short time rocks me 6 months at the we will have the opportunity to elect United States entered but I guess I came to the conclusion Center Penny by doing that by supporting his bill. I'm really Lending support to receiving really the people in the feeling that they have a special election bill. I know that's obviously going to be the attack of the dfl majority here. However, if we do defeat this bill, the pressure is going to continue by the public by the news media by the good government organization such as the League of Women Voters and common cause and we will be forced the dfl. Majority will be forced to come up with a reasonably decent bill. That's where I'm going to vote against the bill. That's why I think you got to think about it further discussion on the GOP Senator John Hopkins 1500 a bill for natural ending to elections vacancy in the office of senator in Congress providing for a special election to fill a vacancy very well. Take the role. Right now we got the roll call on the bill itself. Senate President in Garrity exhorting the members who want to vote the vote. And just a few moments will have a conclusion. Do this all Senators elephants having voted who desire to Vault? The secretary will close the role. Okay. Now the 44 eyes and 9. Ines the bill has passed but the title has agreed to we're still on the order of the business of motions today approved a bill change the procedure for filling vacancies in US Senate seats that bill. Would call for a special election in November's of odd-numbered years vacancies occur in odd-numbered years. Currently vacancies are filled by special election in even-numbered Years. Anyway, so now they'll be a chance to feel any Senate vacancy once every year during the month of November. What happens now is this bill will go back to the House of Representatives where it originated last year the house will decide whether or not to accept the changes made by the Sun. The house bill was one that would call for special elections generally within 12 to 26 weeks after a vacancy occurs. We can assume that the house will go along with the changes made by the Senate so they will not have to do a special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Humphrey. Although there may be some very Lively debate in the house just as there was today in the state senate. Live from Lea Minnesota State Senate, this is Bob Potter reporting or technical director for this broadcast was Richard Nelson funds for this program provided in part by the Minneapolis Tribune. This is Minnesota Public Radio.


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