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Oregon. Legislative Assembly
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Oral history interview with Vern Cook

This oral history interview with Robert Vernon "Vern" Cook was conducted by Clark Hansen at Cook's law office in Gresham, Oregon, and Cook's home in Troutdale, Oregon, from December 15, 1994, to October 15, 1995. In the interview, Cook discusses his family background and early life during the Depression in Las Animas, Colorado, and in Gresham. He also describes being a young man during World War II; being denied enlistment in the Navy due to polio; and his rehabilitation from polio. Cook discusses studying political science at Reed College and law at the University of Oregon, all while working concessions at various businesses in California with his brother. He talks about practicing law in Gresham; his involvement with the Democratic Party; and his first campaign for the Oregon House of Representatives in 1956. Cook discusses the legislation he worked on while serving in the House, including taxation, education, and worker's compensation. He also talks about serving on the judicial committee and related issues. He discusses some of the legislators he worked with, including Pat Dooley and Monroe Sweetland, as well as Governor Mark Hatfield.

Cook then describes his experience in the Oregon Senate, including serving on the judiciary committee and legislation on taxation, particularly sales taxes, as well as health insurance, education, land use, agriculture, domestic violence, and labor. He also talks about working with senators Tom Mahoney, Edith Green, Walter Pearson, Debbs Potts, Monte Montgomery, Alice Corbett, Ted Hallock, Jason Boe, and Vic Atiyeh. Cook also discusses party politics and its influence on the effectiveness of the Legislature during his tenure; the 1968 Democratic National Convention; and working with Governor Tom McCall and Portland Mayor Neil Goldschmidt. He also talks about his unsuccessful campaigns for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate; his involvement in Frank Church's campaign in the Democratic presidential primary in 1976; and the financial difficulties he faced as a legislator. He closes the interview by discussing his career as a lawyer since leaving the Legislature in 1980.

Cook, Vern (Robert Vernon), 1925-2008

Oral history interview with Stafford Hansell

  • SR 88
  • Collection
  • 1983-10-17 - 1986-06

This oral history interview with Stafford Hansell was conducted by Barbara Reynolds from October 17 to November 15, 1983, and in June 1986. In the interview, Hansell discusses his family history and early life on a farm in Umatilla County, Oregon, including having diphtheria and polio as a child and the long-term effects on his health. He also talks about his education at the University of Montana and Whitman College, including his involvement in athletics and drama. Hansell talks about the early years of his marriage to Mary Elizabeth Ennis; making ends meet during the Depression; farming with his father; hog farming with his brother, Bill; and adopting his son, John. He also discusses serving on his local school board from 1953 to 1957, including implementing kindergarten and increasing school funding. Hansell then discusses his involvement with the Republican Party and representing Umatilla County in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1957 to 1974. He discusses legislation on land-use planning, taxation, labor, reapportionment, education, agriculture, and marijuana. He also discusses his failed bid to become Speaker of the House in the 1967 session, as well as many of the representatives he served with. Hansell also discusses his role on the Ways and Means Committee; the Boeing Space Age Park and Boardman; salary increases for legislators; and the Mark Hatfield and Tom McCall administrations. He speaks briefly on his feelings regarding the impeachment of President Richard Nixon. He also talks about working for the administrations of Governors Bob Straub and Norma Paulus after leaving the Legislature, including serving on the Oregon Liquor Commission, the State Board of Education, and the Governor's Taskforce on Land Use Planning. He also discusses the Rajneeshees. Hansell closes the interview by talking about his personal life and family, as well as his involvement with the Oregon Historical Society and his interest in Native American cultures and art.

Hansell, Stafford (Marion Stafford), 1913-1995

Oral history interview with Norma Paulus

  • SR 3972
  • Collection
  • 1999-02-10 - 2000-11-02

This oral history interview with Norma Paulus was conducted by Clark Hansen at Paulus's home in Salem, Oregon, in Lincoln City, Oregon, and in Portland, Oregon; and at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from February 10, 1999, to November 2, 2000, and from February 10 to 27, 2010. In the interview, Paulus discusses her family background and early life in Burns, Oregon, including life during World War II and contracting polio at the age of 19. She also discusses working as a secretary for the Harney County district attorney, Leland Beckham; moving to Salem to work for a law firm; working for Judge Earl Latourette; and going to law school. Paulus describes meeting Bill Paulus while attending law school; his family background; and their marriage. Paulus discusses her involvement with the Republican Party; working as an appellate lawyer for the Oregon Supreme Court; working on Wally Carson's campaign for the Oregon Legislature in 1965; and getting her first political appointment, to the Marion County Boundary Commission, where she focused on land-use and city planning issues. She focuses on managing a career in law and politics while raising two young children and building a house.

She then discusses her time in the Oregon House of Representatives, from 1970 to 1976, including environmental issues such as the Bottle Bill of 1971 and recycling; education; the criminal code; taxes; attempts to make Cape Kiwanda a state park; and the Rajneeshees. Paulus goes into detail about the women's caucus and the bills they focused on for women's rights, as well as efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. She describes working with Bob Smith, Paul Hanneman, Betty Roberts, Stafford Hansell, Jack Anunsen, Wally Priestly, Dick Eymann, Lynn Newbry, Glenn Jackson, Jason Boe, and Gretchen Kafoury. She also talks about being co-chair for Clay Myers' 1974 race for Oregon governor.

Paulus goes on to speak about her time as Oregon's first woman secretary of state from 1977 to 1985, including her first campaign in 1976 against Blaine Whipple; her efforts to increase voter turnout; and conducting audits, particularly of the Forestry Department. She also discusses the secretary of state's role as state archivist and the conflict between the Oregon State Archives and the Oregon Historical Society over which records belong with which institution. She also discusses working with Governor Vic Atiyeh. Paulus discusses running for governor against Neil Goldschmidt in 1986 and the challenges her campaign faced. She discusses her position on the Northwest Power Planning Council from 1987 to 1990, including working with Ted Hallock and Bob Duncan. She also discusses her position as Oregon superintendent of public instruction from 1990 to 1999, including her efforts to fund K-12 education. Paulus also relates a story about sharing an airplane with Moshe Dayan.

Paulus, Norma

Interview with Thomas H. Mercer

  • SR 3974
  • Collection
  • 1976

This interview with Thomas Mercer was conducted circa 1976. In the interview, Mercer, who was running against Al Ullman, discusses his current campaign for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives. He also discusses his heart issues and how they have affected his career; gun control; and health care. In addition to the interview, there is a recording of a question-and-answer session with Mercer and voters during his campaign. In the session, Mercer addresses questions regarding abortion and taxation.

Also on the audiocassettes with the Mercer interview is a speech delivered by an unidentified man circa 1977, regarding his experience in the Oregon Legislature, and a discussion held in Salem, Oregon, also circa 1977. The speakers in the discussion include Robert Marx, Anthony Meeker, Margaret Dereli, Mae Yih, Bill Rutherford, Wally Carson, Ken Jernstedt, Tony Van Vliet, and other unidentified legislators. Topics include municipal-, county-, and state-level taxation; revenue sharing; correctional institutions; SB 100 and land use planning; and energy conservation. It is unknown what, if any, relationship these recordings have to the Mercer interview.

Mercer, Thomas H.

Oral history interview with Don Clark

  • SR 1166
  • Collection
  • 1994 August 30 - 1998 March 27

Clark discusses family heritage, education, and career beginnings in the criminal justice system; experiences as Multnomah County sheriff; campaign for the Multnomah County Commission; modernization of county government in Oregon; Mt. Hood freeway and regional transportation planning, Burnside Consortium, Columbia Villa, single-payer health care, and numerous other subjects of policy and politics of city and county in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.

Clark, Donald Edward, 1933-

Oral history interview with Irvin Luiten

This oral history interview with Irvin "Irv" Herman Luiten was conducted by Jim Strassmaier from March 16, 1988, to January 19, 1990, at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. In the interview, Luiten discusses his family background and early life on wheat farms in Ritzville and Edwall, Washington, including his early education and the struggles his family faced during the Great Depression. He then describes studying journalism at Washington State University in the late 1930s, including the evolution of his political views and his interest in radio broadcasting. He discusses his early career as a journalist for the Colville Examiner from 1940 to 1941 and for the Northwest Farm News in 1941. Luiten also talks extensively about his service during World War II, including acting as defense counsel for his battalion and about soldier morale. He talks about his work with the Military Intelligence Service to teach escape and evasion tactics to airmen and setting up lines of escape in France.

Next, he describes his post-war life, including taking the editorship of the Northwest Farm News; marrying Ellen Boyde and raising a family; taking a job at Washington State University; and beginning his career with the Weyerhaeuser Company, doing public relations work as a writer for Weyerhaeuser News. He talks about aspects of Weyerhaeuser that made him loyal to the company, including the company's forest management practices and the management style of Phil Weyerhaeuser. Luiten also describes his experiences as a lobbyist for Weyerhaeuser from 1953 to 1978. He talks about the primary issues Weyerhauser was concerned with, including taxes, particularly timber taxes; pollution; land use; environmental law; and labor laws. Luiten also discusses his involvement with the Izaak Walton League of America and his conservation work; the Clemons Tree Farm; the workplace culture at Weyerhaeuser; and the company's relationship with the public. He goes on to talk about working with lobbyists for other Oregon timber interests, the different timber harvesting philosophies between Weyerhaeuser and Georgia-Pacific, and how those philosophies affected the economy of the state. He speaks at length on the importance of public relations work. He also discusses working with legislators such as Mark Hatfield, Dick Neuberger, Clarence Barton, Dick Eymann, and Vic Atiyeh. He closes the interview by talking about his life in retirement.

Luiten, Irvin H. (Irvin Herman), 1915-1997

Oral history interview with Betty Roberts

This oral history interview of Betty Roberts was conducted by Clark Hansen from March 24, 1992, to September 19, 1994, at Roberts' home in Portland, Oregon. In the interview, Roberts describes her early life and family background, including growing up in Texas during the Depression and her father's alcohol poisoning. She also discusses meeting her first husband, John Willard "Bill" Rice, as well as their marriage and starting a family in Oregon. Roberts discusses attending Portland State College and the strain it put on her marriage to Rice; discrimination she encountered as an older woman student; and pursuing a master's degree at the University of Oregon. She also talks about her divorce from Rice due to his objection to her working outside the home, the divorce's effect on her children, and her subsequent marriage to Frank L. Roberts. She also discusses her divorce from Frank Roberts in 1965.

Roberts discusses her career as an educator, including teaching at high schools in East Portland; serving on school boards; and her activity in the Oregon Education Association. She talks about meeting her third husband, Keith Skelton; civil liberties; her involvement in the Democratic Party; and practicing law. She then talks about her experiences in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1965 to 1968, including campaigning, sexist media coverage, and teaching high school and attending law school at Northwestern College of Law while in the Legislature. Roberts discusses legislation she worked on during her time in the House, primarily on education, including sick leave for teachers and universal kindergarten.

Roberts also discusses her 1968 campaign for the Oregon Senate against Tom Mahoney, as well as the 1968 presidential campaign, including the debate around the Vietnam War and her attendance at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois, with U.S. Senator Wayne Morse. She then discusses her experience in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1977, including legislation on taxes, particularly sales taxes; women's rights; abortion; environmental issues; rape shield laws; and child custody. She discusses working with Debbs Potts, John D. Burns, and Gracie Peck, and and talks about running for governor against Bob Straub in 1974. She also discusses her run for the U.S. Senate against Bob Packwood the same year. She talks about the various forms of sexism she encountered while in the Senate, the formation of the Women's Caucus in 1973, and support for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Roberts talks about her time as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals from 1977 to 1982, and about working alongside judges Herbert Schwabe and W. Michael Gillette. She describes being appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court by Governor Vic Atiyeh and the encouragement she received from Norma Paulus. She discusses several cases from the years 1982 to 1986, including cases regarding sex discrimination and misuse of taxpayer monies. She also talks about her law clerk, Maureen Leonard, and about working alongside judges Jacob Tanzer and Mercedes Deiz. Roberts relates her opinion on the efficacy and procedures of the judicial system in Oregon. She discusses her activities after resigning from the court, including her involvement with Oregon Women Lawyers and the Bob Packwood sexual harassment scandal.

Roberts, Betty, 1923-2011

Oral history interview with Monroe Sweetland

This oral history interview with Monroe Mark Sweetland was conducted by Richard Harmon from November 16, 1984, to October 26, 1987, at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. In this interview, Sweetland discusses his family background and early life, including his childhood in rural Michigan; his early involvement in Democratic politics; and his experiences at Wittenberg University and Cornell University. He discusses his political activism during college, including his involvement with the Student League for Industrial Democracy and his political activism on behalf of Socialist candidates. Sweetland also discusses his political activities after his return to Oregon in 1935, including his work with the Oregon Commonwealth Federation and his decision to leave the Socialist Party and join the Democratic Party. Also discussed is his work with labor unions; the New Deal programs; and his work with the Oregon Democratic Party. He briefly talks about World War II and its effect on Oregon politics, particularly the effect the Hitler-Stalin pact had on American communists and the Oregon Commonwealth Federation; internment of Japanese-Americans; and his own pacifism. Sweetland goes on to talk about his involvement with the Democratic Party of Oregon after the war as national committeeman; the factions within the party; and mobilizing women and black voters. He also discusses his ownership of several Oregon newspapers (the Molalla Pioneer, the Newport News, and the Milwaukie Review) and about running them with the help of his wife, Lillie Sweetland. In addition, he describes his experiences as a legislator in the Oregon House of Representatives and Senate during the 1950s and early 1960s. Topics include: education; attempts to pass a sales tax; campaign finance; and Wayne Morse's switch to the Democratic Party. He also discusses working closely with Howard Morgan, the national chairman of the Democratic Party; U.S. Senator Dick Neuberger; and U.S. Representative Edith Green. Sweetland talks about his relationship with Mark Hatfield and running for secretary of state against him in 1956; the 1962 presidential election and his support of John F. Kennedy; and his campaign for secretary of state in 1964. Finally, he discusses his activities after leaving the Legislature, including his interest in Indonesia and continued advocacy for education as a lobbyist for the National Education Association.

Sweetland, Monroe, 1910-2006

Oral history interview with Tom McCall

  • SR 298
  • Collection
  • 1973-03-12

This oral history interview with Oregon Governor Tom McCall was conducted by Steve Lorton on March 12, 1973, and was one of a number of interviews with governors of Western states on the occasion of Sunset Magazine's 75th anniversary. McCall describes his experiences in government and politics, along with challenges including growth and conservation in Oregon. He mentions members of the Oregon Legislature, including Bob Packwood, Keith Miller, Daniel Evans, Cecil Andrus, and Richard Neuberger. He also discusses legislation that was forthcoming at the time of the interview, including the Oregon Bottle Bill. He closes the interview by discussing his plans for Oregon's future.

McCall, Tom, 1913-1983

Oral history interview with Cecil L. Edwards

This oral history interview with Cecil Edwards was conducted by Irvin Luiten from May 18 to 26, 1988. In the interview, Edwards discusses his family history and early life in Salem, Oregon, including his education and early interest in government. He then talks about his experiences working for the Oregon Legislature beginning in 1933. He discusses the old Capitol building, which burned down in 1935; campaigns he worked on, and the role of lobbyists. He also talks about working as secretary for Governor Charles Sprague. Edwards then describes his service in the National Guard during World War II, particularly working with horses and dogs. He talks about returning to work in Oregon government after the war ended, including serving on the Racing Commission; being fired by Governor Mark Hatfield; lobbying for the Oregon Cattlemen's Association; and returning to the Legislature to work as a secretary. He discusses the numerous committees he was secretary for, including the agriculture committee, fish and game committee, and land-use board. Edwards next discusses his tenure as secretary of the Senate from 1965 to 1975, focusing on many of the legislators he worked with, including Clarence Barton, Debbs Potts, and Jason Boe. He also speaks at length about redistricting, as well as the duties of the secretary of the Senate and Senate rules.

Edwards, Cecil L.

Oral history interview with Connie McCready

This oral history interview with Connie McCready was conducted by Clark Hansen at McCready's home in Portland, Oregon, from March 21 to July 5, 1994. In this interview, McCready discusses her family background and early life in Portland. She also discusses her early career in journalism working for the Coos Bay Times and the Oregonian; and starting a family with her husband, Oregonian reporter Albert L. McCready. She discusses her involvement with the Republican Party, campaigning, her liberal politics, and her experience as a woman in the Oregon Legislature during the 1967 and 1969 sessions. McCready also discusses legislation she worked on, including taxes, fair employment, public transportation and TriMet, and her work on behalf of sternwheelers. McCready talks about some of the legislators she worked with, including Tom Mahoney, Bob Packwood, Stafford Hansell, and Jason Boe. She then discusses her time in the Portland City Council from 1970 to 1979, including the Mount Hood Freeway vote; the bureaus she ran, including fire, cable, and public works; her support for gay rights; and receiving death threats. She discusses the city commissioners and mayors she worked with, including Frank Ivancie, Neil Goldschmidt, Terry Schrunk, and Mildred Schwab. She also discusses her campaign against John Lorenz in 1976, and Portland's sister-city relationship with Sapporo, Japan.

McCready, Connie (Constance), 1921-2000

Oral history interview with Ken Jernstedt

This oral history interview with Ken Jernstedt was conducted by Clark Hansen from February 23 to April 13, 1995, in Hood River, Oregon. In this interview, Jernstedt describes his family background and early life on a farm in Yamhill, Oregon, including growing up during the Depression and his education at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. He also discusses his service during World War II, including his pilot training in the U.S. Marines aviation corps; joining the First American Volunteer Group and flying with the Flying Tigers for the Chinese Air Force; and his experience fighting against Japanese forces in China. He also talks about working as a test pilot after the war and meeting Charles Lindbergh. He then discusses returning to Oregon in 1946; purchasing Hood River Bottling Works; and his experiences as mayor of Hood River. Jernstedt also discusses his experiences in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1967 to 1968, including his campaign, party politics, and Monte Montgomery as speaker of the House. He then talks about his experiences in the Oregon Senate from 1969 to 1984, including legislation on taxation, particularly a sales tax; revisions to the criminal code; his objections to the 1971 Bottle Bill; liquor laws; and campaign finance. Other topics include prison labor, field burning, the expansion of the Capitol building, wage increases, elections, and the state's investments in apartheid South Africa. Jernstedt also speaks at length about Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh and his coming to the central Oregon town of Antelope in Jernstedt's legislative district. He also discusses working in the Senate with Ted Hallock, John D. Burns, Vic Atiyeh, Jason Boe, and John Kitzhaber. He also briefly talks about U.S. Senate Majority Leader Newt Gingrich.

Jernstedt, Ken (Kenneth Allen), 1917-2003

Oral history interview with Maribel Cadmus

This oral history interview with Maribel Cadmus was conducted by Vinita Howard from April 9 to May 7, 1992, at Cadmus' home in Salem, Oregon. In the interview, Cadmus discusses her family background and early life in The Dalles and Pendleton, Oregon; attending Oregon State University during World War II and meeting her husband, George Cadmus; and George Cadmus' studies in animal husbandry. She also discusses raising a family on a farm in Turner, Oregon; and beginning to work at the Oregon Legislature. Cadmus talks about Oregon politics and her experiences as secretary of the state Senate, including: the transition to working with computers; the daily duties of the secretary of the Senate; the various committees she clerked for, including the Highway Commission; lobbyists and senators she worked with, including Tony Yturri, Norman Howard, Jason Boe, Debbs Potts, Harry Boivin, and John Kitzhaber. She also discusses working with Cecil L. Edwards, senatorial procedure, and her involvement with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Cadmus, Maribel, 1924-

Oral history interview with Barbara Hanneman

This oral history interview with Barabara Hanneman was conducted by Vinita Howard at Hanneman's home in Turner, Oregon, from March 26 to April 1, 1991. In the interview, Hanneman discusses her family history and early life, including meeting her husband, Gene Hanneman, his career as a forester, and moving to Salem, Oregon. She also discusses the lives of her three children, as well as her grandchildren. She then talks about working in the offices of the Oregon Legislature, starting with the Board of Control before her children were born, then returning to work as a desk clerk for the Legislature in 1955. She describes working for Maurine Neuberger, Bob Holmes, Bob Duncan, Al Ullman, Bob Straub, and others. Hanneman discusses clerking for various committees, campaigning, and legislative procedures. She also talks briefly about other clerks at the Legislature, including Cecil Edwards. Hanneman then discusses working for the Neil Goldschmidt administration. She closes the interview by discussing changes in state government during her career.

Hanneman, Barbara Lewis, 1922-2017