C. J. (Carl J.) Buell.

The Minnesota Legislature of 1915 online

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Baldwin Greene Papke

Bessette Harrison, H. H. Pendergast

Bjorge Harrison, J. M. Peterson, A. M.

Bjorklund Hynes, J. H. Pless

Boehmke Hompe Rodenberg

Borgen Kneeland Sanborn

Bouck Konzen Sawyer

Boyd Kuntz Searls

Brown Larimore Scott

Burrows Lennon Sorflaten

Carmichael Leonard Spooner

Condon Lydiard Steen

Corning McGrath Stenvick

Dare McLaughlin Stoetzel

Devoid Marschalk Sudheimer

Dunleavy Miner Syverson

Dwyer Minnette Teigen, A. F.

Erickson Moeller Thornton

Ferrier Mueller Vasaly

Flinn Murphy Warner

Gerlich Nelson Welch

Gill Nietzel . Wilkins

Gilman < Nimocks Woodflll

Girling North Mr. Speaker

62 The Minnesota Legislature of 19J5

Those who

voted in the negative

were :





Johnson, J. T.



Johnson, M.






















Teigen, L. O.



Thompson, A. L.



Thompson, H. O.

Hinds, E. R.




Peterson, A.







Eight members did not vote: Baker, Barton, Bernard,
Malmberg, Marwin, Ribenack, Wefald, Welch.

In the Senate it was plain that the advocates of this bill
were trading with the opponents of the Mayo proposition.

The great objection to the Mayo affiliation scheme was
that it would put the state into partnership with a private

The boxing bill did the same.

And yet the following twenty-three Senators who voted
to put the state into partnership with the boxing and sparring
industry, voted against state partnership with the Mayos:
Adams, Andrews, Baldwin, Bonniwell, Callahan, Wm. A.
Campbell, Carley, W. W. Dunn, Gardner, Glotzbach, Griggs,
Grose, Handlan, Hilbert, Jackson, Knopp, Millett, Nord,
Pauly, G. M. Peterson, Ries, Turnham and Van Hoven.

Surely here is something that needs explanation. The
following eleven senators consistently voted for both part-
nerships :

Buckler, A. S. Campbell, Denegre n R. C. Dunn, Healy,
Johnston, Jones, O'Neil, Steffen, Vibert and Westlake.

The following thirteen senators voted consistently against
both partnerships:

Alley, Blomgren, Gillam, Gjerset, Hanson, Holmberg,
Lobeck, Rustad, Rystrom, G. H. Sullivan, J. D. Sullivan, Swen-
son, Weis.

These thirteen were consistent not only with themselves
but also with the principle that the state ought not to
become a partner in private enterprise of any kind.

Several of those who voted against the bill to prohibit
the Mayo affiliation can easily defend their course on the
ground that the Regents had passed a resolution to the
effect that they had no intention or desire to enter into any
such permanent arrangement.

After the friends of the boxing bill had defeated an
amendment to cut out the state's share in the proceeds, the
bill passed the Senate thirty-five to thirty-two.

Those who voted in the affirmative were:
Adams Bonniwell Campbell, A. S.

Andrews Buckler Campbell, W. A.

Baldwin Callahan Carley

The Minnesota Legislature 'of 1915 63




Dunn, R. C.


Peterson, G. M.

Dunn, W. W.











Van Hoven









Those who voted in the negative were:

Alley Holmberg Rustad

Benson Lende Rystrom

Blomgren Lobeck Sageng

Collester Nelson Sullivan, G. H.

Duxbury Orr Sullivan, J. D.

Dwinnell Palmer Swenson

Gandrud Peterson, "E. P. Vermilya

Gillam Peterson, F. H. Wallace

Gjerset Potter . Ward

Hanson Putnam Weis
Hegnes Rockne

After this bill had passed both houses the Governor was

very strongly urged to veto it, but he signed it on the last
day, and so the bill became a law.


These are good words to conjure with, but they may
mean much or little.

Everyone admits that the machinery for the adminis-
tration of our state government is neither efficient nor

For fifty years or more there has been a steady growth
in the wrong direction.

Board after board, commission after commission, has
been created, appointed by the Governor and given large
powers, but responsible to no one.

These boards and commissions serve without pay except
necessary expenses; but each has its paid secretary and
large number of assistants and workers/

In the nature of things each is all the while on the alert
to enlarge the field of its operations, and to get from the
state all the money possible.

Such a system is bound to be both inefficient and ex-
travagant; and in both these directions our state admin-
istration has reached a high degree of perfection.

What Is the Remedy?

Former Governor Eberhardt appointed another unau-
thorized, unpaid commission of thirty more or less promi-
nent men, and asked them to investigate and report. Some
of them did little or nothing, and some of them worked hard
and faithfully.

The product of their labors was a very complete report
in the form of a bill for an act pretty thoroly upsetting and
making over all that part of our state government having
to do with the administration of our public affairs.

64 The Minnesota Legislature of 1915

Nearly all the boards and commissions were abolished
and a very beautiful and complete plan was adopted, cor-
relating all the parts, each department under a high paid
head appointed by the Governor and responsible to him.
This plan gave the Governor very great power and respon-

The Good In It.

Now concentration of responsibility is very good. It
is well that the people know who is running things.

The plan also established a good budget system requiring
all departments of the state government to report their needs
for money to the Governor, and requiring him to submit
all these estimates to the legislature early in the session,
thus allowing ample time for full consideration and intelli-
gent action.

Another good feature was a fairly well worked out
civil service system which would prevent the Governor and
the heads of departments from filling the service with hench-
men and politicians.

Then the commission told us that we must take their
plan just as it was all or none.


Of course such a plan as this would arouse objections.
And there were plenty of them right soon some valid and
some senseless, but plenty of them.

I. The Board of Control.

Perhaps the most efficient part of our state administra-
tion is the board of control. It has always been composed
of able, honest and capable men. It has never known politics.
It has appointed for merit and removed for cause, never
asking nor knowing the party of the applicant.

The efficiency and economy bill abolished this board,
and turned over its work to one commissioner appointed by
the Governor for two years only. Many objectors thought
that this looked very much like politics.

II. The Public Examiner.

This bill made . the public examiner subordinate to the
state auditor. Now the public examiner has to check up
the accounts of the state auditor. Is is right to set a hired
man to checking up his boss?

If the constitution could be so amended as to take the
land department and all other public business away from
the auditor, leaving him with no duties except as a state
accounting officer, then he could be, and would be, the logical
public examiner, but until this can be done the public ex-
aminer should not be subject to any department whose ac-
counts he must check up.

III. The Natural Order.

You can't make a full grown man in a minute.

You can't rip your state government from top to bottom
and put it together again at one stroke.

Things don't come about that way. Changes come
slowly, generally one at a time.

There were other objections. Some thought it gave the

The Minnesota Legislature of 1915 65

Governor too much power too much opportunity to build up a
great political machine. Some did not like Mr. Spooner,
who was chairman of the house committee that had the bill
in charge. Nearly every member felt that the bill tried to do
too much at once. Most of them had too little time to study
it, and were not willing to vote for a thing they did not

The more the bill was discussed the less chance it seemed
to have. The harder Mr. Spooner worked to make its pro-
visions known, the more unpopular it became until finally,
by a sort of general consent, it died without ever coming
to a real test.

Even a second message from the Governor urging its
passage could not save it.

The Seven Sisters.

When it began to look as if the big efficiency and economy
bill could not command much support, Representative Gor-
don moved for the appointment of a special committee to
draft and present to the legislature such bills as they might
think practical for correcting abuses in the administration
of the state government.

This committee brought in seven simple bills, each de-
signed to correct an acknowledged fault.

The Budget.

I. First a bill establishing a complete budget system.
This bill passed the House with only Mr. Haislet against it.
Later it passed the Senate and is now the law of the state.
Thus is one of the greatest defects in our state government

Game and Fish.

II. Second a bill abolishing the game and fish com-
mission, and turning over its duties to one commissioner
appointed by the Governor. Only 31 voted against this bill.
Bjornson Hynes, J. H. Ribenack

Bouck Kneeland Rodenberg

Boyd Kuntz Schrooten

Carmichael Larimore Sorflaten

Devoid Lennon Spooner

Dwyer Lydiard Steen

Ferrier Miner -Syverson

Gerlich Nietzel Thornton

Haislet Nimocks Woodfill

Harrison, J. M. North

Hinds, E. R. Olien

The Senate passed this bill and the Governor signed it.
Hotel Inspector.

III. Third a bill to abolish the office of hotel inspector
and turn over the duties of that office to the dairy and
food department. Only nine voted against this bill.
Brown Dwyer Hynes, J. H.
Carmichael Haislet McLaughlin
Condon Harrison, J. M. Miner

This bill was passed by the Senate but vetoed by the
Governor after the legislature had adjourned.

66 The Minnesota Legislature of 1915

It is generally conceded that the hotel inspector's office
is merely a place where hotel and restaurant keepers mail
their fees for inspection, without getting much inspection.

State Capitol and Grounds.

IV. A bill to put the State Capitol and grounds under
the board of control. Only 15 voted against this bill.
Boyd Hynes, J. H. Nietzel
Carmichael Indrehus North

Dwyer Lennon Rodenberg

Gerlich Madigan Schrooten

Haislet Miner Steen

In the Senate Mr. Duxbury's committee reported against
this bill and he was sustained by a vote of 45 to 18.

Oil Inspection.

V. A bill to abolish the department of oil inspection and
impose the duties thereof upon the dairy and food commis-
sion. This bill passed the House by a vote of 74 to 26.

There were strong objections to this bill.

First, there were many who wanted to abolish oil in-
spection entirely. Inspection is wholly useless, now that
gasoline is worth about twice as much as kerosene. No
oil refiner would leave any light explosive oil in kerosene.

Second, the cost of inspection is now borne by the oil
companies, and if it should be done by the dairy and food
department it would be an expense to the state. The .Senate
sustained the majority report of the Duxbury committee
by 35 to 23.

Mr. Christiansen had introduced a very well considered
bill to abolish oil inspection and provide penalties for the
sale of impure or adulterated oil.

This was the most sensible proposition of all, as it did
away entirely with the whole grafting political machine that
has so long disgraced the state under the pretense of oil

But many house members thought it would be better to
put this work under the control of the dairy and food de-
partment and leave that department to use its judgment as
to inspection and to employ its regular force of inspectors
to do such work as might be required.

This bill received 59 votes but was lost because it takes
66 votes to pass a bill.

Fire Marshal.

VI. A bill to give the Insurance Commissioner control
over fires and explosives and to abolish the office of Fire

This bill passed the house 67 to 47; one more than
enough but was recalled the next day on motion of Mr.

The friends of the Governor were active in opposition to
this bill; that helped to recall it, but there were others who
did not like the Insurance Commissioner, S. D. Works; and,
were determined to give him as little power as possible.
State Inspectors.

VII. A bill to provide for the appointment of State in-
spectors, one or more to each senatorial, district, according

The Minnesota- Legislature of 1915 67

to the size of the district and the work to be done. These in-
spectors were to have the same duties as are now per-
formed by all the various inspectors who now travel at
state expense. This included game wardens, forest rangers,
fire marshals, factory inspectors, dairy and food inspectors,
hotel inspectors, etc.

The bill lacked eight votes of passing. The vote stood
58 to 53.

This bill had been amended by Mr. Pratt to leave out
forest rangers.

Mr. McGrath moved to reconsider the vote whereby the
bill was lost, and his motion carried. On motion of Mr.
Warner it was then placed on the calendar subject to amend-
ment, but was not reached and died there.

Thus a start was made in a modest and quiet way to-
ward remodeling our state administration and placing it on
a more rational basis.

The Carley Resolution.

Senator Carley introduced a resolution providing for a
commission of eleven members to be appointed by the gov-
ernor to recommend reforms in the State administration.
Later this resolution was amended on motion of Sen-
ator Duxbury, making the commission to be composed of four
to be appointed from the House by the speaker, four from
the Senate by the lieutenant governor and three to be ap-
pointed by the governor.

This resolution passed both Senate and House by large



Efficiency and economy commission's bill to reorganize
state civil administration.

Woman suffrage amendment to the state constitution.

Prohibition, statutory arid constitutional.

Restoration of capital punishment as first degree murder

State census.

Limiting expenditures of iron range cities in the interest
of the mine owners.

St. Louis county division . into two counties.

Constitutional convention to revise organic law.

Recall amendment to the state constitution.

"Blue sky" legislation to regulate sale of securities.

Bill aimed at trading in grain "futures" in Minnesota.

Legalizing party conventions to recommend candidates
for primaries.

Bill amending the Minneapolis union station act passed
by 1913 legislature.

Abolishing state tuberculosis sanatorium commission.

Abolishing state fire mashal's office.

Abolishing the oil inspection department of the state

Placing care of capitol buildings under state board of

Bill to prohibit linking of university meuical school with
Mayo foundation, lost in the House.

The Minnesota Legislature o/ 1915

Repeal of Minneapolis civil service law, killed in Senate.
Amendment of Minneapolis civil service law, lost in house.
Anti-tipping bill, killed in the Senate.
Minneapolis housing act, desired by Civic and Commerce

Abolishing hotel inspection department. (Vetoed.)
"Blue milk" bill, reducing butter fat standard of milk.

Spoiling the Merit System.

The Legislature of 1913 passed a law establishing the
merit system in the civil "service of the city of Minneapolis.

St. Paul and Duluth had provided for this system in their
new home rule charters.

The merit system means death to the spoils system.

Ward heelers and party clackers have no special privilege
in securing city employment.

Like all others they must stand or fall according to their
fitness for the jobs they seek.

The Other Side.

Yet this question is not all one sided.

Civil service commissions and examiners are very prone
to regard mere book learning in picking men for public
employment. Their rules are often arbitrary and technical.

Probably in most cases book learning is good, yet it is
far from being the only qualification; and it may easily hap-
pen that much bookishness is worse than none. The man
who knows nothing but books, is very poorly fitted for any-
thing else.

Both the spoils system and the so-called "merit system"
are about equally apt to fill the services with fossils and
barnacles; and once in, it is harder to get them out under
civil service than under the other system.

The Pension System.

Another evil of the civil service system is that it fosters
the pension system.

It tends to establish an office holding class, and to retire
them on pension when they can no longer do their work.

The pension system is vicious.

Why should the workers be burdened with taxes for the
support of superannuated clerks and bookkeepers and other
public job holders?

Why not pension carpenters, plumbers, farm hands and
hired girls?

The Remedy.

What then is the remedy?

Shall we abolish the civil service and restore the spoils

I .think not. And yet this extreme is not much worse
than the other.

Make the examinations practical, cut out the frills and
red tape. Give heads of departments reasonable discretion
in choosing and discharging. They will not be very likely to
discharge without cause so long as they are powerless to
fill the places with friends or henchmen.

Above all things no man in the civil service should be

The Minnesota Legislature of 1915 69

deprived of his right of citizenship. Of course he must not
neglect his duties to do party work or run for office, but the
mere fact of filing for nomination or attending political meet-
ings should not be sufficient reason for discharging a faith-
ful public servant. The poor man in the ranks should have
the same right in this respect as the President, the Cabinet
Minister, the Governor or the Mayor, and any civil service
system that denies these rights needs amending.

Early in the session James Dwyer introduced a bill to do
away with the merit system entirely, and eleven of the Hen-
nepin delegation in the House lined up in favor of it.

Perhaps, if there had been no other way to get rid of
the pedantry and other admitted evils of the system this
plan should not be too severly condemned.

But there is another way.

Norton and Marwin brought forth a bill amending the
civil service act cutting out its objectionable features, and
making it more rational and workable.

But Dwyer and the spoils men refused to yield, and
insisted on going back to the spoils system.

Here is the line up of the Hennepin House members.

For the Dwyer Bill: Dwyer, Wilson, Dunleavy, Lennon,
Nimocks, Condon, Devoid, Swanson, Lydiard, Girling and

For the Norton and Marwin Bill: Norton, Marwin,
Kneeland, Sawyer, Guilford, Harrison and Hulbert.

On Friday, Feb. 19, the Minneapolis civil service ques-
tion came up in the House on the question of adopting the
majority or minority report of the committee on cities.

The majority report favored the Dwyer bill to abolish the
merit system in Minneapolis entirely; whereas the minority
report, fathered by Thos. Kneeland, favored the Norton^ and
Marwin amendments to improve the service by getting rid
of its most objectionable features and putting it on a more
fair and common sense basis.

The contest lasted for over two hours.

Kneeland, Sawyer, Marwin, Guilford, Harrison and others
defended the merit system.

Dwyer, Lydiard, Girling, Lennon and Dunleavy declared
the whole system vicious "conceived in sin and born in
iniquity," as Lennon put it.

It is very unfortunate that the legislature must be annoyed
and burdened with such purely local matters; but as long as
the people of Minneapolis fail to adopt a Home Rule Charter
their local affairs will have to be thrashed out in every session
of the legislature.

Many honest country members have no means of knowing
the real merits of these local contests and frequently vote
in a way they would not if they could know all the facts.

On the final line up the vote stood as follows.

For the Norton and Marwin plan, forty-eight:
Adams Bjornson Grant

Anderson Christiansen Guilford

Bendixen Corning Harrison, J. M.

Bernard Dealand Hauser

Bjorge Frye Hogenson

Bjorklund Gordon Hompe

70 The Minnesota Legislature of 1915

Hulbert Morken Sawyer

Indrehus Nordgren Searls

Johnson, M. Norton Southwick

Kneeland Olien Stenvick

Larson Parker Teigen, L. O.

Lattin Peterson, A. Thompson, A. L.

Lee Pikop Tollefson

Madigan Pratt Warner

Marwin Putnam Wefald

Minnette Sanborn Weld

For the Dwyer bill, fifty-five:

Baldwin Knutson Rodenberg

Barten Kuntz Seebach

Bessette Larimore Schrooten

Borgen Lennon Smith

Bouck Leonard Sorflaten

Boyd Lydiard Steen

Carmichael McGrath Stevens

Condon McLaughlin .Stoetzel

Davis Malmberg Sudheimer

Devoid Miner Swanson

Dunleavy Nelson Swenson

Dwyer Nietzel Syverson

Ferrier Nimocks Welch

Flinn North Wilkins

Gerlich Novak Wold

Girling Papke Woodfill

Hafften Pendergast Mr. Speaker

Haislet Pless

Hynes, J. H. Ribenack

Mr. Sorflaten saw his mistake a few minutes after the
thing was over, but it was too late to change his vote.

Later the Senate passed the bill introduced by Wm. A.
Campbell reforming the Minneapolis system along the lines
of the Norton and Marwin amendments.

So when the Dwyer bill came up in the House on Apr.
9, the situation was decidely mixed.

The Senate had cut out the most glaring evils of the
Minneapolis system; but Dwyer, Lennon and Dunleavy were
determined to restore the spoils system.

The bill finally passed seventy-two to forty.

Those who voted in the affirmative were:
Baker Dunleavy Konzen

Baldwin Dwyer Kuntz

Barten Flinn Larimore

Bendixen Frye Lennon

Bessette Gerlich Leonard

Boehmke Gill Lydiard

Borgen Gilman McGrath

Bouck Girling McLaughlin

Boyd Greene Madigan

Brown 'Hafften Malmberg

Burrows Harrison, H. H. Marschalk

Carmichael Hinds, E. R. Moeller

Condon Hynes, J. H. Murphy

Davis Johnson, M. Nietzel

Devoid Knutson Nimocks

The Minnesota Legislature of 1915




Teigen, A. F.
























Mr. -Speaker

Those who

voted in the negative




Peterson, A.














Johnson, J. T.







Thompson, A. L.



Thompson, H. O.












Harrison, J. M.


The following eighteen did not vote: Dare, Ferrier,
Haislet, Hogenson, Miner, Minnette, Morken, Wilson, Nord-
gren, Parker, Peterson, A. M. -Scott, Sliter, Southwick, Spooner,
L. O. Teigen, Wefald.

In the Senate the contest was more intense if possible
than in the House, but less spectacular. Pauly and Dwinnell
were the chief actors, and Dwinnell did make a strong impres-
sion. His keen analysis of the situation, his unmasking of
the forces behind the bill, the way he scored the spoils system
which they sought to re-establjsh, all helped defeat the bill
and save the merit system.

Pauly's oratory was unavailing. He could only master
twenty-six votes.

Wm. A. Campbell was in a peculiar dilemma. He had
declared at two mass meetings in his district that he would
vote to repeal the civil service law if it could not be
amended. His amendments, which the Senate had passed
were held up in the House by Dwyer and others who were
determined not to amend but to repeal. He would have been
justified in voting against the bill, but he stuck to the let-
ter of his pledge and voted yes.

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