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Oral history interview with Thomas R. Getman

This oral history interview with Thomas R. Getman was conducted by Jim Strassmaier in Getman's offices at World Vision in Washington, D.C., from June 3-8, 1988. In this interview, Getman discusses his family background and early life in Luverne, Minnesota, particularly the development of his religious and political beliefs. He then discusses attending Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, and working with Young Life ministries in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he heard Mark Hatfield speak for the first time. He talks about his longstanding admiration for Hatfield; his involvement with Young Life ministries in New England; and his work for Gerald R. Ford, including a story about being with the Ford family on the night of the 1976 presidential election. He then describes how he came to be on Hatfield's staff; discusses other staff members, particularly Doug Coe and Gerry Frank; and talks about how the staff and Hatfield interacted. Getman discusses his duties as legislative director, Hatfield's relationship with the Republican Party, and the senator's stance on several issues, including abortion. He speaks at length about Hatfield's personality, spirituality, and legislative agenda. He also talks about preacher Billy Graham, as well as the evangelical voting bloc. He discusses the Reagan administration's push for privatization and his own opinion on the limits of the private sector, particularly in regard to health care. He speaks about Hatfield's efforts to mitigate the damaging effects of privatization in his role as chair of the appropriations committee. He then talks about his work on legislation regarding Africa, particularly South Africa. He discusses the events surrounding Rajneeshpuram, and being in Africa on vacation during Hatfield's real estate scandal. He closes the interview by reflecting on the legacy and accomplishments of Hatfield's political career.

Getman, Thomas R.