Administrative staff, Civil Rights Bill (1991), Clean Air Act, Health care, Judiciary Committee, Majority Leader, Speeches
Anita Holst-Jensen was born in Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz), East Germany, on March 16, 1945, to Rasma Rasmanis and Arvids Lusis. Her mother emigrated from Latvia in September of 1944, and Jensen was born in a displaced persons camp, where she lived until she was four years old. Her family eventually emigrated to Australia in 1949, settling in Victoria. Jensen received all of her schooling in Australia and went to university in Melbourne. She married Henning Holst-Jensen, and in 1966 they moved to Perth. When immigration into the United States became possible in 1968, they relocated to the Washington, D.C. area, and Jensen took a job with Investors Overseas Services, later Equity Funding. In 1970, she went to work in Senator Ed Muskie’s office, where she continued until he became secretary of state. She transitioned to George Mitchell’s staff when he was appointed to Muskie’s vacated Senate seat and remained for his fourteen years of Senate service, becoming increasingly involved with speech writing and research.
Interview includes discussions of: writing newsletters and doing other tasks while working for Mitchell; handling the Judiciary Committee work; working for Mitchell; Mitchell’s self-made success in his campaigns and career; Mitchell’s achievements in the Senate and Judicial Committee; Mitchell’s work on the Civil Rights Bill of 1991 and tax bill in 1986; what went wrong with health care reform and the Harry and Louise ads; Mitchell’s environmental work; Mitchell’s involvement on the Iran-Contra issue; the 1988 Senate race; first meeting Mitchell; Mitchell’s Clean Air Act success; the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland; not defending Muskie’s “veterans” votes in 1982, and other early-day stories about Mitchell.
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