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Berg, Charles A. "Charlie"

Senate 1973-76 (District 15); Senate 1981-82 (District 15); Senate 1983-92 (District 11); Senate 1993-2002 (District 13)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus

Counties Served:  Big Stone, Chippewa, Douglas, Grant, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Yellow Medicine

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 10/15/1927 Date of Death: 1/22/2014
Birth Place: Graceville, Minnesota Birth County:  Birth Country: United States
Other Names: Charlie
Gender:  Male Religion:  Lutheran
City of Residence (when first elected):  Chokio

Occupation (when first elected):  Farmer/Cattle Breeder

EDUCATION

West Central School of Agriculture, Morris, Minnesota; Secondary;

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

School Board/AdministrationChokio?, Minnesota (School Board Member, 6 years) ??/??/19?? to ??/??/19??

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Carol
Children: Seven children: (3 sons, 4 daughters)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: agriculture, agricultural and wildlife conservation, rural taxation, rail and highway transportation, improving the business climate, environment and natural resources.

When first elected he considered himself an independent conservative. He was opposed to party designations.

Religion provided by the Catholic Bulletin, 3/21/1975.

"He bore the distinction of being the only member of the Legislature to represent both parties and serve as an independent." (Pioneer Press obituary, January 29, 2014)

"During his 30 years at the Minnesota Capitol, former state Sen. Charlie Berg was known as a maverick and one of the more colorful, outspoken members of the Legislature." (Pioneer Press obituary, January 29, 2014)

"'Whatever label I've got on my back, I've always voted the same way,' he said in 1996. 'I'm a conservative, independent voter, and I'm not going to let the parties dictate to me how I should vote for the district.'" (Pioneer Press obituary, January 29, 2014)


Click to enlarge

Map of Chokio
Chokio, MN
Total Days Served: 9499

SESSIONS SERVED

82nd Legislative Session (2001-2002)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/7/2000 Term of Office: 1/3/2001 to 1/6/2003
District: 13 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Chippewa, Douglas, Grant, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farm Owner
Party: Republican
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Agriculture, General Legislation and Veterans Affairs
Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Fish and Wildlife
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Environment and Agriculture Budget Division
Rules and Administration

81st Legislative Session (1999-2000) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/5/1996 Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
District: 13 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Chippewa, Douglas, Grant, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farm Owner
Party: Independent-No Party Affiliation Party Notes: He switched his party affiliation to Republican on June 15, 2000.
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources/Agriculture and Rural Development/State Government Finance Subcommittee: Environment and Agriculture Budget Division
Governmental Operations and Veterans
Governmental Operations and Veterans Subcommittee: Veterans
Rules and Administration
Taxes
Taxes Subcommittee: Income and Sales Tax

80th Legislative Session (1997-1998)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/5/1996 Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
District: 13 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Chippewa, Douglas, Grant, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farm Owner
Party: Independent-No Party Affiliation
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources/Agriculture and Rural Development/State Government Finance Subcommittee: Environment and Agriculture Budget Division
Governmental Operations and Veterans
Governmental Operations and Veterans Subcommittee: Veterans
Taxes
Taxes Subcommittee: Income and Sales Tax

79th Legislative Session (1995-1996) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/3/1992 Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
District: 13 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Chippewa, Douglas, Grant, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Notes: He switched his party affiliation to Independent (no party affiliation) status in May 1996.
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Environmental Protection
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Fish and Wildlife (Chair)
Gaming Regulation (Chair)
Rules and Administration

78th Legislative Session (1993-1994)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/3/1992 Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
District: 13 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Chippewa, Douglas, Grant, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Environmental Protection
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Fish and Wildlife (Chair)
Gaming Regulation (Chair)
Rules and Administration

77th Legislative Session (1991-1992)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/6/1990 Term of Office: 1/8/1991 to 1/4/1993
District: 11 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee: Agriculture Resources
Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee: Joint Agriculture and Rural Development/Environment and Natural Resources Ad Hoc
Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Environmental Protection
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Fish and Wildlife (Chair)
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Environment and Natural Resources Division
Finance Subcommittee: Joint Claims
Gaming Regulation (Chair)
Rules and Administration
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Personnel

76th Legislative Session (1989-1990) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/4/1986 Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
District: 11 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee: Agricultural Credit (Chair)
Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee: Rural Development
Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Fish and Wildlife (Chair)
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Agriculture/Transportation and Semi-States Division
Finance Subcommittee: State Departments Division
General Legislation and Public Gaming

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/4/1986 Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
District: 11 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Agriculture
Agriculture Subcommittee: Agriculture Credit
Agriculture Subcommittee: Agriculture Products/Processing (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Fish and Wildlife (Chair)
General Legislation and Public Gaming (Chair)
Taxes and Tax Laws
Taxes and Tax Laws Subcommittee: Property Taxes and Local Government Aids

74th Legislative Session (1985-1986) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/2/1982 Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
District: 11 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Independent Republican Party Notes: He changed his party affiliation to Independent (no party affiliation) on March 7, 1985. He switched his party affiliation to Democratic-Farmer-Labor in May 1986.
Committees:
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Agriculture
Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Fish and Wildlife
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Special Committee on Ethical Conduct
Taxes and Tax Laws
Taxes and Tax Laws Subcommittee: Economic Development
Taxes and Tax Laws Subcommittee: Property Taxes and Local Government Aids
Transportation
Transportation Subcommittee: Rural and Commercial
Veterans and General Legislation
Veterans and General Legislation Subcommittee: General Legislation

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/2/1982 Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
District: 11 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Swift, Traverse
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Agriculture
Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Fish and Wildlife
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Special Committee on Ethical Conduct
Taxes and Tax Laws
Taxes and Tax Laws Subcommittee: Economic Development
Taxes and Tax Laws Subcommittee: Property Taxes and Local Government Aids
Transportation
Transportation Subcommittee: Rural and Commercial
Veterans and General Legislation

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/4/1980 Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
District: 15 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Yellow Medicine
Occupation: Farmer/Director; Grace Home, Graceville, Minnesota (Nursing Home)
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Public Land and Water Resources
Elections and Reapportionment
Taxes and Tax Laws
Taxes and Tax Laws Subcommittee: Sales and Property Tax

69th Legislative Session (1975-1976) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/7/1972 Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
District: 15 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Yellow Medicine
Occupation: Farmer/Cattle Feeder
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Independent Republican Caucus Party Notes: He was first elected in a nonpartisan election. He considered himself an independent conservative who was opposed to party designations. The Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1975-76 lists him as part of the Independent Republican Party caucus. But a January 1975 article in the Fargo Forum states that he maintained that he was an independent. The 1973 Minnesota Railroads Association unofficial legislative directory lists him as a conservative.
Committees:
Deinstitutionalization
Education Subcommittee: School Aids Division
Natural Resources and Agriculture
Natural Resources and Agriculture Subcommittee: Agriculture
Natural Resources and Agriculture Subcommittee: Environmental Protection
Taxes and Tax Laws

68th Legislative Session (1973-1974)

  Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/7/1972 Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
District: 15 Residence: Chokio
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Yellow Medicine
Occupation: Farmer/Cattle Breeder
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus Party Notes: He was first elected in a nonpartisan election. He considered himself an independent conservative who was opposed to party designations. The Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1975-76 lists him as part of the Independent Republican Party caucus. But a January 1975 article in the Fargo Forum states that he maintained that he was an independent. The 1973 Minnesota Railroads Association unofficial legislative directory lists him as a conservative.
Committees:
Labor and Commerce
Labor and Commerce Subcommittee: Labor
Natural Resources and Agriculture
Natural Resources and Agriculture Subcommittee: Agriculture
Natural Resources and Agriculture Subcommittee: Environmental Protection

Articles & Books About
Anderson, Dennis. "Anderson: Charlie Berg was a Folksy Sort with Great Vision." Star Tribune, February 14, 2014.

Walsh, Paul. "Charlie Berg - State Senator, Farmer, Rancher: He Changed Parties, Not Philosophies." Star Tribune, February 13, 2014.

Vanderwerf, Linda. "Charlie Berg, Maverick Minnesota State Senator, Dies at 86." Pioneer Press, January 29, 2014.

Minnesota Powerline Construction Oral History Project: Charles Berg, Narrator; Edward P. Nelson, Interviewer, Saint Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society, 1981.

Ruff, Jerry. "Berg Won't Desert Independent Stance." Fargo Forum, January 8, 1975.




The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.

Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, 645 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN  55155