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  1. Maj. Gen. Edwin Watson, U.S. Army, Secretary to the President (February 22, 1944)

    The White House



                                                                February 2, 1944

    My dear Mr. Ohnimus:

                The President has asked me to acknowledge your letter of February eight, with the enclosed copies of Assembly Joint resolutions Numbers 1, 2, 5, 7, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 adopted by the Legislature of the State of California as well as House Resolutions Numbers 30, 31, 47, 48, 51 and 57 passed by the Assembly of the State of California. He appreciates you courtesy in sending these Resolutions to him.

                                                                            Very sincerely yours,

                                                                                        Edwin M. Watson
                                                                                        Major General, U.S. Army

                                                                                        Secretary to the President



    Honorable Arthur A. Ohnimus,

    Chief Clerk, Assembly,

    California Legislature,

    Sacramento 14,


  2. Maj. Gen. John B. Wogan, Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, D.C. (May 20, 1943)

    13th Armored Division

    Camp Beale, California


    Office of the

    Commanding General                                                                                    

    May 20, 1943


    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus, Chief Clerk

    California Legislature

    Sacramento, California


    Dear Mr. Ohnimus:

                In response to your letter of May 18, I acknowledge receipt of Assembly Joint Resolution No. 52 which was adopted by the Legislature on May 4, 1943, covering the sponsorship of the 13th Armored Division of the United States Army by the State of California.

                A copy of this resolution was addressed to mat Camp Beale inclosed in a letter signed by the Governor himself. As I was observing the maneuvers in Louisiana at the time the letter did not reach me until May 9th. I immediately acknowledged receipt of the Governor’s letter and the resolution which I sent air mail special delivery.

                I hope the Governor has received the acknowledgement long before this because I should be chagrined to have the Governor believe me indifferent to this generous gesture on his part.


                                                                            Sincerely yours,


                                                                            John B. Wogan

                                                                            Major General, U.S.A.




  3. Jesse M. MacKnight, Chief, Organizations and Propaganda Analysis Section, U.S. Department of Justice, Special War Policies Unit – War Division, re: requesting committee hearing information re: translation of foreign language newspapers (i.e. enemy propaga

    Department Of Justice

    Washington, D.C.

    June 17, 1943


    The Clerk

    California State Assembly

    Sacramento, California


    Dear Sir:


                I would appreciate your cooperation in obtaining any hearings on legislation recently passed by the California Legislature, concerning the filling of translations of news stories by California newspapers printed in the language of any enemy nation. I noticed in the New York Times of June 15, 1943, that a bill providing for the filing of translations with the district attorney of the county of publication has been approved by Governor Warren. It is stated in the New York Times that at committee hearings on the bill “it was charged that some foreign language papers in the State followed the enemy propaganda ‘line’ even after Pearl Harbor”.

                Your cooperation in making available copies of any hearings on this matter will be appreciated.




                                                                                   Jesse M. MacKnight

                                                                                   Chief, Organizations and Propaganda

                                                                                   Analysis Section

                                                                                  Special War Policies Unit-War Division

  4. Library of Congress, re: publication request (March 11, 1943)

    The Library of Congress                                                                                         Washington

    Reference Department Division of Documents 

    March 11, 1943                                                                                                                                                             



    The Library of Congress is desirous of securing complete
    sets of publications of all legislative bodies meeting in January, 1943.

    We should appreciate the courtesy it you would make arrangements to furnish this Library with the material printed for use of the 1943 California legislature, e.g. governor's messages, rules of procedure, membership lists, committee reports, bills currently issued, law chapters if printed separately, advance sheets of journals, etc.

    We are frequently called upon to supply this class of material to readers, especially to Members of Congress from your own State. It is a service rendered for many years made possible through the friendly cooperation of our friends it state offices.

    For your convenience in sending current legislative documents to the Library of Congress postage free, we are enclosing a supply of properly addressed mailing labels.

                                               Very sincerely yours,

                                               James B. Childs

                                               Chief, Division of Documents



    Hon. Gordon H. Garland

    Speaker of the House

    State Legislature

    Sacramento, California

  5. E. V. Rickenbacker, President and General Manager, Eastern Airlines, re: war effort, declining invitation to speak to Assembly (April 19, 1943)



    Eastern Air Lines Building 10 Rockefeller Plaza

    New York

    April 19, 1943

    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus Chief Clerk

    California Legislature Sacramento, California

    My dear Mr. Ohnimus

    I trust you will forgive me for not answering yours of March 16 sooner, but I have been on the go day and night, trying to clean up a lot of "must" problems throughout the country and now I find myself in a posi­tion of being forced to leave the country for a period of eight to ten weeks covering the war effort but this is strictly confidential.

    Naturally, there is nothing I would like more than to take advantage of the invitation of the California Legislature to address a Joint Session of the Assembly and the Senate before leaving, but this is physical impossibility.

    Not being familiar with the length of the sessions of the State Legislature, I am unable to say whether I would be back before it adjourns or not.

    On the other hand, I am not familiar with the fact ES to whether such an honor could be extended to the next session. If this is possible and I am still wanted by the members of the Assembly and the Senate, nothing  would give me greater pleasure.

    I will appreciate you, conveying my sincere appreciation to all members as well as my keen regrets.

                 Sincerely yours

                 E.V. Rickenbacker

                 President and General Manager

  6. VE day journal (May 8, 1945)

    May 8, 1945                                          Assembly Journal    1                                                         


    California Legislature

    Fifty-Sixth Session


    Assembly Daily Journal

    Sixty-Third Legislative Day

    One Hundred Twenty-First Calendar Day


    In Assembly


    Assembly Chamber Sacramento


                                                    Tuesday, May 8, 1945


    The Assembly met at 9:30 a.m.

    Hon. Charles W. Lyon, Speaker of the Assembly, presiding,

    Chief Clerk Arthur A. Ohnimus at the desk.


    Roll Call


    The roll was called and the following answered to their names:


    Allen, Anderson, Beek, Bennett, Berry, Boyd, Brown, Burke, Burkhalter, Burns, Butters Call, Carey, Clarke, Crichton, Crowley, Davis, Debs, Dekker, Denny, Dickey, Dills, Clayton A., Dills, Ralph C., Doyle, Dunn, Emlay, Erwin, Evans, Field, Fletcher, Fourt, Caffney, Gannon, Geddes, Gnthrie, Haggerty, Hawkins, Heisinger, Hollibaugh, Johnson, Kilpatrick, King, Knight, Kraft, Leonard, Lowrey, Lyons, Maloney, Massion, McCollister, McMillian, Middough, Miller, Nicheuse, O’Day, Pelletier, Price, Roberson, Rosenthal, Sherwin, Stewart, Stream, Thomas, Thompson, Thorp, Waters, Watson, Weher, Werdel, Wollenbreg, and Mr. Speaker – 71.

    Quorum present.



    The following prayer was offered by the Chaplain, Rev. Torrance Phelps:


    Almighty God:

                Upon this epoch making day, we lift up our thankful hearts to Thee for Thy Providence which was sustained us during the stress of this soul-shattering war.

                We have heard the voices of President Truman, Winston Churchill, and General Eisenhower, coming across the air, congratulating the armed forces and humanity upon the end of the conflict in Europe.

                We rejoice with the Soldiers whose fighting is ended and with their families, whose anxiety is over; and with the prisoners who are liberated, and with the lands now ride of the Nazi cruelty.

                We now rejoice that the Western World is freed from the menace of a ruthless despotism, and that the torch of the Goddess of Liberty is again lighted to give the light of hope to all humanity.

                Now may we continue the unfinished task, until the Pacific shall be as free as the Atlantic. - AMEN

  7. The El Doradan Newsletter of NSGW re: Ohnimus biography (August, 1927)

    The El Doradan

    Official Organ of El Dorado Parlor No. 52, N.S.G.W

    Vol. II.                         August, 1927                                       No.8



    Arthur A. Ohnimus

     It wouldn’t do for us to go any farther with these little biographies on the parlor's members without including our illustrious brother, Arthur Ohnimus. Arthur happened into our confines the other night and we seized the opportunity of interviewing him.


     He tells us that he was born in this city, down “south is the slot,” and raised in the Western Addition. He attended Hearst Grammar and Sacred Heart College, and also is a graduate of St. Ignatius College, where he studied law and later pass the bar examination. Before taking up the study of law, Arthur had quite a varied experience such as starting out by selling newspaper and later being a clerk in an office. Having a desire for the newspaper profession, we find that he spent quite a few years in reporting for mostly all the papers in San Francisco. It was during the latter part of his newspaper experience that he studied law. He is now an Assistant District Attorney under Matthew Brady. Arthur also enjoys the distinguished position of Chief Clerk of the Assembly of the State of California. This position he has held for quite a few years having started as a minute clerk.


     Brother Ohnimus has always been an active member of the parlor until the past two years, in which he found his outside duties kept him out of town for long periods. He is Past President and has been a delegate to several Grand Parlors. While going through the chairs Arthur brought in a great many new members, some of whom have been some of the parlor’s most active members. He is better remembered by a lot of the boys of a few years ago as being one who could keep the parlor a-buzz with action.


     His hobby, as far as we can judge, is doing favors for friends.


     You may be next!


    Mail your Post Card now.



    Santa Cruz Celebration

    As the Ninth of September draws near, El Dorado Parlor’s plans for the Celebration at Santa Cruz are about complete. All that is necessary to insure the success of the plans as worked out by the committee is the presence of each and every Brother in the Parlor at Santa Cruz. You, as a loyal Native Son, owe it to your state to turn out and celebrate her anniversary. It is a duty not one of us should (blank) (note the word after “should” is not recognizable)

    The parade, as usual, will be the most colorful part of the Celebration. El Dorado Parlor will participate in this parade. The uniform we have selected is neat and inexpensive. It consists of dark pants, white shirt, a straw or Panama hat and a Gold necktie. The neckties will be purchased by the committee and sold to the members at a very small cost. We are having hat bands printed with the name of the Parlor on them. These bands can be pinned over the present one on your straw or Panama hat. We will also carry canes which will be furnished by the Parlor. The very small cost of this uniform leaves you no excuse for not parading. We expect to see you in the line of march. El Dorado Parlor has always been a good showing, let us not fall down this year.


     Immediately following the parade we will meet in the Swiss Hotel where a lunch will be severed. Another article in this issue contains full details about this luncheon.


     Our headquarters will be in the Casino, where we will all meet and join in an evening of dance and entertainment. Seventeen after San Francisco Parlors will also have their headquarters here, so there will be plenty of excitement. Don’t go home after the parade, stay and participate in the fun at the Casino.

     We are enclosing a return postcard asking whether you will be in the parade or not and also whether you will attend the luncheon after the parade. Fill it in now and drop it in mail box. The time is short.

     We will meet in front of the Swiss Hotel at 10 a.m.

    Don't forget to mail Postal.

  8. Fred Links, Dept of Finance re: humorous letter, Bedell’s cocktail lounge, “Senator Beek” (January 13, 1942)

    State of California

    Department of Finance

    Division of Budgets and Accounts


    January 13, 1942


    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus

    Chief Clerk of the Assembly

    Sacramento, California


    Dear Arthur:

                Yes, one is entirely responsible for everything which is placed over his signature, although it does not signify always that he has read what preceded the signature. If you would only adjourn and go home and not keep us so busy trying to get information for your eighty bosses. We might have a chance to read our correspondence before it is signed       

                Careful investigation reveals that there only forty members in the Senate and last “Senator Joseph A. Euok” is not one of those members. You are right, the drinks are on me, and here is the drink. This card will entitle you to a nice, long, cool drink at Budell’s cocktail lounge, fully paid for, including sales tax. I suggest you wait until you have finished your day’s work before you obtain the drink.

                Bottoms up, with my best wishes to you!

                                                                            Fred W. Links, Chief

                                                                            Division of Budgets Accounts

  9. Numerous letters and a petition (signed by 92 legislators) re: asking Gov. Warren to appoint Ohnimus as SF muni judge (January 19, 1943)

    Handwritten note written on top of this letter,

    words are not readable and the signature is unreadable as well


    January 19, 1943



    Honorable Governor Earl Warren

    Sacramento, California


    My dear Governors:


    It is my understanding that Mr. Arthur Ohnimus, assistant District Attorney of San Francisco’s name has been placed before you as a possible candidate for Municipal Judgeship for the city and county of San Francisco.


    In much as I have known Mr. Ohnimus for many years and have a full appreciation for his ability as an attorney and as a District Attorney, I hasten to add my recommendation for his appointment.


    I think that you will find that District Attorney, Judge Matthew Brady, will inform you that Mr. Ohnimus is rated as perhaps the most industrious and able men in his office and with a full appreciation that you as our Governor will be most desirous to appoint this type of men, I do trust that you, if you do not know him, will pursue an investigation that will bring about a knowledge of his qualifications. Surely, here is a man that could well serve with real credit to you as governor if you see fit to make this appointment.



                                                                                        Very sincerely yours,

                                                                                        Signature unreadable



  10. Five page letter/analysis from Ohnimus (circa early 1950) regarding burdensome duties placed upon Chief Clerk under new law (AB 5, 1949 session –Collier lobbyist registration law); Page 2

    Page 2 of 5

    they would not be open to public inspection during a session of the House. If placed other than in the Assembly Chamber, then whenever inspection was demanded, the Clerk would be called from its duties in the Assembly Chamber.

    These statements being public records, it must be assumed would be open to the public during regular office hours, necessitating the presence of the Clerk at all times during this inspection of these statements. After adjournment of the Legislature, when he is no longer employed by the Assembly, it is still essential that he be present to see that none of the statements or papers filed are removed, lost, defaced, or altered.

    It is obvious that no one should be required to perform these duties on his own time.

    The penal provision of this statute demands that the Clerk be personally present whenever these records are open to public inspection, for it is his responsibility to see that they are preserved.

    Under Section 9906 of this Act, every person who shall engage himself for pay or for any consideration for the purpose of attempting to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation by the Legislature shall register with the Clerk and give in writing, and under oath, his name and business address, the name and address of the person by whom he is employed, and in whose interest he appears or works, and various other information to be contained in the statement to be filed with the Clerk between the first and tenth day of each calendar month.

    Under Section (b), all information required to be filed

  11. Five page letter/analysis from Ohnimus (circa early 1950) regarding burdensome duties placed upon Chief Clerk under new law (AB 5, 1949 session –Collier lobbyist registration law); Page 3

    Page 3 of 5

    under this Section with the Clerk shall be compiled by the Clerk and Secretary of the Senate acting jointly, and printed in the Journal.

    Again, in view of the penal previsions in this bill, it is obvious that the receiving of those statements and the regis­tration cannot be delegated, but must be personally performed by the Clerk.

    The question recurs where will the Clerk register these persons while the Assembly is in session? If he is called out of the Assembly Chamber to receive these registrations during the session he can devote little time to the Members of the Assembly and to the supervision of the clerical work of the House which is one of his main duties.

    Your clerk arrives at his desk at 8 a.m. and seldom, if ever, completes his day's work before 6 or 6:30 p.m. When late afternoon and night sessions are held, these hours are lengthened. These new duties would so increase the hours necessary to perform the work of this House that it would be physically impossible for him to satisfactorily perform all of the duties imposed by rule and statute.

    In the interim between sessions, these new duties placed upon the Clerk after his employment has terminated in the Assembly, would call upon him to devote many days to the per­formance of these new duties. The inspection of the records by the public would entail his absence from his place of business for a period of time too difficult to foretell.

    Your Chief Clerk remains after the sine die adjournment for

  12. Five page letter/analysis from Ohnimus (circa early 1950) regarding burdensome duties placed upon Chief Clerk under new law (AB 5, 1949 session –Collier lobbyist registration law); Page 4

    a period of time necessary to complete the immediate work of the session and perform such duties as are prescribed by rules and statute.

                It has been his practice to devote more than an hour each day and practically every Saturday to the work of the Assembly after his employment in the Assembly has terminated, without charge or coat to the House.

                A careful study of this bill clearly shows that the proper performance of the duties made necessary by this Act would require a great amount of additional time.

                These questions present themselves:

    1. Under Section 9906, persons registering with the Clerk shall give in writing and under oath the information required by this Section.

    Does the Clerk administer this oath?

    1. If a statement is improperly filed or not filed on time, or subsequent statements are not filed, to whom does the Clerk report such violation?
    2. Is the Clerk called upon to do anything pertaining to the enforcement of the penalty provisions of this Act?

    For this reasons briefly set forth, it is difficult to see how the Clerk of the Assembly could devote more of his personal time to perform the duties prescribed in the Act when he is not being employed by the Assembly.

    The incumbent has been your Chief Clerk for 23 years, and while thoroughly enjoying the work of the Legislature and more than willing to donate whatever part of his spare time that may be necessary to assist the Members in the performance of their duties and to attend to the work of his House, he nevertheless

  13. “Necessity for a Permanent Organization.” 10-page letter from Ohnimus to Rules Chair Allen Miller (D), arguing for full-time staff due to expanding workload of legislature and population growth; analysis of legislative staffing levels. Page 1

    September 12, 1958

    To: Assembly Committee on Rules

    From: Arthur A. Ohnimus


    The Necessity for a Permanent Organization


    About a year ago this Committee, acceding to the persistent demand for a better organization of Assembly employees, provided the structure for what could become a permanent organization. The increase in the State’s population is one factor which compelled this section.

    Recent State Chamber of Commerce figures reveal that between 1950 and July 1, 1958, the State’s population has increased by an average of over half a million a year—to an estimated 14,752,000.

    As the population of the State has increased, so have the problems and the work of the Legislature. With these problems and increased responsibilities has come an insistent demand for a permanent legislative organization.

    In 1946, the people adopted a constitutional amendment providing for annual sessions of the Legislature. The adoption of this amendment made it necessary to provide additional stenographic and clerical aid to the members in order to meet the increased demands of their constituents and the public.

    It was believed that annual sessions would be a means of reducing the number of bills introduced at each session. This has not proved to be the same. The work and the cost of each session is materially affected by this steady increase in the number of bills introduced. A steady increase in cost is reflected in the printing of legislative bills and publications, in the additional number of employees necessary to process the bills and to perform other legislative services and in the greater facilities required for housing the members and the staff of legislative employees.

    Page 1 of 10

  14. “Necessity for a Permanent Organization.” 10-page letter from Ohnimus to Rules Chair Allen Miller (D), arguing for full-time staff due to expanding workload of legislature and population growth; analysis of legislative staffing levels. Page 2

    Page 2 of 10

    The following compilation illustrates the constant increase in the number of measures introduced at each session:

    Measures Introduced, Including House Resolutions

                                                                1951    1953    1955    1957                                 

                                        Assembly….    3,949   3,995   4,373   4,867

                                        Senate……..    2,235   3,372   2,374   3,125

                                        Total………    6,184   6,367   6,747   7,992

                The records further show that there were 2,910 more measures introduced in 1957 than were introduced in 1947—an increase of 57 percent during the decade. It is interesting to note that the percentage in volume of measures introduced roughly parallels the percentage of increase in population.

                The ever-increasing volume of bills introduced at each session results in an ever-increasing amount of after-session clerical work and printing. Overlapping special sessions add to the interim workload, and necessitate the employment of additional help to complete the records in a reasonable period of time after sine die adjournment. In recent years, there has been difficulty in completing the after-session work of one session before it becomes necessary to start the preparatory work for the next.

                Final adjournment of the Legislature does not mean that the work of either the Legislature or the session has been completed.

                The constitutional limitation on the length of the session, together with the volume of legislation introduced, requires the reference of many controversial issues to interim committee for further study. These interim committees hold numerous public hearings throughout the State.

  15. “Necessity for a Permanent Organization.” 10-page letter from Ohnimus to Rules Chair Allen Miller (D), arguing for full-time staff due to expanding workload of legislature and population growth; analysis of legislative staffing levels. Page 3

    Page 3 of 10

    There is an ever increasing demand upon the Legislator’s time, brought about by the public’s heightened interest in government, the individual demands for legislative information, and the innumerable problems occasioned by the phenomenal growth in population.

                The duties of the Legislator have now developed into an under-paid full-time job, instead of ending with the adjournment of the session. Without the aid of a permanent organization, it would be difficult for most Legislators to perform their legislative interim duties, except to complete exclusion of their business or employment.

                In response to the legislative request to allow the legislature to properly organize tis help, the people, in 1956, adopted A.C.A No. 9, which removed the limitation placed upon the money which could be used by the Legislature for the hire of tis employees. This section now reads: “The Legislature shall provide for the selection of all officers, employees and attaches of both houses.”

                The adoption of this constitutional amendment permitted the Assembly Rules Committee to establish the present organization; and this Committee, in January of 1957, employed Louis J. Kroeger to define the duties of seven different positions and to propose appropriate salary scales. These positions were: Chief Administrator and Chief Clerk; three Assistants to the Chief Administrator; Minute Clerk, Secretary to the Rules Committee, and Sergeant-at-Arms; Administrative Assistant to the Speaker; Accountant, covering the functions performed for the Assembly (an employee of the State Controller); and Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms in the Rules Committee.

                The Committee adopted the Kroeger survey, and began to regroup and consolidate the various departments of the Assembly. A Chief Administrator was appointed to head the organization and to coordinate the work of the departments.

  16. “Necessity for a Permanent Organization.” 10-page letter from Ohnimus to Rules Chair Allen Miller (D), arguing for full-time staff due to expanding workload of legislature and population growth; analysis of legislative staffing levels. Page 4

    Page 4 of 10

    The demand for the creation of such an organization has been considered for many years, but nothing had been done to further the plan until last year, when the present Rules Committee set up the structure which is now nearly completed, and which is functioning in a satisfactory manner.

    What Has Been Accomplished


    The following is a brief resume of what has been accomplished since the present organization was established and a Chief Administrator appointed.

    One of the first duties imposed upon the Administrator was to make a survey of the stenographic and clerical positions in the Assembly. This study was based principally upon the State Civil Service Law enacted by the Legislature. The survey, which defined the positions, described their duties, and recommended salary ranges for each position, was completed by your Chief Administrator and Eleanor Donoghue, after intensive research and many conferences, in about a month's time.

    The Rules Committee, in delegating this job to its own employees, saved the State or California a very substantial sum of money. The Committee adopted the survey; and, for the first time, the Assembly possessed a complete classification of its stenographic and clerical positions.

    Salaries were based upon the importance of assignments and duties, plus seniority. This Committee recognized the importance of retaining career people, and provided as an added inducement the benefits of sick leave and earned vacations. This was the first time that Assembly em­ployees had been critically given the benefits enjoyed by State employees under the State Civil Service Act

    A subsequent survey of the Sergeant-at-Arms force and all positions

  17. “Necessity for a Permanent Organization.” 10-page letter from Ohnimus to Rules Chair Allen Miller (D), arguing for full-time staff due to expanding workload of legislature and population growth; analysis of legislative staffing levels. Page 5

    Page 5 of 10

    not previously studied was made by your Administrator and Eleanor Donoghue at the direction of the Rules Committee. This second survey also saved the State a substantial sum of money.

                These surveys, plus the Louis J. Kroeger study, provide a complete description, definition and salary range for the Assembly personnel, both during the session and for the interim.

                It is not now intended to give a detailed description of the achievements resulting from the establishment of the present organization. A few examples, however, will illustrate the significance of what has been done. The different departments which were previously operating more or less as separate units, today are working as a consolidated and coordinated force. A stenographic pool, with Mrs. Grace Stail as Supervisor, has been established, and now provides additional secretarial assistance as well as transcribing and robotype duplicating services for the members during interim. The size of the secretarial staff maintained in the pool is dependent upon the amount of work to be done, and can be readily adjusted to meet prevailing conditions.

                The recordings by the staff of the Sergeant-at-Arms provide tape for the reproduction of committee hearings. By using the services of the stenographic pool and the Assembly mechanical equipment, sufficient copies of these proceedings can be made available for public distribution at a minimum cost.

                A Fiscal Officer, James Annand, has been appointed by this Committee to examine and process legislative claims, and to attend to other financial matters. In keeping with the recommendations of the Auditor General, all fiscal transactions in the Assembly could be handled by this officer.

  18. “Necessity for a Permanent Organization.” 10-page letter from Ohnimus to Rules Chair Allen Miller (D), arguing for full-time staff due to expanding workload of legislature and population growth; analysis of legislative staffing levels. Page 6

    Page 6 of 10

                James Dirscoll, one of the Interns, who served as a reading clerk on the Assembly Desk during the recent sessions, is at present assisting the Fiscal officer and performing other interim duties. He will be available for the next session, when experience help will be most welcome.

                At the direction of the Assembly Rules Committee, the 1958 California Blue Book ill show, for the first time since 1924, a complete listing of all Members of the Assembly and the Senate who have served in the California Legislature since 1649.

                Without the services of the Assembly staff, under the direction of a trained and experienced editor, the revising, correcting, and editing of this historical compilation would not have been accomplished.

                Included in the volume of printing since the 1957 Session, copy for which has been prepared by your Administrator and the Assembly administrative interim staff, are the 1958 edition of the Constitution; the revised edition of the “The Legislature of California;” and the booklet entitled, “California Legislature – Assembly.”

                This Committee has authorized the Chief Administrator to perform a number of tasks between now and the opening of the next session which it is believed will greatly assist in reducing legislative costs and expediting, the work of the Assembly. Some recommendations submitted by the new organization, which have been adopted by the Rules Committee,

  19. “Necessity for a Permanent Organization.” 10-page letter from Ohnimus to Rules Chair Allen Miller (D), arguing for full-time staff due to expanding workload of legislature and population growth; analysis of legislative staffing levels. Page 7

    Page 7 of 10

    have already resulted in considerable savings.

    The Financial Side of the Permanent Organization

    In evaluating the Cost of the Assembly's interim operation, it should be remembered that the creation of the present administrative organization was predicted upon the belief that its establishment would furnish the most efficient and economical method of providing the in­creased services needed by tile members and demanded by the public.

    The fast and up-to-date services furnished to the members and the public today cannot be compared to the services rendered in former years. The fact is that, prior to the establishment of the permanent organi­zation, many of the services now rendered simply did not exist. In addition, the present organization, through the utilization of modern equipment, turns out reports, transcripts, letters, and other printed material in quantities and of a quality unheard of in the horse and buggy days

    As a result, any comparison of the cost of the present administration to the case of a previous administration must not only consider the effects of inflation and the 1956 Constitutional Amendment, but the problem of comparing the costs of two completely different types of services.

    Any such comparison of cost is likely to be misleading if not totally inaccurate, for one is immediately confronted with the problem or comparing the super highway against the country road. Though both carry traffic, they are neither constructed and maintained for the same price, nor do they provide the same service.

    Perhaps the difficulties of such a comparison can best illustrated by mentioning a few of the immeasurable and incomparable factors

  20. “Necessity for a Permanent Organization.” 10-page letter from Ohnimus to Rules Chair Allen Miller (D), arguing for full-time staff due to expanding workload of legislature and population growth; analysis of legislative staffing levels. Page 8

    Page 8 of 10

    that enter into the calculation.


                Much of the increased operating cost of the Assembly can be attributed to the effects of inflation, and no comparison of costs can be made without taking this into consideration. The dollar of today bears little more than a physical resemblance to the dollar of yesterday.

                The Department of Finance, in the 1958-1959 Budget, reported that the State’s cost of living had risen by 55% since 1947-1948 fiscal year as a result of higher salaries and wages for its employees and increased cost of services and materials.

    Hidden Expenses

                Prior toe 1957, when A.C.A. No. 9 became effective, many legislative expenses incurred in the interim and during the session where borne agencies other than the two houses of the Legislature. The effect of A.C.A. No. 9 was to place all of these hidden expenses out into the open and into the legislative and Rules Committee budgets. Naturally, this increased the budget, but at the same time it provided a true accounting of legislative expenses; and made it no longer necessary that they be subsidized by other agencies and State departments.

    Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 9

                A.S.A. No. 9 was adapted by the people eat the General Election in November of 1956 by a vote of 2,350,498 to 1,425,127—a majority of 925,271.

                Assemblyman Allen Miller’s argument, printed in the official pamphlet mailed to all the voters, clearly advanced the reason for

  21. “Necessity for a Permanent Organization.” 10-page letter from Ohnimus to Rules Chair Allen Miller (D), arguing for full-time staff due to expanding workload of legislature and population growth; analysis of legislative staffing levels. Page 9

    Page 9 of 10

    the adoption of A.C.A. No.9, leaving no room for anyone to be misled in voting for this proposition.

                Assemblyman Allen Miller’s argument reads in part as follows:


                            “A ‘yes’ vote on this proposition will permit the Legislature to employ such clerical help and staff as it deem necessary to properly and efficiently carry on its legislative duties.


                            In 1924 (Sec. 83a, Art. IV) was amended limiting the expenditures for each house to $300.000 per day, for a regular session, and $800.00 per day for both houses for a special session. This limitation was continued in effect without change for over 30 years, although the volume of work, and the need for personnel to process it has increased many fold.


                            It is not realistic to believe that the legislative branch of our State Government in the fastest growing State in the Union, now handling over 6,000 separate pieces of legislation, could be staffed today for the same dollar outlay that may have been adequate thirty odd years ago; in fact, it cannot and has not been done. Instead, the legislature was compelled by necessity some years ago to find a legal means to make additional expenditures for staffing services by creating a special ‘interim’ committee to act during the session from whose funds these additional amounts could legally be paid. Although held constitutional by our courts, this indirect method has proved to be inefficient and uneconomical and has led to obscure and complicated proceedings that few people understand.


                            The proposed amendment removes this antiquated constitutional restriction and the necessity to use an around about means to obtain adequate help. It puts the Legislature in a position to conduct and report its business affairs in a simple and forthright manner.”


                The adoption of A.C.A. No. 9 forced the Rules Committee to add $45,000 to its pay roll for salaries which had previously been a budgetary item, and paid for from the General Fund.


                Legislation is a big business. The Legislature is the Board of Directors of a two billion dollar corporation which requires the most up-to-date services.

                Each succeeding session has been the public demand increased

  22. Letter from Ohnimus to Members and former Members of Assembly, thanking them for retirement “vacation fund” gift; thanking Capitol staff. (November 27, 1963)


    1100 N Street
    Sacramento, California


    November 27, 1963


    Dear Members and Former Members of the Assembly:


                I am deeply grateful for the kind letters which were forwarded to me, and for the "token of appreciation" which accompanied the letters.


    It was not until after the letters had been sent out that I heard the first rumor of what was being done for me.


    I greatly appreciate the tribute that you have paid to my years of service in the Assembly, and the kind thought prompting such a tribute.


    Bernice and I shall use the "token” in visiting those parts of this country which we have not heretofore seen, and shall include in our tour the world's Fair in New York nest year.


    Whatever success I may have had as Chief Clerk of the Assembly was due to the devoted, dedicated, and conscientious personnel who worked with me during my years in the Assembly.


    Legislative employees come and go with the years. Persons, too many to mention, assisted in making the operation of the Assembly smooth running. However, I would be remiss if I did not mention those who served in the Assembly for more than 20 years, and con­tributed so much to make work in the Assembly a success and a pleasure: Eleanor Donoghue, a magnificent Copy Editor and a great and outstanding Minute Clerk, Ruth Riley, meticulous in preparing the File and instructing new personnel in their duties; Ethel Brockelbank, a most competent and accurate History Clerk; Grace Stall, Chief Stenographer, performing the difficult task of super­vising the Stenographic Pool in a manner deserving of highest commendation; Christine Trask, competent, able, and helping the newcomers; Irene Anderson, former secretary to the Chief Clerk, and a great secretary; and Tony Beard, amiable, reliable, competent and always helpful.


    I am grateful for the friendship which has been shown to me by the Members of the Legislature, the newspapermen, the legislative advocates, state employees, and by my co-workers.


    It is this friendship which has been given to me which is my finest memory of more than 25 year as an attaché of the Assembly.


    Cordially yours,

    Arthur A. Ohnimus

  23. Ewing Haas to Ohnimus (February 12, 1964): Minute Clerk deletion as officer/consent calendar in constitution.

    United States Senate

    Committee on Appropriations

    February 12, 1964

    There is a written note here. It is unreadable.

    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus

    1100 N Street – Lewis Apartments

    Sacrament, California

    Dear Arthur:


    I thoroughly enjoyed your good letter, and it brought back many wonderful memories. The Journals and Histories arrived, and I must say the proceedings at the time of the opening of the Assembly were somewhat different from those I remember. They were interesting reading.


    I was interested in Item 41 in the Proclamation. Why was the decision made to delete the Office of Minute Clerk from the list of officers? The consent calendar approach is, of course, used extensively in the Congress. I suppose it will save some time, but, certainty, the members will have to keep well informed of items coins on that calendar. How much notice will they have?


    "The Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation" is presently out of print, but they anticipate that the new volume will be available late in the fall. We have our files flagged so that we will be sure to get one for you.


    I am sending you, for your personal use, the latest copy of the Congressional Directory. I hope it will stir up your interest in the Washington picture sufficiently to convince you you should make a trip back to see us.


    Tom is attending a British-American Parliamentary Conference and will not return until Monday. I know he would want me to send his very best wishes along with wine, and I will show him your good letter when he returns.

    With every good wish,


    Ewing Hass

    Administrative Assistant to

    Senator Thomas H. Kuchel

  24. Stuart Hall letter to Ohnimus letter re: Senator Cobey, Law Revision Cmsn (January 24, 1964)


    Harvard Law School

    Cambridge 38, Massachusetts

    302 Shaw Fall

    University 8-7600                                                       Cambridge 38, Mass.

    Extension 100                                                                   24 January 1964


    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus

    1110 - N Street, Lewis Apartments

    Sacramento 14, California

    Dear Arthur:

    Under separate cover I am forwarding a complimentary copy of Volume 1, No. 1, of the Harvard Journal on Legislation, a new publication of the Harvard Law School, produced by the Harvard Student legislative Research Bureau, of which the undersigned is a member.

    You'll note that one of the articles for the initial issue is by Senator Cobsy, I suggested that he might be contacted to write on article about the problems involved in drafting a new tort liability statute for California. He consented, and what you will read is, I presume, a joint product of his and that of the staff of the California Law Revision Commission.

    Should you care to subscribe, the charge is two dollars per annum for two issues per year; eventually, the Bureau plans four issues per academic year. It is the only publication of its nature I know of that deals exclusively with legislation and legislative drafting

    I hope that someday you might be persuaded to submit an article along these lines, and I have suggested to the President and Editor that the subject of legislative procedure is germane to the subject of legislation—which surely holds if civil procedure is appropriate to the usual law review treatment.

    My best to you and to cookie. I have a light course this semester and a third-year paper to produce by March 13. I expect to be back in California circa June first to get prepared for the bar Exam is August.

    Warmest regards,

           Stuart Hall

  25. Ohnimus to unknown person, undated. Re: retirement, vacation. Page 1

    There are only a few cities in Vermont of size: Burlington, with 65,000 and Rutland, 35,000. The capital, Montpelier has only 8,000. It is a state of small villages and towns. Many have a population of 1,000 or less.


                We devoted one entire day to shopping in New York and visited many of the well-known stores, also Cartier’s and Tiffany’s. To my eye the stores are not nearly as attractive as those in San Francisco and Los Angeles. So many of them are in old buildings. The merchandise is not skillfully displayed s in our big cities. The styles are advanced and there is quite a degree of selectivity of merchandise. As you know, Ruth, we pay slightly more out here for the merchandise. I came back with a few souvenirs from New York and a pretty blouse from Boston. Artie bought a coat for me at Saks, so I am looking forward to an opportunity to wear it.


                One of the highlights in New York was the visit to Radio City Music Hall and a performance of the Rockettes. That is something we really enjoyed, Along with the Rockettes we saw the Unsinkable Molly Brown. The scenery and costumes were beautiful. To our way of thinking the picture was saved by the slapstick comedy in it. Otherwise it would have been on the dull side.


                The food in New York is excellent. The prices are high. It is nice to visit New York and all, but I can only take so much of that tempo, and then I long for a smaller quieter place.


                With the early snowfall, perhaps you will be able to have some good skiing in the not too far distant future.


                Thank you for sending the schedule of the operas for Los Angeles. From the situation here at the moment, we do not know when we will be getting away. However, if we do have an opportunity to come south, you will be the first to know.


                Looking forward to hearing from you,



  26. Letter from Christian Brothers mentor/teacher (August 29, 1917)

    St. Joseph’s Academy

    Peralta Park

                                                    Berkeley Cal.   August 29, 1917


    My Dear Arthur,


                Your letter addressing to me at St.Vincents was forwarded to me here when I have been located for the past year.


                I surely, am pleased to hear of your success and to know that you are ambitious for greater things. Stay with it and you will certainly reach the goal you are striving for. It is pleasant to know that (word unreadable) so young has so much earnestness and determination in his make-up.

                You have by your good showing in your studies helped me also as my name attached to your _____ ______ is now good to help others. Your good mother must be delighted with her boy alas.


                I shall take pleasure in hearing of your triumphs each year and when you graduate and become a land of the law. I hope to be there to extend congratulations in person.


                In the meantime continue to study hard and be good.


                                                                            Sincerely your

                                                                            Brother (name signature not readable)

    N.B My address

  27. Letter from George Hume, California Bank (Van Nuys) re: job offer (April 27, 1923)

    Van Nuys Branch

    California Bank

    Capital $2,000,000

    Van Nuys, California

    Head Office

    Los Angeles


    April 27, 1923


    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus

    Chief Clerk of the Assembly,

    State Capitol, Sacramento, California


    Dear Ohnimus:


                In the organization of the California Bank, with whom I have just become connected, there are two or three openings in our Escrow Department at either the Home office or in some of the leading branches. I am wondering what your plans are after you finished at the Assembly and whether or not you would consider coming to the Southland and start in with an organization such as ours.


                With your preparation in law, and our experience in the handling of secretarial duties, I believe you could secure for yourself a good place in this institution. There are unlimited opportunities for young men of your energy, and determination to make good.


                I would appreciate a personal confidential letter from you as to your plans and whether or not you would like to have opportunity of meeting our people when you can come down this way, or whether you figure on opening up your own office and establishing yourself in your profession.


                I am saying nothing about this to anyone except to my immediate superior senior officer, for whom I am casting about for the men he needs.

                With kind personal regards, I am


                                                                Cordially yours,

                                                                Geo. E. Hume




  28. Letter from George Hume, California Bank (Van Nuys) re: job offer and Ohnimus’ future (May 5, 1923)

    Van Nuys Branch

    California Bank

    Capital $2,000,000

    Van Nuys, California

    Head Office

    Los Angeles


    May 5, 1923.


    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus

    Chief Clerk of the Assembly,

    State Capitol,

    Sacramento, California.


    Dear Friend Ohnimus:


                I have your letter of May 2 and have carefully considered what you say in regard to your plans. I am glad you have such good opportunities ahead of you and I know you will not be long idle as others besides myself have seen you in action and know of your ability.


                I expect to be away the month of July on my vacation and will be in the Sequoia National River. If I were you, I would take hold of first good opportunity that came along that had a good outlook or future. I am not much impressed with devoting my life to political or political jobs. In starting in the banking business, it would be hard to pick up a salary such as you are now receiving, and will possibly receive, in some of the other lines that you have in view.


                I will be glad to have you keep in touch with me as to what develops.


                I hope the closing days of th3e Session and duties thereafter will not be too heavy. The long days are coming I am sure.


                With kindest personal regards, I am, as ever


                                                    You friend

                                                    George Hume

  29. Letter from E.E. Meyer, President, California Shorthand Reporter’s Association, re: Harold Packer, adoption of resolution honoring Ohnimus (August 25, 1934)

    E.E. Meyer: President

    Court House



    California Shorthand Reporters Association


    Woodland, Cal., August 25, 1934.


    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus,

    Assistant District Attorney, 333 Kearney Street,

    San Francisco, California.


    Dear Mr. Ohnimus:

    I have been informed that you have never received a copy of the Resolution passed by the California Shorthand Reporters at their convention at Santa Barbara last September.

    This is unfortunate, as it was the desire of the reporters assembled that they show their appreciation of your efforts in their behalf during the last session of the Legislature, and the secretary of the association was instructed to mail you a copy of the said resolution.

    Mr. Harold J. Packer, the secretary of the association was killed in an automobile accident early in this year and at the time of his death I took over the work of the secretary. Mr. Packer had evidently overlooked send­ing you a copy of the resolution.

    MY. Frank L. Hart and I know the importance of the assistance you rendered us, as representatives of the California Shorthand Reporters Association and I can assure you that we feel deeply obligated to you for the courteous treatment you extended to us during the last session Of the Legislature.

    The enclosed is a copy of the Resolution mentioned above, which was adopted unanimously by a large representation of the reporters of the State of California.

    Very truly yours,

    E.E. Meyer

    President, California Shorthand Reporters Assn.


  30. State Personnel Board Page 1

    California State Personnel Board


    April 28, 1944



    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus

    c/o Attorney General’s Office

    Library and Courts Building

    Sacramento, California


    Dear Mr. Ohnimus                                                                    Subject: Notice of staff’s tentative

                                                                                                    Classification of your position as:


                                                                                                    Deputy Attorney General,

                                                                                                    $275 (15) 335


                With the extension of the provisions of Article XXIV of the State Constitution to certain employees of the Attorney General, your position was brought under civil service for January 1, 1944.

                The constitution provides that the classification of person blanketed in shall be determined by the Personnel Board. As you know, the classification of your position (and accordingly the civil services rating you will receive) must be based on your duties and responsibilities as of the blanketing in date. From the description of your duties you gave on your classification questionnaire, it is our present belief that your position should be classified as indicated above.

                We are sending this letter to you at this time partly because of the series of examinations for the four grades of Deputy Attorney General which are scheduled to be held shortly. It is our hope that by giving you some indication of our present thought as to the classification of your position, we may be able to relieve possible doubt in your mind as to whether you should or should not file an application to take one of these examinations.

                In this connection, it is our thought that there should be no necessity for your applying for examination in any class of a level equal to or below that indicated above as the staff’s tentative classification of your position.


    Page 1 of 2

  31. State Personnel Board Page 2

    Page 2 of 2

                After you have reviewed the attached specification or tentative definition of the clause indicated above, you may possibly believe that your duties and responsibilities on January 1, 1944, do not come within the scope of that class. If so, please inform us immediately. In doing so, please furnish use with a written statement of your reasons for believing the class is not the correct one.

                As soon as possible we hope to prepare final recommendations for submission to the Personnel Board. Before this is done, however, it is our intention to give you an opportunity to discuss any questions you may have with Mr. Kenneth H. Donelson, who is assisting in the classification work. However, in order that all problems may be taken care of as soon as possible, it is suggested that if you are not in the agreement with the tentative classification, you submit a statement to use in writing, as suggest, without waiting for the date when Mr. Donelson will be available for discussion.

                We earnestly desire to make a proper classification of your position, and to this end ask for your continued cooperation.


                                                                                        Very truly yours,


                                                                                        William K. Smith

                                                                                        Executive Officer

  32. Job description/duties as Deputy AG, April 10, 1944 Page 1


    Deputy Attorney General, Grade 2




                Under direction, in the Attorney General’s Office, to do legal work of average difficulty involved in interpreting and applying federal, state, and local laws, analyzing legislative measures, preparing and presenting cases in court, and writing opinions; to do legal research; and to do other work as required.


    Typical Tasks:


                Studying, interpreting, and applying laws, court decisions, and other legal authorities in the preparation of cases, opinions, and briefs; preparing pleadings and other papers in connection with suits, trails, hearings, and other legal proceedings; assisting in the presentation of cases and independently presenting cases of average difficulty before courts, boards, and commissions; assisting in the analysis and drafting of legislative measures and regulations; assembling and evaluating evidence and assuring and interviewing witness; assisting in special investigations involved in the enforcement of state laws; doing a wide variety of legal research: preparing rough drafts of official opinions and independently writing less difficult opinions; dictating correspondences and requests.


    Minimum Qualifications:


                Active membership in the State Bar of California.


    Education and experience: Education equivalent to graduation from a law school of recognized standing with either (1) three years of full-time experience in the practice of law, including participation and appearance in several contested cases, or (2) three years of full-time experience in the practice of law in the California state service, in the federal service, or in the service of a California city or county, or (3) one year of experience as Deputy Attorney General, Grade 1, in the California state service.


    Knowledge and abilities: Wide knowledge of legal principles and their application; working knowledge of the scope and character of California statutory law and of the provisions of the California Constitution; wide knowledge of legal research methods and ability to perform research; working knowledge of the principals of administrative and constitution law; working knowledge of the conduct of proceedings in trial and appellate courts of California and the United States and before administrative bodies, and of the rules of evidence governing such proceedings; working knowledge of duties and powers of the Attorney General of California; ability to analyze, appraise, and apply legal principles and precedents to legal problems; ability to present statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically in written and oral form; ability to analyze and draft statues; ability to handle difficult legal correspondence; ability to use correct English; ability to size up situations and people accurately, to adopt an effective course of action, and to get along well with others; ability to follow oral and written direction.


  33. Record of employment for Arthur Ohnimus, 1934-1944 Page 2

    1937 – Legislature convened Jan. 4. Resolution No.7, adopted A.J.

                Jan. 4, P.26 – 3 days at $10.00 - $30.00


    1941 -  Convened January 6, 1941 – adjourned for Constitutional Recess January 25.

                Reconvened March 3, 1941 – adjourned sine die June 14, 1941.

                Elected Chief Clerk January 6, 1941. See the following House Resolutions:


                H.R. 15 – January 7, 1941, P. 59

                H.R. 54 – January 24, 1941, P. 510

                H.R. 87 – March 3, 1941, P. 735


                20 days in January at $10.00 per day                            $200.00

                36 “       during Recess “            “    “                               360.00

                103 “   3/3 to 6/14/41 “           “    “                              1,030.00          $1590.00


                From June 15, 1941 to October?          H.R. 267, adopted June 12, 1941, P. 4263.


    1941 – 1942 EXTRA SESSIONS – Convened December 19, 1941. Recessed December 22 to January 12, 1942, and adjourned sine die January 22, 1942.


                Elected Chief Clerk December 19, 1941, A.J. 12/19/41, P.2.

                Salary $0.00 per day – H.R 5, adopted 12/19/41, P.20.


                Retained during Recess (see H.R. 27, A.J. Dec. 21/41, P.93.


                A.J. January 12, 1942, P. 148 – H.R. 46; salary of Chief Clerk

                $10.00 per day.

                H.R. 65, A.J. 1/16/42, P. 288 for after session work.


    1943 – Second Extra Session – Convened January 17, 1942 Adjourned sine die January 18, 1942.


                H.R. No. 5 – adopted Jan. 17/42, P. 20 – salary at $10.00 per day – 2 days at $10.00 - $20.00.


    1943 – Convened January 4 – Adjourned for Recess January 31 – 28 days


                Reconvened March 8 - -                  -         -         -          -        35 “

                Adjourned sine die May 5                -          -         -          -        58

                                                                                                              121 “


                Pre-session work – Commencing Jan. 1-2-3 – 3 days at $10.00 (see H.R. 25, A.J. 1/7/43, P. 145).

                Salary January 6, 1943 – 1 day at $10000.

                Commencing January 7, 1943 – A.J. 1/7/43, F, 147 – Salary at $15.00 per day

  34. Fresno County Supervisor Maurice Meeker to Ohnimus re: Deputy A.G., Chief Clerk, new wife, and 80 Assembly Members (January 10, 1944)

    County of Fresno

    Fresno, California


    January 10, 1944


    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus

    District Attorney’s Office

    550 Montgomery Street

    San Francisco, California


    Dear Arthur:


                I read in The Fresno Bee of your appointment as Deputy Attorney General of California and, naturally, I want to convey to you my best wishes for your success and happiness in the new position. I have no doubt that you will be very successful in the Attorney General’s work and you certainly bring to that office a world of experiences which should be helpful.


                I see also that you have recently taken a wife. Seems to me that you are making changes pretty fast. However, having observed your ability with eighty politicians at Sacramento and probably twice that many hangers on and lobbyists, I have not a doubt but that you can hold the position of new husband and new Deputy Attorney General of California at the same time, and capably.


                The new year is not so far advanced but that I can add also my hopes that you two will be very happy in 1944, and the years thereafter.


                                                                                        Very sincerely yours,

                                                                                        Maurice Meeker



  35. Letter from Ohnimus to S.W. MacDonald, re: sending him his old Assistant District Attorney badge (humorous) (October 11, 1944)

    Formerly with the

    District Attorney’s Office

    550 Montgomery Street

    San Francisco


    October 11, 1944


    Mr. S.W. MacDonald

    Assistant Manager Lumber Division

    Director of Industrial Relations

    The Rod River Lumber Company

    Westwood, California


    Dear “Mac”:


                I am sending you today the insignia and badge of an ex assistant district attorney. This badge may be gazed upon with affection by a collector of antiques; also, by one who wore it as an emblem of his right to visit uninterruptedly the City Treasurer’s office twice monthly to collect his remuneration.


                Whenever I felt the urge and itch to publicly and officially display or exhibit the shield, I always allowed my attention to be directed to the first three letters in the first word on the badge. This observation usually quieted my desire and kept me in peace with the rest of the world.


                It will look well in you keening, but as all assistant district attorneys talk too much, if you exhibit it, you will be asked to make a speech, which is a nuisance. You will also be asked to make contributions to everyone, for assistant district attorneys are looked upon as fair prey for all solicitors.


                The badge has a long pin which has no hesitancy in sticking your anatomy in its tenderness part with deep delight if your speech is too long or in the indulgence of any other conduct becoming and assistant to district attorney.


                Bowing to the goblins of superstition the enclosed card with the insertion of a penny, if returned to me with a penny from you, will defeat the black dancing demons who create bad luck.


                With best and kindest wishes,


                                                    Cordially yours,

                                                    Arthur A. Ohnimus



  36. Letter to Rules Chairman Tom Bane re: Ohnimus retirement, extension of service through the summer (June 27, 1963)


    California Legislature

    Arthur A. Ohnimus
    Chief Clerk

    June 27, 1963

    Honorable Tom Base

    Chairman, Assembly Rules Committees

    State Capitol

    Sacramento, California

    Dear Mr. Bane.

    When the members of the Rules Committee most graciously remembered the occasion of my birthday, I assumed that each member knew that it was not my intention to seek re-election as Chief Clerk in the 1964 Session. However, as in my conversation with you, it was my desire to complete the work of this session, which would take until the first of October of this year The last day for the Governor to sign bills for the session just adjourned will be July 26th and the bills will not become effective until the 91st day after the 21St day of June adjournment.

    With the Special Session being called for July 8, this will add additional work to be completed within the period of time just mentioned.

    The question of compensation is of no moment to me for the services I will perform, as I want to finish the work of the session. You, Mr. Bane, very kindly suggested that the difference between my re­tirement, subtracted from my present salary, would be compensation, to which no criticism could be offered. I would have no objection to this arrangement. However, I would like it again distinctly understood that I have no desire to make more money from my ser­vices performed after July 1st, I would like to perform the duties of Chief Clerk during the Special Session, and I hope that those services would be of assistance to the Members of the Assembly.

    I wish to take this opportunity of expressing my deep appreciation to each and every member of this committee and to the Members of the Assembly for the many courtesies that I have received at their hands during the many years that I have served as Chief Clerk of this House.

    Cordially yours,



  37. Letter from Arthur Ohnimus to Rules Chairman Tom Bane regarding retirement, June 27, 1963.


    California Legislature

    Arthur A. Ohnimus
    Chief Clerk

    June 27, 1963

    Honorable Tom Base

    Chairman, Assembly Rules Committees

    State Capitol

    Sacramento, California

    Dear Mr. Bane.

    When the members of the Rules Committee most graciously remembered the occasion of my birthday, I assumed that each member knew that it was not my intention to seek re-election as Chief Clerk in the 1964 Session. However, as in my conversation with you, it was my desire to complete the work of this session, which would take until the first of October of this year The last day for the Governor to sign bills for the session just adjourned will be July 26th and the bills will not become effective until the 91st day after the 21St day of June adjournment.

    With the Special Session being called for July 8, this will add additional work to be completed within the period of time just mentioned.

    The question of compensation is of no moment to me for the services I will perform, as I want to finish the work of the session. You, Mr. Bane, very kindly suggested that the difference between my re­tirement, subtracted from my present salary, would be compensation, to which no criticism could be offered. I would have no objection to this arrangement. However, I would like it again distinctly understood that I have no desire to make more money from my ser­vices performed after July 1st, I would like to perform the duties of Chief Clerk during the Special Session, and I hope that those services would be of assistance to the Members of the Assembly.

    I wish to take this opportunity of expressing my deep appreciation to each and every member of this committee and to the Members of the Assembly for the many courtesies that I have received at their hands during the many years that I have served as Chief Clerk of this House.

    Cordially yours,



  38. 1963 poem by Assembly Member Charles “Gus” Garrigus, “The Session of ’63, Or Too Little, Too Late,” regarding the 1963 session. Page 1

    The Session of ’63 or Too Little, Too Late

    Flushed with victory for his second term,

    The Governor made known what he would bless.

    He spoke with optimism bold and firm,

    Made known in his inaugural address.

    He said, “Just do your duty to a man

    And give me all I ask for in this plan.

    These tasks all Democrats look forward to

    The good Republicans will help you do.

    Let not your hearts be troubled," said the Gov.

    But Senators weren't listening up above.

    Then, hoping it would rain upon the dry lands,

    Pat took a nice vacation in the Islands.

    The Senate took his program on the jump

    To figure out how much that it could dump.

    The leaders knew whoever set the pace

    Would have a better chance to take his place.


    The Senate frowned upon the plan unfolding

    And said they'd have no part of tax-withholding.

    Then with a skill that only time increases

    They out Fat's program into little pieces.

    How gleefully they swung their fiscal axes

    To kill the bank and corporation taxes.

    A strong man would be struck with fearful chills

    To see them gore his pet consumer bills.

    He had one bill in Ways and Means presented

    Which Finance first opposed and then relented.

    Pat will be lucky from this session's mess

    To get back his inaugural address!


    The greatest tasks that faced our fresh beginners

    Were calories and drinks at lobbyists’ dinners,

    And as the session moved they came to know

    What textbooks teach of government's not so.

    But if they'd known of Tom Bane's great affection

    They would have run much harder for election,

    Mery Dymally wrote bills for every faction,

    To solve all ills by legislative action.

    Poor Rumford spent exhausting days and nights

    Teaching Senators the bill of rights.

    At other times his thoughts were most profunda.

    On getting sit-ins out of the rotunda.

  39. 1963 poem by Assembly Member Charles “Gus” Garrigus, “The Session of ’63, Or Too Little, Too Late,” regarding the 1963 session. Page 2

    Bud Collier gave taxpayers great elation

    With bills to stop free higher education.

    McMillan believes that barbarism's passing

    And hoped at last the State would stop its gassing;

    But he was Gibsonized with soft aggression

    And given work to do next general session.

    Burgner and Waldie worked with zealous stealth

    To help insure their future mental health.

    While Knox was dragging suburbs into cities,

    Lanterman was stalking from committees.

    But give to Eddie Elliott our thanksgiving

    For our retirement geared to cost-of-living.

    Poor Carlos served us well through weal or woe

    And called up Conrad when he had to go.

    While Jesse proved to all of us once more

    His most effective work is on the floor.


    I labored long to load eight-eighty-eight

    And watched one thousand carry off its freight.

    But who shall ask the Senate if its smart

    To sell our school kids forty-million short.

    The very thought of redoing local taxes

    Will make the voters sharpen up their axes.

    Our bills which would have helped the farms and cities

    Were dumped by three-man Senate subcommittees.

    This game would take less time and much less money

    If we would play it straight and not so funny.

    Before we introduce a bill that's good,

    We first could ask the Senate if we should.


    And now we’ll face the voters and their gaff

    For work consultants did upon our staff.

    But here's a cheering thought for everyone;

    This State has always survived what we've done.

    But if a special session keeps us late,

    We'd better look to God to save the State!

    --Charles B. Garrigus

  40. Letter from former Assemblyman and Republican Party Chairman Caspar Weinberger to Ohnimus expressing regret that Ohnimus is retiring, October 15, 1963.



    14 Montgomery Street, San Francisco 4


    October 15, 1963


    Arthur A. Ohnimus, ESQ.

    Chief Clerk

    Assembly California Legislature

    3196 State Capitol

    Sacramento 14, California


    Dear Arthur:


    I was horrified to read of your retirement as Chief Clerk of the Assembly because, in all honesty, I do not know how we can run the Legislature without you. I certainly agree that you are more than entitled to retirement and a good rest, but I shudder to think of what can happen without your firm hand guiding pro­ceedings.

    In any event, I want you to know how greatly I enjoyed knowing and working with you in that capacity, and I hope very much to have the opportunity to see you many times during your well-earned retirement.


    It should certainly be a source of the great­est gratification to you to look back upon the enormously able and devoted service that you have given the state in that extremely important capacity for to many years.


    I also want you to know how grateful I will always be to you for the fine interest and help you were to me during all of the very enjoyable time I spent in the legislature.

    With kind personal regard and best wishes,


                                                    Sincerely yours,

                                                    Caspar W. Weinberger



  41. Letter from State Printer Carroll Smith to Ohnimus commending Ohnimus as a “war horse” of the legislature, September 3, 1929.

    State of California Seal

    State of California

    Department of Finance

    Division of Service and Supply

    Bureau of Printing

    Carrol H. Smith State Printer



    September 6, 1929


    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus

    c/c District Attorney’s Office,

    San Francisco, California


    My dear Arthur:


                My deepest thanks for the beautiful token. Much as I shall always prize it and what it signifies, both as a work of art and the testimonial contained therein, yet your letter, Arthur, coming as it does from an experienced war horse of the Legislature, one who knows only too well what degree of service is exacted, and one, in fact, who knows all there is to know about the legislative grist will – means more.


                I can only say that I am very, very proud to have merited such comment from you, and that I shall always dearly prize your friendship.


                The best of luck and let us all see each other again in 1931.


                                                                                                    Sincerely yours,

                                                                                                    Carrol H. Smith

                                                                                                    State Printer.



  42. Letter from Controller Ray Riley to Ohnimus regarding legislative accounting audit, March 29, 1930.

    California Seal

    State of California

    Office of the Controller



    March 29, 1930.


    Hon. Arthur A. Ohnimus

    Chief Clerk,

    333 Kearny Street,

    San Francisco, California


    My dear Arthur:


                Just a line to advise that we have completed our departmental audit of the Assembly expenditures covering the 48th session of the legislature and find that all sums advanced by the various resolutions properly accounted for, excepting the resolution setting aside the sum of $500.00 under date of May 14, 1929, covering the “necessary expenses for the disposition of the closing business of the Assembly after adjournment” etc., same paid on Controller’s warrant #28484 dated May 18, 1929, and on this particular account you have filed proper vouchers in the sum of $398.77, making a balance of $101.23 to be covered by the supporting vouchers or cash refund when the final work of this session is closed on your part.


                In closing I want to thank you for your many past favors and also the able manner in which you have conducted the financial matters that have concerned our departments in the past.


                With best personal regards, I am,


                                                                            Very truly yours,

                                                                            Ray L. Riley, Controller

                                                                            By: Deputy Signature here unreadable


  43. Arthur Ohnimus record of Assembly employment Page 1

    California Assembly Stamp




    IN THE ASSEMBLY FROM 1915-1951

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    Too final approved Assembly Journal for 1915 at page 94 shows that Arthur Ohnimus, which was a misspelling of my name, was appointed from and including the 11th day of January, 1915 as a committee clerk at $4.00 per day, to January 30, 1915, when the Assembly adjourned for its Constitutional Recess.


    On February 8 and 9, the employment as committee clerk was for 2 days at $4.00 per day (A.J. p. 533), reappointed from and including March 9 as committee clerk as $4.00 per day to May 8, 1915 (A.J. p. 541, 549, 2443).


    During the Special Session of 1916, which started on January 5, 1916, my employment was as a stenographer at $5.00 per day from January 5 to January 11 inclusive.


    In 1917, my employment started so January 11 to January 15 inclusive as s stenographer at $5.00 per. day (A.J.  p. 63)


    On January 15, 1917, I was appointed bookkeeper to the Sergeant-At-Arms at $5.00 per day, being stricken from the roll as a stenographer on that date, and was employed to January 26, when the session adjourned for the Constitutional Recess.


    Reappointed as bookkeeper on February 26, 1917, at $5.00 per day to April 27, 1917.


    In 1915 I was appointed Assistant Minute Clerk from January 9, 1919 to January 24, 1919, at $7.00 per day and by special resolution was employed for 2 days after adjournment as assistant minute c1erk at $7.00 per day. (A.J. April 22, p. 2102)


    In the Special Session of November 1, 1919, I was employed as minute clerk for 1 day at $9.00 per day.


    In 1921 on January 3, I received compensation as Minute Clerk for 1 day at $9.00 (A.J. p. 49)

  44. Arthur Ohnimus record of Assembly employment Page 2


    I was appointed assistant Minute Clerk from and including January 4, 1921 at $7.00 per day (A.J. p. 35), to and including January 24, 1921.

    On February 24, 1921, I was elected Minute Clerk at $9.00 per day (A.J. p. 373) to and including the 29th day of April, 1921, and by special resolution was employed for April 30 and 31, 2 days at $9.00 per day. (A.J. p. 2418)

    1923 - Arthur A. Ohnimus, elected Chief Clerk (A.J. January 8, 1923, p. 5) at $10.00 per day.

    Session convened January 8, 1923, adjourned for Constitutional Recess February 2, 1923. Retained during Constitutional Recess (A.J. February 2, 1923, P. 419)

    Reconvened March 5, 1923. Salary for May 18, (A.J. May 18, p. 2546 $10.00. Employed for 60 days after adjournment at $10.00 per day, p. 2548.

    Adjourned sine die May 15, 1923.


    1925 - Elected Chief Clerk January 5, 1925. (Convened January 5, 1925) Employed four days prior to January 5, 1925 at $10.00 per day. (A.J. January 8, 1925, p. 45


    Adjourned for Constitutional Recess January 24, 1925. Employed during O.R. (A.J. 1/24/25, p. 481) at $10.00 per day. Reconvened February 24, 1925, adjourned sine die April 24, 1925.


    Employed for 70 days after adjournment sine die at $10.00 per day. (A.J. April 24, 1925, p. 2571)


    1926 - Specia1 Session - convened October 22, 1926. Arthur A. Ohnimus, Chief Clerk at $10 .00 per day.


    Employed for October 21, 1926, adjourned sine die October 22, 1926. (A.J. Oct. 22, 1926, p. 15) at. $10.00 per day.


    1927 – Convened January 3, 1927. Elected Chief Clerk Jan. 3, 1927. Employed two days in advance of session, January 1 and 2, 1927 at $10.00 per day (A.J. 1/4/27, P. 43)


    Adjourned for Constitutional Recess January 21, 1927. Employed during Recess at $10.00 per day (A.J. 1/19/27, p. 257)


    Reconvened February 23, 1927. Adjourned sine die April 29, 1927


    Employed for 70 days after adjournment at $10.00 per day. (A.J. April 27, 1927, p. 2429.

  45. Ohnimus to Everett Burkhalter, U.S. House, re: voting machines (May 18, 1964)

    May 18, 1964


    Honorable Everett G. Burkhalter

    House of Representatives

    Washington, D.C. 20515


    Dear Everett:

                Your letter, addressed to me at the State Capitol, reached me at  my home address yesterday, which accounts for the delay in my not sooner answering your good letter.

                You ask the amount of time required to take a roll call on the California automatic voting machine.

                An uncontested roll call without the calling of the absentees could probably be taken in about twenty seconds. The ordinary roll call takes about forty-five seconds to a minute and a half. Contested roll calls with members changing their votes will take much longer, probably two minutes.

                One of the greatest advantages in the electric roll call systems is the order that is maintained during the taking of the roll call.

                There is also a high degree of accuracy, and duplicate roll calls may be made simultaneously with the taking of the roll call.

                The Assembly roll call has been working satisfactorily for approximately twenty years. I am sure, if given the opportunity, the Members of the Assembly would never return to the oral roll call.

                Trusting this is the information you desire, and with best and kindest wishes,

                                                                                                    Cordially yours,

                                                                                                    Arthur A. Ohnimus       

  46. Assembly Speaker Frank Merriam letter of recommendation for Ohnimus (December 15, 1926)

    Frank F. Merriam  Speaker                                                                                          

    Home Address

    P.O. Box 314

    Long Beach, Cal.




    California Legislature

    Forty-Sixth Session


                                                                December 15th, 1926

    To Whom It May Concern:

                            Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus served most acceptably as Chief Clerk for the California Assembly during the Forty-fifth and Forty-Sixth Sessions, and it is a pleasure to commend him and his work.

                As Speaker of the Assembly during these two Sessions, I had occasion to observe his work and t know intimately of his service. He was industrious, always having his work well in hand, thoroughly acquainted with the details of his office, most helpful and willing at all times. I am glad to set forth these facts in the hope that they may be beneficial to a loyal public servant.

                                                                                        Very sincerely,

                                                                                        Frank F. Merriam

                                                                                        Speaker of the Assembly

  47. Assemblyman Isaac Jones to Ohnimus re: Chief Clerk position (November 9, 1926)

    Isaac Jones


    Ontario, California


    November 9, 1926


    Mr. Arthur O. Ohnimus

    717 Anza Street

    San Francisco, California.


    My dear Arthur:

                Yours of November 6th received. The only question that would occur to me in the selection of Chief Clerk of the Assembly for the coming session would be a question of efficiency and industry. I think you possess both of those qualifications to an unusual degree and I have no thought of any other individual as Chief Clerk of the Assembly for the session for 1927, if you desire the position.

                It might be of interest to you to know that both T. M. Wright, Mr. Coombs, and myself for a moment discussed your case at the special session. Mr. Coombs suggested, and we agreed with that suggestion, that we had forgotten the past as far as the Chief Clerk was concerned and that we knew nothing that would prevent us from giving you very earnest consideration if you sought the position in the future.

                You realize, of course, Arthur, that the duty of a member of the Assembly is to make the best possible selection; the duty that is not always performed, I grant you, for the various positions. I would not like to say at the present time that I would be for you without regard to who may seek the position of Chief Clerk, but I will say frankly that I know no reason at this time why you may not expect my vote for the position of Chief Clerk when the Assembly organizes. I would have to be convinced that a person contesting with you for the position possessed superior ability than you possess and greater inclination to serve.

                I hope this will convey to you something of the esteem in which I hold you and will give to you something of an expression of my opinion as to your candidacy for re-election.

                                                                                        Very sincerely yours,

                                                                                        Isaac Jones



  48. Assemblywoman-elect Jeanette Daley, regarding Ohnimus as Chief Clerk (December 1, 1936)

    For the New Deal in Sacramento

    vote for


    Jeanette E. Daley

    Democratic Candidate



    78th Assembly District

    4231 Witherby

    San Diego, California


    4430 Boundary St.,

    Dec 1, 1935


    Honorable Arthur A. Ohnimus,

    550 Montgomery St.,

    San Francisco, Calif.,


    Dear Mr. Ohnimus:


                Yours of Nov. 27th just received and contents noted. I feel sure you are exceptionally well qualified for the position which you are seeking, however I am not committing myself to vote for any particular candidate at this time but will give your candidacy serious thought and so far have not heard from anyone else seeking this office.


                Looking forward to seeing you on the 4th. Of January, I am


                                                                                        Yours sincerely,

                                                                                        Jeannette E. Daley

                                                                                        Assemblymen Elect

                                                                                        78th District

  49. Thomas Maloney to Ohnimus, humorous “amended letter” showing support for Ohnimus’s reelection as Chief Clerk.

    Below: Ohnimus original letter to Thomas A. Maloney



    California Legislature


    Arthur A. Ohnimus

    Chief Clerk


                                                                Sacramento 14, California

    November 22, 1944



    Honorable Thomas A. Maloney

    405 Montgomery Street

    San Francisco, California



    Dear Tommie:


    About 47 days from this dat3e, the 56th Session of the Legislature will convene, and as you may well assume, I would again like to be Chief Clerk of the Assembly. Therefore, may I again ask you for your support and vote for Chief Clerk. I have always had the pleasure receiving your vote in the past.


    With best and kindest wishes, I am


                                                                                        Cordially yours,

                                                                                        Arthur A. Ohnimus






    Below: Thomas made changes to the letter in reply to Ohnimus letter, showing his support.


    Arthur A. Ohnimus

    State Capital

    Sacramento, California


    Dear Arthur:


    You will always have the pleasure of receiving my vote in the future.


    With best and kindest wishes, I am


                                                                Cordially yours,

                                                                Thomas A. Maloney


    Handwritten note: The above “Bill” is amended with my consent. -Tommie

  50. Assemblyman-elect Jonathan Hollibaugh, undated (likely 1940s)

    Hollibaugh Music Store

    6430 Pacific Blvd

    Huntington Park, California


    Mr. Arthur A. Ohnimus,

    Chief Clerk,


    550 Montgomery Street,

    San Francisco, Calif.


    Dear Mr. Ohnimus:


    Your several letters received and I will answer them collectively if you have no objections.


    First I wish to thank you for your thoughtfulness in sending me the copy of the State Constitution and the small hand book.  They are very interesting and helpful to a new beginner especially.


    Second, that as far as your candidacy to succeed yourself as Chief Clerk is concerned I have made inquiries among several Assemblymen of my acquaintance and they all seem to think tht you are a regular fixture and that you could not get out of it if you tried. So not being of a nature to disturb good things of a long and lasting nature it would not behoove me to disturb such a pleasant situation.


    Third, regarding bills. At present I have none that I wish to make public so will have to await the time when it seems advisable to introduce them. Thanks for your suggestion on this matter.


    Assuring you of my desires to cooperate in every way and in everything to keep California the greatest State in the Union, I am


                                                                Sincerely yours,

                                                                Jonathan J. Hollibaugh,

                                                                Assemblyman Elect.

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