Partial Transcript: Wrightsville, Georgia.
Segment Synopsis: Rowland talks about growing up during the Great Depression in Wrightsville. He discusses his education at Emory and his army service in World War II. He shares about his additional education and talks about his medical practice in Dublin, Georgia.
Keywords: Augusta; European Theatre; Great Depression; South Georgia College; Swainsboro, Ga.; University of Georgia; World War II (WWII); eagle scout; economic crisis; economic downturn; infantry; medicine
Partial Transcript: What happened after you got your medical degree?
Segment Synopsis: Rowland talks about his experiences as Georgia State Representative, including his relationship with Speaker Murphy. He then shares about his time on various committees, including the Health and Ecology Committee, the Ways and Means Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and Rules Committee. He briefly discusses politicians Bill Lee, Sidney Marcus, Jack Connell, Al Burruss, Wayne Snow, and Joe Frank Harris.
Keywords: Bill Lee; Certificate of Need; Georgia General Assembly; Georgia House of Representatives; Georgia legislative body; Health and Ecology Committee; Leon Green; Marcus Collins; Ralph Walk; Tom Murphy; legislation; legislature; run-off election
Partial Transcript: Well, you served in the State House three terms.
Segment Synopsis: Rowland talks about his campaign for United States House of Representatives and the move to Washington, D.C. He recalls the controversy surrounding Congressman McDonald's death, who was killed when the flight he was on was shot down by Soviet interceptors.
Keywords: 007 Korean airliner; Billy Lee Evans; Bloody Eighth; Bo Ginn; Georgia Eighth District; Joe Frank Harris; John Birch Society; Korean airline; Lindsay Thomas; Norman Underwood; Russia; Russian attack; Speaker O'Neill; Thomas O'Neill; Tip O'Neill; US Congress; United States Congress; airline attack; anti-communism; conspiracy theory
Partial Transcript: Well, when you had arrived in Washington it was 1983.
Segment Synopsis: Rowland discusses President Reagan and the state of the country during his presidency. He talks briefly about the Conservative Democratic Forum, a group of conservative Southern Democrats in Congress, also known as the "boll-weevils." Rowland then explains the member selection process for committees in the House of Representatives. Finally, he talks about the national deficit.
Keywords: Blue Dogs; Boll Weevils; Misery Index; Ronald Reagan; Steering and Policy Committee; Teflon President; US Congress; United States Congress; earmarking; federal budget; national debt
Partial Transcript: There were two incidents during your term up there
Segment Synopsis: Rowland discusses his role in the Iran-Contra affair, and recalls a trip to a Contra camp during that time. He also talks about his views on the Persian Gulf War and its impact. Finally, he briefly comments on President Reagan's defense spending.
Keywords: Cold War; Energy and Commerce Committee; George Bush; Honduras; Iran; Iraq; Nicaragua; Persian Gulf War; Ronald Reagan; Russia; Saddam Hussein; Sandinistas; Sonny Montgomery; Soviet Union; World War II (WWII); cruise missile
Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute now about healthcare
Segment Synopsis: Rowland shares his views on healthcare and talks about healthcare legislation he was involved with during his time in Congress. He discusses the use of 'means-testing' as a method for determining a person's eligibility for government assistance for programs like Social Security and Medicare. Rowland then talks about Georgia Congressmen, including Ed Jenkins, Doug Barnard, Elliot Levitas, Lindsay Thomas, Richard Ray, and Buddy Darden. He briefly discusses his current political influence.
Keywords: Buddy Darden; Carl Vinson; Edgar Jenkins; Medicaid; PeachCare; Phil Landrum; Sam Nunn; Wyche Fowler; biomedical ethics; healthcare legislation; universal healthcare
Partial Transcript: Well, I would like to now move ahead to the present day.
Segment Synopsis: At the time of the interview, Rowland discusses the economic situation in 2009, and shares his projections about the future. He also talks about the United States's international relationships with other countries.
Keywords: Africa; Israel; Keynesian Economics; TARP; Troubled Asset Relief Program; budget deficit; deficit spending; deflation; government bailouts; humanitarian efforts; military budget; military spending; national debt; national economy; the Great Depression
Partial Transcript: Let's get back for a minute to Dr. Rowland to your role in the National Healthcare System.
Segment Synopsis: Rowlands talks about the Clinton Administration healthcare proposal. He also discusses healthcare legislation he developed with fellow U.S. Representative, Mike Bilirakis, and the difficulties that the legislation encountered.
Keywords: Bill Clinton; Bob Michaels; Dick Gephardt; Energy and Commerce Committee; Hillary Clinton; Hospital and Healthcare Subcommittee; Jim McDermott; John Dingle; bipartisan legislation; means testing; universal healthcare
Partial Transcript: As you look back over your career is there anything you would've done differently?
Segment Synopsis: Rowland reflects on his career as a whole. He also discusses healthcare providers, Obama's healthcare plan, and the private health insurance industry. He discusses how politics have changed and how they have changed him over the years.
Keywords: Affordable Care Act; Obamacare; biomedical ethics; campaign costs; campaign funds; campaigning; congressional elections; elections; socialized medicine
Partial Transcript: We haven't talked about reapportionment.
Segment Synopsis: Rowland talks about the party shift in Georgia from a Democratic to a Republican majority. He then discusses politics in Georgia as a whole.
Keywords: Albany; Georgia's eighth congressional district; Jim Marshall; Valdosta; Warner Robbins; cross voting; election financing; grass roots efforts; labor unions; minorities; minority voters; party registration; public financing
BOB SHORT: Im Bob Short and this is Reflections on Georgia Politicssponsored by the Richard Russell Library at the University of Georgia and Young Harris College. Our guest is Dr. Roy Rowland, former member of the Georgia House of Representatives and a member of Congress from Georgias 8th district. Welcome, Dr.Rowland.
DR. ROY ROWLAND: Bob, its a real pleasure to be here and I appreciate this opportunity.
SHORT: Before we talk about you and your medical and political careers Idlike to ask you this question. What shall I call you Dr. Rowland, Representative Rowland or Congressman Rowland?
ROWLAND: Well I worked real hard for that M.D. degree so you know its nicebeing called doctor. It was a high honor and a privilege to serve in the Congress and in the State House and you know I like those, so why dont you just call me Roy. 00:01:00
SHORT: Roy okay. All right. Uh, Wrightsville, Georgia.
SHORT: Was it your dream when you were growing up in Wrightsville to become adoctor and a congressman?
ROWLAND: Well it was my dream to become a doctor and as a matter of fact mygrandfather was a pharmacist. He had a brother who was a pharmacist and a brother that was a doctor and his father was a doctor. So I kind of grew up in my grandfathers drug store and he had a lot of influence on me so my earlier ambitions were to become a physician and I think I probably decided on that when I was probably around 12 years old. Getting involved in politics was a lot later in my life.
SHORT: Well tell us about growing up in Wrightsville.
ROWLAND: I think growing up in Wrightsville was one of the best situations thatI couldve had or anyone couldve had during that period. It was back in the 1930s. It was during the Great Depression. The times were hard. My father was an 00:02:00attorney. He had a problem making ends meet. Nobody had any money much but we always had enough to eat and a place to stay and maybe we didnt know any different but we didnt aspire to much more than what we had because we were pretty comfortable. It was really a great situation. Both grandparents on my father and mothers sides of the family lived within two blocks of us and I had uncles and aunts, cousins, that lived all around. It was really a safe place to grow up.
SHORT: So you graduated from Wrightsville High School?
ROWLAND: Yes graduated from Wrightsville High School in 1943. One thing that Iwas very proud of was being an Eagle Scout. I obtained that award in 1942. I didnt get the Eagle Scout badge until 1945 because the war was going on and they didnt have Courts of Honor back then but after graduating from high school I went off to school at Emory at Oxford for a couple of quarters and 00:03:00everybody was going into the Army, this was 1943, or the Navy or the Marines and so I enlisted in the Army in 1944, and I wound up in the infantry. That was not exactly where I anticipated going but Im very proud of my military service. I was in the military a little over two years, went with the 13th Armored Division to the European theater in January of 1945 and was involved in two campaigns in the Rhine and the Central Europe and got the Combat Infantryman Badge and received two Bronze stars one for valor and one for moratorial service and Im real proud of my military service and really proud that I got through without getting injured. So anyway after that I came back and went back to school. Went 00:04:00to South Georgia College for a couple of quarters and then came here to the University of Georgia for my pre-med.
SHORT: Uh-huh. Then you went to the Medical College?
ROWLAND: Thats correct. After a couple of years here I was accepted to theMedical College of Georgia in Augusta in 1948 and graduated there in 1952.
SHORT: What happened after you got your medical degree?
ROWLAND: Well I did an internship and a residency in Macon at the old MaconHospital which is now gone and spent about six months in Swainsboro with a friend of mine. Went in partnership there and then came back to Dublin and thats where Ive been since that time. I came back to Dublin in the latter part of 1954 and I practiced medicine in Dublin after that.
SHORT: For 24 years before you ran for the House of Representatives?
ROWLAND: Well yeah the State Representative Wash Larsen who had that office00:05:00decided to run for Congress and it left an open seat and so this was in 1976 and so I decided that I was going to run for the State House. In fact, I hadnt thought a whole lot about it and then all of a sudden I said "Well you know I think Ill do this" and I told my wife I think Im going to run for State Representative and she said "Well Im not surprised" because my fathers side of the family have always been involved in politics. My grandfather was in the State Legislation, cousin was State Legislator, my father was a District Attorney and a Superior Court Judge, brother was a Magistrate who was also a lawyer. So it was a lot of politics in my family.
SHORT: Was it hard to do that and leave your at least part of your medical practice?
ROWLAND: At that time it wasnt because I had pretty well decided that I00:06:00wanted to. When I ran for the State House that was a little different because that was just a part-time proposition and I really liked politics. I liked the debate and the adversarial things that you had to do in politics and so I enjoyed that and I decided after an opportunity came to run for the U.S. House that Id like to make it full time. So it really wasnt hard for me to leave my medical practice although let me say that thats wonderful. I could not have wanted my medical practice to have been any better than it was.
SHORT: So you were elected in 1976 over two opponents in the primary and one inthe runoff. Tell us a little bit about that race.
ROWLAND: Well that was for the State House. There were two attorneys who wereboth good friends. Now that happens a lot in politics. You are good friends 00:07:00running against each other. One was Leon Green who lives just down the street from me now, did then and the other one is Ralph Walk whose family I treated. So it was really kind of odd the way that worked out. But Ralph lost out in the primary and I was in a runoff with Leon. We called it after it became apparent to him that I had won. He was very gracious and called me and congratulated me and weve never had any ill feelings at all. You know if you get mad with someone in politics before long youll be mad with everybody. So you dont get mad with people in politics.
SHORT: So you went off to Atlanta. What was your first reaction to being amember of the House of Representatives?
ROWLAND: Well I was kind of awed at being there to see how the governmentworked on a state level. I found out there was a lot of great people there, a 00:08:00lot of people that I made a lot of good friends there. Tom Murphy I particularly grew fond of. Everybody knows Tom was a pretty abrupt fellow but always I thought very fair. I tell you a little incident I had with Tom Murphy. Georgia had not passed the Certificate of Need which they had to pass in 1977 or maybe it was 78 but anyway Georgia was going to lose a lot of federal funds if they did not pass the Certificate of Need legislation for mental health and addictive diseases and a lot of different things and so George Busbee was the governor at that time and this was on the last day of the session and they thought this was would be brought up as kind of a perfunctory thing it wouldnt be any problem about it but I was very much opposed to the Certificate of Need and made that known. And I had the opportunity to get in the well it was around 11:30 in the 00:09:00evening before we would adjourn at 12, to speak against the Certificate of Need and I took the well and I decided that I would just stay in the well until the Legislature adjourned and we wouldnt pass the Certificate of Need. Of course that was not a very smart thing for me to do because the governor would have to call a special session I suppose to get it done but Governor Busbee sent his people up to the floor talking to him trying to get me out of te well and Tom Murphy gave Al Burruss a note to hand to me that said "Get out of the damn well. Well you know I had a chance to be a martyr or get out of the well. You know what I did? I got out of the well. So Certificate of Need passed just before the session ended that year.
SHORT: Well in your opinion after all of these years has the Certificate of00:10:00Need been good for Georgia?
ROWLAND: Im not sure. Im really not sure about that. It was good forthose who had it and it wasnt good for those who didnt have it. So I did some research on it back then and at that time I came to the conclusion the Certificate of Need really did not do what it was supposed to do, stop the capital expansion of healthcare facilities, capital outlays for healthcare facilities. I never was sure that it was a good thing for us to do.
SHORT: Incidentally how would you define your political philosophy?
ROWLAND: Id say Im moderate. Moderate conservative maybe.
SHORT: Good. Well back to your career and the House of Representatives. You gotsome pretty good committee assignments. They were assigned to you by the speaker werent they?
ROWLAND: They were. Youre talking about the State House now?
SHORT: State House.
ROWLAND: Yes. Yeah the Speaker made those assignments and when I came Al00:11:00Burruss from Marietta was running against Tom Murphy for Speaker at that time and Tom Murphy asked Ben Jessup from over in Cochran to contact me about voting for him and I told Ben that Al Burruss had already contacted me on a couple of occasions and I told Ben that yeah I would like to support Tom but I really did want to get on the health and ecology committee. The Speaker wasnt inclined to put doctors on that committee but anyway he made a commitment to do that if I would vote for him and so I made that commitment to Tom Murphy in exchange for a seat on the health and ecology committee.
SHORT: Do you think that was a good trade?
ROWLAND: I think it worked out all right. I admired Tom Murphy as a speaker andhe was kind of an abrupt guy but I thought he was always fair in dealing with members of the House and fair in his political philosophy too. I liked Tom Murphy. 00:12:00
SHORT: You mentioned earlier about political friends and political enemies.After that race between Murphy and Al Burruss as heated as it was they became very good friends.
ROWLAND: They did. That was amazing. Al worked his way back into a leadershipposition. He became the Whip after he challenged Tom. So Al and Tom became good friends again. So again you cant keep a chip on your shoulder in politics.
SHORT: As a member of the health and ecology committee you helped to addressmany of the problems involved in the distribution of health services back then. We often hear the question is healthcare a privilege or a right. What do you think the answer to that is?
ROWLAND: I never thought that healthcare was a right. I thought it was a00:13:00responsibility of society to provide healthcare to those who couldnt afford it but I wouldnt say that it was a right like a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But I think the government has a responsibility to help those people who are not able to help themselves.
SHORT: Well in addition to Health and Ecology you were a member of the Ways andMeans Committee.
ROWLAND: I was.
SHORT: A very powerful committee.
ROWLAND: It was and had a good chairman Marcus Collins. Marcus always said hedidnt have much education but Marcus had a lot of common sense, and I thought he made a real good chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and I enjoyed serving on that committee.
SHORT: Was that part of your trade with Murphy?
ROWLAND: No it was not. That happened later.
SHORT: And then you were on the Rules Committee. The most powerful committee inthe House.
ROWLAND: No I was on the Judiciary Committee.00:14:00
SHORT: Later werent you later on the Rules Committee?
ROWLAND: Bob, I think you probably jogged my memory. I think yes I was. My lastterm there I was on the Rules Committee. Yes I had forgotten that. Bill Lee was chairman of that committee. Thats correct.
SHORT: Yeah well tell us a little bit about the Rules Committee and how it works.
ROWLAND: Well Im not sure that I can recall all of that exactly now but theRules Committee became all powerful during the last 10 days of the session because if a piece of legislation had not passed out of the Rules Committee and made it through the House during that period of time it would not be considered by the Senate. So it was always a scramble to get the legislation out of the Rules Committee particularly the last 10 days of the session.
SHORT: Yeah Legislators had to come in there and do some begging.
ROWLAND: They did. They really did have to do some begging to get it throughbut as I recall it turned out pretty well most of the time. I dont recall 00:15:00many people going away really angry about what the outcome.
SHORT: Putting the bill on the calendar?
ROWLAND: Getting the bill on the calendar.
SHORT: You mentioned Bill Lee. If you will, lets take a minute and talkabout some of the other legislators who were in power during that period of the 70s and 80s.
ROWLAND: Well one person that I really admired was chairman of the Health andEcology Committee was Sidney Marcus from Atlanta who later ran for mayor for Atlanta. I thought he was a really outstanding person and weve already mentioned Al Burruss and Jack Connell from Augusta who was a speaker pro tem all the time that I was there. Wayne Snow who was chairman of Judiciary Committee from Chickamauga, Georgia. SHORT: Chickamauga.
ROWLAND: I admired him too. There were a lot of people in the State House thatI really thought were outstanding people and did a good job for the State of Georgia. 00:16:00
SHORT: You served with Joe Frank Harris I believe.
ROWLAND: Joe Frank was chairman of the Appropriations Committee. I did and itwas when it was all business and it seemed like he was always running around doing something but never too busy not to stop and talk.
SHORT: Well you served in the State House three terms.
ROWLAND: Three terms.
SHORT: For six years and then in 1982 you decided to run for Congress.
SHORT: What prompted that decision?
ROWLAND: I had originally thought I wanted to run for governor and in fact gota campaign underway and raised around $35,000 but Speaker Tom Murphy told me that Joe Frank Harris was going to be the governor, thats who he was promoting and that there was no point really in me running for governor and Bo Ginn was running at that same time and I think Norman Underwood. There were two 00:17:00or three other people I cant recall right now but I wasnt sure what to do and I had some friends tell me that they didnt think the current Congressman from Georgia was doing a very good job and thought it was a good possibility that I could be elected if I decided to run against him and so I had a friend who did a little poll out of Dublin. They gave me some information that made me believe that it was possible to unseat the incumbent. So thats when I made the decision to run for the U.S. House.
SHORT: In the Bloody 8th..
ROWLAND: I guess thats right the Bloody 8th.
SHORT: Why do they call it the Bloody 8th?
ROWLAND: I dont know. Its such a big its a such a long district, sucha big district geographically. Im not sure why they call it the Bloody 8th but I do recall it being called that. 00:18:00
SHORT: Well you were elected many more times to Congress but what do youremember about that first election?
ROWLAND: Well I remember that I didnt have a campaign organization. I hadsome friends that were helping and it was kind of like our campaign was held together by baling wire I guess you might say and people vote mostly against something not for something so they were really voting against the incumbent I think as much as they were voting for me and there was one other person in that race and so I got into a runoff with the incumbent. When the incumbents are in a runoff they are in trouble and so later Billy Lee Evans who was the incumbent told me tat he should have stopped before he did because he realized he 00:19:00wasnt going to be able to win. But what I remember was the night that the final returns are in and I had been elected and our campaign headquarters, which was in a shopping mall in a vacated grocery store building. People came from all around and there was a lot of ladies. It was like a picnic. I mean it was really a great occasion and my kids came back. I have three children, and they came back and it was just a great occasion that night and you know got some calls of congratulations. It was all of a sudden kind of a different world but you know let me tell you something that was really interesting after that. After I was elected, it was kind of like somehow or another I was different to my friends. I felt kind of like I was alone or something. You know Id call my friends up and it was like they didnt want to talk to me. It was kind of a weird 00:20:00feeling. I remember that very distinctively. Of course that changed later but I recall it was a it was kind of an uneasy time.
SHORT: Well Bloody 8th was certainly a large district. How were you able tocampaign throughout that whole district?
ROWLAND: Just get in the car and ride and ride and walk and walk and ride andride and let me say that my wife Luella, I couldnt have been elected without her. I mean she was every morning we would part ways. She would go one direction and I would go another. Let me tell you a little story about in Waycross, Lindsay Thomas who was also elected at the same time lived up in South Georgia--
ROWLAND: Yeah. Thats right and there was a function for Lindsay after theelection in Waycross at the Waycross Country Club and Lindsay invited me to come down because Waycross was in my district and so I did. I went down and Luella 00:21:00didnt go with me but when I came in the club and Lindsay was standing there talking to one of his friends I walked up and his friend he introduced me to his friend and said "This is J. Roy Rowland here" and the friend looked at me and kept talking to Lindsay and Lindsay said "Wheres Luella?" and his friend stopped me and said "Oh youre Luellas husband. So that told me she was all over. She had a lot to do with me being elected.
SHORT: You had no Republican opposition?
ROWLAND: No, and I was the only member that came to the U.S. House that timethat did not have a Republican opponent so after the primary that was my election. That primary was put off because it got involved in a court case and we finally had the we had the runoff at the time of the general election at that time in November and so after I was elected in the Primary in the runoff and no 00:22:00Republican opponent so we were able to go on to Washington and look for a place to live and I was the only one in that class of about 78 new members that could do that.
SHORT: Of course that did not help your seniority? It just helped you getlocated in Washington?
ROWLAND: Thats all. No it didnt help me in any seniority. No we were allsworn in at the same time.
SHORT: Was moving to Washington a culture shock?
ROWLAND: No not really. Culture shock? No. Luella was with me. It may have beenmore so if she hadnt have been. I mean well it was different in the aspect that we were living in a townhouse as compared to the home that we lived in and meeting different kind of people but I didnt detect the cultures being that much different.
SHORT: Shortly after you got there there was an incident that became a00:23:00controversy involving the Russians shooting down a Korean airline flight with Georgia Congressman Larry McDonald on board and there was some feeling as I recall that McDonald might have been the target of that. Do you recall that situation?
ROWLAND: I do and I recall it just as you did that he may have been the target.It was a 007 Korean airliner that he was on that was shot down by the Russians. Larry was very, very conservative. He was heavily involved in the John Birch Society. In fact I think Larry did not vote for Speaker O'Neill for Speaker the only Democrat in the house that didnt and he lost his seat on the Armed 00:24:00Services Committee because of that but I talked with Larry on several occasions and Larry would admonish me for some of the votes I cast by saying they were too liberal. We had some conversations. I never did consider myself to really be a close friend of Larrys but knew him pretty good and I do recall that there was a conspiracy theory about that plane being targeted because he was on it.
SHORT: But theres no definite conclusions?
ROWLAND: Not that I recall.
SHORT: When you arrived in Washington it was 1983.
SHORT: Ronald Reagan had defeated Jimmy Carter for president and the countrywas in I guess what you could call a mess. What do you remember about those days?
ROWLAND: Well it was high inflation rate, high unemployment rate and the misery00:25:00index I think it was referred to at that time. I think that President Reagan had the ability to make people feel differently about what was going on. He made people feel good about the country and that the problems could be resolved and the country could be turned around and that was a principle thing that I think he did. He was a very charismatic person and I know Pat Schroeder was a member from Colorado and coined the phrase for him the "Teflon president" because if anything that anybody said about him seemed to just bounce off of him and really didnt cause a problem but the two times that I had the opportunity to talk with him and he would call us hed call members to the White House to talk 00:26:00with them about various type of legislation but always a very, I thought a very gracious person and very even with the way he approached things.
SHORT: He was supported by a group of Southern Democrats known as boll weevils.Were you a boll weevil?
ROWLAND: Well they changed the name of that. The boll weevil was the name thatwas given to a group of conservative Democrats who were mostly from the south but that became the Conservative Democratic Forum and yes I was a member of the Conservative Democratic Forum. We probably had about 35 or 40 members, Democrats, and were able to do some negotiating on some legislation. I dont think we had as much influence as the Blue Dogs have now and most of those that 00:27:00were Democrats that were in the Conservative Democratic Forum either left the Congress, became Republican or were defeated. So there was one time that they were probably not more than about I dont know 15 to 20 in that group.
SHORT: Its generally known that most of the work in Congress is done bycommittees and in those committees you either defeat or pass out bills to the floor for a vote. Would you be so kind as to explain to us how those committees are chosen?
ROWLAND: I could tell you on the Democratic side how the members of thecommittee are chosen. I think the Republicans have a Republican conference and Im not sure just how that works but on the Democratic side it was a Steering and Policy Committee and there were about 30 members of the Steering and Policy 00:28:00Committee members of the House. Some of them were regional from different parts of the country and some of them were appointed by their leadership, some by the Speaker which of course gave the leadership and the Speaker a lot of power. The last term that I was there I ran for and was elected to the Steering and Policy Committee to represent Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee and South Carolina, and the committee assignments were made in the Steering and Policy Committee and again the Speaker had a great deal to do with who was elected not always but much of the time.
SHORT: Tell us if you will what committees do.
ROWLAND: Well theyre authorizing committees. Like the Energy and Commerce00:29:00Committee or the Public Works and Transportation Committee. They pass legislation to authorize the appropriation of the money for various projects and of course the Ways and Means Committee has to do with taxation, determining the taxes that would be put in place and the Appropriation Committee will place money that has been auhorized by the authorizing committee but that has changed a lot since I was there. We didnt have what they call earmarks now. The Appropriation Committee now can earmark stuff and they can get money appropriated for something without it having been authorized but when I was there it had to be authorized before it could be appropriated. There was some monies that were appropriated before the authorization was done but the authorization eventually had to be done so committees authorize is what they do and the Ways and Means Committee and the Appropriation Committee. 00:30:00
SHORT: Do you think earmarking is a good idea?
ROWLAND: No I really dont. I think its a bad idea. Theres too manytrades that can be made that can affect adversely our country in general. I think thats one of the things that has made the deficits escalate so much is earmarking. Any member of the House is going to get what they can for their district because that helps them get re-elected and thats not a good thing in my opinion.
SHORT: Bringing home the bacon.
ROWLAND: Bringing home the bacon thats what it is.
SHORT: Voters understand that?
ROWLAND: Yes they understand that.
SHORT: Well there are few issues in American politics in my judgment that areas misunderstand as national deficit, debt and deficit spending and our deficit spending has increased our national debt many fold since you were in Congress. 00:31:00Will we ever again have a balanced budget?
ROWLAND: Probably not. If you mean that the amount of money that is spentequals the amount of money that is taken in I doubt that that will ever happen again. They say that if the deficit goes up as a certain percent of the gross domestic product and that percentage stays the same all the time it can go up indefinitely and thats what we did for a number of years but now the gross domestic product has fallen and the deficit goes up and the distance between them is much greater now so that puts us in a precarious position. I dont 00:32:00think well ever have a balanced budget not in the foreseeable future.
SHORT: There were two incidents during your term up there--terms, excuse me,that Id like to talk about. One is the Iran-Contra situation and the other is what was known as the first Gulf War. Would you talk to us about those?
ROWLAND: Yes. The Iran-Contra was during I guess it was maybe the third timethat I was there when some monies were taken through a deal with Iranians and given to the Contras to support them who we supported in opposition to the Sandinistas who were the Communist type government in Central America and Nicaragua. Interestingly enough, I got involved in that to an extent that I got 00:33:00the attention of the leadership on the Democrat side and that helped me get a seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee which I had been denied for three terms before that but I did have the opportunity to go to Central America to Honduras and visit the Contra camp there with Sonny Montgomery who was from Mississippi. He was a retired general, and he was the chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, and we went to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and we boarded a, later I learned it was an unmarked CIA helicopter, and flew to Baca Valley to this Contra camp and I recall the pilot was flying just above the treetops, it was 00:34:00very mountainous and he was staying just above the treetops and I said "Why are you flying so low? He said "Well if we get up very high we might get shot down" and I thought "What am I doing here? I mean I didnt understand the danger that we may have been in at that point but this is the same time that Noriega was being overthrown in Panama and we stopped in Panama on the way there. And if you recall our Ambassador had been withdrawn from Panama at that time and we went to the Ambassadors residence and had dinner but there was no Ambassador there and there were armed guards everywhere and it was sort of a different time.
SHORT: There was a great Congressional investigation into that. You rememberOliver North and that situation. Do you think President Reagan knew about the 00:35:00deal with the Contras?
ROWLAND: Yeah I think he knew about it but I think he let Oliver North manageit. Yeah I think he knew about it. President Reagan, and my observation was, he didnt micromanage things. He generally knew what was going on and he had generally he generally said what he wanted done but he left it to the others to take care of the details.
SHORT: Lets talk about the Gulf War. There was President Bush.
SHORT: Were you in favor of the Gulf War?
ROWLAND: Yes. I was in favor of the Gulf War because I thought that SaddamHussein was the same kind of person that Adolf Hitler was. I thought that Saddam Hussein wanted to control all the oil in the Middle East, control the economy of the world. And I felt that he had to be stopped and thats essentially what 00:36:00the Gulf War did for a time and I learned later that the reason that we stopped and did not depose him at that time was of course Iraq and Iran were bitter enemies and they had been in a war for several years prior to that and the general feeling was that if Saddam Hussein was taken out that Iran would become dominant and in fact we have seen that happen after he was taken out with the war thats going on over there now. So I was in favor of that and I thought it was the right thing to do to stop him.
SHORT: I remember watching it on television and marveling at our ability todrop those bombs through a window.
SHORT: Wasnt that awesome?
ROWLAND: That was awesome. It really was. I mean those cruise missiles where00:37:00they could put it in a bucket somewhere. It was amazing.
SHORT: It was amazing. Do you think that we accomplished what we should haveaccomplished over there during that first war? Should we have continued until we brought down Saddam Hussein or did we withdraw at the proper time?
ROWLAND: Well in hindsight it probably would have been better to have goneahead and done that and had a different proposal to follow up on the war and I think thats what happened with this invasion of Iraq and whats going on over there now. We didnt have any follow up. We didnt have any plan. We didnt have any way. We had not planned how to deal with it after he was removed.
SHORT: What do you think that these wars have done to the financial aspects ofthe American government?
ROWLAND: Made a lot of money. People have made a lot of money out of wars. As a00:38:00matter of fact I think World War II brought us out of the depression and it made a lot of money for I think it was President Eisenhower said "Beware the military industrial complex" and yeah I think theres been a lot of money made out of it.
SHORT: Lets get back for a minute to President Reagan. He was accused duringhis administration of overspending on defense at the expense of programs, social and domestic programs, that needed attention. Is that a fair accusation?
ROWLAND: I think President Reagan with what he did in defense spending, wesimply out spent the Soviet Union, and I think thats what brought them down. So I give him and his philosophy and what he did a lot of credit for ending the 00:39:00Cold War although it created tremendous deficits.
SHORT: Lets talk for a minute now about healthcare. Youre a doctor, avery successful doctor, a very popular doctor. You were in the Georgia Legislature and in the U.S. Congress at a time when healthcare happened to be a big issue. Have we made any progress over the years in solving some of our healthcare delivery issues?
ROWLAND: Well I dont think weve made many significant progress in thedelivery of healthcare in making it available to people who cant afford it. Thats a really difficult very difficult proposition to have to deal with. It gets caught up in the politics of the time because theres a lot of divisiveness. Theres so many different entities out there that are concerned 00:40:00with money that they might not make or money theyll lose and thats what it evolves around largely the reason I think that were not able to get some healthcare legislation passed that will makehealthcare available to everyone.
SHORT: Lets talk about our federal programs, our Medicare and Medicaid someof the other childrens programs. Are they effective?
ROWLAND: Theyre effective I think the Medicare is very effective for theelderly and of course Medicaid for people who are poor. As a matter of fact, they do a lot more than they probably need to do. Theres probably more money spent than needs to be spent. Weve got you know weve got PeachCare in Georgia now for children which is certainly a good thing but the delivery of healthcare still is a conundrum that is very difficult to deal with. How do you 00:41:00pay for it? How do you determine who is going to get what kind of care? You know theres a lot of different reasons why healthcare cost so much. I mean look at the wonderful technology that we have now in diagnostic and treatment. Thats expensive and of course theres always a thing the trial lawyers will disagree but thats certainly defensive medicine the liability problem certainly adds to the cost of it. Weve moved so far in technology and healthcare now I think weve gotten to the place where we really cant pay for it for everyone.
SHORT: Well is there a solution to that?
ROWLAND: Well yes but then you get into a biomedical ethical area. I mean howare you going to decide who is going to get what? For example, in United Kingdom 00:42:00people after they've passed a certain age cant get renal dialysis. You have to they make a decision about that. Well if youre in this country anybody can get dialysis who has end-stage renal disease under the Medicare program. So theres some biomedical ethical issues that you get into that you have to deal with and its hard.
SHORT: What do you think of means testing?
ROWLAND: I think thats a good idea. In fact we had some legislation that Iwas involved with while I was there. We wanted to create some community health centers around the country. I wanted to create a network of community health centers that would be financed by the federal, the state and the local government. Everyone would invest in them and the people that went to those centers would be provided care on a means tested basis. So you know if you were able to pay you paid. You paid whatever you were able to pay and if youre not 00:43:00able to pay anything then you didnt pay anything and I thought this was a way that we could provide outpatient care to many, many people in our country.
SHORT: Would means testing be a good idea for Social Security?
ROWLAND: I think you have to consider that as a possibility. I think forMedicare as well to means test it. People who are very wealthy get the same kind of Medicare as people who are not. So I think the people who are very wealthy should pay a little more.
SHORT: Lets talk for a minute if you will about Georgias delegation inCongress when you were a member. Georgia has always been in a very powerful position in the Congress. Weve had Carl Vinson and Phil Landrum and others 00:44:00but as they left they were replaced by a group of what I considered to be very bright and efficient members like yourself for example and Ed Jenkins. You served with Ed. Tell us about Ed.
ROWLAND: Ed is a great guy, very bright. Ed was on the Ways and Means. We weregood friends. Ed got along with almost everybody. Theres one time that Ed was being pushed to run for majority letter in the House but he did not. I think he would have had a real good chance of being elected to that position had he chose to run but yeah Ed was very good. Doug Barnard.
SHORT: Doug, banking.
ROWLAND: Yeah Doug had a lot of background as you know in politics in Georgiaand he was into the banking area and had a lot of information about that. 00:45:00
SHORT: Elliott Levitas.
ROWLAND: Yeah Elliott was there when I came. He was a really super guy. I waskind of stunned when Elliott was not re-elected one time. I think Georgia and the country lost a great leader when Elliott was not re-elected. Lindsay Thomas who went when I at the same time that I did. Richard Ray. Richard really outstanding and a very patriotic guy and you know he was Sam Nunns Chief of Staff for a number of years. So he really knew what was going on in Washington. He knew the process.
SHORT: You also served with Wyche Fowler who was elected to the Senate.
ROWLAND: Yes. Wyche was. I never did get to know Wyche really well. He ran forthe Senate not long after that. Wyche was a great storyteller. 00:46:00
SHORT: And Buddy Darden.
ROWLAND: Buddy is a very dear friend. Ive known Buddy for a long time. Wewere in the Georgia House together, and Buddys wife, Lillian, her father was a Methodist minister and I knew of her family and Buddy came from down in Hancock County. Buddy is a real good friend. I think he was an excellent legislator. Im sorry when he was not re-elected.
SHORT: How deeply are you involved in politics today?
ROWLAND: Well some. Not really deeply. I mean there are people that I supportbecause I think they are good people or because I think theyll make good leaders. Im still involved to some extent. I dont think I have as much influence as some people say I might have. Folks come to me and say "Well Id like for you to so and so and help me. I say, you know, "I dont have that much influence anymore. I dont have any leverage anymore you know so." 00:47:00
SHORT: Well I would like to now move ahead to the present day. Were at theUniversity of Georgia. Its 2009. Were involved in wars and deficits and a very deep economic depression. I say depression. That might not be the word but where are we headed?
ROWLAND: Well thats hard to say where were headed but where I think weare right now we are in a sort of an unstable economic situation because of the tremendous deficits that we have seen built up over the last several years. I think the last time we didnt have a deficit--well President Clinton did not have much of a deficit but these deficits have really built up. Theres been 00:48:00an awful lot of spending by the government on security, on the military, a lot that has been spent socially, social welfare as well. You know were approaching an area of deflation in my opinion as compared to inflation. Deflation can be just as bad. Im not an economist but weve got more goods and services out there than we have money and credit and so we see the price of things have come down a lot and that can be just as devastating to the economy as inflation which is just the opposite of that. I was for putting the money out as a stimulus but I think the secretary of the treasury and the Federal Reserve they did not look after the money. I think Secretary Paulson he just 00:49:00they put the money out there and the financial community took it and theres no accounting for it and it didnt do what it was intended to do. I really kind of subscribe to the Keynesian theory of economics and that really at bad times that the government can step in and help but when times are good then that money needs to be repaid. So I think were in a period right now where the government needs to help some but that money needs to be repaid when times get better.
SHORT: Uh-huh. How much are we in danger of China?
ROWLAND: You mean financially? Economically?
ROWLAND: Well I think thats a real danger because they can manufacture goodsso much cheaper than we can and people want to buy things as cheap as they can. So I think that that is a real problem but its not just China. Its all of 00:50:00the countries in the Pacific rim and the Far East that are doing this and Central America, South America. I mean they produce stuff so much cheaper than we do in this country and that puts us in a pretty unstable situation.
SHORT: Well while were on that subject let me ask you this question. Whatwould you say our role should be in world affairs? Should we be as aggressive as we have been in recent times?
ROWLAND: I dont think we can be the world policeman. I really dont. Ithink that weve been sort of forced into that role because we are the pre-eminent military power in the world so almost every other country looks to us when thres a problem to intervene. Then when we intervene its not 00:51:00appreciated as much as its just really not appreciated. So while Im not an isolationist at all I think we are stretched too thin now our commitments militarily.
SHORT: There are those in the country who think that we spend too much moneywith our allies. What do you think of that?
ROWLAND: Well we do spend a lot of money with Israel. I always thought aboutIsrael as being almost an extension of our country and I feel like they looked after our interest in the Middle East to a large extent. You know then theres an humanitarian thing what goes on in Africa all of the ravages of disease and hunger and all that is almost as though you cant stand to the side and not do 00:52:00something, not be involved in some of that. Its just I think were caught in a position were in because we have been the pre-eminent military power. We have been the pre-eminent economic power in the world. So I mean it seems that that mantle sort of falls to us.
SHORT: I heard an economist say the other day that we have reset our economyand it will be a long time before we get back to where we were. Do you think thats a possibility?
ROWLAND: Im not sure what they mean by where we were. Get back to where we were?
SHORT: Before all of our national debt and all of the deficit spending wevebeen doing and the effect it has had on the national economy, the stock market, Wall Street.
ROWLAND: Yeah I think well get back some time. I really do. But its goingto be a while and Im not enough of an economist to put all this together in 00:53:00my head but I have enough faith in this country and the people in this country that I feel that well get back.
SHORT: What do you think about all these bailouts?
ROWLAND: Well the bailouts of the financial institutions was necessary Ibelieve but the money was not tracked as it shouldve been. It was not accounted for as it shouldve been. I dont think that we couldve let our financial institutions follow through. I mean then we wouldve certainly been like we were back in after 1929. We wouldve been right back where we were in the 1930s, and I think thats probably one of the reasons we had the Great Depression is because President Hoover at that time did not intervene. He just let he said itll take care of itself. The business community and Wall Street 00:54:00itll take care of itself and we dont need to do anything. Well it didnt happen that way.
SHORT: Lets talk for a minute about the war on terror. Are we going about itin the right way?
ROWLAND: Well we must be doing something right. We havent had an attack inthis country now since 9/11 so Im not into that enough to make any comment about it other than to say that I feel pretty safe.
SHORT: Lets get back for a minute Dr. Rowland to your role in the NationalHealthcare System as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Theres been a lingering fear that the Medicare and Medicaid programs might run out of money. Is that a possibility?
ROWLAND: Well, thats what the actuaries say. That Medicare is in jeopardy. I00:55:00dont know what the latest figures are 10 or 12 years down the road it may get to the point where its not able to finance itself and the same for Social Security some time further down the road. Thats certainly a danger. I mean theres many more people retired now for those who are working as there were for example when it first started.
SHORT: What if that happens? What if we run out of money?
ROWLAND: I dont think well run out of money. I think the full faith andcredit of the United States government will see that that does not happen. I mean I think the people will the value of the money may not be as much as it is, worth as much as it is now, but I just dont have that fear.
SHORT: Well you know much more about this than I but as I recall the lasteffort to develop a national health policy was a Clinton proposal in 1993. You were in Congress at that time. Do you think that it was a workable plan? 00:56:00
ROWLAND: I dont think his was what the country needed. I was very muchinvolved in that as you recall putting Mrs. Clinton in charge of that and had a health policy person come from New England Hour magazine and they met for many months in the old executive office building and they put this plan together and excluded everyone that would be a stakeholder, the providers I mean. The medical community was excluded, the health insurance centers, the pharmaceutical industry. They wrote what they wanted and if it had some commercials called "Harry and Louise" who really took after this but I think that they went about it in the wrong way. They didnt include the people that should have been included and something may have come out of that, not what they presented, may have come out of that but it was my feeling at the time that there were some 00:57:00things that we could do and there was a couple of pieces of legislation that I worked with with a member from Florida, Mike Bilirakis. We had a bipartisan piece of legislation that would address such things as administrative simplification, insurance reform, critical community health centers around the country, a network of them where people could go to get their care and they would get it on a means tested basis as well but we were never able to get it out of committee in 1993 or 1994. In 1994 there was several other pieces of healthcare legislation. Bob Michaels, the minority leader, had one, Jim McDermott, who was a psychiatrist from Washington State he had one, the President had one, we had one bipartisan. There was a couple of others. Dick 00:58:00Gephardt told me in the summer of 1994 that after the August recess that he was going to take up all of these pieces of legislation but after the August recess I heard that it wasnt going to happen and I went to see him and he said "Well people are not interested in that now. So we never did get anything out of the Congress. John Dingle who was chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee told me he said "Roy your legislation will never see the light of day out of my committee. I mean John Dingle was from Michigan, and his father had introduced a socialistic piece of health legislation when he was in the Congress back in the 30's and Chairman Dingle had re-introduced that legislation every Congress since then and he didnt want to see anything happen that was any variation much from what his father had originally introduced but I think we had an excellent opportunity to get something done then but it got caught up in the politics of the time and (indiscernible-audio gap). 00:59:00
SHORT: We were talking about the Clinton healthcare program in 1993.
ROWLAND: Right. Well the Clintons didnt include all the stake holders intheir proposal. Consequently there were a lot of people that were very much opposed to it. President Clinton would call small groups of members of the House to come down and he would make a pitch to them and I had an opportunity to go one time and I told him at that time that I thought it was very important for him to include the medical community and the pharmaceutical community, the different groups that were going to be providers, in the discussions about doing the reform. He kind of shook his head. I wasnt sure whether he shook his head yes or no. I mean he was a hard fellow to pin down and so I asked him. I said 01:00:00"Mr. President if you were going to do some reform in the judicial system would you exclude lawyers?' And he didnt answer the question. Obviously he wouldnt exclude lawyers but as that moved along I had some communication with Mrs. Clinton who of course was in charge of it and she wrote me some letters saying that she would look forward to working with me on healthcare reform but I could never get a seat with the group that was working on it in the old executive office building. So in 1994 I had become chairman of the Hospital and Healthcare Subcommittee of the Veterans Affairs Committee and they had designated one person from that committee that subcommittee to come and the 01:01:00designee gave me his slot. I took his slot to go to those meetigs and it ended before I ever attended any of those meetings but I felt that the President was very devious and somewhat deceitful in dealing with members of the House, and I think he thought that he could do everything without having to consult anyone else and in the Democrat Caucus I recall the leadership Dick Gephardt particularly who was the majority leader at that time saying "We can get healthcare reform passed and we dont need the Republicans. We can do it without them." and of course that was the downfall of the whole effort to reform healthcare is because it became so partisan. And the piece of legislation that I 01:02:00had worked on there were five Democrats, five Republicans that worked on this legislation. We produced two different bills. The last one we produced the Congressional budget office scored us real well on it and they said we could insure 94% of the people in the country in five years and reduce the deficit by $90million over that period of time. At that time full employment was considered if you had 6% unemployment. So if we were able to cover 94% of the people and 6% not being covered we figured wed pretty well been able to cover most of the people in the country but we were never able to get it out of the committee, never able to get a good hearing on it and in fact 10 people worked on it, five Democrats and five Republicans. It was a good experience. I guess 01:03:00that that healthcare reform legislation was my best and worst moments in the Congress. I think it was the best thing that I did but it was the worst thing that happened to me not getting it out.
SHORT: As you look back over your career is there anything you wouldve done differently?
ROWLAND: Not that I can think of right now. I worked really hard to try to getthat legislation I think I served my constituents well. I had over 300 town meetings in the 12 years I was there, and I came home every weekend. My wife and I spent 11 weekends in Washington in the 12 years that I was there. Sometimes we went somewhere else but most every weekend we was at home.
SHORT: So you could probably say that your proudest moment as a Congressman wasyour work in healthcare and your biggest disappointment-- 01:04:00
ROWLAND: Thats correct.
SHORT:--In Congress was your work in healthcare.
ROWLAND: Thats right. Thats correct.
SHORT: Do you think theres a way to unite healthcare providers, doctors andpharmaceutical companies and pharmacists and nurses and...?
ROWLAND: You know money is the root of all evil and thats where the problemlies. I think the various providers, the various stakeholders, are concerns about the money that they might lose or the money that they wont make. I think if you could get the leadership and the various providers to come together and talk about some kind of reform that would provide care on a cost efficient basis, quality care, yeah I think it can be done. I really do.
SHORT: What role should the government play in that?
ROWLAND: The government has got to play a significant role in it because01:05:00theres got to be some regulation about it, so the government has got to play some regulatory function in it. I think that not only the federal government but state and local governments ought to be involved in investing in it too. If you invest in something, youre going to look after it better and see that it works better and so I think that it ought to be a combination of financing, not just at the federal level.
SHORT: Some people say were headed toward socialized medicine.
ROWLAND: You already got some socialized medicine. Weve got Medicare andMedicaid, PeachCare. Weve got several programs that are socialized medicine already.
SHORT: Theres nothing wrong with it?
ROWLAND: Well, financing it is a problem. That and then the greed. I mean thereare providers who take advantage of it. Money again is quite a big problem is. 01:06:00
SHORT: Older people that I get from AARP, which Im a member seem to feelthat that Obama plan might affect them more drastically than it would others because of their age and they question whether or not you want to give a 90-year-old person a new knee or a new hip, should we worry about that or should we do it?
ROWLAND: Well that you get into a medical ethical--
ROWLAND:--kind of situation there when you decide whether or not somebody isgoing to get something that the doctor says that they may need and the government will make the decision about that. We really need to have a 01:07:00biomedical ethical board and by the way we did when I was in the Congress we did in 1984, Bill Gradison who was from Ohio and Henry Waxman from California got some legislation passed creating a biomedical ethical board to try to look at those biomedical ethical issues and we had two meetings. The first time we met the subject of abortion came up, and the second time we met the subject of abortion came up again and the debates became so heated about it that the committee never met anymore. There should be some kind of public policy and we would have talk to the medical ethicist people who are involved in that area to get some guidance about what needs to be done in that area. So that gets back to 01:08:00what would you do for somebody if its somebody that needs renal dialysis. If they are past a certain age or they have certain diseases or whatever should they get it. A lot of decisions like that would have to be made so it becomes very complex.
SHORT: How can the majority of Americans afford private health insurance these days?
ROWLAND: I dont think they can. I think that the private health insurance isfar more expensive than individuals who dont have some kind of group insurance can afford. Individuals have no leverage in purchasing health insurance. The leverage is by companies or employers that buy large groups and I think the health insurance industry takes advantage of these people who try to 01:09:00buy insurance individually. I think there needs to be more insight into what health insurance companies do. I think there needs to be more information about their reserves, how much money do they have in reserves, how much are they making. I dont know that this information is available. It wasnt available at one time and I dont know whether it is now or not but I think health insurance companies really take advantage in many instances.
SHORT: Would more government regulations correct that?
ROWLAND: Well yeah the insurance industry is largely regulated on a state basisnow but I dont know how effective that is. The federal government may have to be involved in it because you have so many different states that may have different requirements that it may need to look at it on a federal standpoint just like youve got the Drug Enforcement Administration that regulates drugs, 01:10:00pharmaceuticals and you know habit forming, and so you know we may have to look at something like that for the health insurance industry which I know they would oppose.
SHORT: Yeah. Well lets get back to a little politics. How has politicschanged since you got involved?
ROWLAND: How has it changed since I got in?
SHORT: Except for the cost of seeking public office.
ROWLAND: Yeah well its changed that way. I dont know that politics hasreally changed. It seems to me its pretty much the way it always has been. Youve just got the, if you want to get involved in politics youve got to get out and convince as many people as you can that youre the right person for whatever office youre running for but yes it does take a lot more money now. I believe that my first campaign was around $350,000.
SHORT: Thats for Congress?
ROWLAND: For Congress and that included runoff. I mean that was about what Ispent and now what is it now $3 million or $4 million? I dont know. 01:11:00
SHORT: I would say at least.
ROWLAND: Its out of sight.
SHORT: Yeah. Well has politics changed you?
ROWLAND: I think its made me a better person and more appreciative of thecountry that we live in. I have a better understanding about it. I find myself not being as critical as I couldve been had I not been involved and learned something abut it and the process and what all goes on. I think that gives me an understanding. I hope it makes me a better person.
SHORT: Well your old district as we said the Bloody Eight has remained inDemocratic hands since you left Congress.
ROWLAND: Well lets see. Charlie Norwood had part of it and--
SHORT: Well thats after reapportionment though.
SHORT: We havent talked about reapportionment. That affected you when you01:12:00were in Congress.
ROWLAND: It did. It did.
SHORT: They reapportioned your district.
ROWLAND: Yeah the last term I was there I got I had 32 counties or portions ofcounties. I got a lot of area I didnt have, Valdosta, Albany, part of Warner Robins that I didnt have before. So yeah it changed it a lot. Yeah reapportionment makes a lot of changes and it put some people out.
SHORT: Yes it did. But still that 8th has been Democratic and the reason Imentioned that is that the Republicans in Georgia have made a great effort to capture the 8th district and despite the fact that they have won other districts handedly they have yet to have a Republican from the current 8th. 01:13:00
ROWLAND: Right. Well you know I dont think I think probably Jim Marshall hemay not even have an opponent this next time a, Republican opponent because theyve thrown everything they could at him three times and he got by all three times.
SHORT: Well lets talk a little bit about party politics in Georgia. What doyou think is the reason for the Republican party to take over after so many years of Democratic rule?
ROWLAND: Well I think the Democrats messed up. I think again I thinkpeople vote against something more than they vote for something and I think the reason we lost the governorship is because the people were voting against the incumbent and Im not sure about why the legislature changed as dramatically as it did unless it followed that Republican sweep. 01:14:00
SHORT: Well the Republican party has been very active in the state. They haveas I see it you know just outmaneuvered the Democrats with local grass roots effort.
SHORT: And they have recruited good candidates and they worked hard for thosecandidates and those candidates have won but what do you think it would take if its possible for the Democrats to regain the governorship and the Legislature?
ROWLAND: Well I think it will happen. It always does. It swings back and forthand who knows when itll happen. I think theres a reasonable chance that the Democrats could get the governorship in this upcoming election. I dont believe the Legislature will change that much. Maybe there will be some better Democratic candidates. You know after youve been in office for a while though so many people become complacent with what theyve got and they dont work 01:15:00as hard.
SHORT: Yeah. Many disenchanted I guess is the word Democrats feel that thestate party is too urban and too dependent on minorities and labor unions. Do you think thats true?
ROWLAND: I think that has a significant effect on it. I do. The make up of itis largely a minority. The Republican party doesnt have that many minority and they do lean toward more labor unions and we a right-to-work state here. So the general population I think doesnt go along with that and maybe thats again because they are voting against something rather than for something.
SHORT: Did you ever consider switching parties?
SHORT: Would you switch parties?
SHORT: Why wouldnt you switch parties?
ROWLAND: Well Democratic tradition. I mean its just a tradition. I could bea well I have supported Republican candidates. I was still a Democrat. I can call myself a Democrat but when I thought the Republican candidate might be the best person for the job again Im kind of a moderate conservative partisan. Im not fiercely partisan but I do consider myself to be a Democrat.
SHORT: Well that brings up the question of cross voting and party registration.Now do you support registration by party in Georgia?
ROWLAND: Not necessarily no. No not really. I think you ought to be able tocross vote if you want to.
SHORT: Do you favor term limits?
ROWLAND: No. The people can limit terms.01:17:00
SHORT: Thats right. A lot of people dont understand that.
SHORT: When I hear complaints about something I say well look you already gotterm limits. If you dont like em kick em out.
ROWLAND: You take em out and that happens. You know I look at the U.S. Housenow and the membership of the U.S. House now and I bet they are not. Theres 450 members in the House. I bet theres not 75 members there that was there when I left.
ROWLAND: Yeah. I think its I havent counted that but Im just lookingat it generally.
SHORT: The cost of campaigning as we talked about has really increased withtelevision and computer ads and that sort of thing. Do you favor public financing of federal elections?
ROWLAND: I think thats all right. I think its okay to have publicfinancing. I think its okay like we have now. Im not opposed to that. 01:18:00
SHORT: Well its been a pleasure talking with you but Id like to ask you afinal question. If you were a candidate today, for the Congress, what would be your platform?
ROWLAND: My preference?
SHORT: Your platform.
ROWLAND: Oh my platform? To get healthcare legislation to get some kind ofhealthcare legislation passed because thats a thing that Im most familiar with and I would again support a Constitutional Amendment for a balanced budget. I think that is really important. Those would be the two things that I would be most interested in and then of course I come from a rural area. So you know the farmers are difficult. Thats a hard avocation. The farmers need some help and so you know I would look at that as part of a platform too. 01:19:00
SHORT: Well you certainly had a very exciting and successful career in bothmedicine and politics, and we appreciate what youve done for Georgia and I want to thank you on behalf of Young Harris College and the Richard B. Russell Library at the University of Georgia for being our guest.
ROWLAND: Thank you very much. Its been an honor and a privilege to be inpublic office in the State House and the U.S. House and I really do appreciate the opportunity to come here and talk about this. Thank you very much.
SHORT: Thank you.