Partial Transcript: Let’s talk a minute about the Howards.
Segment Synopsis: Howards speaks at length about his father's family, which included lawyers and religious and legislative leaders. He explains why his great-grandfather, a Huguenot, had to flee France, eventually landing in Texas, where he married and became the mayor of Austin.
Keywords: Jacques Pierre DuVinage; Reconstruction; Thomas Coke Howard; ancestors; grandfathers; grandmothers; heritage; relatives
Partial Transcript: And my father, Pierre, and we pronounce it "Peer” and not "Pierre..."
Segment Synopsis: Howard clarifies the correct pronunciation of his name and talks about one of his campaign slogans: "Pierre is French for Bubba." Howard also discusses the history of his mother's family, including stories about how his parents met, a plantation burned by the Yankees, and Senator Benjamin Harvey Hill, a confederate who was arrested after the war, but who later became a U.S. Senator.
Keywords: Bellevue; Civil War; French; Senate; St. Luke’s Episcopal Church; campaigns; college; confederacy; confederates; family; names
Partial Transcript: So you grew up in Decatur.
Segment Synopsis: Howard explains that his father and grandfather, both legislators, sparked his early interest in politics. He also talks about playing tennis at Decatur High School and the University of Georgia and being inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame.
Keywords: Dan Magill; DeKalb County; Eugene Talmadge; Schley Howard; campaigning
Partial Transcript: 1972, the age of 29, you ran for the Georgia State Senate.
Segment Synopsis: Howard recalls canvassing neighborhoods before the 1972 election for Georgia's 42nd Senate district. He also offers his views on public office and on Governor Maddox.
Keywords: Governor Maddox; House of Representatives; Jimmy Carter; Lester Maddox; Senate; campaigning; canvassing; demographics; legislature
Partial Transcript: What can you tell us about the famous or maybe infamous feud between Governor Jimmy Carter and Lieutenant Governor Maddox while you were in the Senate?
Segment Synopsis: Howard speculates as to the origin of the Carter-Maddox feud and describes how Carter attempted to decrease Maddox's power by reorganizing the government and removing the lieutenant governor's ability to appoint committee members. Howard also questions the benefits of having been an assistant floor leader under Governor Busbee.
Keywords: Al Holloway; Carl Sanders; George Busbee; Jimmy Carter; Lester Maddox; competition; kindergarten; reorganization
Partial Transcript: Let’s talk for a minute if you will about some of your accomplishments as a state senator before you became lieutenant governor.
Segment Synopsis: Howard talks about his efforts to improve Senate ethics by requiring increased reporting of campaign contributions. He also discusses the Community Care Act, which reduced the cost of in-home healthcare for the elderly. Additionally, Howard speaks about the death penalty, sentencing, and his support for Zell Miller's "two strikes, you're out" policy for violent offenders.
Keywords: Medicaid; Russ Toll; crime; drugs; ethics; healthcare; human resources; policy
Partial Transcript: Well, let’s talk for a minute about healthcare.
Segment Synopsis: Howard discusses the importance of expanding access to and limiting costs of health insurance. Howard also talks about the Gang of Five, a group of progressive senators including Howard, Roy Barnes, Wayne Garner, Ed Hein, and Paul Trulock.
Keywords: Senate; care; health; leadership; legislation; medicine; reforms
Partial Transcript: Well, it’s 1990 and you decide to run for lieutenant governor.
Segment Synopsis: Howard explains why he chose to run for the position of lieutenant governor rather than governor in 1990. He also considers how the office has come to entail more responsibility and a greater time commitment.
Keywords: Zell Miller; elections; salary; statewide
Partial Transcript: You served eight years as lieutenant governor to Governor Zell Miller.
Segment Synopsis: Howard recalls attempting to remove the lieutenant governor's committee appointment powers before Zell Miller took the office. He talks about small disagreements with Governor Miller but emphasizes his overwhelming support for initiatives like the HOPE Scholarship.
Keywords: Democratic Party; HOPE; Max Cleland; Senate rules; committees; education; scholarship
Partial Transcript: Here’s a question you might not want an answer.
Segment Synopsis: Howard says that he decided not to run for governor in 1994 because of Miller's desire to keep the office for another term. Howard discusses the Peach Program, which provides job training, education, and childcare to welfare recipients. He also mentions the seatbelt mandate and the environmental progress he made while lieutenant governor.
Keywords: Chattahoochee River; Preservation 2000; Zell Miller; conservation; elections; governors; nature; public lands; welfare
Partial Transcript: 1998, an open seat in the Governor’s race. We all expected you to win but you withdrew.
Segment Synopsis: Howard recalls pulling out of the 1998 gubernatorial race. He explains that he was not willing to sacrifice his family life to perform the duties of governor.
Keywords: Roy Barnes; campaigning; elections; fundraising
Partial Transcript: How about life after public service?
Segment Synopsis: Howard reflects on his time in public office, talks about a business venture with Matt Towery, and discusses his work as president of the Georgia Conservancy.
Keywords: Governor Barnes; Natural Resources Committee; University of Georgia; conservation; ecology; environment; nature; preservation
Partial Transcript: If you had your career to do over, would you do anything differently?
Segment Synopsis: Howard states that he should have left politics earlier, but he looks back fondly upon his election to lieutenant governor and his Chattahoochee River project. Howard wishes that he and Speaker Murphy could have worked better together, and he regrets the partisanship of later administrations.
Keywords: Governor Perdue; Tom Murphy; bipartisanship; parties; partisan
BOB SHORT: Im Bob Short and this is Reflections on Georgia Politicssponsored by the Duckworth Library at the Young Harris College and the Russell Library at the University of Georgia. Our guest is former Lieutenant Governor, former state Senator, and President of the Georgia Conservancy, Pierre Howard. Welcome.
PIERRE HOWARD: Thank you, Bob.
SHORT: With your permission, Id like to divide our conversation into threeparts. First, your early life; secondly, your experience as a state Senator and Lieutenant Governor; and lastly, your work as a businessman and President of the Georgia Conservancy. Now having said that, your family, the Howards, has very deep roots in both Georgia history, Georgia politics, and Georgia law. Lets 00:01:00talk a minute about the Howards.
HOWARD: All right. Well, the Howards came to Georgia back in the early part ofthe 1800s and what I have learned about that is that John Howard, who was my great-great grandfather, came to Georgia from Wilmington, North Carolina, and he died in 1836 so he had to have come here quite a long time before that. And he was working for his father in a shop of some kind in Wilmington, and he got religion at a pretty young age and got saved and wanted to become a preacher. And he did become a Methodist preacher. And so they sent him down to Georgia to 00:02:00preach and he was one of these itinerant preachers that went around from place to place, and eventually as he got older and I guess got more influence within the Methodist church, they gave him a church in Macon, and he was at Vineville Methodist Church I believe. And so he was in Macon and was on the committee that founded Wesleyan College. He didnt do it by himself. They had a committee that was formed and the legislature was involved in it and he also was on the committee that founded Emory University, which kind of ironically or coincidentally became a big part of my political life later. But he was the treasurer of the committee and the legislature had authorized them to act and they of course they founded Emory first at Oxford in Newton County, and then 00:03:00later it moved on to Dekalb County near where I grew up. But that was John Howard. He was my great-great grandfather, and his son, Thomas Coke C-O-K-E Howard, was born in Macon and he became a lawyer, and he represented Crawford County in the General Assembly when he was a young man. And I guess they lived over in Crawford and not in Bibb, but at least he did I guess. But any rate, he later became the Postmaster of Atlanta during the Civil War, Thomas Coke Howard, and he made a very famous speech down at the city hall after the war, during reconstruction when the Union generals were treating the people down here so badly, and they had a big public meeting, and they said - - Ive got the 00:04:00articles from the newspaper, a lot of people were afraid to speak out, and he walked from Kirkwood, which is out in Decatur along the railroad tracks to Atlanta to make an appearance there at the meeting and he got up and he said, "you know, I realize that you men who are generals down here running the reconstruction I know youre not bad people in your hearts, you just got bad people telling you what to do. And they didnt raise their sword to him. He really let them have it and I think he became quite a hero in the community because of that. But he was apparently was a very brilliant speaker. And one of his 13 children was my grandfather, William Schley Howard, and people pronounce it all kind of different funny ways, "Shelly" and all that, but its Schley as you know. He was named for Governor William Schley and his father and William 00:05:00Schley had gone to New York to practice law and had stayed up there a short time, and my dad said that a ship sank in the harbor, had some gold on it, and they had their office open on Saturday, everybody else was closed, so the man came looking for a lawyer and found them open and gave them the case and they made enough money to come back home. And William Schley went to Augusta. I think he was from Augusta, and ran for Governor. And so thats how my grandfather got his name. And my grandfather--well one more thing I want to say about Thomas Coke Howard. He was the Executive Secretary for Governor Colquitt and I believe Governor Colquitts home is down in Baker County and Ive been by there. I havent ever been inside of it, but I have some manuscripts that Thomas Coke Howard wrote for Governor Colquitt, speeches that he wrote in longhand, and so 00:06:00he had that connection with state government at that time. He may have served in the House as well, Thomas Coke Howard. He did from Crawford County I said. And then William Schley Howard was my grandfather and by that time the family had moved from Macon. They were in Dekalb County. They lived at Kirkwood, which is now a community between Atlanta and Decatur. So as I said, my grandfather, William Schley Howard, was the youngest of 13 children. Some of the family connections in Dublin and my grandfather never got to go to college. His father died. There was no money for college. He had about a 10th grade education and he had to go to work to support his mother. And then he went and studied law, read 00:07:00law as they used to do, in Laurens County under Judge Birch who was a relative, and he was down there for a couple of years reading law under Judge Birch. He was sworn in to the Bar over in Wrightsville in Johnson County. And back then, you know, the lawyers would just ask questions of the applicant, and that would take three or four hours, and then if he passed muster then he would become a lawyer. So thats how he became a lawyer. But he then came back home and my grandmother was what they call a pistol. She was a woman who had Georgia roots, but she had grown up in Texas with five brothers, and Texas back in late 1800s was kind of rough and tumble place. And she could shoot a gun as well as any 00:08:00man. She could ride a horse as well as any man. And when her father died, his name was Jacques Pierre DuVinage. And people wonder where I got this name that Ive got and theyve accused me of all kind of things about my name, but I got it from my great-grandfather. And my grandmother was tremendously proud of her heritage and she was very proud of her father. And the DuVinage brothers had come over to America into New Orleans, and see our family was run out of France under Louis XV because they were protestants. They were Huguenots. They had to flee for their lives. And so they fled to Prussia and by the time they got over 00:09:00here they were Germans but they had the French name. They were speaking German. They spoke a lot of different languages, but German was their main language. And this guy Im named for worked for Bismarck in his library and he studied to be a priest in the protestant - - I guess the Episcopal church, and Ive got his ring thats got a cross in it that he got at the University of Heidelberg, but he decided not to do that. I guess I dont know maybe it was the celibacy or some reason he didnt pursue it. But Ive got the ring that he got when he was studying to be a priest. My dad wore it but its too small for my finger. Its an amethyst with a cross inlaid in gold in it. Anyway, the DuVinage brothers came to America, and I dont think they came over here intending to 00:10:00stay, but the man Im named for started west to go to California to see what that gold rush was all about, and he stopped in Victoria, Texas and there was a widow there who ran a boarding house in Victoria, the widow Stapp. Her husband had been very involved in the history of Texas. He was a good friend of Sam Houstons and he was very well known and still is in the history of Texas, but anyway she was a widow and my great-grandfather fell in love with her and married her and stayed in Texas. Thats how he became the editor of the German language newspapers in that German part of Texas in the hill country like in Austin and some of the towns and San Antonio and some of those towns around Kingville, some of those. But Kerrville I think is one of them. But they say he 00:11:00served as Mayor of Austin, but Im not positive aboutit, but I think thats true. But when he died, my grandmother and her family all had to move to Mexico City where her brother had become head of the railroad project. They were going to build the railroad back into Texas. So my grandmother grew up early years in Texas and then she was in Mexico City for maybe I would say middle school into high school, and so she was fluent in Spanish. And she came to Georgia to - - she was engaged to be married and she came to visit some relatives and one of them was my grandfather. He was about a fourth cousin and he was engaged to be married. They fell in love and she stayed over here and married him and they made a life here in Dekalb County. And then he ran for Solicitor of the Stone 00:12:00Mountain circuit and got elected. He was the Solicitor of about five counties. And then he ran for Congress in 1910. They accused him of being married to a Mexican, and that sort of thing, but it didnt hold much water because when they met my grandmother they could see what a wonderful person she was. And, you know, he campaigned on a horse. I think he represented Fulton, Dekalb, Rockdale, Newton, and he got elected and he went to Washington and he served eight years in Congress from the 5th district. Now thats the Howard family. Then my father - - they had three children. My aunt Jacquelyn who married Bill Edwards from Cedartown. He was an eye doctor. And then my uncle Schley who was a 00:13:00Solicitor of the State Court in Dekalb County. And my father, Pierre, and we pronounce it "Peer and not "Pierre", but, you know, of course Ive been called everything in the book from "Pirrhea" when I was in the National Guard. I walked in there one morning, first morning I was there and they said "line up," and we all lined up, and they says "were going to call the role, answer to your name. So said "Adams, John. "Here, Sergeant. They got on down to me and this old sergeant he looked at my name he says "Howard, Pirrhea D.", and I answered to it. I didnt want to - - I let him call me whatever he wanted to. But yeah I pronounce it "Peer" like Pierre, South Dakota. Thats about the only place Ive ever been where everybody can pronounce my name is South Dakota. And I dont go there that much, but anyway - - 00:14:00
SHORT: Incidentally, I remember while you were campaigning for LieutenantGovernor you said that Pierre is French for Bubba.
HOWARD: Yeah. You know, well when I decided to run for Lieutenant Governor itwas a statewide office of course, and I had been serving in the state Senate for 18 years and people around home are used to that name and my dad had been in the legislature and it wasnt anything unusual for them, but a lot of the pundits and the funders, people I was going to for money, said "well I dont know how youre going to play out in the state. You might do okay over there in Dekalb County, but I dont know how youre going to do in these rural areas. And one of the problems you got, among many, is your name. So we had an announcement over there in Decatur and Nancy and I were driving to the announcement and I said "you know Ive got to think of something about that name. And I had majored in French at Georgia, which I never did really 00:15:00advertise when I was running because people think thats kind of funny too, but anyway I just was interested in it because of my heritage and I never had taken it in high school. I had taken Latin. My grandmother was a Latin teacher and I had taken Latin, so I got up there and I decided to major in French. My dad said "why in the hell are you doing that? I said "I dont know. Im just interested in it and I want to learn it. And he says "well I dont know how thats going to get you a job. I said well Ill figure that out later." But he didnt say anything else. And so on the way to this announcement for Lieutenant Governor I told Nancy Ive got to do something. So when the press asked me about it it just popped in my mind. I said "its not going to be a problem having a name like Ive got, "Pierre" or "Peer," because in Georgia Pierres French for Bubba." And that, you know, that thing really took off. I was surprised. They say today it goes viral. It kind of went viral. 00:16:00And Paul Coverdell, who is a very close friend of mine, I want to talk about that later, but he was the head of the Peace Corps at the time, and he was making speeches all over the place, all over the world I guess, and he was using that as one of his joke lines, and the Wall Street Journal picked it up and Ive got a piece of paper there that he sent me a clipping from the Wall Street Journal that had that in it where he had said that theres a guy down in Georgia saying his name is French for Bubba, Pierre, and he wrote me a little note "and it looks like your candidacy is going to be okay." And that was just one interesting thing. I think my opponents kind of got tired of me saying that because we had all these joint appearances, you know, and there were nine of us running and I would get up and predictably always say "well you know, you know what my name means in French, its Bubba. So Bud Stumbaugh told me he says 00:17:00"Im going to puke if you say that one more time. I said "well you better get out a damn airsick bag because Im going to be saying it a lot." SHORT: Thats great. Well you grew up in Decatur.
HOWARD: Yeah. I want to say one thing about my mothers family that I - -
SHORT: Oh Im sorry.
HOWARD: I kind of left that out. And I dont want to sell her short becauseshes still living and she might get after me. Shes 96 now. But my mother is one of the greatest people Ive ever known. I guess most people think that about their mother, but my mother was born in Decatur and my dad and mother lived on the railroad tracks. Most everybody did because Agnes Scott was on the railroad tracks that goes from Augusta to Atlanta, and most of the little streets were near the trolley line that ran right down the railroad tracks along Dekalb Avenue down into Atlanta. So my grandfather Howard lived on Howard 00:18:00Street, named for him, and the Riddleys lived down on Mead Road down by Oakhurst Grammar School, which is still there. And so my mother and dad went to grammar school together, and my mother told me that when she was in about the fourth grade she decided that he was just the finest thing she ever did see. And they were friends all the way along and dated some and then later got married, but they knew each other from the fourth grade. And their families were close. And the Riddley family is an interesting family to me because the Howards have gotten maybe a little bit more notoriety around Decatur, but the Riddleys came from over at LaGrange and my grandmother was from Columbus, Georgia. She was a 00:19:00Wolfolk and her mother married a guy named Dozier and she was Ms. Dozier. And they came to Atlanta after the Civil War because the Yankees burned out their plantation. They had a big plantation down where the river bends. They call it the Big Bend. Right below Columbus and Chattahoochee County theres a big area there of flood plain fields where they had a cotton plantation down there. So they got burned out and they came in a wagon to Atlanta. Didnt have anything. And they settled down here behind St. Lukes Episcopal Church with a little house, and they joined that church. I still belong to that church. Weve been members there since 1870 something. And I was running for Lieutenant Governor and Nancy Schafer whos a right wing Baptist Republican, said I belong to a 00:20:00social group, the Episcopal church, and it always kind of irked me because, you know, my familys been Christians for quite a long time. We got run out of France for being Protestants, so it kind of irked me when she said that, but anyway its not a social club. It is an organized religion. But anyway, the Riddley family from LaGrange were in politics down there and John Riddley, John F. Riddley my grandfather married Nellie Dozier and that was my mothers family. My grandfathers grandfather was Senator Ben Hill and he was from LaGrange, and Ben Hill was a great leader of Georgia. His statue in marble was right outsie of my office when I was Lieutenant Governor.
SHORT: Benjamin Harvey Hill.
HOWARD: Benjamin Harvey Hill. U.S. Senator Benjamin Harvey Hill. And he was in00:21:00the confederate government, and then after the war he was arrested in LaGrange at his home Bellevue. Bellevue is still a historic site in LaGrange. Its run by the LaGrange Womens Club. Its the house has been preserved. Its a beautiful place. But the Yankees arrested him in LaGrange and took him to New York. He was in prison there for a period of time after the Civil War, and then he came back and ran for - - he ran for the U.S. Senate and got elected. He had been defeated for governor by Joe Brown who grew up in Suches, Georgia. I know you know that. But yeah and, you know, I had a mountain house in Suches. Thats one of my favorite places on the earth. I always thought about Joe Brown because when I would go by the place where he grew up I would think about maybe he did my grandfather a favor because sometimes when you lose one you win 00:22:00another one. And my great-grandfather, he got to go the U.S. Senate. And he made a famous speech up there called the Amnesty Speech. "Were in the house of our fathers and we are home to stay thank God. He was trying to get amnesty for the southerners who had been a part of the war and he was trying to convince the U.S. Senate that Georgia was not a bunch of rebels anymore, that we were going to be part of the United States. I saw where the governor of Texas wants to succeed, but see our family doesnt feel like that. We think were part of the U.S. but we dont want to succeed. And so Im really proud of Ben Hill. He was a great man I think. And I just wanted to say that my mothers family was involved in public affairs too.
SHORT: So you grew up in Decatur.
SHORT: Went to Decatur High School.
SHORT: Played tennis.
HOWARD: Yeah. My dad had played tennis at Emory. He had gotten a tennis00:23:00scholarship to Rice University and, you know, tennis back in those days was not a very widespread sport and there were a few clay courts around Decatur, and for some reason he took it up and was really good at it and got a scholarship to play at Emory and so he went to Emory and played tennis there. Got me started when I was a young boy. And I went to Clairmont Grammar School, which is right off Clairmont Avenue in Decatur, and then I went to Decatur High School. And I played on the team and I started getting interested in politics about that time because my father, Pierre Howard, had been in the General Assembly back in the 40s when they had the three governor fight. He represented Dekalb County. He 00:24:00was a young guy and my grandfather, Schley Howard, despised Gene Talmadge. My grandfather when he was in Congress became very close to Franklin Roosevelt because Franklin Roosevelt was the Secretary of the Navy and my grandfather was on the World War I appropriations committee and they became friends. So my grandfather when he came back to Georgia after losing a race for the U.S. Senate, and Woodrow Wilson had double-crossed him because he was one of Woodrow Wilsons floor leaders in the house and then when he announced for the Senate, Woodrow Wilson was over in Paris at the Paris peace talks losing his mind and he got upset that my grandfather was leaving the house trying to go to the Senate. So he sent a telegram to every chairman of all the county chairman in Georgia 00:25:00two days before the election calling for my grandfathers defeat. He had narrowly lost the race for the U.S. Senate, and after that he just practiced law and became well known as a defense lawyer in Georgia. But he was very close to Roosevelt and he didnt like Gene Talmadge because Gene Talmadge was, you know, opposing Roosevelt and sort of got on that Huey Long bandwagon that Roosevelt was bad and needed to be defeated and all that. So they were bitter enemies. When my dad got into the General Assembly, he and Herman Talmadge became good friends and he voted to allow Talmadge, you know, in the three governor fight he voted for Talmadge in the House. And they had - - boy they gave him hell in Dekalb County. They had rallies against him and everything else, but he survived it. So my mother never did like the political life all that much and he served a few terms and then he decided not to run anymore. And 00:26:00they tried to get him to run for Congress and everything else. He never wanted that life. But then when they - - Governor Griffin and Governor Vandiver had talked about closing the schools and he said "I am not going to sit by and see the schools of this state closed," and he ran for the legislature again to go down there and try to do something to keep the schools open. He wasnt some outlier - - I mean, you know, Im not here to say that he was out pushing for integration or anything like that, he just did not feel that it was right for the schools to be closed and he did not feel that he was right to defy the Supreme Court. He was a lawyer and the law was the law to him. So I handed out cards for him in that election. And I just kind of got the bug, you know. I just liked it. And I was kind of surprised because I was pretty young then, 1962, but 00:27:00I was born in 1943. But anyway that was the first time I ever really did any campaigning was for him. And I was so aggressive, they ran me out of one polling place I remember up in Ponce de Leon school which is now the old - - thats where the post office is in Decatur now, but yeah I liked it and he won that race. So then back to the tennis, I played Dan Magill's son, Ham, in a tournament, and Ham was a great tennis player, better than me, but he was two years younger and I beat him in this tournament. His father, Dan Magill who was the long term coach of the University of Georgia tennis team, was watching the match, and I had gone with my father up to Davison College to play in the Southern Open and coach Fogerman up there had seen me play and he offered me a scholarship to Davison College and I accepted it. And my life is full of 00:28:00changing my mind, and I got accused of that a lot in politics. They said I was wishy washy, but sometimes, you know, I think one thing and then I just change my mind because I think better. So anyway Dan McGill called me and he says "you ought not to go to Davison. He said you cant beat anybody up there. He says come down here and play for me at Georgia. So I sent Coach Fogerman a letter and told him I was going to Georgia. Thats the best things Ive ever done is go to the University of Georgia because theres no place like Athens to me. I mean a big part of my heart is there. But I went over there and played tennis for Georgia. I was so proud to compete with the Georgia G on my sweater. I just I really loved that and enjoyed it so much. And Dan Magill, whos still living 00:29:00today, hes up in his 80s, but hes one of the greatest men Ive ever known. Hes kind of like a surrogate father for me. He was in the Marine Corps, very tough, but the funniest guy Ive ever met and everybody whos ever played for him will tell you the same thing that hes just one of the greatest people on earth. And I really enjoyed doing that.
SHORT: You were voted into the Hall of Fame.
HOWARD: Yeah I probably honestly didnt deserve it. I think the reason I gotin the tennis Hall of Fame was because I was in political office, but I dont think I was one of the best players that Georgias ever produced, but I am honored to be in the tennis Hall of Fame because tennis was such a big part of my life, and, you know, its a great game.
SHORT: Then to law school.
HOWARD: Yeah. I decided to go to law school. I thought about going to theUniversity of Virginia, but I liked Athens so well it was hard for me to leave. 00:30:00So I stayed and went to law school. And I was in the school with a lot of brilliant people who were better law students than I was. I was too focused on politics by then. And, you know, they accused me of being a Kennedy liberal when I was in politics here in Georgia because that didnt ring too well with some people, but the truth of the matter was that I did like he Kennedys. And John F. Kennedy had a big affect on my life I think because he had a big affect on my view of public service. And like all people, he, you know, had strengths and weaknesses, but he - - his strengths were so great and his - - his - - the impression that he made on young people was so strong back then, and he - - he 00:31:00really did affect me. And I tell you one thing that happened in my life that I think informed the rest of my public service was that speech he made about segregation. And of course I grew up in a segregated society.
SHORT: We all did.
HOWARD: We all did. And but I mean I was not like some unusual person that wasout there thinking, you know, when I was a little boy that segregation was wrong because I was taught that you went and drank out of the white water fountain and thats just the way things were. But when I heard him make that speech and he said that segregation was a moral issue, ending it was a moral issue for our country, and, you know, I then began to really think about that. And I may - - if somebody else had said I might not have given it as much thought, but I just came to believe that segregation was an evil thing. And one thing that I can 00:32:00say, and I dont think I can be refuted on this, I never used the race issue in my whole life to get a single vote because I think that is morally reprehensible and I think that John Kennedy was the one that called my attention to that. And so he did have a big affect on my life, and I worked in Bobby Kennedys campaign too and tried to help him. And I actually got to meet him. I had a relative, Bobby Troutman, who was kind of about a third cousin, but he was a lawyer here in town and he had gone to school at Harvard and roomed with Joe Kennedy, the older brother who was killed in the war. And so he was the communications director for JFK at the Los Angeles Convention, and my dad had met JFK - - you remember he ran as kind of a conservative Democrat, and against 00:33:00some of the labor positions and a lot of, as you remember, Marvin Griffin supported him and he got 62% of the vote in Georgia against Nixon. I mean it was not like some unusual thing for someone like my father, who at that time was the president of an insurance company, to support JFK, but he just he really liked him when he met him and we were all for him, and so thats how I kind of got interested in John Kennedy. And then when Senator Robert Kennedy was running for President he came to Atlanta and I met him through Bobby Troutman and got interested in his campaign. So I went to law school. I graduated from law school in 1968 and I was sworn into the Bar by Judge Jim Barrow who is Congressman 00:34:00Barrows - -
SHORT: John Barrow.
HOWARD: Our current Congressman John Barrow from Savannah since theyredistricted him out of Athens. And thats John Barrows father. And I went back home and my father had had a heart attack and they didnt know if he could work again. And he started back to work in a small law practice in Decatur and I just wanted to be there with him, and so I went in and practiced with him. And we had a great time from 1968 until he died suddenly of a sudden heart attack. I was off fishing and he died without warning one Sunday afternoon at home in 1976 and so Ive always regretted that I was not at home then, but - - 00:35:00Anyway, after that I formed a law firm with Tom Gilliland and Tom Gillilands grandfather, Tom Candler, was on the Supreme Court and lived on the Square in Blairsville and was a friend of my grandfathers, and Tom and I formed a law firm and hes had a great career of his own after that. I wont go into all the gory details of our law practice. Its not that interesting, but we had a long successful partnership and then he became a banker in North Georgia and now serves on the TVA Board. Hes a very great individual.
SHORT: 1972, the age of 29 you ran for the Georgia State Senate.
HOWARD: Yeah I was leaving the First National Bank building in Decatur going tocourt to represent a client, and we had a sheriff there named Bob Broome, and I 00:36:00think he might have just left office then, but he stopped me and he says "Pierre, have you heard about Bob Walling? I said no. "Whats happened to him? "He says well nothing bad. Hes been appointed judge by Jimmy Carter. I said "really? He said "yeah. He said "That seats open. You ought to run for it. And I had been the lawyer for the Dekalb Delegation for a couple of years because I was interested in the General Assembly but I hadnt really thought about running for the Senate. My father had been in the House and he always thought the House was the better of the two bodies. That was just what he thought. But when the Senate seat came open I went up after court and I said "Daddy, uh, Bob Wallings taken a judicial appointment and the seats open. Bob Broom thinks I ought to run for it. And dad said "Well you 00:37:00might win. I said "Well do you think it would be all right if I ran?' He says "It would be all right if you run and Ill try to help you any way I can. So I started trying to figure out how to run, but it was kind of a tough thing because I didnt know the people in a lot of the district. Had a large Jewish population that I didnt know very many people there, and had a large black population. I knew some in that area. I knew the people in Decatur of course and I felt they would probably support me, but I had Fred Orr who is a very brilliant man. Hes a trial lawyer today in Atlanta and has had a very successful career. And he had just run for the county commission the election before and had gotten 49% of the vote, and he was well known. And then Joe Cahoon who had worked for Jim Mackay, who is one of my heroes, whos a 00:38:00congressman from the 4th District, Joe Cahoon was his AA and he was running. And there were some other able candidates in there. We had I think about nine of us running. And so I had a friend whose father was a preacher at the Baptist church, Bill Lancaster, and I hired Bill - - I didnt have much money to hire anybody, but I paid him a little bit to knock on doors with me, and we knocked on doors for four months, and we did some everyday. And I learned that in at least in the area I was in people would come to the door then. They didnt want you coming before about 10:00 in the morning, and they didnt want you coming after it got dark, but if you were brief and pleasant, they would talk to you. And so we just went around and knocked on doors. And I got Kitty Jacobs 00:39:00whose husband, Harris Jacobs, was a very prominent lawyer in Atlanta and his father, Joe Jacobs, had been chairman of the Fulton County Democratic Party, so they were very political. And I got her to walk around all the Jewish precincts with me and knock on doors, and Kitty Jacobs was so popular and well-liked in the Jewish community that she was able to get me acceptance. And we carried those precincts like 75-80%. And Morris Finley, whos still in politics, I had gone to him and asked him to run my campaign in the African American community down there, and he wanted me to do a little bit more to make a deal with him 00:40:00than I could do, and so when I called the Democratic Party office to find out who had qualified, at about one minute after 12:00 I found out Morris Finley had qualified against me. I thought he was going to run my campaign. But anyway that didnt work out too well. I like Morris. Hes a very likable guy. But anyway, at the end of the campaign I got 50.8% of the vote or something like that, won that without a runoff, which was surprising to a lot of people but it really didnt surprise me because I knew that I was out-working everybody else. Jimmy Carter told me that I was too lazy to be elected. And I wont get into all that, but I had met Jimmy Carter in 1966 and I really liked him a lot and so I had told him that I was going to run for the seat. And Lester Maddox 00:41:00had a guy in the race, a guy named King, and he was the man that a lot of the Maddox people were behind. There werent that many Maddox people out there unfortunately, but anyway it kind of became a Carter/Maddox thing sort of. And o I went and saw Governor Carter and I said "Im running for the seat" and he says "well youve never accomplished anything in your life. It would be good if you could accomplish something. Well I thought Id done pretty good. I was Phi Beta Kappa. I was a lawyer. I played tennis. I was captain of the tennis team at the University of Georgia. I was President of my fraternity. I was voted outstanding student at the University of Georgia freshman, sophomore and junior year. And he popped that bubble right quick. He said "Youre too damn lazy to win this thing. And so I started thinking on the way home "he might be right." So thats when I decided to knock on the doors. He said "If youll 00:42:00shake hands with everybody twice, you might win.
SHORT: He should know hes done that.
HOWARD: But anyway I did and I got elected. Then I got really in the hot waterbecause I was the dog that caught the car then because I got down there and, you know, Bob I dont want to say anything negative about anybody today because you have political fights, you have political views on things, but I dont think this is too negative. Ill just say that Governor Maddoxs beliefs and his politics were at absolute cross purposes with mine. And I came to like him as a person and I came to respect him because I do feel that what he said and 00:43:00did was what he believed. I just didnt believe it and I didnt think it was right and I didnt think that it was right for Georgia. And one of the reasons that I wanted to run for office to begin with was because I wanted Georgia to have a different image in this country. I wanted Georgia to put its best foot forward and I didnt feel that Governor Maddox was doing that. And so that was one of my motivations for getting into it. It was not just that I wanted to hold the office. I never really just wanted to hold an office because I wanted things to change. And Im still that way. Im not satisfied with the status quo and Im not holding that up as some kind of, you know, badge of honor. Its just the way I am. Some people are different and they like being in the office. They 00:44:00like the things that flow from the office and they just enjoy serving. Theyre not too interested in being a change agent, but Im not that way, and that will get you in a lot of trouble. I mean its easier not to be a change agent. But when I got down to the General Assembly I was immediately identified as "okay here comes a Carter guy. He beat the Maddox guy. And I was in the senate over which Lieutenant Governor Maddox was presiding. And I have to say that Governor Maddox and I never had a cross word. He was not a man who was like that at all. He was very polite. He was very warm. He was very friendly. And I remember one time that Kitty Jacobs, this woman who had taken me around door to door asked me to produce Governor Maddox to Emory University where they were having a charity event to raise money for cancer. So we got out there, he agreed 00:45:00to come and we got out there to the track and it was on the oval inside the track where they were having the event, and I went and greeted him and brought him down and was introducing him to people. Well of course at Emory University he was not very popular. And I thought oh my goodness Ive walked this man into a trap, and they came to me and they says "Now were going to have the pie throwing contest and we would like for Governor Maddox to sit in that chair right over there. Were going to throw a pie in his face. I said "Oh no. Youre not throwing a pie in his face. He said "Well thats what - - thats the big deal the pie - - the pie throwing contest. I says "Okay." And this sounds like Im being a martyr but I mean at the moment I didnt know how to get out of the trap. I says "Throw it in my face, not in his face. So they threw it in my face. Well I saw him about 20 years later I went 00:46:00to Ms. Maddoxs funeral and I saw him after, and he introduced me to his family. He said "This young man a long time ago told them to throw the pie in his face and not my face. So, you know, people remember stuff.
SHORT: Oh yeah.
HOWARD: And I thought that was really interesting. So when I say those thingsabout Governor Maddox, I dont say it on a personal level. It was just like we had a philosophical difference about how things should be in government - -
SHORT: What can you - -
HOWARD: And thats what governments about.
SHORT: Yeah. What can you tell us about the Carter/Maddox feud?
HOWARD: A lot.
MALE SPEAKER: Well take a break here.
HOWARD: A lot.
SHORT: Good. Do you mind?
HOWARD: No. No I think I should. I think its important.
SHORT: Are you okay?
SHORT: Good. What can you tell us about the famous or maybe infamous feudbetween Governor Jimmy Carter and Lieutenant Governor Maddox while you were in the Senate? 00:47:00
HOWARD: You know, I just dont think they liked each other very much. I thinkit stemmed from the campaign that Jimmy Carter ran and he was trying to beat Carl Sanders at that point and Sanders was viewed as the progressive and Carter was trying to get voters who wouldnt go toward a progressive candidate. And you remember he stated that if he were Governor he would invite Governor Wallace to come over and visit and speak in Georgia and Sanders had said "if Im elected Governor Wallace wont be welcome," something to that effect. And so I think that Governor Maddox felt, I think, he never told me this, Im just interpreting, Governor Maddox seemed to feel that Carter had used a lot of themes that would attract Maddox voters but had not been sincere in his appeal, 00:48:00and that at the time that he made the inaugural speech he says "the time for discrimination in Georgia is over. And I was at the speech and heard him say that, and of course I agreed with it and thought it was a great thing to say. Well his picture immediately appeared on the cover of Time magazine with the Georgia flag interposed around him so that you had the Confederate flag and then you had Jimmy Carters, you know, attractive picture they had of him, just the head shot, and something like "Dixie whistles a different tune," Time magazine. Well I kind of think that wrinkled Governor Maddox and so I think that kind of set up the feud right there. And then Governor Maddox was president of the Senate and a lot of the guys who were leaders in the Senate didnt like 00:49:00Carter. They had been for Sanders like Culver Kidd and Gene Holly from Augusta who was majority leader of the Senate. Was a very tough, smart guy, and he was very close to Sanders and he despised Carter for that reason and there were a number of other people like that. So the Senate became Carters problem, his big problem. He was able to get a lot more cooperation in the House of Representatives than he was in the Senate. Carters effort to reorganize state government which only passed the Senate by one or two votes in the two years before I got there. By the time I got to the Senate after two years of Carters governorship and two years of the feud going on, I got there and the anti-Maddox 00:50:00senators decided that the first thing they would try to do in January of 1973 which was Maddoxs third year of being Lieutenant Governor was take away his powers to appoint committees. That was the first vote I had to cast. And so both sides were having the new senators over. Jimmy Carter had us to the mansion. I remember Joe Lee Thompson from Cobb County was there. And I think Ed Barker from Warner Robbins and some other young I think Peter Banks whos now the Mayor of Barnesville, Georgia, from Lamar County, he was there. So went over and had dinner with the Governor. Well going to the Governors mansion and having dinner with the Governor that felt pretty good when I was just elected. I thought "Man this is going to be all right." But I was philosophically on his side anyway. He didnt need to feed me the steak, but I enjoyed it, but I mean I voted to strip Lester Maddox of his powers. And we lost that fight and that 00:51:00was just purely politics. It didnt have anything to do with personality. It was just Carter versus Maddox and yure either for us or youre not. So when you vote to take the Lieutenant Governors power to appoint committees away, as I later became more sympathetic with, you know, its not viewed very well by the presiding officer, and they put me in the basement the next morning. Beverly Langford, who was close to Carter, and I were sharing an office in the basement, and had one desk. But yeah I mean I think it was a blood feud between Carter and Maddox and I think it just escalated because Jimmy Carter, whom I greatly admire, may have a little bit more of a mean streak in him than Lester Maddox does. And so somebody said he was kind of like a South Georgia gopher tortoise. I mean hes tough. And he would send these letters up to the Senate 00:52:00telling them if they voted this way, heres what would happen and he didnt have a very politic way of communicating some time with the Senate, and we just had a lot of trouble. And some of it was a result of the Sanders/Carter feud from the election, and some of it was a product of maybe Governor Carter using more salt than honey. And I think maybe a little bit of a different approach could have softened that some, but thats not just the way politics operated back then.
SHORT: Youre a young man, as I recall, in 1974 when George Busbee waselected Governor. He appointed you as the floor leader.
HOWARD: Yeah, you know, I think the reason that happened was there was a great00:53:00friend of mine and a great man in my estimation, Al Holloway from Daugherty County, Albany, Georgia, was a Senator and he was President Pro Tem of the Senate. And for some reason he liked me a lot. I dont know why I attracted his attention, but he kind of befriended me and promoted me and I guess maybe part of it was because I committed to him early on for the job he wanted and stuck with him always. I really believed in Al Holloway. But he was close to Busbee because theyre both from Albany, and so Busbee was trying to get some diversity I think in his leadership team, and Robin Harris from Decatur, who was a close friend of our family, had been one of his campaign managers, or at least was high up in his campaign. And so I think between Al Holloway talking to 00:54:00Busbee and Robin Harris saying it was probably okay to do it, that I got that job. And there were two assistant floor leaders and then a floor leader, and the floor leader was Terrell Starr, and I got one of the assistant positions. But I found out that being a floor leader for a governor isnt all its cracked up to be because you lose a lot of your independence and theres not a lot of benefit to it. Im not saying - - I liked Governor Busbee and I believed in what he did. I mean I remember one of the greatest things he ever did to me was to found the kindergarten program. And I remember the morning we met in Governor Busbees office. I dont have the year in my mind, but I remember the meeting, and Tom Perdue was in there - - or it could have been - - it may have 00:55:00been Norman Underwood at that point. Norman Underwood, whos another great man from Gordon County, Red Bud, Georgia, but I had gone to school with him and I just loved Norman Underwood, always have, and he was in there. And they brought the message in that Speaker Tom Murphy had said that the kindergarten proposal was nothing in the world but glorified babysitting and he was going to oppose it. And they said "Governor, do you want to go forward with this kindergarten proposal? The Speakers going to be against it and hes one of your best friends. The Speaker had been a proponent of Governor Busbee. Governor Busbee, of course, had been a House leader. He says "well Toms going to have to be on his own on this thing. Lets try it." I never will forget it. He said "Lets try it. And he went forward on that kindergarten program and put it 00:56:00into effect and finally got the speaker to agree to it and its been one of the great things thats ever been done in education. The other one was the Hope scholarship.
SHORT: Lets talk for a minute if you will about some of your accomplishmentsas a state senator before you became Lieutenant Governor. One thing that I recall was a good effort you made on ethics. You had a bill I think it was in what 86, an ethics bill. Ethics werent quite popular in those days in the Georgia Capitol.
HOWARD: Well, you know, one thing I learned a lot as I went through 26 years inpublic office and people who propose ethics bills are viewed by their fellow legislators as putting themselves in a holier-than-thou position. And its not exactly where you want to be because people can hold grudges about stuff like 00:57:00that, but I guess a number of us came to feel that we needed to move forward a little bit on ethics and, you know, I dont think thats a battle thats ever won. I think that no matter how many laws you write, that the ethics of a legislative body is going to be determined by the ethics of the people that are elected more than the laws that are in place, but it does help to have laws in place. So we put forward a pretty strong ethics bill in 1986 and it passed, and it had to do with the gifts you could receive and the reporting. I think we were very heavy on reporting what you got, your campaign contributions and who they came from and that sort of thing. We didnt try to - - as I recall we didnt 00:58:00try to make things illegal. We just tried to make it illegal not to let the public know what was going on, you know, who you were getting your money from and who you were taking gifts from and so forth. We did more, a little bit more, when I got to be Lieutenant Governor with ethics in the Senate, but that 1986 bill was just the start and as I recall Mike Bowers was pretty involved - - well no he wasnt - - that wasnt the same bill. That was a subsequent, but that was the first big ethics bill that I got involved in.
SHORT: How about the Community Care Act?
HOWARD: You know, Community Care Act is probably the best effort that I evermade in politics. Actually I dont really think I deserve credit for it, but I get a lot of credit for it because my name was on the bill and it got passed. I had a man working for me that came to me from the federal government named Russ 00:59:00Toll, that you know very well. He later became Commissioner of the Department of Medicaid, and I think even people who disagreed with Russ had a high opinion of him and felt he was ethical and smart and but he was working for me and he came to me out of the blue and he just said "Ive been watching what youve been doing and Im working for the federal government right now in Health, Education and Welfare Department and I want to come work for you. I said "well I cant pay you. He said "but Sara Craig, whos head of HEW in this region, will work it out so that can be taken care of. My salary would be paid by the federal government to work in state government for a while. So thats how--I went to Lieutenant Governor Miller and he approved it. And I didnt have any staff for my committee and I needed it because Lieutenant 01:00:00Governor Miller had made me Chairman of the Health Committee and Human Resources they called it, and I served as Chairman of that committee for 16 years and I really enjoyed it. I was thinking maybe Id like to be Chairman of the Judiciary Committee initially, but Roy Barnes wanted that and I really thought he probably was a little bit better suited for it because he liked being a lawyer more than I did. He really did. I never did care for it all that much. But anyway he liked it and still likes it. And so Zell offered me Human Resources and I was a little reluctant because I didnt know that much about it at the time, but I got into it and liked it a lot. So Russ Toll came to work for me to Chair--to staff my committee and we were talking about the terrible problem of elderly people not being able to afford nursing home care or not 01:01:00wanting to have to go to a nursing home but needing some help at home. And I have always had a real heart for the elderly. I guess most people like older people, but my grandmother was a big influence of my life, Nellie Riddley, my mothers mother and during World War II when my father was in the Navy in the Pacific we lived with my maternal grandparents John and Nellie Riddley, and she was a teacher and went back to work to get more money during the war. She was the principal of a school, Clarkston Elementary. So she was, you know, a big influence in my life and she lived to be 97 years old. So hear pension from the state was $96.00 a month. Thats what her teachers pension was after her whole life of working as a teacher. So I think I was kind of sensitive to the 01:02:00needs of older people because of my grandmother, and Russ Toll says "I think I know a way that we could get some help for older people to be able to stay in their home and get the medical care they need at home. Now that sounds like a simple thing today, but back then it was not being done and there was no way to pay for it. So Russ says "Ill do a first draft of a bill and then well look at it," and it became the Community Care Act, and the Community Care Act in short was a vehicle for older people who need help at home like for a nurse to come by and give them a shot or to come by and make sure theyre taking their medicine or make sure theyre getting a bath or whatever, whatever they need medically to do it in their own home instead of them having to go to the more expensive nursing home. And so we thought we can save money, it can be an intermediate step between a short hospitalization and going straight to a 01:03:00nursing home, and this will save the state money. It will be better for the people, their quality of life. It will be better for their family. And the thing really took off after it got into law and Medicaid reimbursement was made possible for home healthcare and really a whole industry grew up around it. The home healthcare industry grew up around this idea. And Im not taking credit for the home healthcare industry, but that was just kind of like the first step that was taken, and Russ Toll deserves really the credit for giving me the idea and then I took it and pushed it and got a lot of help along the way, but Im really proud of that because its still in effect and I think its helped a lot of people.
SHORT: Another area that I remember that you were deeply involved in wassentencing of drug dealers.
HOWARD: Yes. You know I try to do a lot in that area. I was accused a lot of01:04:00being soft on crime. I dont really know why, but I guess one thing it came from was when the Supreme Court threw out the death penalty statute in Georgia, I didnt like the way that the Senate came up with solving that problem. And I voted against the new bill and I think people thought then that I was, you know, anti-death penalty and soft on crime. Thats what they said in the campaigns, but I dont want to go through all the reasons that I had for having that 01:05:00position, but what I wanted to do with criminal justice was kind of controversial because a lot of the judges didnt like it. I didnt like the fact that a lot of criminal defendants go before a judge and the judge worries about how long theyre actually going to stay in jail, and so theyll give them 20 years when they think they really ought to serve about eight. And one thing that I tried to do was to let the sentence mean what it says kind of like the federal system where if you get 10 years youre going to have to serve most of the 10 years you get good time credit so you get out a little bit early, but its not one of these things where theres a guessing game where the sentencing judge is "when is the Pardon and Parole Board going to let this guy out? So how long should I give him 20 years so he could serve eight? I tried to do that and I supported Governor Miller in his effort to be tougher on 01:06:00violent criminals, his two strikes and youre out where, you know, if youve been convicted twice of a violent felony that you have to serve all of your time, and up to life. I just think that when an individual commits two violent felonies that we owe it to the public to get that person off the street. And so thats kind of the direction I took. And it started with this bill youre referring to about drug dealers, trying to get a handle on stopping drug dealers, which is kind of to me is feeding most of the crime. Weve got somebody that works here in this office who has had three friends this year in Atlanta, Georgia, who have been the victims of home invasion, rapes, and all of 01:07:00that stuff is driven by drugs, people getting high on drugs and doing these things. So we saw that coming back years ago that the drug problem was festering, getting worse and worse and worse, and we were trying to get a handle on it but frankly, Bob, it didnt really work. I dont know what will work, but that was the effort.
SHORT: Well lets talk for a minute about healthcare. You were involved for16 years as Chairman of a committee. It seems that we have the same problems in healthcare delivery today that we had back then. Is there really a solution?
HOWARD: Well, you know, to me its kind of like somebody asking you is therea cure for cancer. And the answer to the question probably is that you got to first define cancer, and cancer is probably a generic term for many ills. And 01:08:00the answer to getting a cure for cancer is probably going to be finding a cure for many different things that we are lumping under one thing--cancer. So when you say healthcare, I think if I were in Washington today I would be concerned about trying to reform insurance. I think that the insurance industry has gone wild, and my father was the president of an insurance company. Im not against insurance companies, but I think that we got to get some checks on the way there dealing with the public. This preexisting condition problem is huge and it needs to be solved. We need to get a handle on the cost of health insurance. So youve got the health insurance problem to deal with, then youve got the 01:09:00access to care problem to deal with. And Ill never forget this. I was in Lumpkin County making a speech to the Chamber of Commerce and we were in a high school on the basketball court where they had set up the tables. I was Lieutenant Governor. And I just noticed up in the bleachers there was a man sitting up there in overalls and he had a woman with him I figured was his wife, and I thought he was going to clean up after we left. I didnt know why he was there, but I was just thinking "that must be the guy thats going to try to get this place back looking right." So after I spoke, he came down and sought me out and said "Lieutenant Governor Howard, I want to speak to you for a minute about something important. I said "okay. So I went over there and sat down with him. He said "I have a sawmill and I own about 200 acres of land but I hadnt got any money and the sawmill is closed because the economy is so bad, 01:10:00and Ive got a son that needs insulin everyday and Ive got too much land to qualify for Medicaid and I aint got enough money to buy the insulin and my son has got to have insulin by tomorrow. I hadnt got any health insurance. I cant afford it. I need some help. So I called a doctor in town that I know. He got a drug company to agree to provide the man with the insulin, and as far as I know they did it, you know, for a long time. He wrote me and told me the problem was solved. I tell that not to say that I was so great for doing that for him because that was part of my job to try to help people, but it pointed out to me that there are a lot of people in this country today who have worked all their life or are still working and cant afford health insurance, and I think that needs to be resolved. I dont know why conservatives and 01:11:00liberals and moderates cant agree that weve got to make it possible for everybody to be able to afford healthcare for their family. The cost of it of course is a problem, but I think one thing thats been left out of the debate that I always thought was really critical was to pay for preventive care. I think that we do interventional care when something bad happens its more expensive, and if we could go at it from a prevention point of view--hat needs to be a big part of this bill. And I dont know whether it is or not because I never have truly understood the bill thats up there.
SHORT: Before we get into your terms as Lieutenant Governor, Id like to askyou about the gang of five.
HOWARD: Infamous. Some pretty good people in the gang of five. Well, you knowwhen youre a young buck in life and you see things maybe are not going the 01:12:00way you think they ought to go you think well I want to change that. So Governor Zell Miller, who certainly has exceeded in his life anything that any of the five of us have ever done, he was the Lieutenant Governor. And there was some things about the way he and the senior members were running the Senate that we didnt agree with. And the people involved were Pierre Howard, Roy Barnes, Wayne Garner, Ed Hein and one more.
HOWARD: Paul Trulock from Climax, Georgia who was my roommate in college. Andso we got together and started talking about what we could do and we decided that it would be a good idea to come up with some reform legislation. So we said 01:13:00okay were going to, you know, about that time I think they had the gang of eight or something over in China or whatever it was, the gang of four or something, so we said "well just call ourselves the gang of five, or maybe somebody else started calling us that. Anyway we had the press conference and had the bills, and that could have been Lieutenant Governor Millers term for us. I cant remember, but we became known as the gang of five and we put forth the ethics bill I think was one of them, and you know, its surprising this many years later I havent refreshed my memory, but we had some very progressive legislation, at least we thought, and thats where the gang of five came from because it was viewed I think as an attack on the senior leadership of the Senate and I guess from a philosophical point of view it was. But most of the things that the gang of five were promoting had become law 01:14:00today. We were just a little ahead of our time, like we usually were.
SHORT: Well its 1990 and you decide to run for Lieutenant Governor. Whatprompted that decision?
HOWARD: Well Id been down there for 18 years and we had two children,Christopher and Caroline, and we had been married for 12 years before our first child came. We had been through a lot of things trying to have a child. It had been a difficult road, and then we had two children--once they finally got it figured out we had two children within 16 months and I gave a lot of thought 01:15:00when Christopher was born in 1986 to getting out of the Senate, but I didnt do it then and I remember when I started thinking about running statewide in about 1985 Nathan Dean came up to me, he was a good friend of mine from Rockmart, he says "You ought to be at home with those babies. You dont need to be in Hahira making a speech. And I was too stupid to know that he was right then because I thought I could have it all, you know. But anyway I guess you asked me why did I run for the Lieutenant Governorship. I had thought about running for Governor. Now that was really dumb, but I mean I just be honest with you I had thought about it. And so Zell had some good friends over in Dekalb 01:16:00County, Bill Evans, Jim Miller, Clyde Shepherd and some of them, and they got me at the Petite Auberge which is a restaurant owned by Clyde Shepherd. That would have been probably in 88, late 88, and they said "Look we think it would be a mistake for you to run against Zell Miller. He's going to run for Governor. And youd probably do pretty good around here, but hes been campaigning for a long time and hes going to be hard to beat. We think you could win the Lieutenant Governors race." Now I didnt really know--they probably didnt think I could win the Lieutenant Governors race. They were just trying to get me out of the Governors race. I know that now, but then I, you know, I thought "They're probably right. I also knew that in my heart I probably couldnt win the Governors race in 1990 because I did agree that Zell Miller would be almost impossible for me to beat. You see these things 01:17:00arent done on I dont like Zell Miller, I want to run. I mean its just whether, you know, you have something you want to contribute and I felt that I needed to either go up or out because I could see that I had done what I could do in the Senate in 18 years and I thought "if I stay there any longer Im just going to become one of those people that Im always complaining about. And I said "I need to either get out of this place or get some power to change things." So as I talked with some friends of mine who were interested in my politics about the idea of running for Lieutenant Governor became more appealing, and so I decided to do it and they said they would help me. And they really didnt help me all that much to be quite honest because I dont know that they werent all, you know, wildly enthusiastic about it, but it was the 01:18:00right decision politically for me and it was a stretch. Its always a stretch for anybody to win a statewide race unless youre an incumbent, well liked incumbent or something. But for anybody whos never run before to win a statewide race is always a stretch and they always say you cant win. Anybody listening to the sound of my voice 20 years from now that if somebody tells you you cant be elected, theyve told everybody thats ever won the same thing and everybody whos ever lost. So you just never know until you get out there and start going. But that was kind of the way it happened and I never have really told that before, but I warmed to the idea of trying that first and thats how it happened.
SHORT: You know, when the people approved the Constitutional Amendment creatingthe office of Lieutenant Governor the duties were two-fold. First of all to 01:19:00succeed the Governor in case of death or disability, and secondly to preside over the Senate, but as years evolved the job became more pressing and now its almost a fulltime job.
HOWARD: Yeah well you know the Lieutenant Governors handshake came out ofthe description of the job from the Constitution. The Lieutenant Governors handshake is he goes up to the Governor to shake hands with him and puts his index finger on the Governors pulse to check it to see if that hearts still beating, and of course the hope of every Lieutenant Governor is that he feels kind of a weak pulse, you know. But, you know, Governor Miller when he was Lieutenant Governor he tried to abolish the office that he was in, and I think the bill might have passed the Senate, didnt pass the House, or maybe it was 01:20:00the other way around. I guess it passed the Senate and didnt pass the House. I need to ask him why he did that. I never did figure that out, but yeah I think the Lieutenant Governors office is a fulltime job today. I mean arguably you could quit after the session and go do something else, which I think they did for a long time, but the expectation today is that youre on the job fulltime. A lot of Lieutenant Governors have worked at other jobs part-time just to support their family because the thing thats hard is that that job pays--while I was down there it paid about $75,000.00 a year. Maybe today it pays a little more than that. I dont know exactly, but for most Georgians $75,000.00 is a whale of a lot of money, and its hard to explain to them why 01:21:00you would need another job. The problem is that if youre living in Atlanta, the cost of living has gotten to the point where its hard to meet the demands of a family if youve got children on $75,000.00 to the level that you would want to, and so some people in the Lieutenant Governors office have felt impelled to take, you know, other jobs to support their family while theyre trying to serve. But you asked the question is it a fulltime job. It has been made into one. A lot of the things that you do on a daily basis really constitute getting out and meeting obligations to speak. Somebody who supported you down in Valdosta will call and say "were having the, you know, big dinner, will you come down and speak," its hard to say no. So you could probably cut some of that out, but I think theres an expectation today that 01:22:00the Lieutenant Governor be on the job all the time.
SHORT: You served eight years as Lieutenant Governor to Governor Zell Miller.What was your relationship?
HOWARD: Well Ill tell you, Zell Miller and I were in the foxhole togetherfor a long time. 25 years or 24 years I guess because he was elected Lieutenant Governor right after I got there. Id been there two years. And a very close friend of mine was running in that race, Max Cleland from Dekalb County and he was my seatmate and close friend, and I voted for Max and I think Zell would understand why because I didnt really know Zell. I knew that he had been Executive Director of the Democratic Party and I remember the runoff he had with Mary Hitt, which I dont know that he would remember it with a laugh. But 01:23:00anyway when he came over to the Senate as Lieutenant Governor-Elect, Paul Coverdell had become a very close friend of mine. He was a Republican, a famous Republican. And he and I had been meeting with Hamilton McWhorter all summer before Zell was elected, and we wanted to revise the rules of the Senate and we had to meet in the attic above the Senate chamber so nobody would know we were meeting because Hamilton McWhorter, who I think had been in the CIA somebody told me, was so secretive about things that he didnt want people to know we were even talking about changing the rules. We came up with a proposal to change the rules of the Senate, and one of the premises was that back to this whole 01:24:00thing about who would appoint the committees. And we wanted new Lieutenant Governor to have a committee on committees to try to spread out the power a little bit and let the President Pro Tem and the majority leader be on a committee on committees with the Lieutenant Governor and they would select the committee chairman. And we had some other things we wanted, and so we presented that to Zell Miller and John Savage who was a dentist who ran against Zell Miller for Lieutenant Governor, and so Zell said he kind of liked the idea and so did Savage. So they both agreed to the reforms. And when he got elected he was true to his word. He did it. And so we started off I think on a pretty good 01:25:00note. And Zell told me one time that he felt I was always nipping at his heels and that he thought it helped him do a better job. He said that to me. And you see I never did really feel that I was nipping at his heels, but we just had some differences, as you would expect, not to agree on everything. The thing that he doesnt understand is that I always supported the thrust of what he was doing because I always believed that he and I were on the same track and were trying to get to the same train station. We just might have driven it a little faster, a little slower, or put the brake on here or there, but we were going the same direction and we believed in the same things for the state. Zell Miller was a very progressive Lieutenant Governor and Governor, and he was what 01:26:00I would call a progressive Democrat during those years. He really always believed in education first and foremost, and I agreed with that. He wanted to see the state do something for people who didnt have a voice. And the main thing that drove me in politics was that I wanted to be the voice for those people who did not have lobbyists in the halls and corridors who needed somebody down there to speak for them. That sounds messianic, but I dont mean it that way. I think some people sort of feel that and some people dont. And that almost to me is the difference to me between the Republican and the Democratic Parties just at the very base of it. And thats kind of the way Zell and I 01:27:00went along. Now we did have pretty good relations with the business community, and Zell, after he got beat by Herman Talmadge, I think really reached out to the business community in an even bigger way and became their voice on a lot of things, but I felt that we have today a very warm relationship as a result of all those years. There were times along the road where we did have some disagreements and things went off track. And I remember one time he had a proposal--he probably today might not do something like this, but at the time he was trying to increase taxes for education, and we had a hearing and I asked a 01:28:00question, and this was something I shouldnt have said, but I said it and I think a reporter was there, and I said "well isnt doing this kind of like putting a Band-aid on cancer? And Richard Green went running into the Lieutenant Governors office said Pierre Howards in there saying that your proposal is like putting a Band-aid on cancer. So he went and got Bill, his writer - -
SHORT: Bill Stephens?
SHORT: Bill Shipp?
SHORT: Bill Burson?
HOWARD: Bill Burson. He got Bill Burson to write him a statement and he went inthere and made it and he says "Pierre Howard if he would spend a little less time on the tennis court and a little more time down at the housing projects understanding the needs of," you know, he let me have it pretty good. But, you know, we had some things like that, but I mean you could say that I caused that by my stupidity running my mouth too much. But except for a few things like that 01:29:00we got along pretty good I thought, and I always supported - - I cant think of many things he ever proposed that I didnt support because I thought they were right, and I think that Governor Miller did many good things, but I think his greatest legacy, and Im sure he would agree with this probably, is the Hope scholarship. And I thought it was sort of interesting that my own children were on the Hope scholarship the whole time they were at the University of Georgia and, you know, a lot of families like ours have got Zell Miller to thank for this program. And the thing thats so unusual about the Hope scholarship, I havent understood why more states havent done it, is that its been said that it helps people that could afford it anyway. It helps people like 01:30:00families like ours. I could have afforded the tuition, but the thing thats good about the Hope scholarship is that very thing that a lot of programs of government dont help middle class people or people of higher income, but this is merit based and so its not just that youre helping the family avoid having to pay the tuition that they could pay anyway or its not just that youre helping the family pay the tuition that they cant pay. Part of it is youre recognizing the child for the achievement of the child and that helps the child to gain confidence. And its great on many levels, and thats, you know, a legacy that hes left, so.
SHORT: Get something to get something he says is his - -
SHORT: Whole basis of that.
SHORT: Let me ask you this question. Knowing that you have to deal with theGovernor and Speaker of the House, how does a Lieutenant Governor go about 01:31:00proposing their own agendas?
HOWARD: Well, Im reminded of the thing that happened to me one time. You seebefore the session, every two years they have this big conference up at the University of Georgia for the new legislators, a pre-legislative forum, and one of the big events is the Governor speaks at the final luncheon. And so Jack Hill from Reidsville, Senator Jack Hill, had been working since May on the idea of a graduated license for teen drivers. And, you know, previously teenagers had just gotten a license and been able to go drive, but we wanted to have it graduated so that when they were 16 they would have a license that would have certain 01:32:00limitations on it and if they got a DUI, they would lose their license for a year, all those things of the law today. And so we had had a study committee and wed been working on it and it was going to be my number one proposal in my package. You asked me how do you propose laws. So Im sitting beside Governor Miller and we have a very pleasant pre-speech conversation, and then he gets up to speak and he "says ladies and gentlemen, he says Im here today to announce my leislative package for the session. And he says the number one bill is going to be a bill thats going to change driving for teenagers. Its the graduated license. He had taken my bill. And when he sat back down I said "Governor, thats my bill. He said "well its going to do better with my name on it," or something like that, I mean you know thats just the life of a Lieutenant Governor. And he hadnt done anything wrong. It was just thats 01:33:00the way that works. So it is very difficult to get any real traction when youre working with a Governor that wants to get stuff done. If youve got a good idea, theres a chance theyre going to take it. And, you know, in the larger context its a better thing for the Governor to put it in. Theres a better chance it will become law. But I mean when egos get involved you worry about that, but I think theres always plenty of room for a Lieutenant Governor to maneuver. The Governors not going to take every idea that youve got and youre not going to have every good idea. I mean, you know, you have to have a team concept, and one thing that has distressed me about whats going on down there at the General Assembly now under Governor Perdue is that there doesnt seem to be the same sense of teamwork in the Capitol, and this is Im speaking here in the year 2009, weve got a Governors 01:34:00race next year, and Governor Perdues been in there for about eight years, but there doesnt seem to be a sense of teamwork that we had. And even though yes Zell Miller and Tom Murphy fought like cats and dogs, Tom Murphy didnt particularly like me, or at least he made people think that, in person he was very nice to me. Thats the very interesting thing. You know you can say "oh Tom Murphy and Pierre Howard hate each other. When we had meetings he was always very courteous. I was courteous to him. The last time I saw him he put his arm around me and hugged me, and I introduced my children to him and his family. People dont see these things. A lot of politics is theater. You know that because you were in it, but a lot of its theater, and I dont think Tom Murphy hated me or anything. It was just that theres always a tension between the Governor, I mean the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker. Its a natural tension that 01:35:00probably should be there. Theyre not down there to get along on everything. Theyre down there to try to put their views out there and then come to a meeting of the minds somewhere in the middle and thats where you get your good results. And so the fact that the Lieutenant Governor has some trouble maneuvering is just part of the job, but theres plenty of room like on the budget. You can get a lot of good things done on the budget, and you can get a lot of good things done working with the Governor toward a common objective, and thats most of the stuff that I got done I did with the Governors blessing. Before I ever put it in I would go see him and say "Heres what I want to try to do," and he wouldnt always tell me that he was going to push it, but he would say "well go work on it and then come back and see me," something like that.
SHORT: Should Georgias Governor and Lieutenant Governor run as a ticket?01:36:00
HOWARD: Well I think that there would be some advantages to it, especially fromthe point of the view of the Lieutenant Governor. He wouldnt have to go raise all that money by his self or herself, but I sort of feel that the way the Capitol is running right now that its a little bit broken and I dont know whether its a function of the personalities in office or a function of the way the structures set up. I told Governor Miller when I was in there that I think it would be a good idea for the Lieutenant Governor to work a little bit more on economic development, but he always wanted to do that himself. He did send me on one trip. It was the best trip that Nancy and I and the children ever took when we were in office. He was planning to go to Germany and Italy on a 01:37:00industry-seeking mission and he couldnt go at the last minute and sent us. And that was a wonderful experience. But I think the Lieutenant Governor could do a lot more, could be given a lot more responsibility than currently is given. And if I were waving a magic wand I would say they ought to take another look at that. I mean the Florida model is not too bad, the cabinet model where the, you know, the Lieutenant Governor is part of a team, and has more responsibilities than just to preside over the Senate and wait for the Governor to get sick or something. I think its a waste of effort and a waste of talent.
SHORT: What did you enjoy most about being Lieutenant Governor?
HOWARD: Having lunch with Wayne Garner. I really think
SHORT: Did he pay?
HOWARD: No not much. No, he paid some. Hes the funniest guy. He and Dan01:38:00Magill are the two funniest people I know, and I just loved working with him. But yeah I mean hes not the only one. Paul Coverdell--I was privileged, very privileged, to work with some great people.
SHORT: There was a lot of camaraderie then.
SHORT: Not as partisan as it is today.
HOWARD: Id like to say a little bit more about that, but Im getting kindof--a little emotional about it.
SHORT: Heres a question you might not want an answer. Governor Miller saidhe was only going to run for one term. He changed his mind in 1994 and ran for a second term. Had you made any plans to run? 01:39:00
HOWARD: He had called me into the office and told me to get ready, you know, ifI wanted to run to get ready and start doing whatever it is I needed to do. And I took him, you know, I started getting ready. And I had geared up and done a lot of things in preparation to run, and I wont go into all that, but we were having a meeting of the GSFIC one day, I think it was GSFIC, and he was presiding and after the meeting he says "I need to talk to you" and I said "okay. So we went into a little room right off where we had been meeting in one of those big office buildings down there, and he said - - he just looked at me and he says "I cant walk away from it. He said "Im going to run 01:40:00again. I said "I understand."
SHORT: Were you disappointed?
HOWARD: Yeah I was because I thought it was my time. I thought that I mighthave the opportunity then to win, but, you know, I told him later, Zell and I weve talked about this and he said "I feel that I stopped a good man from being Governor," and I said well look "I really think, and I really do believe this, I really think that we got more done together than I could have done if I had run and won" because in that last term that he served we did a lot of good stuff for the state. And I never have really been bitter about it at all. At the 01:41:00time it kind of made me a little bit angry, and I was going to use another term for it, but that didnt last very long honestly. And so, you know, yes I was upset. I felt a little betrayed because I had been told that, you know, one thing was going to happen and then another thing happened, but, you know, thats just life and thats politics. People change their minds, and Ive changed my mind. He was entitled to change his. I honestly believe that a lot of his supporters--I think maybe that Governor Miller, he probably didnt want to run again at one level because he had served, he had done very well in that 01:42:00first term, and he was going to have to run this race against a guy with all this money and it turned out to be just a horrible campaign for all of us because the tide was running strong against the Democrats in 94, even stronger than he and I thought. And I dont know that that was the first thing on his list to run again, but I think some supporters of his, you know, probably convinced him. And Virgil Williams asked me to go hunting with him down at his place in Albany. He never did ask me before or since, but he had given me a little pre-warning that maybe that was prearranged of course, but he got me down there. After we hunted he says "were going to ask Zell to run again. I dont know if hes going to do it or not, but I just want you to know. So I mean I had an inkling bu I wasnt sure. But, you know, Bob, its not 01:43:00something that I ever think about at all now, its just something that happened and I feel proud of my public service in the offices that I held, so it was fine. Yeah. Oh, there are a couple of things that I did when I was in the Senate and Lieutenant Governor that I would like to mention. One of them is the Peach Program, and the Peach Program was a program that gave welfare recipients job training and education and childcare, and helped get them off welfare, and that program is still in operation today and has gotten a lot of people off the welfare roles, and Im very proud of that. Another thing that Im proud of is getting the seatbelt law passed, and Speaker Tom Murphy was opposed to that 01:44:00because he thought it was an intrusion into peoples personal lives and government shouldnt be telling them whether to wear a seatbelt or not, but Paul Coverdell had convinced me that it was important, and he was the first man in Georgia to ever propose a seatbelt law. And the way we got the first seatbelt law passed was I went over and literally got down on one knee while the speaker was in there and just about begged him to allow us to pass the seatbelt law, and he says "well Ill do it only if the officer can give a ticket if youre doing something else wrong. It was not a primary offense. In other words, you couldnt just be arrested for not wearing your seatbelt. If you were speeding and not wearing your seatbelt, and so thats how we started. I wanted it to be a primary offense. So when I got to be Lieutenant Governor I knew that he wanted the speed limit raised because he was saying that. So I said "I will never be 01:45:00for that. Over my dead body will we raise the speed limit. We got down in the last part of the session and he sat over there and says "what do you want to raise the speed limit? I said "I want the seatbelt law," so we traded. Thats how that happened. But I put my marker down because I knew that later hed probably come and say, you know, what is it that we can do to get it settled. So I just wanted to mention those two things, but one more thing I want to say is that during my time as Lieutenant Governor I became convinced that the natural world in Georgia was under threat and you could see it when I would leave Atlanta to go speak I could see the red clay scars on the land just going out, out, out, further and further and this sprawl taking more and more trees 01:46:00and more and more streams are being degraded and thats how I really got interested in environmental protection. And Ive always been real interested in being outdoors and I got interested in birding and I just feel a real strong connection with the land and with the natural world. And so when Governor Miller did Preservation 2000 we preserved--it was really his effort--we preserved 100,000 acres of land in Georgia, which is really a small amount in a sense, but then it seemed like a lot. And then we did the Chattahoochee River campaign which preserved 13 miles of the Chattahoochee River, and I think one of the things Im proudest of is that I got $15 million put into the budget to buy land along the Chattahoochee River and that bought three state parks. And Ive always, you know, really been proud of that accomplishments. And I went to him 01:47:00and he says "what do you need? I said "Governor I want to put $15 million in the budget for the Chattahoochee River. He said "wow thats a lot. I said "well thats what I want. And he said "how you going to get the Speaker to agree to it? I said "I dont know. He said "well, you know, he wants that lake over there. He was trying to build a lake on the Little Tallapoosa River. I said "Im not for that lake. He said "well you might have to get for it if you want this money in the budget. He says "by the way I dont think theyll ever build that. He said "I dont think the Corps of Engineers is going to let them.
HOWARD: So I just told the Speaker Id support his lake if hed put the $15million in the budget and we did it. But Ive always been, you know, really proud of that.
SHORT: 1988 - -
SHORT: 98. 1998 an open seat in the Governors race. We all expected you01:48:00to win but you withdrew.
HOWARD: Well, you know, timing is everything in politics, and I had spent 26years in public life and for a lot of people they would think well, you know, the perfect thing would be now for him to run for the open seat because hes wanted to be Governor. This is a chance. But I think in judging someones decision about their life, about their future, you have to look at a lot of different things, and one thing that I want to make clear is that I have never been happier with a decision than with that one. I never regretted the decision. I never looked back and thought I did the wrong thing because Nancy and I had 01:49:00gotten to the point in our lives where we had just had enough of the public life. If they havent been in it they dont understand that serving in the public life is a lifestyle choice. And we had been in the state Senate and the state Senate you can go down and you can come back home and you can have a family life. Wed had these two children, Caroline and Christopher, which, you know, are the joy of our lives, and Christopher just graduated from the University of Georgia and Caroline has got one more month and shell be finished. Shell be graduated. At the time that we made that decision they were 10 and 11, and we had been through a very tough campaign in 1994 against 01:50:00Nancy Schafer and I have run against probably 25 or 30 people in my life and Im friends with every one of them except for her. And that campaign showed us a part of politics that we hated. And so after youve been doing something for 26 years, Nancy and I just were to the point where we did not want that for our family. And we felt that serving in the Governors office was a lot different from serving as Lieutenant Governor because as Lieutenant Governor I could live at home. I could go out and do my job and then come back home. When youre 01:51:00Governor you live in a fishbowl. You live over there in a place where state patrolman stay with your children if youve got to go on an industry seeking mission. And we knew that the transition from being Lieutenant Governor to being Governor, if I got elected. I mean there was a big question whether a Democrat could win because as you recall Roy Barnes beat Guy Milner by a pretty good margin. I think he got 54% of the vote, but at the time I made my decision that was very, very much up in the air as to whether it was winnable or not because Guy Milner was going to raise $20 million. He said he was going to spend his own money. He had gotten 49% of the vote against Zell Miller. Zell Miller had won by 30,000 votes, and so we knew that if I did run, raising the money was going to be the main thing and I was going to be in a room making phone calls most of the 01:52:00time. I wasnt going to be out doing what I love to do and that is shaking hands with the people. I was with Alston & Bird then. I went to my law firm managing partnership committee in the summer of 1996, and I told them that I did not want to run for Governor, that Nancy and I had decided that it would not be the best thing for our family. That was two years before the election. And they let me know right quick that they expected me to get out there and get with it. So I thought "well, you know, I think Ill go and see Alan Seacrest and talk to him a little bit in Washington. We went up there and talked to him. He said he thought it was going to be a dogfight. It might be something we could 01:53:00do, but it would depend on a lot of factors between then and 98, how much money we could get up. So I started out raising some money that fall, and Roy Barnes decided he was going to run, and it was obvious to me that, you know, that presented another problem. Roy decided in the end that he was not going to run and that he would run for Lieutenant Governor. But as time went by through the Spring, as after we went through the session, it just becae more and more apparent to me and Nancy that we had made a really bad mistake in sticking our toe in the water. When you run for an office, youve got to feel it in your gut. Youve got to be damn sure you want it. You cant halfway do it. And I 01:54:00would tell anybody who ever runs for something if you dont feel it in your gut, if it feels wrong, you shouldnt do it. And we knew damn well it wasnt the life we wanted for us and our children, but yet at the same time I was thinking "well Ive put all this into it, shouldnt I try?" And we went to Arizona in I think it was June. We stayed out there for two weeks and it was out there that we just decided, you know, we looked at each other and said "were not doing the right thing. So I decided to get out of it and I got out in August of 97 and I thought well it will give whoever, you know, whoever wants to run plenty of time to get ready because it was about a year and four months before the election. So it turned out okay because Roy was able to jump in there 01:55:00and win it. I would have really felt bad if, you know, a Republican had been elected because I really wanted a Democrat to be Governor and I was very pleased when he won. But it was a hard decision, but it was the right decision for our family. And, you know, in the end thats the only thing that makes any real difference is if serving in public life is inconsistent with your ability to be the kind of father you want to be, the kind of husband you want to be, to have the kind of family life you want, then its no good. And thats been proven time and again. And so thats the reason.
SHORT: How about life after public service?
HOWARD: Public service was great. I really liked it, but Ive liked being outof it more than I liked being in it, which is really something to say because 01:56:00most people would think that I look back on that and wish I was still down there, but I have enjoyed my life a lot more since. Im able to concentrate on the things that really mean the most to me, and that is doing stuff with my family. See if I had run for Governor I would have missed a lot of the growing--lets say I got elected for two terms, I dont know if I could have got elected for one, but if I had been able to avoid the flag problem that Roy had and the problem with the teachers, and I would have never done the outer perimeter because I just wasnt for that, Im not for it now, I felt that Governor Barnes got triangulated between the flag and the teachers and the outer perimeter and he just could never get it over 50% after that, but if I had been elected our lives, Nancys, mine and Christophers and Carolines would have been very different from what theyve been since. Maybe we would have 01:57:00liked it better than we thought, but I dont think so. But what weve had since has been a very close family and Ive been able to do some things that Ive always wanted to do, that is to try to do more to protect the environment. Roy Barnes put me on the Natural Resources Committee, and Board. I served on the Board. I was reappointed for a second term, and then the Republicans kicked me off because I took issue with a bill that the Governor had down there, on permit trading, and I wrote a letter to the Senate asking for the defeat of the bill. Three days later I was off the Board, but I never regretted that either because I didnt like it that much to begin with and I felt strongly about that bill. And Harold Reheise was over there on the halls and corridors lobbying for the bill when he had not been given the authority of the Board to lobby for it, and the man lobbying for it was Joe Tanner and he went to 01:58:00work for him about two months later. But I never regretted that at all. I enjoyed my work very much with the Nature Conservancy and I chaired the Board for three years and weve protected a lot of land in this state. I also went on the faculty at the University of Georgia School of Ecology and really enjoyed my association with the University of Georgia. And I started a company with a guy that I ran against for Lieutenant Governor, Matt Towery. And I enjoyed that. We raised $6 million in capital. We started the company and we sold 60% of it to a Canadian company about four years later. And so we had a successful venture. I found Matt to be very stimulating to work with. Matt Towery is an idea man. Hes got an idea a minute. Hell tell you about three of them are going to be bad and the fourth ones going to be great. So somebody has to sit there 01:59:00and say "I dont believe so, I dont believe so, yeah. But Matt and I got along really well and for two guys that ran against each other for Lieutenant Governor one on the Democratic ticket and one on the Republican ticket. We had a great relationship and we still are strong friends. And so I enjoyed that. And then I decided to see how it would be to just do what I wanted to. Tell everybody to go to hell and just do what I wanted to for a while, and then they called me about this job Ive got now which is president of the Georgia Conservancy. Well the Georgia Conservancy was started in 1968 by a hero of mine named Jim Mackay who was 4th District Congressman. And I thought to myself when they called me about taking this job on an interim basis that if Mackay were standing here he would say "Youd better go do that. So I said "okay Ill 02:00:00come down and try to hold it between the ditches until you can get a permanent person. And I was here for about two or three months and they came and said "would you consider staying full time?" So I decided to do it for a while, but Im very interested in environmental issues and protecting the land, air and water of this state and thats what we try to do here. But I have a lot--still have my health thank God. I survived cancer right after I got out of the Governors race. I got colon cancer and maybe the good Lord was looking after me in that respect, but I caught it early and Im fine, but I just have so much to be grateful for and thankful for in my life, and so Im living with that spirit.
SHORT: If you had your career to do over, would you do anything differently?
HOWARD: You know, I think probably I would. If I had it to do over again, when02:01:00Zell Miller told me that he was going to run for Governor again, I should have gotten out of politics then because I wasted four years and I dont say wasted, but I missed four years that I could have had better quality time with my children and my wife down at the State Capitol when I had already been there for 22 years, and that was a gracious plenty. I mean theres something to be said for not staying in public life for your whole career, and thats not even a good idea for the public. And so yeah I mean that would have probably been a better move because I wouldnt have missed those years between like when 02:02:00Christopher was seven, eight and nine I was away so much out on the road so much, and I regret that very much, but I feel that I redeemed myself by making a hard decision that a lot of people criticized, but a hard decision to spend time with them and not pursue the public career. So I kind of made a halfway good choice in my life. I wish Id made a fully better choice by ending it in 1994 and going home.
SHORT: What was your proudest moment in politics?
HOWARD: It would be a tossup between the day I left because I felt I had made ahard decision but a good decision, and Nancy and the children were so happy and I really was happy too, but it was a very proud moment when I was over there at 02:03:00Georgia Tech and put my hand up and took the oath as Lieutenant Governor. I was very proud of that because to carry 156 out of 159 counties was something that really just meant a lot to me, and it meant to me that the people wanted me to do this job. And it really is true theyre buying a pig in a poke when they elect somebody because they dont know everything theyre getting, but I mean just for me at that moment that was a very proud moment. And another very proud moment for me was when I got that $15 million in the budget to buy land along the Chattahoochee River. That was something that not many peope know about, but for me it meant a lot.
SHORT: Your biggest disappointment.
HOWARD: I think probably my biggest disappointment was that I was not able to02:04:00ever get along with Tom Murphy, and I felt that if he and I had been a little bit more on the same wavelength that we could have gotten a lot more done. A good example is I put money in the budget for a multi-modal station in Atlanta that would have started the movement toward rail, passenger rail in Georgia, and I couldnt get him to go along with it. And there were just a lot of things like that that really bothered me. And another thing thats been a big disappointment to me is that Governor Perdue and the Republicans have dismantled 02:05:00in the last eight years a lot of the things that Zell Miller and I put in place during our time. And I havent quite understood this seismic shift thats occurred in Georgia politics because I honestly felt that in the 1990s when Zell Miller and I and Tom Murphy and the other people that meant so much to me on both the Democratic and Republican sides, were down there that we got a lot done, and I was--you know, Bob, we havent talked about this, but as Lieutenant Governor I was the first Lieutenant Governor to really embrace the idea of bipartisanship, and the Republicans will tell you that today that I really tried to use a model in the Senate of appointing Republicans to committee 02:06:00chairmanship, putting them in important positions on the Appropriations Committee, and letting everybody be a part of the decision making process and it worked. And then when Mark Taylor came into office he had such a difficult campaign run against him and I think he was embittered by that, and he went back to a more partisan model. Now some of the Democratic senators, some of whom switched parties later, did not like my bipartisanship, and I was told by a lot of people, including Tom Murphy and some other names weve mentioned here today, that I was making a bad mistake by being bipartisan. But it was not all done on my part just because Im a good guy or anything like that. I could see the state moving toward a more bipartisan posture, and I felt that it was really it was good government and good politics to be more bipartisan. And, you know, 02:07:00when I ran a lot of Republicans voted for me, and I think that was part of the reason, and its been a huge disappointment to me that the state Senate has moved away from that. I was watching the television with my daughter right after the Republicans took over the Senate, and I saw Tom Price, whos now in Congress, and some others putting all of the pictures of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors into a wheelbarrow and wheeling them out of the--like they were trash, and they never have been hung up again. My daughter says "Daddy theyre taking your picture down. And I said "well what? And I went in there looked and they were taking the pictures down. They never have gone back up in that room. So its become very partisan and that really has bothered me a lot. That probably is my biggest disappointment is whats gone on after 02:08:00Ive left.
SHORT: Finally, how would you like to be remembered?
HOWARD: I think that if anybody--well first of all I dont think peopleremember Lieutenant Governors very long to be honest with you. I hope that my family will remember me as somebody who loves them and tried to put them first. I hope my friends will remember me as somebody who loves them and cares about them. And for anybody who can remember anything that I did in politics, I hope that they will come to believe that I tried to do the right thing. I never stole anything. I didnt need to steal and I never did do it for the big mules. I did it for the little people and that was what motivated me in politics was to 02:09:00try to give voice to the people who didnt have a voice, and for whatever small number of people remember me in the future, I hope they remember that I love the state of Georgia and I tried to be a voice of the people.