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Interview with Martha Zoller, December 17, 2012

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:14 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Good morning, I'm Bill Shipp.

Segment Synopsis: Bill Shipp introduces Martha, and mentions her work as leading radio talk host as well as her campaign for election to Congress.

00:00:49 - Early life and education

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Partial Transcript: Let's turn to you now, Martha, and your background.

Segment Synopsis: Zoller discusses her childhood in Columbus, Georgia and her family's relocation due to her father's work as a saleman. She recounts her memories of the Kennedy assassination while her family was living in the Washington D.C. area. Zoller also recalls the desegregation of Columbus High School and studying journalism at the University of Georgia.

Keywords: Columbus, Georgia; John F. Kennedy assassination; University of Georgia; journalism; school integration

00:04:13 - Talk radio career / Issues on talk radio today

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Partial Transcript: Tell me a little bit about your history of getting into radio and some of the shows you've done and what your plans for the future are.

Segment Synopsis: Zoller recounts changing her major from voice to journalism at the University of Georgia. She discusses her informal first entry into talk radio and eventually leading her own talk shows. Zoller also comments on the issues covered by talk shows and the issues that are avoided by listeners.

Keywords: Martha Zoller show; radio broadcasting; social issues; talk radio; talk shows

00:13:09 - 2012 Election / Zoller's congressional race

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Partial Transcript: Were you shocked at the number of votes that Obama got, especially in view of the amount of money that the Republicans spent to defeat him?

Segment Synopsis: Zoller discusses the 2012 presidential campaign and evaluates the factors that contributed to the Republican Party's loss. She discusses disruption of the political momentum of the campaign by Hurricane Sandy and her participation in grassroots campaigning for the Republican party. Zoller also discusses her congressional race for the 9th District of Georgia and reflects on the lessons she learned from losing the election.

Keywords: congressional race; financial backing; grassroots campaigning; political momentum; presidential campaign; women in politics

00:23:26 - Opinions on campaign spending reform and Citizens United decision

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Partial Transcript: Do you foresee the time that we'll have campaign spending reformed?

Segment Synopsis: Zoller discusses her support of the Citizens United vs. FEC decision but argues for greater transparency in the campaign donation process. She also discusses unemployment and economic downturn in the 9th District of Georgia, for which she campaigned for Congress. She also comments on her husband's reaction to her campaign loss and her scrutiny by the media.

Keywords: Citizens United vs. FEC; PAC; campaign donations; campaign funding; media scrutiny; political action committee; transparency

00:30:03 - Woman in the Republic Party / View on abortion

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Partial Transcript: I think we have a woman problem.

Segment Synopsis: Zoller reflects on women's lack of representation in political office within the Republic Party and creating spaces for women to assume leadership roles. She discusses her views on abortion, pay equality, and the rhetoric of "War on Women." Zoller also discusses her books Indivisible and the role of government in gender discrimination.

Keywords: Equal Pay Act; War on Women; abortion; gender discrimination; political representation; pro-life; women leaders; women's rights

00:38:01 - The Tea Party / U.S. taxes and spending

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Partial Transcript: Which brings me to the Tea Party.

Segment Synopsis: Zoller discusses fiscal conservatism as the core of the Tea Party movement but acknowledges the existence of issues specific to Tea Party groups across the state. She discusses her views on fiscal spending, the federal budget, Medicare and Social Security, and the federal income tax policy.

Keywords: Fair Tax; Social Security; Tea Party; U.S. fiscal policy; balanced budget; fiscal spending; graduated income tax

00:46:07 - Reflection on the future of her career / Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Tell me, Martha, what you see for your future?

Segment Synopsis: Zoller reflects on the the future of her career and comments on the reasons behind running for federal rather than state office. She discusses the growth of the Tea Party movement and its relation to the Republican Party. Zoller reflects on the appeal of conservative values to some minority groups.

Keywords: Tea Party; media career; party competition