Partial Transcript: You know, we go back a long ways, all the way back to the Georgia Jaycees when you and I were, in fact, in the same chapter.
Segment Synopsis: Young talks about his involvement in the Georgia Jaycees. This was his first exposure to Georgia politics. Young also talks about his involvement in Ellis Arnall's second election for governor.
Keywords: Ellis Arnall; Georgia; Georgia politics; Jaycees; Lester Maddox; Selma Alabama; Tennessee; gubernatorial election
Partial Transcript: I think we need to talk for a minute about the roll of Jimmy Carter in that campaign because he later became Governor and President of the United States.
Segment Synopsis: Young talks about working on Ellis Arnall's campaign for Governor. He talks about the strategies the campaign implemented. Young then shares the story of how he became involved in Lester Maddox's campaign.
Keywords: Bo Callaway; Ellis Arnall; Jimmy Carter; Lester Maddox; little peeps; little people; nomination; runoff
Partial Transcript: Before we get to Election Day, Maddox versus Callaway, let’s talk for a minute about Write-In Georgia.
Segment Synopsis: Young talks for a minute about Write-in Georgia. This subsequently made neither candidate win the majority of votes, so the election had to be decided in the Supreme Court and General Assembly. Young also talks about Governor Maddox's administration.
Keywords: Bo Callaway; Johnny Cash; Lester Maddox; Long County; Ludowici; administration; general assembly; little people's day; prisoners; speed trap; tie
Partial Transcript: So he decided to run for Lieutenant Governor against an incumbent governor and against a state representative who was well-known and well-financed.
Segment Synopsis: Young talks about Lester Maddox's campaign for Lieutenant Governor. Also he reflects on Maddox's time as Lieutenant Governor. He and Carter were not on good terms during their tenure.
Keywords: George Busbee; House Bill 1; Jimmy Carter; Lieutenant Governor; Underground Atlanta; Zell Miller; campaign; campaign manager
Partial Transcript: Often, as Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Maddox was criticized for his shop in Underground Atlanta...
Segment Synopsis: Young talks about the 1974 Gubernatorial race between Lester Maddox and George Busbee. Young reflects on some of the problems Maddox faced during the election such as: Cassius Clay, not sticking to speeches, and the Pickrick resturant.
Keywords: Bert Lance; Cassius Clay; George Busbee; Lester Maddox; Underground Atlanta; pickrick resturant; press; show horse; work horse
Partial Transcript: Maddox was defeated.
Segment Synopsis: Young and Short talk about Lester Maddox's early career. They talk about his editorial, his run for mayor, the Pickrick restaurant, and his unsuccessful run for Lieutenant Governor.
Keywords: Atlanta; Lieutenant Governor; Underground Atlanta; Washington DC; bureaucracy; campaign; mayor; newpapers; pickrick
Partial Transcript: Now let’s move a little bit further ahead to 1971 when President (Senator) Dick Russell passed away in Washington.
Segment Synopsis: Young talks about his involvement in Bill Stuckey's unsuccessful run for the Senate.
Keywords: David Gambrell; Dick Russell; Richard Russell; Senate
Partial Transcript: Well, a couple of days later, [chuckling] I get a call from a fellow that I had been in the Jaycees with, a fellow by the name of Richard Ray who was at that time the Mayor of Perry, Georgia.
Segment Synopsis: Young talks about working in Sam Nunn's campaign for the Senate.
Keywords: Earnest Vandiver; Fletcher Thompson; Richard Ray; Sam Nunn; candidate; endorsement; organization
Partial Transcript: In 1976, Lester Maddox for President opposing Jimmy Carter, former Governor of Georgia, and President Gerald Ford.
Segment Synopsis: Young talks about his involvement in Lester Maddox's Presidential Race in 1976. Maddox ran under the American Independent Party.
Keywords: 1976; American Independent Party; Governor Wallace; Jimmy Carter; Lester Maddox; President Gerald Ford; election; president
Partial Transcript: Ten years later, 1986, Hamilton Jordan for Senate.
Segment Synopsis: Young talks about his involvement in Hamilton Jordan's Senate campaign, and he talks about why it had failed. Young later shares his opinions on why the Republican party gained control in Georgia.
Keywords: Democratic party; Republican party; Tom Murphy; Wyche Fowler; national; party switching; political parties; voting
Partial Transcript: Do you agree that the charge that the state Democratic Party is too minority controlled and too close to organized labor?
Segment Synopsis: Young talks about the issues with the Democratic Party and how it had left room for the Republicans to take over. Young mentions how gasoline and the economy are the main issues Georgia's voters.
Keywords: Democratic party; Kentucky Fried Chicken; Republican party; corn; economy; gasoline; splinter; voters
BOB SHORT: I'm Bob Short and this is "Reflections on Georgia Politics"sponsored Young Harris College and the Richard B. Russell Library at the University of Georgia. The election of Lester Maddox to the governorship of Georgia in 1966 is a contest that was finally decided by the Georgia General Assembly and young Sam Nunn's victory in the senatorial election in 1972 were among the highlights of Georgia elective politics in the '60s and '70s. Our guest today, Ned Young, had a hand in both of those elections. We're delighted to have you here today, Ned.
NED YOUNG: Thank you, Bob.
SHORT: You know, we go back a long ways, all the way back to the GeorgiaJaycees when you and I were, in fact, in the same chapter. 00:01:00
YOUNG: That's correct.
SHORT: And tell us a little bit about the Jaycees at that time and theirpolitical organizations and how they went about campaigning.
YOUNG: Well, Bob, there was a number of programs in the Jaycees and, you'recorrect, we did go back; this was many years in the St. Simons Island Georgia Jaycees, of which we were both I guess charter members at the time. And it was a situation like I was asked to join and I, you know, I kind of reluctant not knowing what the organization was about until several of my friends had joined and, you know, it was developing young leadership in the business and -- business, financial and political world. And, consequently, this kind of rung a bell with me because when I came to Georgia initially (my home was in Chattanooga) after I got out of high school and college, I went to work for 00:02:00Delta Air Lines on St. Simons. And, at that time, there was like 800 people in the island, so a very small, very close-knit group. And I did join the Jaycees because the word "political" kind of jumped out at me.
YOUNG: And I said, you know, I was always interested in Georgia politics andcoming from the state of Tennessee, it wasn't quite as flowery, so to speak, as Tennessee politics were. So, at any rate, I joined the Jaycees and, at that time, had gone through the ranks of a member to Treasurer to Secretary to Vice President and President, then went on to run for National Director and ultimately ended up running twice for the state presidency of the operation, of which I lost because maybe I knew too much about politics, and I got politics into a group that really wasn't ready for that kind of politics. In other words, it was rough-and-tumble politics. In the process of running for those 00:03:00offices, I had met some -- a very dear friend of mine (who is now deceased) and asked me to join a statewide race for Governor. And, of course, this was like, goodness, I've hit the top of the ladder...
YOUNG: ...right off the bat, you know, by getting in the governor's race, andthe candidate at that time was Ellis Arnall in his second run for the governorship of Georgia. Well, needless to say, having not known Governor Arnall's position in politics prior to that time in his first tenure as Governor, I ended up in the situation where I worked hard as his youth leader and, by that having been involved with statewide Jaycee politics, was able to pull a number of Jaycees around the state into his campaign for the second run at Governor. Well, needless to say, that race was not successful. We thought 00:04:00we had a winner in the race and, in fact, having an astute attorney, ex-Governor, articulate, everything going for him, it was just a matter of going in and doing the race and you're gonna win. And that's how I became -- I was naive at the time. And, of course, I sold a lot of that quality to the Jaycees I pulled in to work with us. Needless to say, as it narrowed down to the race, of course it became a runoff between Ellis Arnall and Lester Maddox. And, of course, as everybody, we were listening to the anti-Maddox people and we knew that with all the astuteness of Ellis Arnall, we had a Governor on our hands. And it so happened that the election was on Tuesday. I think on Monday night, we had a situation where we had already put the tapes in the cans and we were 00:05:00ready to go election eve, and we had Governor Arnall sitting not at the desk but moving around and standing in front of the desk, and we had American flags on one side, Georgia flags on the other side. We had law books on the right and the misnomer was those were not ax handles -- or pickax handles -- they were pick handles. And we had the pick handles crossed on the desk.
SHORT: The pick handles, of course, referring to Governor Maddox.
YOUNG: Governor Maddox, that's correct. "Do you want law and order or do youwant violence on the street?" Well, I think that weekend (and I may have my dates wrong), they had some problems in Selma, Alabama, and the people at that time, when they went to the polls on Tuesday had made up their minds they would take the pick handles over the law and order. Consequently, Governor Maddox defeated Ellis Arnall and became the nominee for the Democratic Party in the state of Georgia.
SHORT: I think we need to talk for a minute about the roll of Jimmy Carter in00:06:00that campaign because he later became Governor and President of the United States. Did the Arnall campaign ever consider Carter as a legitimate foe?
YOUNG: I think probably it was considered that and, as we get a little furtherin the conversation, it was like Governor Maddox's last run where we had selected the wrong candidate that we thought the competition would be coming from, i.e., Bert Lance was gonna come -- Bert Lance as opposed to George Busbee -- and I think that was the situation. Carter was kind of -- he was there, but we didn't look at him; we looked at him more as a foe than we did, you know, than we did Maddox because of the bad press that Maddox had been getting over the years in the office he had ran for and been defeated for.
SHORT: So Maddox versus Arnall was a runoff election.00:07:00
SHORT: And Maddox won.
SHORT: And, but that was not the road to the governorship as it used to be.
YOUNG: [Chuckling] No, no, no. Yeah, as you had pointed out earlier, I thinkthe situation that Governor Maddox, of course, had a reputation. He had the (and we'll probably get into that a little later) as he denoted, the "little peeps", the little people. That was his role with the little people. He was their champion. And, of course, as it went down, we figured that in that particular race that Carter would be the ultimate -- and I'm getting back and I'm with Arnall now -- would be getting back to the fact that we were gonna have to beat Jimmy Carter and not Lester Maddox. And the role that we did, we put more emphasis on Jimmy Carter, who ultimately ended up I think third in that 00:08:00race, than we did on Lester Maddox.
YOUNG: And, consequently, that was here a political blunder which we made.
SHORT: Maddox, after receiving the nomination, had a huge challenge inRepublican Congressman Bo Callaway.
SHORT: By that point, as I recall, you had joined with the Democrats and LesterMaddox in that campaign.
YOUNG: Yes. I was, after Governor Arnall lost -- here, again, you know, I wasliving Monday through Friday in Atlanta in a campaign headquarters and going home, back to St. Simons, on Saturday and Sunday because I had a business down there at the time which I was active in. Consequently, it was a situation that I had gone back for the weekend and actually had packed my bags and said, "Well, I'm not going back to Atlanta because my candidate's gone. I don't think that I 00:09:00can get involved in the other person's race." I had been home less than 24 hours and I get a telephone call, and it was the Governor's brother, Wesley, and said, "We understand that you're back on St. Simons, now your candidate lost. Would you come join Governor Maddox?" At that time, they were referring to him as Governor. "Would you come join Governor Maddox in his campaign for the governorship of Georgia?" And I said, "Eh, I don't think so. I don't know. I'll let you know." In other words, the old "don't call me; I'll call you" kind of thing. Within a couple of days later, I get another call from the Callaway people saying, "Would you come up and meet with Governor Callaway?" I said, "Well, here we are. I've got two governors trying to get me to come to work for them." But, at any rate, I went back and that same week that I was up there I 00:10:00met with the Callaway people and I met with the Maddox people. And I talked to both candidates at length and, at the conclusion, I had, before I made the decision, I went back to Governor Arnall and I says, "I'm in a dilemma. I don't know what to do." And he says, "You a Democrat?" I said, "Yes, sir, I am." He said, "You've got -- you're not in a dilemma. You've got no choice." And, with that, I notified the Callaway people that I would be working for Lester Maddox in his governorship, heading up the young people in Georgia, predominantly those Jaycee age people (and I'm getting back to the Jaycees again), those Jaycee age people. And, consequently, we were -- it was a lot of work, a lot of hard work -- but the Jaycees were known for their ability to work hard and to complete a project. And, consequently, we were able to pull the majority of the Jaycees in 00:11:00the state of Georgia, you know, from the large chapters in Fulton County, Atlanta, DeKalb County, you know, Muscogee and Columbus, we were able to pull them into the race and get them involved in Governor Maddox's race of which...
SHORT: Did --
YOUNG: I'm sorry?
SHORT: Go ahead.
YOUNG: Which ultimately, as I started to say, ended up successful becauseeverybody was pulling together.
SHORT: Did the Maddox campaign change its tactics from a race against Arnall toa race against Callaway?
YOUNG: Actually, Bob, I don't think -- I think names were kind of superfluous.He used the same method in his campaigning whether it'd been -- only a name change, you know. Everything else was the same. Our politics pretty much stayed down that road with a good candidate that moved, a good candidate that was popular in a lot of sections. A lot of sections he wasn't popular, but then 00:12:00nobody has everything. And, consequently, it was a situation that he -- we didn't change tactics that much as far as, you know, we may have changed a few adjectives, you know, like the "silk stocking crowd" and things like that that was used in prior campaigns. But, no, the politics was: Get to the people. And, of course, my primary purpose -- and it became very accentuated in the Maddox campaign -- was organization. I have always been -- in the Jaycees, I was successful in the years I was in Jaycees (except for running for State President) -- for organization. Get to the people. You know? Knock on that door. Shake those hands. Go in the barber shops, restaurants, wherever. Meet the people and press the flesh. It was a situation -- of course, that's all changed today due to television. Nobody does that anymore. It's just how much money you can put into a campaign for electronic media. And, consequently, we 00:13:00did, and, of course, Maddox was a great campaigner doing that --pressing the flesh and, you know, he'd say, you know, "You may not like me, but you'll vote for me." And, you know, ultimately a lot of them believed that because he was ultimately elected Governor of Georgia.
SHORT: He knocked up a lot of signs.
YOUNG: I never was involved [chuckling] in putting up signs. We had the signcrowd for that. But, like I said, it was a matter of when I set up an organization, I would go into a county. I would find me a county leader, a popular county leader, maybe a county commissioner, maybe a city commissioner, maybe a preacher -- you know, whatever the case may be -- but he was popular in his community. And then my next step would be to get a female. It might be the person -- it might be the male's wife that we get, it may not be, whatever the case may be. Then I had a youth leader covering the college age people that would be voting. And, consequently, when we went into a community or into a 00:14:00city, we would notify the people. You know, our schedule would be set up in advance, but we'd notify them a week or ten days in advance, "We're coming to your city. We want people out there." Now we're not necessarily, even though Governor Maddox didn't have a lot of money in any of his campaigns, we were not pressing for money; we were pressing for people. You know, we'd send the signs ahead. They'd have 'em up. It'd look like, you know, signs -- the town would just be papered with signs and then here would come Governor Maddox behind it. And we always had a crowd. We never ended up without a crowd. And it was just prior proper planning.
SHORT: Before we get to Election Day, Maddox versus Callaway, let's talk for aminute about Write-In Georgia. Do you remember the bumper sticker that read, "Go Bo..."
YOUNG: "And take Lester with you" -- I'm sorry. Yeah, I remember that well.That was -- that was disgruntled Ellis Arnall people whom I had worked with in 00:15:00the Arnall campaign. But, you know, they were to a point they could not fathom Lester Maddox as Governor. They lost their candidate so, you know, "Let's write him in." Now what the ultimate end behind it was, I'm sure that the write-in group did not want what happened to happen, but I think it was out of frustration, "Let's do something and try to sink Lester Maddox." And, of course, it didn't work and the some 35,000 votes that Governor Arnall got which actually ended up throwing the race to the Georgia Legislature.
YOUNG: Nobody had a majority.
SHORT: Right. The day after that election, there were several lawsuits filed.It was in the courts for a number of weeks, perhaps months, before the final decision was rendered. What did Governor Maddox do between the time of the 00:16:00election where there was no winner and the time the Supreme Court ruled?
YOUNG: To my knowledge, he never slowed down. He was on a fast track pace andhe continued to move. He continued to call his friends. Our legal people inside the campaign were doing their thing. There was no -- there was no gear-back; it was: move forward. And, consequently, you know, that's the way everybody worked. I doubt anybody on staff ever missed a day in that office working, and the people out in the field were doing the same thing in the counties throughout the state, the 159 counties throughout Georgia.
SHORT: He was inaugurated the day following his election by the GeneralAssembly. Well, let's get back to the General Assembly. The race was not close.
YOUNG: That's correct.
SHORT: Maddox won a big majority, I assume mainly because most of the members00:17:00of the General Assembly were Democrats.
SHORT: And there were a few that voted for Callaway. (I'm speaking ofDemocrats.) But, by and large, he was elected by the Democrats. The next day, his Inauguration Day, he appeared for the first time before the people of Georgia as their Governor. Some people were fearful. Others were in a quandary. What do you think that his speech on Inauguration Day did to allay the fears of those who might think that he would not be a good Governor?
YOUNG: Well, I think one thing, you know, the Governor's Office heretofore hadbeen in a situation where if you were involved, you know, you had access, for instance to the Governor's Office and access to the Governor. And, you know, Governor Maddox came up with the Little People's Day. You know, "The Mansion's gonna be open to you. The Governor's Office is gonna be open to you. Come and 00:18:00help us run State government." And, you know, this told even the "little people" as well as the people who would not -- may not -- be denoted as little people, it threw them into a position that, "Hey, this is not a close-knit because I didn't vote for the guy, I can't even get to Atlanta, much less go to the Governor's Office or the Governor's Mansion." And the Little People's Day turned out to be a tremendous thing that caught on, as we referred to it in the office, Little Peeps Day.
SHORT: Little Peeps?
YOUNG: And little peeps showed up.
SHORT: Well, the Governor didn't like that too much.
YOUNG: [Laughing] No he was -- he was strictly the Little People's Day.
SHORT: Well, it started as People's Day, and then somebody added Little People,and them some guys like you called it Little Peeps. But, anyway, it was a very successful part of his administration. I think as you look back on the Maddox administration that one thing that he must be admired for is that of taking on 00:19:00issues that other governors refused to touch, like pardon and parole corruption, corrections, the way prisoners were treated [overlapping conversation].
YOUNG: [Indiscernible] program.
SHORT: Yeah. The speed trap at Ludowici.
YOUNG: I was involved in that [chuckling]...
SHORT: Do you remember all of that?
YOUNG: ...and I understand it well -- yes.
SHORT: Okay. Well, tell us...
YOUNG: The only problem -- pardon me for interrupting. The only problem we hadwith that prior to the trip down there, which was...
SHORT: Now this is Ludowici?
YOUNG: Yeah, it's in Ludowici
YOUNG: The speed traps and the gambling that was going on. You know, servicestations that didn't sell gas; they sold gambling and they had prostitution and things like that, you know, going. And I recall that Governor Maddox had a sign put up on the outskirts of Ludowici saying, "This is a speed trap." And every time the State put up a sign, they'd tear it town, the people of Long County. That was the situation. Finally, he had to put State Troopers down there 00:20:00protecting the sign that was up there that warned the tourists on 301 that Ludowici is a speed trap and, you know, be careful. But that situation was advertised a couple or three weeks in advance that the Governor was going to Ludowici and clean the town up. And I think there was a couple of KC-97s went out of Dobbins Air Force Base with media, staff out from the Governor's office and everything, and I was on one of the flights. And, consequently, when we got down there, it's like I would've thought that the town would just shut down, but it just continued to move on just like it was doing. And, consequently, it was a situation that the Governor would go in and introduce himself and say, "This is what we're here for. We're, you know, we're gonna shut this town down. We're gonna stop illegal gambling, gonna stop prostitution, etc., etc." And, consequently, it was like a two-day affair down there, a real circus -- media circus -- with State Patrol cars, various and sundry mayors, you know, people 00:21:00following it around from other counties surrounding the county. But, yeah, it was that it ultimately pretty much shut down the town as far as the gambling and prostitution was concerned.
SHORT: Governor Maddox was known for having great sympathy for prisoners andtheir families.
YOUNG: That's correct.
SHORT: Do you recall any moves that he made to improve the conditions of theGeorgia prisons?
YOUNG: Well, he had really waded into that thing heavy, Bob, and it was asituation that's what entered -- it started -- the Early Release Program. And the fact that some of the less hardened criminals -- naturally the hardened, the convicted felons, you know, the heinous crimes, that wasn't involved -- but where you had other people that were down in Jackson, which is the ultimate, at 00:22:00that time, ultimate prison. It used to be Reidsville, then it, you know, changed to Jackson because executions were handled in Jackson and not at Reidsville anymore. But a number of prisoners on early release were brought to Atlanta, the Atlanta Civic Center, and there must have been probably in the neighborhood of 500 to 1,000 prisoners that were released early. And, of course, their families were there. The prisoners were brought up on buses. And, of course, they had already, to my knowledge, had already been worked so they, you know, they finished as far as the prison was concerned. And I'll never forget, which turned out to be one of Governor Maddox's staunch supporters financially, was Johnny Cash. At that time, Cash was doing a television show -- a national television show -- maybe, I think, on CBS. And, of course, he brought the whole group and they had this tremendously large program and this big show at the Atlanta Civic Center for the early release prisoners. Of course, I might add too that there didn't seem to be a lot of interest in Johnny 00:23:00Cash at the time because some of these guys hadn't seen their wives or sweethearts for years. [Laughter] And they were more interested in having conversation with family members than they were Johnny Cash.
SHORT: Uh-huh. Well, that's quite understandable.
SHORT: By and large, Lester Maddox received good grades...
SHORT: ...as Governor, and he was very popular at the end of his term.
SHORT: So he decided to run for Lieutenant Governor against an incumbentgovernor and against a state representative who was well-known and well-financed.
YOUNG: That's correct.
SHORT: Do you recall that race?
YOUNG: [Chuckling] Very, very vividly. I'm at the Governor's Office one dayabout 10 or 11 o'clock in the morning and, as he'd quite frequently do, he come by and say, "Mr. Ned, come and go with me." I never knew where we were gonna go. It happened in the presidential race and the American Independent Party come by one day and he says, "Come, go with me. Oh, by the way, bring a suitcase." 00:24:00
YOUNG: And I didn't get home for about ten days. We're all up and down theWest Coast of the United States -- California, Oregon, Washington, there. But, at any rate, he came by and said, "Come and go with me." So we end up at the Capitol City Club and, of course, being Governor, everybody was there. The place was packed out. And at that point in time, he made notice at that time that he was going to run for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia. And, of course, everybody was applauding and things like this and I'm sitting there kind of, "Wow!" I didn't even know it was gonna be announced at that meeting. And he says, "And, by the way, I brought my campaign manager with me." And I looked around and I was the only one from the staff there and, all at once, I thought -- my first reaction was, "Uh-oh. I've got a problem." And he introduced me as his campaign manager for the Lieutenant Governor's race.
SHORT: He was Lieutenant Governor with Jimmy Carter, who was Governor, and theyseemed to get off on bad terms over the who would select the committees in the 00:25:00Senate and who would name the Senate committee chairmen and, above all, who would be president pro tem. Do you remember any of that?
YOUNG: No, I was not that much involved, Bob, because I know that bad bloodfollowed that race without ever getting involved I think into the committee appointments and chair appointments because of prior races that they had been involved in and, you know, it was just, for lack of a better word I guess, bad blood that was carried forward. And, you know, it erupted there because, at that point in time, Governor Maddox had been #1. Now he'd moved to #2 and his adversary had moved into #1 and, consequently, it just creates problems.
SHORT: We failed to talk about the fact that when he was Governor, Zell Miller,who was later Governor and a United States Senator, moved into his office as his 00:26:00Executive Secretary.
SHORT: And Zell Miller also went with Governor Maddox up to his LieutenantGovernor's Office.
YOUNG: That's correct.
SHORT: He decided to leave. Do you remember why he left?
YOUNG: You mean why Miller left Governor Maddox?
YOUNG: No, not -- nothing that I could hang my hat on. It's a situation thatMiller -- and I know Zell; I've known him for a long time -- is very politically motivated and, you know, there was something that Zell was looking at that just may have been the ultimate end. In other words, he had done all he could do at that point and he had to move to another position for his own political well-being.
SHORT: Yes. He went to the Democratic Party.
YOUNG: That's correct.
SHORT: A job offered to him by Governor Carter. And speaking of Governor00:27:00Carter, the well-known dispute between Governor Maddox and Governor Carter over House Bill 1, which was the reorganization bill, actually was the real foundation of their dispute. Do you remember the political action over that?
YOUNG: No, I'm not -- was not that -- in that particular position as far as theGovernor's Office was concerned, in my affiliation with Governor Maddox I was not that -- I didn't get tied up in something. Usually, in a situation, it if wasn't your job, you kind of stayed away from it.
YOUNG: And that was not part and parcel of what I had to do.
SHORT: Often, as Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Maddox was criticized for his shop inUnderground Atlanta...
SHORT: ...and his appearance on national talk shows.
SHORT: That was an issue in the campaign when he ran in 1974 for Governor00:28:00against George Busbee.
SHORT: Tell us about that campaign.
YOUNG: Well, here again, I was having come from the first governor's race --the first governor's race, lieutenant governor's race. Needless to say, I was pretty heavily involved in the second run for governor, and it was a situation that, as far as the politics was concerned (of course, there was a well qualified field) being Governor Busbee who got elected naturally. Bert Lance. And, consequently, you know, we ran the Lester Maddox type campaign. Basically, you ran what the Governor -- how you wanted to run -- because he was his own boss when he -- and he'd tell you what he wanted to do and how he wanted to handle it. And, consequently, it was a situation that we felt that, you know, 00:29:00why, if you're successful, why change, and we ran that type of campaign. Consequently, it was a situation that Governor Maddox had made some political blunders in that inasmuch as I think at that point in time Cassius Clay -- you may remember that incident where Clay would, Governor Maddox invited him to fight in Georgia. Because he was a draft dodger, a lot of the other states had said, "No, no, no. You know, we're not gonna recognize him." And at that point in time, I think -- and that may have been the end of the governor's race, at the ending of the governor's race, where he made a statement, "Cassius Clay was a great American and he should be allowed to fight in Georgia." Consequently, at that time, we were in Albany, Georgia, and had gotten a call from headquarters in Atlanta stating, "We've got a problem." Telegrams were rolling into the Governor's Office by the box load criticizing the Governor for making 00:30:00that statement concerning Cassius Clay. Consequently, that finally eased out and smoothed over a little bit, but then there were other blunders that -- Governor Maddox was a great orator and he had good speech writers. And, consequently, when they did a speech, he was given the speech before he went to the venue to, whether it be in Dalton to talk about the carpet people or wherever it may be; to Plains to talk about the peanut folks or the farmers down in south Georgia. He would deliver that speech verbatim and he'd always say, "In closing, let me say." Once he turned that last page over, he would kill everything that he had just said prior to that extemporaneously and, consequently, it created a lot of problems because he would, if he had something on his mind, it would come out. 00:31:00It didn't make any difference what the speech said, what he wanted out he got at the end extemporaneously.
SHORT: In other words, he ignored his good record.
SHORT: And "a workhorse, not a show horse" was a great slogan of George Busbee,and that seemed to catch on with the people.
YOUNG: Yes. Yes.
SHORT: And we've kicked that around among several people and they thought thatwas very apropos of that campaign because it got Busbee's point across, which is: I will work and my opponent is going to the talk shows and the Underground Atlanta's and that sort of thing. Did you consider Busbee your main opponent in that race?
SHORT: Did not?
YOUNG: Did not. And that was one of our -- that was our major politicalblunder. We were looking at the big bucks. We were looking at Bert Lance -- 00:32:00you know, the banker, the contacts, everything that he had -- and looked over Busbee who was, at that time, a legislator, you know, with no, you know, appearances that would jump out at you that he could be a top contender. And that was -- that was a very big mistake that we made, the whole campaign made.
SHORT: Busbee ran very low in the polls early. Of course, he had the supportof Carl Sanders and Bert Lance had the support of Jimmy Carter.
SHORT: So you were up against two well-heeled political organizations...
SHORT: ...at that time. So your campaign then was similar to that in 1966 andin 1970. You just continued the Lester Maddox approach which was "Maddox! 00:33:00Maddox! Maddox!" signs and shaking hands?
YOUNG: And had been successful, you know? And figured it would, you know, comeback to -- not to haunt us, but to, you know, continue to be the success that the people knew. Of course, at that time, you know, there were changes going on in Georgia. There was a great influx of people coming in from other states -- from the northern states and things like this -- and, you know, they knew Maddox like, well, I think it he walked off "The Jack Parr Show" I think was the show he walked off of. And, you know, the media predominantly, as he referred to it, "The Atlanta Fish Wrapper", you know, had great coverage, you know, throughout the South and, consequently, they never seemed to let up on him as far as hammering him for anything that even if it was right, they would find some wrong in it. You know, it was a situation that we had -- I'll never forget one time 00:34:00that they had jumped on Governor Maddox while he was Governor, the Constitution did, the Journal/Constitution, and he had all the paper boxes removed from the Capitol -- from the Hill at the Capitol. And, consequently, they quit writing about him. They just cut him off completely. About 30 days later, the paper boxes went back, so he had them put back on the Hill when they quit writing completely about him. So, as the old adage goes, "I don't care what you say about me. Just mention me often."
SHORT: Well, he had a hard time with editorial writers because they were alittle bit more progressive at that point and they thought he was...
SHORT: ...in terms of race relations and that sort of thing. Okay. Maddox wasdefeated. He went into business. He had a very successful business career after that, but he also had some political debts. And, as I recall, Governor Sanders and Commissioner Blackmon and a group of others had a fundraiser for him... 00:35:00
SHORT: ...and they were able to liquidate all of his debts. Now, Ned, let's goback for a minute to Lester Maddox's career in the very beginning. He became famous by writing ads in the Atlanta newspapers critical of city government.
SHORT: And he finally put his mouth -- put his actions where his mouth was --and ran for Mayor.
SHORT: Two times, and both times was defeated. But he generated enough supportin that area to run for Lieutenant Governor later and did surprisingly well. Did he use the same campaign tactics then as he used in his later years?
YOUNG: Bob, I didn't see a lot of changes. If there were, they were so minute.00:36:00It was, you know: Press the flesh, get to the people, show the people who I am, tell the people who I am. And, of course, there were -- he was not a bashful individual. He would wade into any group of people. It didn't make a difference who they were, what race, creed, color or national origin, he'd wade right into that crowd. And a lot of times, you know, when they -- when he left, you'd see the people shaking their heads, but saying, "Hey, you know, maybe there's something here." And that tactic was pretty much used through every political campaign that I was involved with him with; and, of course, like you said, you run a couple of times for Mayor, you run for Lieutenant Governor, you lose, and all at once you run for Governor and you're elected. It was the mood of the times, the change of the people.
SHORT: How much effect do you think the incident at the Pickrick had on hispolitical career?
YOUNG: That would be hard to say. It was a situation at the time, it was a00:37:00popular thing because he, a little guy from Georgia, is fighting the White House and the President of the United States. Consequently, I think we all feel even today that, hey, the White House -- we might even be better to do without a President. You know? Who knows what the situation may be? But everybody is -- the majority of the people are -- anti-whoever's sitting in Washington. Whether it be a Democrat or Republican, they're anti-Washington and the big bureaucracy up there that we so aproposly(sic) approach and pay taxes for so it'll continue to operate. And I think as far as the Pickrick situation was concerned, that was a means to an end. At that time, race relations were going in another direction. People were having problems in Alabama. The people were having problems in the South. Not picking out Alabama, but that was Selma, the 00:38:00problems they were having over there and things of that nature. It was the fact that let's all go against -- let's go against the White House. Let's go against Washington. And Maddox was a place in time and he was I think intelligent enough -- and I don't think he was intelligent enough -- to know that he was not, this was not a black/white issue. This was an issue where Washington was saying, "You're gonna do this." Washington was not -- didn't have any money in Maddox's business. They were taking money from him in taxes but, yet, they were gonna tell him that, "You can feed these people or you can't be -- you have to feed these people, you must feed these people, you've gotta do what we're telling you or..." And that's the time that he selected the "or" and ended up closing Pickrick.
SHORT: Which subsequently led him to the race -- his first race -- for Governor.
YOUNG: That's correct.
SHORT: Right. Now let's move a little bit further ahead to 1971 when00:39:00President(sic) Dick Russell passed away in Washington.
SHORT: And Jimmy Carter had the responsibility of appointing a successor. Heappointed David Gambrell, an Atlanta attorney, who had been his treasurer in his campaign -- both his campaigns -- and Gambrell had the problem of having to run again within a year.
SHORT: So one of his opponents in that race was Sam Nunn, a young Statelegislator from Perry, Georgia, and I think you had a role in that campaign.
YOUNG: Yes, I did, Bob. I had -- I had some friends in that race that -- and,of course, Sam Nunn wasn't one of them. I did not know Sam at the time. I'd heard briefly, you know. I did check to see who he was after he announced, and I didn't know him. And, consequently, I did have two friends that were thinking 00:40:00about running, one being the Labor Commissioner Sam Caldwell and the other being a U.S. Congressman from my district, Bill Stuckey. And, consequently, before too long had gone by, maybe a month, I get a call from Stuckey and, of course, he had a home on St. Simons and he says, "Would you meet me with some of my supporters on the Island?" And I said, "Yes." So I went over, you know, one Sunday afternoon and we sat around and talked, and he blatantly says, "Will you get involved in my campaign?" And being my congressman, I said, "More than happy to," and was really, you know, elated to do it. Consequently, I had ended up in a situation where he said, "We have our campaign headquarters set up in Atlanta. Go by." And I says, "Can I go up, get on your WATS lines, and start 00:41:00calling some of the supporters that I had put together for Governor Maddox?" And got good reception. Got very good reception from the people. "Yes. You know, he's young. He's a U.S. congressman. Make an excellent senator," da-de-da-da-da. So, consequently, we said, "Okay, now we're off and running. We got -- we know who we can depend on." Mainly, the organization was pretty much together; it was just rehashing to get 'em back together because switching the people from Maddox to Stuckey. And, of course, they knew they had a winner in Maddox, so it was easy to switch them over to Stuckey. So we started to run. And, of course, the big problem with that race, when you've got candy stores running on every major highway in the United States and you say, "Can you send $100 for the campaign?" "Huh? You've gotta be kidding." You know? "You've got all the money in the world. What do you need my $100 for?" And we just 00:42:00couldn't raise money, although the organization was moving along and everything was working fine. You could not have asked for a better organization to fall in place rather rapidly, but the money thing was still turning and, of course, the bill -- Billy -- his financials for the United States congressional races came from family money. And Bill had a horrible situation going. His father would call him in Washington to find out what was going on and Bill wouldn't return the phone calls. So Mr. Stuckey called and he said, "Can you get Billy to call me?" And I said, "Well, he's your son, you know, Mr. Stuckey." "Well, he won't return my call. He won't return my call." So, finally, this went on for several months and then Mr. Stuckey gets back on the phone, the father, and 00:43:00says, "I'd like to see the campaign folks down here in Eastman, and bring Billy with you when you come." So they sent the company plane up to Atlanta and picked up all of us, and Bill flew in from Washington, and we went to Eastman. And, at that time, the father said, "Billy," he said, "you know this is just getting kind of ridiculous as far as the money coming out of my pocket to run your campaign for U.S. Senate." He says, "I will pay any campaign expenses for you to return to the United States Congress, but I won't pay any more for you to run for the Senate." And, of course, we were at a situation -- the reason Bill really wanted to run for the Senate -- we were in the process of doing some redistricting and Billy could have lost a number of support due to that redistricting. So, consequently, Mr. Stuckey laid it out, "I want your holdings," and I'll leave the companies nameless that he wanted Billy's 00:44:00holdings. "I'll finance the United States Senate race; otherwise, the race is gone." And there may have been a 30-second delay and Billy looked -- there was about five campaign folks there at the table -- and he said, "Race is over." And we said, "What do we do?" "Go back to Atlanta. Shut the headquarters down. I'm out of the Senate race. I'll stay in the Congressional race and take my licks where I have to take them." So, with that, we packed up, went back to Atlanta. The following Monday, I was back at St. Simons not involved in politics. Well, a couple of days later, [chuckling] I get a call from a fellow that I had been in the Jaycees with, a fellow by the name of Richard Ray who was at that time the Mayor of Perry, Georgia. And he said, "Ned, I understand that Congressman Stuckey is out of the Senate race. I'd like to get you to support our man." I says, "And that is Sam Nunn?" He said, "Sam Nunn." I says, "No," 00:45:00I says, "I've had my fill of politics." I said, "Seems like I can't -- I can't keep a candidate. I keep losing 'em for some reason." And he said, "Well, will you come to Atlanta and talk to me?" I said, "No, I won't do it." And he said, "Well, we're gonna be at the Georgia Press Association meeting next week. Will you come over at Jekyll and meet with us at Jekyll?" And, you know, I knew Richard well and I liked him. He's a nice guy, you know, and he was a great Jaycee and all this stuff. So I said, "Okay, I'll meet y'all over there." Well, when I get -- I was designated to meet him like 2:00 in the afternoon at the Aquarama. I get to the Aquarama and, of course, tons of press people. And, of course, I knew Richard by face to see, but I didn't know Sam to look and see him, you know. And I look up in the corner -- in the back corner of the Aquarama (which you're familiar with through Jaycee politics) -- and there stood Richard and Sam. There wasn't a soul around them, just the two of them standing there. And I thought, "Well, that's strange." You know, you've got the Press 00:46:00Association; I'd have been out shaking hands with some of the press folks, you know, getting that thing done. But, long story short, I met with them and Richard said, "Consider, please, going up and seeing what, you know, help us out." So, consequently, I went to Atlanta the following week and got on their WATS lines and started calling the Stuckey people. I probably -- less than 5 percent said either they weren't gonna do it or they weren't gonna get involved anymore; they'd had it. But that left 95 percent of them says, "Yeah. Nunn? Young guy. Politically active." You know, etc., etc. And, you know, I says, "All you've got is one named Stuckey and one named Nunn. There's really no difference in their politics." Consequently, we had whipped together in a very short time a political, very politically active group for Sam Nunn. I was told 00:47:00-- and, here again, I'm not sure where the word came from -- at the point in time when we got involved with Stuckey's people, Sam Nunn had less than 1 percent recognition in the state of Georgia and, consequently, everything just whipped together. Sam was an excellent candidate. Unlike Governor Maddox, you give him a speech, send him to Dalton talking about the carpet business: verbatim -- periods, semicolons, the whole thing -- and never changed a word in the speech. He delivered a speech just like it was supposed to be delivered. He was young. Sam was kind of a backward -- I hate to use the word "introvert" -- but he just, he wasn't the Lester Maddox that jumps in there and takes charge. But, you know, that's kind of a little getting used to, but then we had a different type candidate, but a very knowledgeable candidate. Sam was a 00:48:00student of Georgia history. He was able to go into an area. He was able to elaborate that area, what their main industry was, whether it be peanuts, cotton, corn, you know, carpets, whatever; and I mean he was just a vivacious person who did what he was supposed to do, and he would always come back in. Say, for instance, if he were in Gainesville, he would come back to the headquarters at night -- and, of course, my show and it was always, you know, when the candidate finally goes to bed, I'll go to bed. I may not be at the campaign headquarters at 6:00 in the morning, but I'm gonna be there 'til midnight or after 'til the candidate gets in and we find out, you know. In other words, it was a debriefing session, so to speak. And, consequently, Sam would come in, tell us what kind of day he had. The aide that was with him that was traveling with him would tell us what was going on -- had gone on -- that day. And if we had any problems that we had to, you know, trouble spots that we 00:49:00had to cover, we'd get back with it the next day and talk to the people, our people in that are, our organized people that were heading that particular county up or that area up. And, consequently, it was a lot of follow-up to the thing. We crossed our T's and dotted our I's I guess is what was said.
SHORT: He was a good candidate. He had other things going for him, however.His main opponent, Senator Gambrell, was supported by Governor Carter who, at that time, had a very low rating in the state.
SHORT: His other opponent was Governor Vandiver who had said "no, not one" atone time and who had fallen from grace with the Georgia people. Did that ever enter Senator Nunn's campaign plans?
YOUNG: Bob, I don't recall that we were looking back at things in the past. We00:50:00were always looking forward to the next thing that we had to do. I don't know is this is answering your question or not, but I recall at one particular time we needed to -- we felt like we needed to -- shore up areas of state. And we had people from all areas of state that we were working with, but we wanted to get the leaders, so to speak. And I'll never forget that we had called a half a dozen of these leaders, asked them if they'd be willing to come to Atlanta for a rap session, that we're just gonna knock things around and find out which way we had to go, what we were doing in their area wrong, what we needed to do in their area that we weren't doing, and those people -- it was a very, very good list of folks. We had Marvin Griffin, we had Peter Zack Geer, we had Sam Caldwell, we had Tommy Irvin, and, of course, those were at the time to the labor folks and 00:51:00the agriculture people as far as doing things you need to get done in the area --
SHORT: Strong organization.
YOUNG: They were very strong organizations. And they can touch anybody in thearea in which they worked and, of course, Tommy covered the state and so did Sam Caldwell with his organization. But we called that meeting at the, if I recall, the old Atlanta Hotel Atlantan downtown, and we had these people up and we just sat around a room and we fed them lunch and gave them beverages and they would tell us, you know, "We need to do this." We had -- the meeting lasted like all Sunday afternoon, and we'd flown them in here. We'd sent planes out to pick them up and flown them back into Atlanta. That night, we dispersed them back to their areas and they went to work. And, consequently, I know that we had a situation whereby the election was on a Tuesday (and I've forgotten which 00:52:00election it was, general or primary, whichever the case may be), but we needed to get Sam's name out. We had not put out a lot of signs to that point in time, and we had sent out these signs and the whole idea was we needed folks to go out after 10:00 on Saturday night and paper -- literally paper -- the state with: Send Sam Nunn to Washington. And, when people got up to go to church on Sunday morning, the brush fire was ignited. For a name that was not synonymous to politics statewide, all at once Sam Nunn was the man. And, consequently, I think that was probably one of the most successful because the primary or whatever the next election was on Tuesday, we went through it, you know, with 00:53:00great, great vigor and it was very successful. And, of course, we always worked -- I always believed in starting like out in the area. Say, for instance, if you take -- I'll take one county, say, in Georgia -- and you may start like south of Macon, even maybe if you get down around Eastman, and you start a circle in organizing and, as it grew, the last place you would hit would be your metropolitan areas of Fulton/DeKalb Counties. Well, the word was coming in from the outlying districts, "You've got somebody here. You've got a candidate. You've got a man. You've got a winner." And by the time it got up here, the influence of those south Georgia counties would roll over in these metropolitan counties in the Atlanta area where the votes were because, literally, in south Georgia, we got a lot of pine trees and alligators, but we don't have a lot of votes down there. So the whole idea of we'd see -- you could see -- the growth, 00:54:00the momentum, for the candidate. And 90 percent of the time it's been successful.
SHORT: There was a meeting between Sam Nunn and Governor Vandiver prior to theprimary in which Nunn agreed to support Vandiver if he were in the runoff, and Vandiver agreed to support Nunn if he were in the runoff. And Nunn made the runoff. Governor Vandiver then, according to his biography, turned and wrote some 100,000 letters to people around the state supporting Nunn. Do you think that helped him?
YOUNG: Bob, I have never been that impressed by endorsements. If you were acandidate and you were my candidate and you ended up -- I ended up -- supporting you financially, politically or whatever the case may be, and you told me at the 00:55:00end of that, "Well, I lost. How about supporting Sam Jones?" Well, I've given all of my loyalty to you, my money, my vote, etc., but, you know, don't tell me how to vote because whether I like the other guy or not, I just, I don't -- I don't put a lot of credence in endorsements. I really don't. But, you know, the politicos say it helps but I, you know, everybody has their opinion on that.
SHORT: Well, you get -- it's easy to get endorsements after you win anelection, so Sam Nunn, after winning the Democratic Primary, had a pretty good battle on his hands in that General Election with Congressman Fletcher Thompson.
SHORT: Did you participate in that one?
YOUNG: No, I did not. I didn't have -- I didn't have that much participationinto it, other than continuing to make the organization grow because, getting back to this organization situation, once you get your organization, it can be an asset or it can be a liability. And I think you're gonna understand what I 00:56:00mean here when I talk about peaking too early. If the race is in November and you may be happy that your seat won in September, but between September and November anything can happen. And, consequently, if you peak out in that September time, chances are you ain't gonna win unless you know how to make your organization work. And it's making the thing start, putting it together, getting it rolling, you find out you're moving too fast, then you've got to back off and you get your people, you know, you're on the phone saying, "Just hold status quo of what you got." Then when you see that, you know, the ball has caught up, then you need to get the ball rolling again, then you need to get back with your people and tell 'em, "Hey, we need to start moving again." So the ultimate -- and this was, this situation with Sam, his timing was absolutely immaculate in his races. He peaked out just when he was supposed to. And 00:57:00that's not accidental; that's a purposely working thing.
SHORT: In 1976, Lester Maddox for President opposing Jimmy Carter, formerGovernor of Georgia, and President Gerald Ford.
YOUNG: That's correct.
SHORT: You were very active in that campaign.
YOUNG: Yes, I was. As in the Lieutenant Governor's race, I was appointed to bethe [chuckling] appointed to be the campaign manager for the race. And, consequently, it was kind of messed up from the outset inasmuch as George Wallace was supposed to have assumed the American Independent Party's nomination for the presidency of the United States. And Governor Wallace at the 11th hour seemed fit not to participate, consequently pulled out. We end up -- it may 00:58:00have been in Indianapolis; I'm not sure -- at the National Convention and, of course, Governor Maddox was, they'd let it be known that, you know, his close personal friend had pulled out of the Presidential race from American Independent Party and that he could be a candidate, you know, if he were told that adequate financing was there and to put on a decent campaign. In fact, we had qualified probably in ten or 12 states. Those states were not like Georgia; I think it took 109- or 110,000 votes -- or signatures -- in Georgia to be placed on the ticket. The states that had the 10,000 votes -- 10,000 signatures -- we qualified in those states. We had people, organizations in those states that were there by virtue of not so much the candidate, by virtue of the fact the Independent Party and, consequently, they had qualified Governor Maddox in 00:59:00those states. And, you know, we traveled commercially to these various and sundry states where we were on the ballot. Consequently, it was a situation that once we got to Convention, then thinking that because Governor Wallace had eliminated himself from the run and Governor Maddox was in, that would be an automatic. It wasn't. A floor fight developed at the Convention and it was probably, I hate to say, probably one of the dirtiest things I had ever run into. Here I'm, you know, a neophyte politician from the state of Georgia and only been involved in Georgia politics, and now you're running with the big dogs up there who had been doing this stuff most of their life, and, you know, here we are saying, "Uh, uh, uh." You know? And that's -- that's as intelligent as 01:00:00it got. But we were ultimately successful in getting the nomination of the American Independent Party for President of the United States, with promises that adequate financing would be coming to help finance the campaign which would be housed out of Georgia due to the fact that Lester Maddox was from Georgia. Now here we had two presidential campaigns from the state of Georgia going on at the same time. In fact, Governor Carter was at Colony Square at 14th Street in the high-rise -- kind of a high-rise building, an office building. We were one block down 14th Street on a place that used to be a restaurant. Consequently, you know, we had plenty of American flags and we had -- the money never came, by 01:01:00the way; I'll straighten that out. The money never came from the American Independent Party, so we took what little bit of money that we had and bought brochures and were paying for travel to, you know, places that he was on the ballot because there was no use spending money going to any other place. So, consequently, it was a hand-to-mouth campaign and no money, no staff, not really anything but the name and the fact that Lester Maddox was running for President of the United States under the American Independent Party.
SHORT: Well, did he actually think he could win?
YOUNG: Bob, I never thought there was a time in Lester Maddox's life that hedidn't think he couldn't win. If it was there and presented itself, it's a doable deal. But, like I said, you know, a situation that, you know, we were struggling with telephone calls and, you know, having to meet telephone, you 01:02:00know, long distance. We didn't have WATS lines, so we were working right off the telephone, you know, a direct dial line type thing. And, you know, it was -- Governor Maddox always thought anything was possible, but not probable. I think that was the adage that he pretty much hit.
SHORT: In the end, his friend Governor Wallace wound up endorsing Jimmy Carter.
SHORT: What was Governor Maddox's reaction to that?
YOUNG: You know, Governor Maddox, he would get upset briefly and then he'd moveon. The mind shifted so much. His mind shifted so much. He had too much -- too many things going in his mind at one time. And, you know, he'd get upset over this now, but then 15 minutes later, there's something else out here that he needs to direct his attention to so, consequently, he never had that much comment because I really never heard him actually say anything really, really derogatory about people. He'd make statements, but, you know, not the fact that 01:03:00you would consider them derogatory. "I wish they were not here," or whatever the case may be, you know, he just didn't do that.
SHORT: Ten years later, 1986, Hamilton Jordan for Senate.
SHORT: You're involved in that one.
YOUNG: Yeah. Probably one of the greatest guys I ever met, even though I hadsome differences with his old boss due to my affiliation with Governor Maddox. Governor Carter was not one of my favorite people. [Chuckling] I'll put it that way. And it was political. Nothing personal. But it was a situation that Hamilton, coming back from Washington being Chief of Staff for President Carter, ended up in a situation where he decided that the way the politics were falling in the state of Georgia that he could run for the United States Senate and be 01:04:00elected. Unfortunately, this happened -- and I don't know when this tape will air -- but within this particular month, which is the month of May, we lost Hamilton to cancer, which he developed during his race for the United States Senate. He developed lymphosarcoma, which is a cancer of the lymph nodes, which had killed a very close friend of ours, a fellow by the name of Malone Sharp, just a couple of years before. But they had found some cure for the lymph node problem in Hamilton, and, consequently, from the date he was diagnosed initially with cancer until he died, 22 years elapsed -- that he had 22 more years of his 01:05:00life -- so he developed the lymph node problem in his 40's and died in his 60's. But the problem there, Hamilton was a good candidate. Hamilton knew how to politic. He knew where the "bones were buried". he knew what he had to do. But the problem, it goes back to the same situation we ran into with Stuckey: money. Once the word was out that Hamilton had the lymph node problems, people just -- in my estimation; nobody ever told me this, but it was very obvious -- that people would not put money on a horse that can't finish a race. And, consequently, this was ultimately the problem; we just were under-financed and just could not overcome the fact of his health problem and, consequently, it was 01:06:00-- he was defeated.
SHORT: His opponent was Senator Wyche Fowler...
SHORT: ...from Atlanta who had defeated Mack Mattingly for the job and turnedaround and lost it to Paul Coverdell, another Republican, which seemed to me to be the beginning of the downfall of the Democratic Party in Georgia. Let's talk about that for a minute. What do you think has brought on the rise of the Republican Party in Georgia?
YOUNG: Probably the problems with the Democratic Party nationally. You know,people in Georgia (and I've heard it so many times) and you're talking to a yellow dog here, a yellow dog Democrat; I've never voted Republican ticket in my life. Never worked for a Republican in my life. And people says, "Well, you worked in politics. Surely, the Republicans must have offered you something." 01:07:00I said, "Yeah, it wasn't really what I was looking for in politics. Money doesn't make the difference." You know, you've got, especially in your younger life, you have these things that you believe in and, you know, you've got to believe in it to get out there and really work and hustle for your candidate. You know? And this thing, as far as the National Democratic Party, you know, that's there, and then there's the Georgia Democratic Party which don't see eye-to-eye. Does not see eye-to-eye. Consequently, a lot of the people, rather than say, "I'm a Democrat," it was easier to say, "I used to be a Democrat. Now I'm a Republican." Because of, you know, the onset of Ronald Reagan and his politics, Barry Goldwater and his politics, consequently, they were looking at a conservative element, of which the Georgia Democrats have always been 01:08:00conservative, but it was I guess easier to switch than fight, so to speak. And so it was either say, "I'm a Republican," "I'm a Georgia Democrat, but I'll vote the Republican ticket."
SHORT: In 1962, there was one Republican in the Georgia Senate. He was fromGilmer County up in north Georgia. The Republicans took over the Georgia Senate in 1992. That's, what, that's 30 years. It took the Republicans 30 years to become the majority in the Georgia Senate.
SHORT: Two years later, because of switches and people who say they used to bea Democrat and now they're a Republican, gave the Republican Party the majority in the House of Representatives. But during that 30-year span, the Democrats continued to hold power in the Georgia Legislature, despite the fact that the 01:09:00Republican Party had taken over the entire South. Why do you think it took so long?
YOUNG: Well, people generally, whether it be politics, jobs, working in thejob-place, whatever the case may be, don't like institutional change. And, you know, you have some strong folks under the dome -- Tom Murphy, folks like that -- who actually controlled their niche in that political field there. And as those people die out or get beat, most of them, you know, will end up getting beat; but where it narrows down, then you have the new folks coming on and so a lot of my friends had made the switch for political reasons. "I can't run as a 01:10:00Democrat next time. Even though it's a legislative thing, two years, I can't run next time as a Democrat and I've been a Democrat all of my life. I can't run as a Democrat and get elected." So rather than staying where they're at and taking the chance of losing that seat, they switch. And, you know, I lost a lot of respect for these people. Of course, it's their life; they do what they want to do. I don't control anybody's life except mine, and I have a hard time doing that from time to time. But it's the situation that, you know, now they've turned around and have bitten the hand that has fed them and put them where they're at. They got there, but they didn't stay with the person that brung 'em to the dance.
SHORT: Do you agree that the charge that the state Democratic Party is toominority controlled and too close to organized labor?
YOUNG: That's a difficult question, Bob. That could be two reasons for a01:11:00switch, but is it the real reason that prompted them to go off on another path? I think, you know, they went off on another path because they're selfish. They didn't want to give up what they had and they knew if they stayed where they were at, there was a possibility they were gonna have to give it up. But they didn't -- if they'd stayed in strength, it may not have happened, but it splintered off so much, and the Republicans are very good about splintering off. "Let's get this guy here. We'll get this guy here. We'll get this guy over here today. We'll get this guy tomorrow. Next week, we'll get this group back here, etc." And all at once, the bond that the Democratic Party had in Georgia all these years had been splintered away to where it was nothing. Now the Republicans appear to be in the same problem that the Democrats have done in the past. You know, the Democrats are (and I'm talking like a Democrat now), they're making a little comeback and I think the comeback, you know, it ain't 01:12:00gonna come in November. It may not come in four years in November. But I think the Democrats are starting to play the same game that the Republicans played all those years to get to be where they're at now where they're in the minority, because when you're in the minority -- in the majority, pardon -- when you're in the majority, you're open for criticism. The minority is never criticized, only the majority, and the majority being there are gonna make mistakes and, consequently, the whittling starts.
SHORT: What do you think are the main issues among Georgia voters today?
YOUNG: [Chuckling] In this particular day, it's gasoline. The economy. It'sthe economy. You know, I travel around not extensively, but considerably, and, you know, I see people who -- restaurants are having problems. You know, people have got to, you know, to buy gasoline for their car to get to work, to eat at home, and bring groceries home and feed the family. You know, I've seen -- and 01:13:00surprising -- this trip up, I'm finding places that are economically quick food franchises (and I don't know whether I can mention the franchise or not). Kentucky Fried Chicken, there are a lot of these places closing. You can eat, you know, and I'm -- this is not a commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken -- but, you know, it's a very economical place to take your wife and two children and have dinner or go get it and take it home and eat it, whatever the case may be. But your theaters seem to be falling back. Your restaurants are falling back. People just can't afford it because I just left Atlanta at $4.17 for a gallon of regular gasoline. That's ridiculous. That's ridiculous. But it's there. The sign's up. They got it in the ground and they probably got it for considerably less, but they're selling it for $4.17. Either buy it or don't buy it. And, consequently, the economy's gonna be the big thing.
SHORT: I'll bet you you'd get a lot of votes if you could tell us how to solvethat problem. 01:14:00
YOUNG: If I could solve that problem, I probably wouldn't be sitting heretoday. I'd be out working to solve the problem. But, like I said, you know -- and you're getting a lot of lip service out of the federal government about, you know, "Now we're going to take all the corn that we used to feed to people and make gasoline out of it." But, and as I pulled up to a pump in Atlanta and paid $4.17 for a gallon of gas, I found out that 10 percent of it was corn. And I didn't think the corn was grown here and not in some Middle Eastern country. So, consequently, you know, but the gas didn't go down. In fact, it jumped, you know, from where me leaving Savannah paying $3.85 to coming to Atlanta paying $4.17 a gallon.
SHORT: Who was the easiest candidate you ever supported?
YOUNG: Beyond a doubt, Sam Nunn.
SHORT: Why do you say that?
YOUNG: Sam -- Sam was a good politician. You tell him what to do [chuckling]01:15:00and I hate to use this vernacular, you could wind him up and point him in that corner and he went straight to that corner. He's not gonna deviate and go to another corner. He was just, you know, he did -- he paid his staff to tell him what to do to get elected. And I was part of that, part of that staff. Some fellow from Dallas, Texas, by the name of Ed Sieb who they hired and brought in and I was pulled into the race with Sieb and we had another cohort which I understand was on this program not long ago by the name of Norman Underwood. And he was dispatched to the Nunn campaign from the Sanders law firm.
YOUNG: But, like I said, Sam, beyond a doubt. The fatherly image was portrayedto me by Lester Maddox. I couldn't have asked a father to have done more for me, and the thing of it is a lot of people, Bob, who work in these campaigns are 01:16:00expecting after the campaigns are over, you know, "I want to do this. I want to do that. I want to be this. I want to be, you know, transportation chairman," you know, whatever the case may be. Some relatively high-paying job with a lot of prestige. I'll never forget Governor Maddox asked me after the first governor's race, he says, "What do you want out of my administration?" And I said, "Four years of good government." And he looked at me and he says, "What?" And I said, "Four years of good government." And he said, "Well, you know, we have positions involved and I'll need people like you to come and work." I said, "Governor, I have a family. I have a business. I have a home on St. Simons Island, Georgia. And as soon as you tell me, 'You're outta here', I'm back home." And that's exactly what I did. Same way with Senator Nunn. I 01:17:00stayed with him a little, you know, for a while -- not long, but after he was elected. And I, you know, I cleaned out my office, cleaned out my hotel room, and went back to my family and my business in Brunswick and St. Simons.
SHORT: Well, you've certainly had an interesting career, and we thank you forappearing with us, Ned, on this version of "Reflections on Georgia Politics."
YOUNG: Bob, I appreciate the invitation and good luck on future programs.
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