UGA Libraries Logo

Interview with John C. Foster, August 25, 2008

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:44 - Early life

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, we remember your record in the Senate and that's what we want to talk about today.

Segment Synopsis: Foster talks about his early life in Cornelia, Ga.

Keywords: 4-H; Cornelia, Ga; Piedmont College; University of Georgia; farmers

00:05:29 - Interest in politics / Campaigns and strategies

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When did you get interested in politics?

Segment Synopsis: Foster talks about how he became interested in politics. He talks about losing his first race against his friend Tommy Irvin and navigating divisive issues when talking to constituents. He also talks about other races.

Keywords: Dawson County; Rotary Club; Tommy Irvin; campaign; contributions; involvement; politics

00:12:39 - Early days in Senate

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What do you remember about your first few days in the Senate?

Segment Synopsis: Foster recalls his first few days in the Senate, including interacting with Culver Kidd and being given advice to "keep his mouth shut" and listen and learn. He talks about modeling his career after other successful politicians who had a low profile approach.

Keywords: Culver Kidd; Senate; constitution

00:14:38 - Career in broadcasting

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Let's get back now to your business career.

Segment Synopsis: Foster talks about starting out in broadcasting in high school and his lifelong fascination with radio. He talks about his first job being hired as a nighttime D.J. on the Cornelia radio station and various other jobs in broadcasting.

Keywords: North Georgia College; The Moon is Blue; broadcast radio; college; dj; movie theater; radio station; septic tank

00:21:22 - Military service

Play segment

Partial Transcript: But anyhow, I saw the draft board lady that was toward the end of the Korean War and I asked her, I said, "Are you going to draft me?"

Segment Synopsis: Foster talks about his joining the U.S. Army during the Korean War, which he considers a great experience. He talks about being sent to Fort Riley, Kansas, and working in the parts department.

Keywords: Fort Jackson; Fort Riley; Korea; Korean War; US Army; draft board

00:30:14 - Senate committee / Education

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Let's get back to the State Senate.

Segment Synopsis: Foster talks about his committee assignments. He talks about the funding of schools and shares his opinions on the No Child Left Behind program.

Keywords: CRCT; committee; committee on committees; education; funding; no child left behind; standardized tests

00:46:56 - Georgia lottery / Funding for education

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I think Georgia can be proud in the fact that it's had pre-k programs.

Segment Synopsis: Foster talks about the benefits of the state lottery and state schools. He mentions how in his county the tax on alcohol goes towards the public schools. Foster offers some advice in how parents can become more involved in their children's education.

Keywords: after school program; alcohol tax; competition; education; parents; pre-k program; sales tax; state lottery

00:54:34 - Leadership in the Senate and the House

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Let's get back for a minute now to the Georgia Senate where you served for 12 years.

Segment Synopsis: Foster talks about the many President Pro Temps while he was in the Senate. Foster talks about his relationship with Speaker Tom Murphy.

Keywords: Lieutenant Governor; President pro tempore; Tom Murphy; Zell Miller; house race

00:58:25 - Partisan Politics / Getting out of politics

Play segment

Partial Transcript: John, you know, when we were coming along there were two parties in Georgia, but they were within the Democratic party.

Segment Synopsis: Foster and Short talk about the divisiveness of party politics and the Democratic party. Foster expresses his disappointment for partisan politics and says he does not consider himself a Democrat or Republican. He then talks about getting voted out of office.

Keywords: Arnall; Talmadge; democratic party; partisan politics; republican party; senior senator; teacher unions; union man

01:02:30 - Georgia politics / Party registration / Post political career

Play segment

Partial Transcript: John, many disenchanted democrats seem to think that the Georgia party is now too dependent on minorities and labor unions.

Segment Synopsis: Foster talks about party politics in Georgia, and he believes that the Democratic Party is out of touch with the Georgia populous. He later shares his opinions on party registration. Foster then talks about his career after he left politics.

Keywords: Democratic Party; Paul Coverdell; Rise of the Republican Party; broom factory; factory; insulation; partisan politics; party registration; voting

01:10:40 - Closing reflections

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Back to politics.

Segment Synopsis: Foster shares what he thinks his greatest accomplishment is. He also talks about how he would like to be remembered.

Keywords: Chattahoochee river; Joe Frank Harris; book; education; family; memoirs; real estate; water issue