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Interview with George Hooks, January 27, 2009

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:26 - Early life / Introduction to politics

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Partial Transcript: And we’d like to begin by asking you a little bit about your early life and growing up in Sumter County.

Segment Synopsis: Hooks talks about how his family had lived in Sumter County for several generations, and he lived on the same street that his two grandmothers were born on. Hooks also talks about going to school at Auburn University. Hooks recalls becoming involved in Marvin Griffin's second race for Governor against Carl Sanders, and driving all around the South to nail up posters.

Keywords: Americus; Auburn University; Birmingham, Al; Boy Scouts; Cuthbert; Marvin Griffin; New Jersey; Preston; Shellman; Sumter County; campaign; gubernatorial race

00:06:30 - Georgia House of Representatives

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Partial Transcript: And when did you decide to run for public office?

Segment Synopsis: Hooks talks about his race for the open seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, and the the deference that was expected of the freshmen legislators. Hooks recalls being floor leader for Governor Harris, and the other committees he chaired.

Keywords: Georgia House of Representatives; Governor Harris; Joe Frank Harris; campaign; chairman; committees; floor leader; freshman; legislature; rules; rules committee

00:09:43 - George Busbee / Georgia Legislators

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Partial Transcript: George Busbee was Governor when you came to the legislature

Segment Synopsis: Hooks recalls George Busbee's administration, which he says instituted good institutions in development and technological education. Short and Hooks talk about how most of Georgia's Governors have had legislative experience. Hooks then talks about Tom Murphy and Denmark Groover, who were important to Georgia's Legislature.

Keywords: Atlanta World Congress Center; Denmark Groover; George Busbee; Jimmy Carter; Joe Frank Harris; Lester Maddox; Tom Murphy; administration; development; experience; fiscal

00:16:37 - Quality Basic Education / Zell Miller

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Partial Transcript: Let’s talk a minute about QBE, or Quality Basic Education.

Segment Synopsis: Hooks gives his opinion on the implementation of the Quality Basic Education Act in Georgia and briefly describes the history of education in Georgia. Hooks talks about Zell Miller's tenacity, which allowed for passing legislation to fund the creation of the HOPE Scholarship Program and the Georgia Pre-K Program.

Keywords: HOPE Scholarship; Paul Coverdell; US Senate; Zell Miller; education; education lottery; lottery; mountain man; pre-k program

00:25:19 - Republican Majority in Georgia / Georgia Senate

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Partial Transcript: Let’s get back for a minute to the election of 2002, which was won by Republican Sonny Perdue.

Segment Synopsis: Hooks talks about the results of the new Republican majority in Georgia. Hooks also explains why he left the Georgia House of Representatives for the Georgia Senate.

Keywords: Georgia House of representatives; Georgia Senate; Roy Barnes; Sonny Perdue; democratic party; district; local governments; republican party; seniority

00:28:25 - Accomplishments / Georgia State Flag

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Partial Transcript: Let’s get back to your service in the House.

Segment Synopsis: Hooks takes the time to admire how the Speaker Murphy the Georgia House of Representatives. He is most proud of changing the state flag into what it is today.

Keywords: Georgia State Flag; Roy Barnes; Sonny Perdue; Speaker Murphy; accomplishments; committee; design; flag

00:35:13 - State appropriations

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Partial Transcript: Well, now let’s talk about state appropriations.

Segment Synopsis: Hooks talks about the delicate balance in creating a budget that conserves tax payers' money while meeting the need of a growing state. He also mentions who is responsible for creating the budget.

Keywords: Governor; House of Representatives; Senate; appropriations; budget; committee; sub-committee

00:40:56 - Rules committee / Reapportionment committee

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Partial Transcript: Let’s talk for a minute about some of the other things you’ve done in the Senate.

Segment Synopsis: Hooks explains how the rules committee sets the agenda and the calendar for the legislative body. He also talks about the reapportionment committee. Each state has to reapportion their house and senate seats every 10 years.

Keywords: agenda; bills; calendar; commission; county; deliberations; districts; federal judge; population; reapportionment; reapportionment committee; rules committee

00:45:56 - Party politics in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Let’s talk for a minute about party politics in Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Hooks talks about differences in the ideals and agenda between the national Democratic Party and the Georgia Democratic Party. He briefly talks about his relationship with President Carter, who lives in Hooks's district.

Keywords: George Wallace; Jimmy Carter; democratic party; independent party; national democratic party; partisan; party politics; party registration; republican party

00:51:56 - Closing reflections

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Partial Transcript: Let’s talk now a little bit about George Hooks again.

Segment Synopsis: Hooks reflects on his career, and he gives advice to aspiring politicians. He talks about the legacy of Hugh Gillis, the longest-serving member of the Georgia General Assembly.

Keywords: Hugh Gillis; hindsight; politicians; reflection