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Interview with Mary Margaret Oliver, December 18, 2009

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:07 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: I’m Bob Short and this is Reflections on Georgia Politics sponsored by the Duckworth Library at Young Harris College and the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Bob Short introduces the interview and the interviewee, Mary Margaret Oliver.

Keywords: Bob Short; Mary Margaret Oliver

00:00:36 - Early life and career

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Partial Transcript: You were born in South Carolina?

Segment Synopsis: Oliver talks a little bit about where she was born and where she grew up. She later talks about her law career and how she later became involved in politics. Oliver also reflects on her first race. It was a special election due to the unexpected death of Peggy Childs.

Keywords: Charleston, SC; DeKalb County; Georgia Legal Services; Hall County; Jim Martin; Peggy Childs; Pierre Howard; country club; district; law school; politicians; politics; voting rights act

00:07:20 - Impressions of the Georgia House of Representatives

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Partial Transcript: So you got elected and you went to the State Capitol.

Segment Synopsis: Oliver shares her observation that there were not many female legislatures when she was elected to the House. She remarks how the House had a competitive nature and many of the members are intelligent. Oliver also talks about the committees she worked on during her tenure.

Keywords: Cathey Steinberg; Judiciary Committee; Nathan Deal; Peggy Childs; Pierre Howard; Robin Harris; Tom Murphy; law practice; law school

00:12:38 - Legislative career

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Partial Transcript: Let’s talk a minute first about some of your accomplishments in the House of Representatives.

Segment Synopsis: Oliver talks about her career in both the House and the Senate. She explains her preference for the House due to the greater number of members.

Keywords: Cathey Steinberg; House; Pierre Howard; Senate; education; judiciary committee; statewide campaigns

00:16:09 - Education in Georgia / Legislation affecting children and consumers

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Partial Transcript: You served on some other very important committees in the Senate.

Segment Synopsis: Oliver discusses the state of education in Georgia, and she expresses the flaws that are currently impeding the standard of education. Oliver also talks about her work on children, elderly, and consumer legislation.

Keywords: abuse; charter schools; children; domestic violence; drug use; education; elderly; home school; legislation; minority; neglect; private schools; public schools; violence

00:23:04 - Campaign for Lieutenant Governor / Return to the House of Representatives

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Partial Transcript: In 1998 you ran for lieutenant governor.

Segment Synopsis: Oliver talks about the details of her unsuccessful race for Lieutenant Governor in 1998. She also talks about her life after the election and her return to the House of Representatives.

Keywords: Mark Taylor; Roy Barnes; Sonny Perdue; Tom Murphy; election; health; house of representatives; lieutenant governor; pneumonia; politics; return; runoff

00:30:06 - Transportation and water issues in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: You were talking about education.

Segment Synopsis: Oliver discusses other issues in Georgia Politics such as transportation and water usage.

Keywords: Alabama; Bill Floyd; Chattahoochee river; Florida; GRTA; House Transportation Committee; Lake Lanier; MARTA; Senate Bill 200; taxes; transportation; water consumption

00:34:20 - Reflections on Roy Barnes' unsuccessful reelection / Current state of Georgia politics

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Partial Transcript: Let’s move ahead to year 2002 when for the first time since John F. Conley (Benjamin F. Conley), which is 131 years, Georgians elected a Republican governor when Sonny Perdue beat Roy Barnes.

Segment Synopsis: Oliver expresses her surprise when Sonny Perdue defeated Roy Barnes and became the first Republican Governor in 131 years. She shares some of her theories for why Roy Barnes lost his reelection. Oliver later talks about the current state of Georgia politics.

Keywords: Bobby Khan; Democrat; Hawk system; Republican; Roy Barnes; Sonny Perdue; flag; governor; one party system; partisan; polls

00:40:16 - Appropriations process / Changes in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Let’s speak a minute about the appropriations process in Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Oliver talks about the appropriations process and the possible ways to improve the process. She also talks about Governor Perdue's attempts for the government to keep up with the changes of the time. Oliver also talks about the importance of money management in government.

Keywords: DOAS; DOT; IBM; Joe Frank Harris; Zell Miller; appropriations; budget; government employees; government spending; governor; mental health; mental illness; prison

00:46:31 - Closing reflections

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Partial Transcript: Let’s get back just a minute to Mary Margaret Oliver.

Segment Synopsis: Oliver offers some closing reflections on her career. She shares her accomplishments and disappointments in regards to Georgia's legislation.

Keywords: Glenn Richardson; career; disappointments; dot; future; legislation; politics; public office; seat belts; stamina; violence