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Interview with Tom Buck, March 31, 2010

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:46 - Early life and education / Decision to get involved in politics

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Partial Transcript: You were born right here in Columbus.

Segment Synopsis: Buck talks about being raised in Columbus, Ga. He talks about his education at Emory University, and he talks about his law career. Then he talks about his service in the military. Buck later talks about his introduction to politics and what led him to run for the General Assembly.

Keywords: Emory University; Ft. Sam Houston, TX; Georgia General Assembly; Georgia house; campaign; election; law firm; military; reserves; work ethic

00:10:17 - Experience as a freshman legislator

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Partial Transcript: So, in 1967 you went to Atlanta to begin what turned out to be 38 years with the General Assembly.

Segment Synopsis: Buck reflects on what it was like being a freshman legislator in the Georgia General Assembly. He shared some stories and philosophies from his early years in public service.

Keywords: Bo Callaway; George l Smith; Lester Maddox; Milton Jones; appropriations committee; freshman legislator; green door committee; philosophy; retirement committee; rules committee; speaker; university system committee

00:17:45 - 1966 gubernatorial election / Relationship with Tom Murphy

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Partial Transcript: Let's back up a minute if you will to 1966 and the race for governor in which you had some pretty heavy candidates in the Democratic primary, which was finally won by Lester Maddox.

Segment Synopsis: Buck talks about the 1966 Gubernatorial election, and he talks about why he chose to vote for Bo Callaway in that situation. Buck later talks a little bit about his relationship with Speaker Murphy.

Keywords: Bo Callaway; Georgia Tech; Lester Maddox; Speaker Murphy; Tom Murphy; committee chair; committee on higher education; friendships; gubernatorial race; higher education; the University of Georgia; ways and means; ways and means committee

00:23:28 - Ways and Means Committee / Appropriations process

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Partial Transcript: Tell us about the committee and what you'd do -- what the committee did.

Segment Synopsis: Buck talks about the Ways and Means Committee and how it was run when he was chairman. Buck later shares the complicated process of appropriations.

Keywords: appropriations; bubba macdonald; budget; ear marks; green door committee; larry walker; revenue estimate; terry coleman; ways and means

00:33:31 - Georgia's budget

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Partial Transcript: How long does it take to negotiate a final budget?

Segment Synopsis: Buck explains the factors that could affect how long it takes to negotiate a final budget. Buck later talks about Georgia's tax system.

Keywords: allocations; budget; can of worms; economy; finance; taxes

00:39:07 - Speaker Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Howard / Opinions on Tom Murphy

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Partial Transcript: I think that history would require me to ask you about the great feud between our friend, Speaker Murphy, and our friend, Lieutenant Governor Miller.

Segment Synopsis: Buck shares the story of the feud between Speaker Tom Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Zell Miller. Buck later reflects on Tom Murphy and the impression he made on him.

Keywords: Lieutenant Governor; Pierre Howard; Speaker of the House; Tom Murphy; Zell Miller; attorney; breakfast; cigar; red neck

00:52:22 - Georgia's Governors

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Partial Transcript: You served with seven governors.

Segment Synopsis: Buck shares his impressions on the governors he served under. He talks about Lester Maddox, Jimmy Carter, Joe Frank Harris, George Busbee, Roy Barnes, and Sonny Perdue.

Keywords: Bo Callaway; George Busbee; Jimmy Carter; Joe Frank Harris; Lester Maddox; Roy Barnes; Sonny Perdue; governors; state flag

00:57:26 - Retirement / Reflections

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Partial Transcript: Tom, in 2004, you decided to step down as the senior member of the House with 38 consecutive years in office.

Segment Synopsis: Buck talks about why he decided to retire from the General Assembly in 2004. He talks about what he has been doing since leaving the General Assembly. Buck also reflects on his career in public service, and he claims that he does not have any regrets.

Keywords: Terry Coleman; caucus; democratic party; golf; house; republican party; retirement; senior member; springer opera house; state house