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Interview with Roy Moultrie, May 4, 2012

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:29 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: I'm Bob Short, and this is Reflection on Georgia Politics, sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library at the University of Georgia and Young Harris College.

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer Bob Short introduces interviewee Roy Moultrie.

00:00:57 - Elimination of Georgia's county unit system

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Partial Transcript: You were a member of the General Assembly during the time of three of the state's most compelling issues in the 20th century.

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie describes how Georgia's county unit system enfranchised the state's Democrats and indicates that its elimination did not have a dramatic effect on his county.

Keywords: County unit system; Democratic primary; Desegregation; Election; Federal courts; Fulton County, Georgia; Gene Talmadge; General election; Gray v. Sanders; Hamilton, Georgia; Harris County, Georgia; Legislative district; Muskogee County, Georgia; Neill Primary Act; One man, one vote; Probate judge; Reapportionment; Republican party; Rural counties; State legislative districts; State senator; Supreme Court; Talbot County, Georgia; White primary

00:05:09 - Supervision of elections / Denmark Groover

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Partial Transcript: Uh, how long were you, uh, ordinary?

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie describes his work as a longtime elections superintendent, including implementation of voting machines, and defends electronic voting and voter identification laws; he also speaks about working with famed Georgia Senator Denny Groover.

Keywords: "Grooverizing"; Backroll boy; Congressional bill; Credit; Denmark Groover; Elections superintendent; Electronic voting; Governmental affairs; Governmental affairs committee; Honest elections; Lease; Majority whip; Metropolitan areas; Paper ballots; Paper trail; Poll workers; Polling; Probate judge; Shoup Voting Machine Company; Subcommittee on election laws; Voter identification

00:10:02 - Early life and education / Professional life

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Partial Transcript: Now we'd like to hear about Roy Moultrie and his early life.

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie tells an anecdote about the doctor who delivered him, talks about his high school's most famous alma mater, Chet Atkins, and describes his education and early professional life prior to his election to the probate court.

Keywords: Archie Campbell; Atlanta Public Television; Atlanta, Georgia; Campaign; Chet Atkins; Classical violin; Columbus, Georgia; Crawford & Company Insurance Adjusters; Fiddle; Hamilton, Georgia; Harris County, Georgia; Mercer Law School; Military draft; Mountain Hill School; Rural Georgia; West Georgia College

00:13:48 - Becoming a lawyer / Run for state legislature

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Partial Transcript: Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie divulges his reasons for becoming a lawyer and running for the Georgia House of Representatives

00:17:13 - Committee work in the House

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Partial Transcript: So you get up to Atlanta; what was it like being a freshman legislator?

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie discusses his early committee work as a junior congressman.

Keywords: Appellate Division; Athens, Georgia; Clark Atlanta University; Claude Bray; Committee work; Dr. Bob Holmes; Government Affairs Committee; Health and Ecology Committee; Human Relations and Aging Committee; Jim Purnell; Manchester, Georgia; Speaker of the House; State Parks and Natural Resources Committee; State Workers Compensation Board; State employees; State of the Republic Committee; Subcommittee

00:19:54 - Early interest in politics / Recollections of Georgia politicians

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Partial Transcript: So you served four terms?

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie credits an early experience with the Georgia Boys State program with sparking his interest in politics, and he recalls some of the notable Georgia politicians of his lifetime.

Keywords: Allen Woodall; American Legion; Board of Regends; Campaign speaker; Carl Sanders; College Park, Georgia; Ellis Arnall; Freight rate case; Gasoline ration; Georgia Boys State; Georgia Military Academy; Georgia politics; Herman Talmadge; Hiawassee, Georgia; Integration; Law practice; Marvin Griffin; Melvin E. Thompson; Retirement; World War II; Young Harris College

00:25:35 - Ernest Vandiver's governorship

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Partial Transcript: Then there was Ernest Vandiver.

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie speaks about the political tenure of Gov. Vandiver, who was in office during a politically volatile period, including mandated racial integration.

Keywords: African-Americans; Americus, Georgia; Blacks; Board of Education; Civil rights; Demonstrations; Desegregation; Ernie Vandiver; Federal law; Freedom of Choice; Jimmy Carter; School integration; Segregation; U.S. Senator; UGA; University of Georgia; Young Democratic Club

00:28:35 - Carter, Callaway, and Brinkley gubernatorial campaigns

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Partial Transcript: Uh, Jimmy Carter--he's from your part of the state.

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie discusses the campaigns of Jimmy Carter, Bo Callaway, and Jack Brinkley in the mid-1960s.

Keywords: Attapulgus, Georgia; Bo Callaway; Columbus, Georgia; Congress; Congressman; Dick Forrester; Harris County; Jack Brinkley; Lester Maddox; Run-off; Steve Pace; Third congressional district; Young Harris College

00:32:17 - Maddox's governorship

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Partial Transcript: Let's go back now to that election, um, in '66, when the legislature had the responsibility of electing the governor.

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie commends the work of Gov. Maddox and recalls how he helped change the orders of an African-American who had been called to Vietnam.

Keywords: African-Americans; Bob Hope; County commission; Elected official; Ellis Arnall; Fort McPherson; I-85; Lester Maddox; Louis W. Truman; Radio show; Supreme Court of Georgia; Vietnam War; Welcome center; West Point, Georgia

00:36:04 - The Georgia lottery bill

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Partial Transcript: You served in the legislature with Governor Busbee; how well did you know him?

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie mentions the governors under which he served as a legislature and tells of voting against Georgia's lottery bill, despite knowing the measure would pass.

Keywords: Capitol building; Constitutional amendment; Education lottery; Florida; Gambling bill; Georgia Busbee; Inauguration; Joe Frank Harris; Mobile home; Tom Murphy; Zell Miller

00:40:06 - Rise of the Republican Party in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about Roy Moultrie after elective politics.

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie states that had he remained in politics, he would identify as a Republican, and indicates that he was not surprised that Georgia became a Republican state.

Keywords: Arrogance; Communication; Conservative; Democratic administration; Dishonesty; Gardening; Georgia flag; Liberal; Per capita income; Presidential politics; Republican party; Roy Barnes

00:45:05 - Conservative democrats

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Partial Transcript: There's a feeling among disillusioned Democrats that their party--state party--has become too dependent on labor, minorities to ever make a strong comeback.

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie opines that a changing population helped contribute to Republicans gaining control of Georgia politics and clarifies that Georgia's traditional democratic party was conservative.

Keywords: American principals; Grant; Labor union; Liberal ideology; Lieutenant governor; Mercer University; Nathan Deal; Political demographics; Sonny Purdue; Union County; Voters

00:48:31 - Faith / Professional life before politics

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Partial Transcript: As you look back over your career, what are you most proudest of?

Segment Synopsis: Moultrie discusses his faith and an attempted career in insurance prior to entering politics.

Keywords: Baptist; Birmingham, Alabama; Candler Field; Christianity; Constituency; Des Moines, Iowa; Georgia Power Company; Higher education; Preferred Risk Mutual Insurance Company; Presbyterian church; Weather

00:51:54 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Well, we certainly have, enjoyed having us with us, Roy.

Segment Synopsis: Short and Moultrie conclude the interview.