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Interview with Marti Fullerton, July 11, 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 Reflections on Georgia Politics, sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library for Research and Studies at the University of Georgia and Young Harris College.

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer Bob Short introduces interviewee Marti Fullerton

00:01:10 - Early life / Introduction to politics

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Partial Transcript: Before we do that, though, let's talk about your early life in Hayesville, North Carolina.

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton recalls her youth in the mountains of North Carolina and being introduced to politics by her family and, later, Zell Miller.

Keywords: 4-H Club; Appalachian Mountains; Blairsville, Georgia; Carl Sanders; County unit system; Eastern Tennessee; Georgia State Senate; Harry Truman; Luther Hodges; Marvin Griffin; North Carolina State University; Northeast Georgia; Politics; Raleigh, North Carolina; Stump speech; Tri-state; Two-party system; Western North Carolina; Yellow-dog democrat; Young Harris College; Zell Miller

00:05:25 - Studying under and working for Zell Miller

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Partial Transcript: You, uh, studied under Professor Miller at Young Harris.

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton describes being a student in Miller's classes at Young Harris College and later working for his unsuccessful Congressional campaign.

Keywords: Appalachian program; Atlanta, Georgia; Bowdon Commission; Bowdon, Georgia; Cathy Cox; Franklin Stone "Buckeye" Uhl; Gainesville, Georgia; Governor of Georgia; Hank Huckaby; Homer, Georgia; Lecture; Lyndon B. Johnson; National Aquarium; Ninth congressional district; Phil Gailey; Phil Landrum; Recount; Student center; Textbook; U.S. Congress; U.S. Senate; United States Senator; Work-study; Young Harris alumni

00:12:28 - Subsequent work in Georgia government / Rise of the Republican Party in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Okay, well, Miller lost that race, very close--decided to come back in 1966.

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton speaks about some of the other positions she held in Georgia's government under Lester Maddox and speculates on the reasons for Georgia's swing from a Democratic to a Republican state.

Keywords: Civil Rights Act; Civil Rights Movement; DeKalb County, Georgia; Democratic National Convention; Department of Revenue; Florida State University; George Democratic Party; George McGovern; George T. Smith; Georgia Constitution; Lester Maddox; Miami, Florida; Minority voters; Party power; Race; Robin Harris; State agencies; Tallahassee, Florida; Tommy Irvin; Voting Rights Act

00:17:22 - Work on the Busbee campaign

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Partial Transcript: Well let's go back to, uh, to your career.

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton discusses being recruited to work on Busbee's successful gubernatorial campaign.

Keywords: Bert Lance; Bobby Rowan; Cox Broadcasting; Democratic primary; Fundraising; George Busbee; George T. Smith; Gubernatorial race; Lieutenant governor; Run-off; WSB-TV

00:19:46 - Employment on Miller's staff

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Partial Transcript: Well, come January 1975, both Busbee and Miller win.

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton describes Miller's character and recalls an example of his political shrewdness in managing a banking bill.

Keywords: Branch banking bill; Controversy; Herman Talmadge; Inauguration; Integrity; Legislation; North Carolina; Politician; Populist; Senator; Work ethic

00:24:45 - Work on Miller's gubernatorial campaign / Miller's longevity as lieutenant governor

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Partial Transcript: So when he ran for governor, it was--you know, it was a new day.

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton speaks about Miller's campaign strategy in his 1990 run for governor, including early fundraising and campaign stops in rural areas.

Keywords: Barbeque; Fish fry; Fundraiser; Fundraising; Lewisville, Georgia; Macon, Georgia; Media firm; Networking; Political consultant; Political contributions; Political race; Polling; Professional pollster; Stone Mountain, Georgia; Swainsboro, Georgia; Thomson, Georgia; Tom Moreland; Unpaid leave; Virgil Williams

00:29:13 - Miller's disputes with Speaker Murphy

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Partial Transcript: Tom Murphy--you knew him well.

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton indicates that the media's focus on the rivalry between Miller and Murphy was overblown.

Keywords: Loyalty; Stubbornness; Tom Murphy; World Congress Center

00:30:28 - Miller's governorship and political relationships

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so, so now, uh, it's Miller's turn to run for governor.

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton reviews some of the legislation that occurred under Governor Miller, describes his relationships with other notable political figures, and explains Miller's broken vows to stay in office for only one term and to shift some power from the governorship to committees.

Keywords: Arkansas; Bill Clinton; Cajun; Campaign manager; Education lottery; General fund; HOPE scholarship; Institute of Government; James Carville; Joe Frank Harris; Paul Begala; Political history; Pre-K; Pre-kindergarten; State lottery

00:37:12 - Acting commissioner of the Department of Labor

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Partial Transcript: So, that, uh, 1990 successful election, 1994 was a new election--were you involved in that one?

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton tells of how she came to fill the unexpired term of Georgia's Labor commissioner and her duties at the department, and explains why she chose not to run for election to the post when the term expired.

00:41:40 - Retirement / Career highlights and regrets

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so, uh, what happened after that, Marti?

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton discusses her activities after retirement, which includes dabbling in politics, and tells of some of her career accomplishments and disappointments.

Keywords: Michael Thurmond; Morale; Retirement

00:44:45 - Advice to political candidates

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Partial Transcript: What advice would you give to women candidates who run for office today?

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton indicates that she would like to see a return to personal campaigning rather than a strict reliance on mass media.

Keywords: Coalitions; Courtesy; Education; Email; Eugene Talmadge; Personal campaigning; Political issues; Thank you notes; Women politicians

00:46:36 - Miller's work with the National Lieutenant Governors Association

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Partial Transcript: Well, we've talked about a lot of things, you have great memories, I'm sure; what have we missed?

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton describes Miller's recruitment to serve as chairman of the National Lieutenant Governors Association as an example of the respect with which he was viewed among his peers.

00:48:44 - Final words / Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Marti, it's been fun.

Segment Synopsis: Fullerton concludes the interview by stating she'd like to be remembered as someone who cared about those with whom she worked.