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Interview with Sadie Fields, August 29, 2012

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:25 - 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 at the University of Georgia and the Duckworth Library at Young Harris College.

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer Bob Short introduces interviewee Sadie Fields.

00:00:53 - Early life and career

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Partial Transcript: Now you were born Sarah Ann Studdard; how did you get to be Sadie?

Segment Synopsis: Fields speaks about her early life in South Georgia, her dreams of becoming a singer, and her early career history after meeting--and later divorcing--her husband.

Keywords: Acting; Activism; Alan Bloom; Atlanta, Georgia; Basketball; Christian Film and Television Commission; Conservative writers; Cypress Gardens, South Carolina; Essays; Gospel; Homerville, Georgia; Modeling; New York, N.Y.; Nickname; Oglethorpe University; Patriotism; Public Relations; Robert Bork; Small business; Swimming; THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND; THE TEMPTING OF AMERICA; The Singing Studdards; Tifton, Georgia; Voting; Water-skiing

00:03:55 - Start of political involvement / Recruitment to the Christian Coalition

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Partial Transcript: I had gone to Washington to a National Review conference, and on the plane on the way back I was praying.

Segment Synopsis: Fields recalls her early work on the campaigns of several Georgia politicians, which led to a position on Pat Buchanan's campaign staff, and her introduction to the Christian Coalition.

Keywords: American Vision Ministries; Bill Nigut; Christian Coalition; Cobb Civic Center; General election; Grassroots coordinator; Guy Millner; Immigration; Jerry Keen; John Knox; Media; NAFTA; National Review Conference; Newt Gingrich; North American Free Trade Association; Pat Buchanan; Political rally; Prayer; Providence; Public speaking; South Carolina; Steve Forbes; UN; United Nations

00:09:25 - Work with Christian Coalition / Coalition's influence on Georgia government

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about the Christian Coalition.

Segment Synopsis: Fields discusses her work with the Christian Coalition, including comments on its head Pat Robertson, and explains her philosophy on religion's role in politics.

Keywords: Candidates; Capitol building; China; Christian activists; Christian right; Community centers; Education; Faith-based politics; Fundraising; Georgia House of Representatives; Georgia Senate; Hypocrisy; Jerry Falwell; Judy Kraft; Legislative session; Morality; One-Child Policy; Pastors; Press conference; Public affairs; Republican party; Richard John Newhouse; Scorecard; Taxes; Volunteers; Voter guides

00:17:45 - Legislative issues taken on by the Coalition

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about your major issues that you faced while you were with the Coalition in Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Fields reviews some of the political issues the Georgia Christian Coalition lobbied for or against, notably the issue of gay marriage, which she describes as a personal and political conflict due to having a lesbian daughter.

Keywords: Allen Thornell; Blue laws; Gay marriage; Georgia Equality Project; Illegal immigrants; Immigration bill; Legislative issues; Lesbians; Liquor stores; Lobbyist; Marriage amendment of 2004; Political consultant; Rule of law; Southern Baptists; Sunday alcohol sales

00:21:49 - Name change to the Georgia Christian Alliance

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Partial Transcript: What caused you to leave the Coalition?

Segment Synopsis: Fields discusses the ideological schism between the national Christian Coalition and the Georgia chapter, which ultimately led to a name change, and her reasons for leaving the organization.

Keywords: Editorials; James Bopp; Judicial candidates; Judicial questionnaire; Minimum wage; Net neutrality; Press releases; Tea Party

00:27:54 - The Tea Party and Republicans

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk about the Tea Party.

Segment Synopsis: Fields opines that the Tea Party has brought about welcome changes in conservative politics but lacks national unity.

Keywords: Bob Dole; Cohesion; Competition; Conservatives; Fiscal conservative; Heirarchy; John McCain; Libertarian; Primaries; Social conservative; Third political party; Two-party system

00:31:59 - Rise of the Republican party in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about the involving Republican party in Georgia that, uh, 20 years ago was--well, I need to go back further than that...

Segment Synopsis: Fields opines that the reason behind Georgia's shift from a Democratic stronghold to a Republican one is due not to a change in Georgia's values but a shift in the national Democratic party.

Keywords: Assimilation; Bill Clinton; Church; Conservative Democrat; Counter-culture; Cynthia Tucker; Federal deficit; God and Guns; Hubert Humphrey; Left-wing; Montezuma, Georgia; Paradigm shift; Progressives; Racism; Southern politics; Tax structure; Traditions; U.S. Constitution

00:38:07 - Republican's loss of presidency

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Partial Transcript: Back to 2004, when the Republicans took over the state capitol: are we better off today because of that?

Segment Synopsis: Fields discusses the slow change in the Georgia legislature despite a united House and speaks about what she believes accounted for Obama's win in 2008, suggesting McCain was a weak candidate.

00:44:08 - Notable political influences and encounters

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Partial Transcript: So you think now, in 2012, as we sit here that Romney will be a better candidate than McCain?

Segment Synopsis: Fields describes some of the political figures who have made an impression on her on both the state and national scenes.

Keywords: Compromise; Constitutional republic; Debt; Economic Stimulus Act; Family values; Government programs; History; Johnny Isakson; Lester Maddox; Medicare; Saxby Chambliss; Social Security; Sons of Confederate Veterans; Statesmen

00:50:50 - Experiences with Rudy Giuliani and Zell Miller / Holding public office

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Partial Transcript: Rudy Giuliani, surprisingly--funny how that happened.

Segment Synopsis: Fields describes her surprisingly favorable impression of Giuliani and expresses her admiration for former Georgia governor Zell Miller, and summarizes why she never felt driven to run for public office.

Keywords: Abortion; Constitutionalists; Georgia lottery; Gracie Mansion; Lamar Alexander; National defense; OK Cafe; Pandering; Pro-life; Rudolph Giuliani; September 11, 2001; Sonogram; Tom Baxter; Voting record; Washington, D.C.; Zell Miller

00:59:00 - Meeting Paul McCartney

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Partial Transcript: Sadie, is it true that as a pretty young lady, you once turned down a date with Paul McCartney?

Segment Synopsis: Fields tells an anecdote about being asked out by Paul McCartney while bartending backstage at a Beatles concert.

Keywords: Bartender; Buffet; Caterer; Catering; Frank Clout; The Beatles

01:00:25 - Career achievements and disappointments

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Partial Transcript: Well, looking back, Sadie, over your long career, what do you think was your biggest accomplishment?

Segment Synopsis: Fields reflects on some of the highlights of her career and disappointments in politicians she felt misled by, and, conversely, politicians with whom she disagrees but maintains friendships.

Keywords: Betrayal; Convictions; Jesus Christ; Service to God; Seth Harp; Sunday sales; UGA; University of Georgia

01:07:10 - Ethical issues in politics

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Partial Transcript: Sadie, there's great concern today about ethics in government.

Segment Synopsis: Fields opines that paid lobbying should be banned from politics.

Keywords: Columbus, Georgia; Corruption; Cynicism; Disciplinary hearings; Don Balfour; Expense account; Falsified expense reports; Injustice; Joshua McKoon; Law enforcement; Lobbyists; Political influence; Public discipline; State senate