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Interview with Frank Albert, October 21, 2013

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:02 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: It's October 21, 2013 in Athens, Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer Bob Short introduces interviewee Frank Albert.

00:00:33 - Early life / Interest in politics

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Partial Transcript: Uh, when I think of Frank Albert, I think of Atlanta, Georgia, Ivy Street, and football.

Segment Synopsis: Albert summarizes his early life in Florida and Atlanta and describes becoming interested in politics while a college student at the University of South Carolina.

Keywords: Augusta, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; Democratic National Convention; Downtown Atlanta; Farm equipment; Football stadium; Governor; Imperial Hotel; Jacksonville, Florida; John Deere; Lake City, Florida; Liz Johnston; Marist School; Military Service; North Atlanta; North Fulton High School; Tallahassee, Florida; U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Senator; U.S.Army; USC

00:03:36 - Entry into politics

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Partial Transcript: Getting back to the County Commission, what inspired you to run for the County Commission?

Segment Synopsis: Harris discusses running for the State Senate after a year of serving on the County Commission.

Keywords: Banking committee; Campaign committee; County Commission; County unit system; Cracker Party; Democrats; Dixiecrat; Don Cheeks; Georgia House; Georgia Senate; Jimmy Lester; Republicans; Ronald Reagan; Roy Harris; Senate chamber; Sheriff; Speaker of the House; Straight ticket; Strom Thurmond

00:06:55 - Serving with Zell Miller and Rusty Kidd

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Partial Transcript: How is a freshman senator embraced by the other senators?

Segment Synopsis: Albert describes serving as a Republican in the Democratic-controlled Senate and describes his interactions with Zell Miller and the notoriously colorful Culver Kidd.

Keywords: Banking Committee; Capitol building; Committee work; Crown Royal whiskey; Culver Kidd; Georgia Music Committee; Georgia state dog; Golden retriever; Human Resources Committee; Laws; Prison population; Senate bills; Senate chamber

00:10:45 - Committee work in the Senate

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Partial Transcript: You served on the, uh, Culver Kidd--famous Culver Kidd--committee.

Segment Synopsis: Albert reviews some of his committee work during his time in elected office and discusses the controversial introduction of a lottery to Georgia.

Keywords: Alcoholic beverages; Baptist church; Consumer affairs committee; Controversy; EREG committee; HOPE Scholarship; Higher education; Home Depot; Human resources committee; Lieutenant governor; Liquor tax; Lottery; Pierre Howard; Richmond County, Georgia; Roy Barnes; Sales Tax

00:13:30 - Working with Democrats

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Partial Transcript: So, back to your service in the Senate; what was your agenda?

Segment Synopsis: Albert describes working with Democrats by necessity to pass legislation, the slack he caught for endorsing democrat Zell Miller, and being on the receiving end of Pierre Howard's ire.

00:18:42 - Comedic antics in the Senate

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Partial Transcript: Well, what other memories do you have about serving in the Senate?

Segment Synopsis: Albert tells several humorous anecdotes, including his wife fashioning pants made of Crown Royal bags for Kidd, and names some of the "heavy hitters" in Goergia politics during his time in office.

Keywords: Billy Harris; Dress code; Golf shirt; MADD; Madras; Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Seamstress; Sewing; Suiting; Windbreaker

00:22:51 - Run for Congress / Campaign finance

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Partial Transcript: Well, moving along, a seat in Congress opened up when Congress Barnard decided not to run for re-election.

Segment Synopsis: Albert discusses his unsuccessful run for Congress and opines that money has come to dominate politics.

Keywords: Athens, Georgia; Campaign committee; Campaign finance limits; Campaign finance reform; Columbia County, Georgia; Don Johnson; Doug Barnard Jr.; Election Day; Fundraising; Gwinnett County, Georgia; Internet; Minivans; Political ads; Political consultant; Push polls; Ralph Hudgens; Republican primary; Runoff; Tom Phillips; Youtube

00:28:57 - Life after politics

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Partial Transcript: After Congress, did you ever consider running for public office again?

Segment Synopsis: Albert asserts that he has no interest in running for public office again and discusses the business he runs with his wife, a website that sells novelty dentures.

Keywords: Bookkeeping; Breaking Bad; Candidates; Commercial real estate; Conservative; Cosmetic dentistry; Dr. Bukk; Facebook; Fox News; HBO; Hollywood, California; John McCain; Liberal; Mitt Romney; Nathan Deal; Novelty teeth; Politics; Presidential election; Public office

00:32:54 - View of current politics

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Partial Transcript: What is your opinion of the Washington scene today?

Segment Synopsis: Albert discusses his distaste for current politics and suggests that he welcomes voices that dissent from the standard two-party system, such as the Tea Party, though he doesn't actively participate.

Keywords: Bicycling; Capitalism; Capitalist; Communism; Communist; Cuba; Cycling; Gardening; Government waste; IRS; Internal Revenue Service; John Boehner; Landscaping; Maine coon cat; Media; Mitch McConnell; National debt; Nikki Haley; Obamacare; Opposition; Political donation; Racism; Re-election; Republican leadership; Retirement; Small business; Taxes; Tea Party; Ted Cruz; Yard maintenance

00:38:53 - Political highlights and disappointments

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Partial Transcript: Well, looking back over your career, what do you think has been your biggest political accomplishment?

Segment Synopsis: Albert recalls some of the highs and lows of his time in office, speaking particularly of his work on legislation to allow strip clubs to serve alcoholic beverages to customers.

Keywords: Alcohol licensing; Arthur Langford; Barbara Simms; Blue laws; Buckhead, Atlanta; Chuck Johnston; Consumer affairs; David Scott; Denmark Groover; Exotic dancing; Fulton County, Georgia; Headmaster; Legislation; Pole dancers; Preachers; Private school; Public hearing; Ralph McGill; Tom Murphy; Women in politics

00:43:52 - Murphy v. Miller / False teeth legislation

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about--you mentioned this--about the differences of opinion of Tom Murphy, speaker of the house, and Zell Miller.

Segment Synopsis: Albert briefly discusses the purported conflicts between Speaker Murphy and Governor Miller; he also expresses regret over a piece of legislation he helped pass concerning dental prosthetics, which eventually landed his novelty teeth business in trouble, as chronicled by The Daily Show.

Keywords: Brian Unger; Cease and desist; Craig Kilborn; Dental bill; Dental prosthetist; Dentists; Denturists; Department of Health; False teeth; Felony; General assembly; Georgia Dental Association; John Stewart; Lobbyists; Martha Phillips; Misdemeanor; Nancy Albert; Plastic surgery; Publicity; Richard Greene; State budget; The Daily Show; Tommy Olmstead

00:48:31 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Well, it's been a pleasure having you.

Segment Synopsis: Short and Albert conclude the interview.