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Interview with Jim Galloway, September 25, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:26 - Start of journalism career

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Partial Transcript: So just to get started, tell us a little bit about your upbringing, your childhood, where you're from.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway discusses his earliest political memories in Georgia, particularly the 1966 gubernatorial race between Lester Maddox and Bo Callaway. He then recalls working as the editor of The Red and Black while attending the University of Georgia, then working for The Anderson Independent-Mail, writing about religion instead of politics.

Keywords: The Atlanta Constitution; Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham Church Bombing; Fulton County, Georgia; Georgia General Assembly; Jimmy Carter; John F. Kennedy assassination; Lyndon Johnson; political journalism; school desegregation; televangelists

00:07:56 - Writing in the Atlanta suburbs

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Partial Transcript: I got hired back to--it wasn't the AJC then, but it was starting to pull together.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway discusses his time managing and editing the North Fulton Extra, which was a joint project between the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution targeting the Atlanta suburbs. He then talks about returning to write for the Atlanta Journal on the topic of religion, specifically recalling the 1988 race between Adrian Rogers and Winfred Moore for President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Keywords: Bill Hudson; Billy Speed; Charles Stanley; Cobb County, Georgia; Fulton County, Georgia; Gale White; Guy Sharp; Pat Robertson; Procter & Gamble; Republican Party; Ronald Reagan; Tom Sharon; megachurches; party switching

00:14:24 - Early political writing

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Partial Transcript: Who were some of the other people--there was quite a stable of political writers.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway lists some of the major names in political journalism whom he worked alongside as he became a political writer. He then remembers covering the nascent Republican Party, before its rapid growth in the 1990s.

Keywords: Albert May; Bill Shipp; Christian right; Chuck Walston; Claudia Townsend; David Morrison; David Norden; Frederick Allen; Georgia Republican Party; Jeanne Cummings; Jimmy Carter; Johnny Isakson; Mack Mattingly; Pat Robertson; Paul Coverdell; Tom Baxter; Wyche Fowler; consolidation; editorials; racial issues

00:21:55 - Coverage of Tienanmen Square

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Partial Transcript: Since you mentioned Coverdell, '92, there was a very, very hard-fought primary for that Republican nomination for Senate to face Wyche Fowler.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway recalls being sent to China as part of Cox Media's international news efforts. He then describes the turmoil he witnessed as the Tienanmen Square protests grew, though he notes that he left China before the protests turned violent.

Keywords: Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Beijing, China; Cox Media Group; Dan Rather; moderate candidates

00:36:11 - Johnny Isakson's career

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Partial Transcript: So we were talking about Johnny Isakson going forward, there was a lot of speculation in 1994, when after Governor Miller broke his one-term pledge, that Johnny Isakson would mount another go at the race.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway summarizes Johnny Isakson's political career after Isakson's loss in the 1990 gubernatorial race. He notes how Isakson's views on abortion have haunted his political career, most notably his run in the Republican senatorial primary against Guy Millner in 1996.

Keywords: Chairman of the State Board of Education; Christina Jeffrey; Linda Schrenko; Mack Mattingly; Newt Gingrich; Paul Coverdell; Republican National Convention; school superintendent

00:43:27 - Zell Miller's post-gubernatorial career

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Partial Transcript: My first political memory about Georgia politics was in college, going up to my dorm room, turning on my TV, and here was a Senator from Georgia, a guy named Zell Miller, challenging an MSNBC host to a duel.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway highlights some of the more controversial aspects of Zell Miller's time serving in the U.S. Senate. Galloway then recounts the efforts Miller made after leaving the public spotlight to mend the relationships he had strained across his career.

Keywords: "Hardball"; Bill Shipp; Bryan Miller; Chris Matthews; Doug Collins; Young Harris, Georgia

00:48:46 - Democratic incumbency in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Were politicians and elected officials like Zell Miller the reason the Democratic Party was able to hold on for so long?

Segment Synopsis: Galloway explains why the issue of changing the state flag was significant enough to remove Democrats from office across the state. He then elaborates on the factors that protected Democrats up to that point, such as efforts to overcome polarization and form biracial coalitions.

Keywords: 1994 gubernatorial race; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin Scott; Black Caucus; Confederate battle flag; Joe Frank Harris; Roy Barnes; Zell Miller; biracial cooperation; political polarization; political reporting; political writing

00:54:20 - Demographic shifts in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Apart from the flag issue, which we've mentioned, why were the Republicans able to consolidate control over Georgia politics so quickly?

Segment Synopsis: Galloway states that one of the reasons Democrats have been unable to make a comeback in Georgia since 2002 has been their inability to adapt to the demographic changes in the state. He further emphasizes that if Republicans are unable to adapt to demographic changes, they may reduce themselves back to being the minority party.

Keywords: Bobby Kahn; Calvin Smyre; Chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party; Clayton County, Georgia; Cobb County, Georgia; Douglas County, Georgia; Gwinnett County, Georgia; Henry County, Georgia; Jane Kidd; Nathan Deal; Sonny Perdue; minority voters; party switching; state legislature

01:00:25 - Republican governance in Georgia

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Partial Transcript: What do you think about the factional divisions within the Republican Party?

Segment Synopsis: Galloway supports the claim that Republicans in Georgia ultimately do not govern differently than the Democrats that preceded them. He credits this to the moderating influence of the business community on legislative agendas, particularly in regard to social issues.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act;; Brian Kemp; Chick-fil-A; Dan Cathy; Donald Trump; George Busbee; Hunter Hill; Jerry Falwell, Jr.; Joe Frank Harris; Medicaid; Pinewood Studios; Ralph Reed; budget management; evangelical Christians; film industry; fiscal stability; religious liberty; social conservatism; south Georgia

01:08:56 - Democrats in 2017 and 2018 elections

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Partial Transcript: The Democratic Party, at the same time, in the political wilderness.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway compares the efficacy of Stacey Abrams' campaign for governor in 2018 to that of Stacey Evans' campaign, noting how each covers the other's weaknesses. Galloway then weighs the strengths of each candidate running for mayor of Atlanta in 2017.

Keywords: 2010 gubernatorial election; 2017 Atlanta mayoral race; Cathy Woolard; Ceasar Mitchell; Cobb County, Georgia; Democratic primary; Keisha Lance Bottoms; Kwanza Hall; Mary Norwood; Peter Aman; Roy Barnes; Thurbert Baker; Vincent Ford; blue-collar workers; campaign funding; gay community; general election; identity politics; white voters

01:16:47 - 2017 Sixth District special election

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Partial Transcript: So unless you were living under a rock on Mars, we had a high-profile special election here in Atlanta--the Sixth Congressional District- to replace Tom Price.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway analyzes the multiple factors that helped Democrats in the 2017 6th Congressional District special election, such as out-of-state, small-donor funding for campaigns. Galloway proposes that Ossoff's biggest weakness was his inability to attack Karen Handel on issues that mattered to voters at that time.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act; Donald Trump; Rob Woodall; Stacey Abrams; campaign funding; economic development; immigration

01:21:04 - Politics and media / New media

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Partial Transcript: Let's get a little meta for a moment on the role of politics and the press.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway discusses the relationship between politicians, especially Donald Trump, and the media, saying each galvanizes the other. Galloway then ponders the role of "new media" in the journalism industry, though he is unsure whether its overall effects will be positive or negative.

Keywords: "fake news"; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Washington Post; Bill Shipp; Charles Gay; Johnny Isakson; National Public Radio; Tom Baxter; Trump-Russia investigation; Twitter; newspaper business; political journalism

01:28:18 - Future of Georgia politics / Ralph Reed

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Partial Transcript: Ten, twenty years from now, Georgia politics, what does it look like?

Segment Synopsis: Galloway states that if current trends among young voters hold, Democrats will likely become the majority party again in Georgia. Galloway also gives an anecdote about Ralph Reed's late political career, particularly what doomed his run for lieutenant governor in 2006.

Keywords: Boston Globe; Casey Cagle; Christian Coalition; Democratic Party; Emory University; George W. Bush; Grover Norquist; Jack Abramoff; Jack Kingston; Jody Hice; John Barrow; John McCain; Josh McKoon; Max Cleland; Millennials; Roy Barnes; Sadie Fields; Secretary of State; Stacey Evans; Tim Echols; Zell Miller; casinos; evangelical Christians; political consulting; political realignment; state lotteries; white voters

01:41:14 - Transportation in Atlanta

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Partial Transcript: I'll tell you what, the one thing--and again, this is where you see Republicans trying to adapt, is on the issue of transportation.

Segment Synopsis: Galloway describes the transportation issue in metro Atlanta and how the issue is impacting the city's economic development. He then explains why Republican leaders are increasingly more in favor of government action to solve the problem.

Keywords:; Casey Cagle; Cobb County, Georgia; David Ralston; Emory University; GRETA; Google; Gwinnett County, Georgia; MARTA; Nathan Deal; Rusty Paul; sales tax; same-sex marriage