Skip to main content

Georgia Government Documentation Project: N

A guide to the Georgia Government Documentation Project oral history collection.

Series N. Legislative Oral History Project

Series N. Legislative Oral History Project (P2000-09)


Interviews by Cliff Kuhn and Gretchen Maclachlan


This series of interviews, modeled on the Texas Oral History Project, was conducted in 1993 and 1994 and focused on the immediate past General Assembly sessions in Georgia. Interviewers tried to achieve a cross-section of political parties and areas represented, with emphasis on legislators who played key roles in the immediate past sessions. Some material was used by Clark-Atlanta University in its Public Policy Center's publication, "Georgia Legislative Review." Interviewer Gretchen Maclachlan is an employee at Clark-Atlanta University; interviewer Clifford Kuhn is Professor of History and former assistant director of the Georgia Government Documentation Project at Georgia State University.

For Availability Information, see the Finding Aid.

Series N Oral Histories

Lawrence, Tom (P1993-04)

Interviewed by: Cliff Kuhn and Gretchen Maclachlan

April 16, 1993

79 pp.


Tom Lawrence served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1983 to the present, and has served as House Minority Whip.

Among topics discussed: Entry into politics; involvement in Hank Elliot's 1970 campaign; changes in Georgia legislature since Lawrence's entry in 1983; growth of Republican party in Georgia; welfare reform; budget reform; reapportionment; Republican use of computer mapping in reapportionment strategy; alliance between black caucus and Republican caucus; Tiger reapportionment software and RNC; role of Justice Department in reapportionment; impact of Republican growth in urban areas on reapportionment strategies; 'cracking'; difficulties of Democratic party in developing unified stance on reapportionment; low voter turnout in predominantly black districts; impact of elimination of straight party voting; House Bill 298‑election fraud reform; examples of election fraud; Denmark Groover; difficulties in forming alliance between black caucus and Republican caucus; PEACH; issues on which Republican and black caucuses might form alliances;  reapportionment alliance‑Republican caucus, black caucus, ACLU; diversity vs. cohesiveness of 52 Republican legislators; budget; Billy McKinney; Johnny Isakson; role of Republican caucus in Legislature; Speaker race; Dubose Porter; Republican caucus; potential for formation of Conservative Democrat Caucus; Larry Walker; relations between Republicans and governor; governor and flag issue; potential linkage between welfare issue and flag issue; welfare reform; lack of unified Republican stance on flag issue; Republican push for referendum on flag issue; impact of ethics legislation on General Assembly; political action committees; impact of ethics legislation on lobbyists; ethics hearings; talented new legislators‑John Drekinson, Kathy Ashe, Mack Crawford, Jeff Lewis, Eric Johnson, Kathy Cox, Bob Reichard, Mark Evans; term limits; committee leadership; plans for growth of Republican Party in Georgia legislature; impact of Coverdell election on Republican Party in Georgia; split between Georgia Democrats and national Democratic Party; potential Republican alliance with conservative Democrats; budget; land use issues; waste in government spending.


Oliver, Mary Margaret (P1993-05)

Interviewed by: Cliff Kuhn and Gretchen Maclachlan

May 6, 1993

43 pp.


Mary Margaret Oliver (b. 1948) served in the Georgia House of Representaives from 1987‑1993 and has served in the Georgia Senate from 1993 to the present.

Among topics discussed: Early legislative career; House Judiciary Committee; early work as lobbyist; House‑Senate study committee on child protection services; Workers' Compensation Committee; Transportation Committee; Chatahoochee Forest land line case; Public Service Commission; anti‑stalking legislation; Pierre Howard's child abuse package; Oliver's leadership role in legislature; Appropriations Committee; comparison of debate style in the House and Senate; victim impact statement; gun legislation; Sonny Watson; domestic violence; mandatory arrest; Marion Pope's DUI; Operation Rescue; differences between House and Senate stalking bills; Georgia Alliance for Children; Oliver's letter to Atlanta Journal; CPG; conflicts over PSC legislation; Mack Barber; impact of growth of Republican representation in legislature; Welfare Reform, Senate Bill #26; Medicaid; co‑payment issue; state flag issue; Wayne Garner; Pierre Howard; flag referendum issue; evolution of women's caucus.


Orrock, Nan (P1993-06)

Interviewed by: Cliff Kuhn and Gretchen Maclachlan

May 5, 1993

63 pp.


Nan Orrock (b. 1943) has served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1987 to the present.

Among topics discussed: Orrock's entry into politics; diversity within her district; legislature's attitudes towards women legislators; percentage of women in legislature; political culture of legislature; impact of Clarence Thomas hearings on sexism in legislature; women's caucus; Georgia Child Care Council; legislature pushed by women's caucus; WILL; "deadbeat dads;" anti‑stalking; QBE; relations between women's caucus and black caucus; PEACH; women's prison, reform; racial polarization on flag issue; Porter's resignation as floor leader; Orrock's rise to floor leader; reapportionment; flag issue; Speaker's race; impact of black caucus on Speaker's race; impact of business community on legislature; Republican caucus; flag issue as potential referendum; Governor Miller's emphasis on fighting racism; House efforts to prevent flag issue from coming to vote; Senate resentment towards Miller for dropping flag issue; role of business community in flag issue; Sons of Confederate Veterans vs. Save Our Flag coalition; national debate over Martin Luther King holiday; Cynthia McKinney; Family Medical Leave Act; Orrock's role as leader; Mary Margaret Oliver; growth of Republican party in Fulton County; dissolution of at‑large seats; welfare reform.


Posten, Ken (P1994-01)

Interviewed by: Cliff Kuhn

July 19, 1994

109 pp.


Ken Posten has served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1989 to the present.

Among topics discussed: History of Catoosa County; influence of Chattanooga on N.W. Georgia counties; influence of politics on early life; reasons for being Democrat; early involvement in political campaigns; J.B. Stoner; Norman Underwood; Hamilton Jordan; David Broder; first election; Tom Murphy, Petroleum Council of Georgia; petroleum retail divorcement; marriage; Doug Teper; Max Cleland; Denmark Groover; health problems; reapportionment; ethics legislation; Hilred Shumake; wedding gift controversy; Charles Weltner; funding for Ringgold welcome center; Nathan Deal; DuBose Porter; Reform Caucus; slush funds; Henrietta Turnquest; Pierre Howard; House sex toy incident; Ray Holland; political tactics; House Republicans; failure of bipartisan alliances; Murphy "threatening lawyer" incident; primary opposition; Ron Fennell; "Green Door" (budget) committee; Bubba McDonald; Black Caucus; conflicts with Tom Murphy; the media; lobbyists; David Zurow; "susie the dog" bill; prospects for future.


Sinkfield, Georganna (P1993-07)

Interviewed by: Cliff Kuhn and Gretchen Maclachlan

May 18, 1993

41 pp.


Georganna Sinkfield (b. 1943) has served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1983 to the present.

Among topics discussed: Impact of reapportionment and speaker's race on black caucus; Black Belt; differences between majority black district, majority voting black district, majority registered voting black district; redistricting; internal conflicts of black caucus; Fulton County reapportionment; max plan's impact on Republicans; "blackening" of districts; Larry Walker; Nan Orrock; Speaker's race and black caucus; Sinkfield on policy committee; DuBose Porter; gains of black caucus in committee leadership; child and youth committee; education committee; welfare issue; impact of advocacy groups on welfare hearings; maneuvering, strategies of black caucus regarding proposed welfare reform bill; Thurgood Baker; Sinkfield as chair of black caucus and children and youth committee; child support recovery bill; role of governor in welfare hearings. [tape speeds up, becomes indecipherable]

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives

Finding Aid

Phone: (404) 413-2880
Fax: (404) 413-2881

Mailing Address:
Special Collections & Archives
Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur Street, SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3202

In Person:
Library South, 8th floor

Employee Directory