Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Julian M. Carroll, December 12, 2011

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:00 - Priorities as governor

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Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed interview with former governor and current state senator Julian M. Carroll for the University of Kentucky's Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.

Segment Synopsis: Julian M. Carroll is introduced. He talks about his main priorities as governor of Kentucky, focusing mainly on education. He talks about raising teachers' salaries, decreasing the dropout rate, and funding vocational education.

Keywords: Career programs; Coal severance taxes; Concerns; Court systems; Dropout rates; Elementary education; Foundation for success; Higher education; Judicial system; Motivation; Priorities; Public education; Revenue; Road building; Secondary education; State Board of Vocational Education; State libraries; Technology; Textbooks; Vocational training

Subjects: Education, Elementary; Education, Secondary.; Education--Kentucky; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Kentucky. Governor (1974-1979 : Carroll); Taxation--Law and legislation--Kentucky; Teachers--Salaries, etc.

00:09:10 - Government revenue

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned some of the, um, construction projects that you were able to initiate and complete during your administration.

Segment Synopsis: Carroll talks about the importance of collecting taxes in order to have the revenue necessary to fund government projects. He discusses the difference between fees and taxes.

Keywords: Collecting taxes; Construction projects; Fees; Funds; Money; Revenue; State government

Subjects: Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; State governments; Taxation--Law and legislation--Kentucky

00:14:18 - Natural disasters, tragedies, and riots during his term as governor

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Partial Transcript: During your terms as lieutenant governor and governor you had several major natural disasters and man-made tragedies that you either experienced or had to deal with.

Segment Synopsis: Carroll discusses the numerous natural disasters and tragedies that occurred during his time as lieutenant governor and governor of Kentucky, including the fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in 1977, the Scotia mine disaster in 1976, floods, and winter storms. He also discusses several coal strikes and riots, and the riots in Louisville that began over the issue of busing for school integration.

Keywords: "Forced busing"; Beverly Hills fire; Chief of staff; Coal strikes; Damage; Department of Housing; Farmers; Fire marshals; Investigations; Jack Hall; Kentucky State Police; Lee Majors; Mayor Harvey Sloane; National Guard; Preparation; Roy Stevens; Scotia Mine Disaster; Snow storms; Tragedies; Winters

Subjects: Busing for school integration; Coal mine accidents; Floods--Kentucky; Frankfort (Ky.); Governors--Kentucky; Lieutenant governors--Kentucky; Louisville (Ky.)--Social conditions; Natural disasters.; Riots--United States; Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining; Tornadoes.; Winter storms

00:27:27 - National Governors Association

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Partial Transcript: I think a lot of people think that being governor is mostly politics but there's also things that you have to do in that job, isn't there?

Segment Synopsis: Carroll talks about his philosophy of government serving the citizens. He discusses what he gained from his participation in the National Governors Association. He talks about bringing both President Carter and Vice President Mondale to Bardstown, Kentucky.

Keywords: Chairman; Citizens; Departments; Hands-on; National Governors Association Convention; President Jimmy Carter; Vice President Walter Mondale

Subjects: Bardstown (Ky.); Carter, Jimmy, 1924-; Governors; Mondale, Walter F., 1928-; Politicians; Politics and government

00:33:48 - Strip mining legislation

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Partial Transcript: Now being from a coal state, you became President Carter's expert on energy, didn't you?

Segment Synopsis: Carroll talks about his role in advising President Carter on the issue of coal mining, and talks about taking several politicians on a tour of Eastern Kentucky to discuss strip mining. He discusses his opinions on strip mining legislation.

Keywords: Congressman Morris Udall; Energy; Head-of-hollow fill; Highway 80; Kentucky; Land development; National strip mining legislation; President Jimmy Carter

Subjects: Carter, Jimmy, 1924-; Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Governors--Kentucky; Mountaintop removal mining; Natural resources--Law and legislation--Kentucky; Politicians

00:38:57 - Federal funding for Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: As governor, how important was federal support and federal funding to you?

Segment Synopsis: Carroll talks about the benefits Kentucky received due to programs like the Appalachian Regional Commission and urban renewal grants.

Keywords: Al Smith; Benefits; Federal funding; Paducah (Ky.); Political appointments; President Jimmy Carter; Resources; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA); Urban renewal grants

Subjects: Appalachian Regional Commission; Federal government.; Politics and government; State governments

00:42:49 - Legislation on bail bonds

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Partial Transcript: What were some of the major accomplishments of your administration that you're most proud of?

Segment Synopsis: Carroll talks about his reasons for enacting legislation to abolish bail bonding in Kentucky. He talks about the threats he received due to this legislation, and talks about the reactions of the media and the public.

Keywords: Abolishment; Accomplishments; Bail bondsmen; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Petty crimes; Pre-trial release legislation; Safety measures; Security; Threats

Subjects: Bail bond agents; Government and the press.; Governors--Kentucky; Law and legislation; Mass media; Reporters and reporting.

00:47:02 - Importance of history

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Partial Transcript: You funded the Kentucky Oral History Commission in 1976 when Al Smith and John Ed Pearce came to you and asked for your support.

Segment Synopsis: The interviewer, Jeff Suchanek, mentions Carroll's role in beginning the Kentucky Oral History Commission. Carroll discusses his interest in history and the importance of preserving history.

Keywords: Al Smith; Documentation; John Ed Pearce; Louie B. Nunn; Preservation; Teresa Isaacs

Subjects: History.; Kentucky Oral History Commission

00:52:08 - Disappointments from his term as governor

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Partial Transcript: What are or what were your greatest disappointments as governor?

Segment Synopsis: Carroll talks about one of the disappointments of his career that came from taking himself too seriously. He says that another regret is that his programs to decrease the dropout rate were not continued after his term as governor.

Keywords: Caricatures; Department of Education; Dropout rates; Government programs; Seriousness; Societal costs; Truancy

Subjects: Education--Kentucky; Government and the press.; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Mass media; Politicians--Kentucky; Reporters and reporting.

00:59:17 - Reputation as governor

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Partial Transcript: Alright, this is tape number two. It is December 12th, 2011. Governor, how would you like to be remembered as governor of Kentucky?

Segment Synopsis: Carroll talks about wanting to be remembered as being a hands-on governor, and talks about his conversations with state employees which led to more efficient ways of running state government.

Keywords: Budgets; Cabinets; Communication; Conversations; Departments; Hands-on; Paperwork; Personal interviews; Relationships; Reputations; State employees; Zero-base budgeting

Subjects: Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Kentucky. Governor (1974-1979 : Carroll); State governments--Officials and employees

01:04:55 - Indictments which led to his gubernatorial campaign in 1987

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Partial Transcript: If inauguration day in 1976 was your, um, crowing moment of your political career, what was it like to leave the governor's mansion after four years?

Segment Synopsis: Carroll talks about the toll a term as governor takes on a person, and talks about taking time off after his term was over. He talks about the many indictments of other governors across the country occurring during his term as governor, as well as the accusations made against him personally. He talks about why he decided to run for governor again in 1987 and how it helped his reputation with the public, although he did not win.

Keywords: Accusations; Carroll Hubbard; Exhausted; Federal investigations; Funding; George Adkins; Indictments; John Y. Brown; Leaving; Lottery; Political candidates; State auditors; Supporters; Terry McBrayer; Time off; Wallace Wilkinson; Watergate Scandal

Subjects: Elections; Governors--Election; Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky. Governor (1974-1979 : Carroll); Political campaigns--Kentucky; Political corruption; Politicians--Kentucky; State governments; United States--Trials, litigation, etc.; Wilkinson, Wallace G.

01:19:42 - Differences between senators and governors

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Partial Transcript: Well, I was going to ask you, uh, when you decided to run for elective office again in two-thousand-and-four for the state senate, what prompted you?

Segment Synopsis: Carroll talks about why he decided to run for state senate. He talks about the differences between senators and governors, stating that senators have less power, although governors have less power now than they did when he held office. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Annual sessions; Bill Curlin; Law practice; Legislative independence; Limitations; Power; Relationships; Restrictions; State senate

Subjects: Governors--Kentucky; Kentucky--Politics and government; Kentucky. General Assembly. Senate; Politicians--Kentucky; Politics and government; State governments