- 1 -
I: How about some beginning biographical details, like: places, birth,
-type things, you know.
D: My father is a Tennessean. His family came to Tennessee in 1809 and
lived at the Hermitage, and was in fact associated with Andrew Jackson
in a number of ways.
I: Hm. What ways, sir?
jb: Well, I had...I had an uncle who fought with him during the Creek War.
I had another who was...a great-great-grandfather who was allegedly
a pallbearer at his funeral. I think the Dodsons are mentioned in
Jackson's letters a number of times. And, ah, their farms were next
to each other, so.... The one named Ridley, Jimmy Ridley, he fought
with Jackson. We had a family tale that Jackson said, "If I had ten
thousand Jimmy Ridleys I'd storm Hell and take the Devil." Ah, but
he came, he went to Vanderbilt Med School in Nashville and graduated
in 1926. And about 1928, he came to Florida to...as physician with
Bagdad Land and Lumber Company. He interned with...for the
Hospital in Birmingham, and there met my mother who was a RN. And,
so, ah, they got down here about '28, I think, 1928. I was born in
1929 here in Pensacola at the old Sacred Heart Hospital, October 27,
1929. Ah, Daddy was a, a company physician for Bagdad Land and Lum-
ber Company which...oh, one of the largest lumber companies in the
United States. They had their own towns, their own trains, their own
machine shops, their own everything, their own doctors. And he was,
ah, he was the doctor who lived in the largest town. And we lived
ah, comfortably, but it was a little frontierish. And I remember
very well, in the logging trains I used to ride in the coach from
FLA PER 33 ABCD 2-A
camp to camp. He would treat company patients, stop at the company
commissary and get a Coca-Cola, hobnob with some of the company
officials. I was supposed to be a doctor. That was all set up.
I: Like father, like son.
D: Yeah. So anyway, and, ah, I had a sister who...about fourteen,
fifteen months younger than I am. We later on had another sister
who was born in Pensacola. At that time, the four of us, five in
1939...Bagdad had cut most of the timber in, ah, Santa Rosa County,
Florida. I guess they went into Okaloosa and Escambia County,
Alabama. We lived in Alabama. We lived above the line for a while
in a place called Alflora, First we lived, in Munson, Florida. It
is now the headquarters Blackwater State Park. Then we lived in a
camp that no longer exists called Alflora, combination of Alabama
and Florida...in another town called Florala which still existsbut is
not the same. And finally in 1939, we moved to Pensacola. We had
some interim years, when they sent me onto the Gulf Coast Military
Academy and I went to school at Nashville. They were trying to
get, get me a good start. They sent my sister Barbara to Milton,
one of the little schools out there where there was one or two teachers
per school. Ah...they were public--I thought they was. I wanted
to go to the lumber camp school, but they sent me off to a terrible
military school in Gulf Coast. And it was like, ah...
I: All military schools, all that bad? They weren't, ah...
J: I'm a little rough on the I tell everybody I went off to
the Foreign Legion. It was about that bad. We marched, and we were
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disciplined by young children--I mean a young boy, a year or two older.
That was...I was six. I was six when I went there. I went there a
full year, including summer. I made two grades in one year
I'm getting too much detail. I finally, ah...fourth grade
I went to this school, Bruton Elementary School in Bruton, Alabama,
which was the nearest Alabama town. So by the time I reached the fifth
grade, I had gone to school in, ah, probably the fourth state. I had
gotten around. And we lived on East Hill for about two years. In 1941
we moved over to North Hill, and Daddy set up practice here as a General
Practicioner, but very shortly thereafter went into Obstetrics and
Gynecology. He had gone to Powell Clinic, New York, and then after he
got to the lumber company he was taking some special work. But we
were...being a doctor's family we were...we certainly were not wealthy,
but we were not poor either. We always had two cars, but it was...
we moved to Pensacola in 1939, just before the end of the Depression.
I: I was just going to say you, if you could...?
D: Well, Daddy was...I suspect Daddy was scratching. That was when if
you made two hundred dollars a month, ah...as a matter of fact, well,
I guess that two hundred dollars a month was a good salary. You were
safe, too. He makes two hundred dollars a month. Ah...anithings were
pretty tough. Pensacola at that time, ah, and a great deal of East
Hill had sandy streets. The WPA was paving the streets at that time.
I remember watching them work. And Bayview Park was a big center.
We moved to North Hill which was...this was a little uptown, I guess,
in '41. Ah, I guess it waswell, after World...right before World
War II started. And, ah...but I continued to go to A. B. Clubb Junior
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High School on East Hill because I had started there, and my sister
went to P.K. Yonge Elementary School and, ah...it was just right down
the street. We moved into a house built...I remember, was it Walter
Willis? Willis is an old Pensacola family with great kin. Ah, Byrd
C. Willis came here in Pensacola in 1820, so I just.... And we were
within a-half a block of Old Fort(Banadl, the old Spanish fort that,
ah, works at Galvez and was used to take Fort George in 1781. I used
to play on the remains of that fort. It was all hilly and blown up
from an explosion, I understand. But at any rate, we lived a comfor-
table life. We had a family tragedy. I had a sister born with cerebral
palsy. She was born when I was in Pensacola High School. We had a
tough time, and she finally died when she was about fourteen or fifteen.
That left quite a mark in the family. And I enjoyed all the water
sports and the fishing and the other things that a Pensacola boy would
I: Still does, I think.
1b: Still do, and, ah, owned a couple of old boats. One of them was an
old shrimp boat, you know. And I ran around with a mixed group of
people--some of them from old Pensacola families, some-of them not.
But I never restricted my friends. I remember running around with
some Navy boys, fathers were captains and admirals
Their most son, Wendel, he got killed over
in a plane crash in Vietnam. Frank who later became associated
with me in my business--Dodson, 'CradAock, and Bri, Inc. Jack H. Egler
who is mayor pro tem of Pensacola. And a few others that I don't see
much any more as sure as life goes.
b; And finally I graduated from Pensacola High. I played a few sports
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badly before I graduated. I sang in the Glee Club with Reuben Askew,
who nobody ever dreamed in their farthest imagination would ever be
Governor. He was a rather likable, lean young man a year ahead of me
who sang tenor with me. We both sang tenor in the Glee Club for a
couple of years together. I think he was a cheerleader. He liked
to clown a lot, wasn't particularly serious. And we were...
I: That's surprising.
>: ...and we were friends and ah, I could go into great details about
Reuben, but I think that's a sufficient amount. And so finally I
went to Vanderbilt, which was a family tradition. I was fourth
generation, two ways in that...
I: Were you still intent on being a doctor?
1: Yes, two ways and I took two and a half years of pre-med, much to my
chagrin. I didn't like it. I never liked it there. I took German.
I took biology. I went into organic chemistry. I took all the things
that I didn't like. And finally I said, "I've had enough of this,"
and without even telling anybody I switched to English and immediately
I started making A's and B's. And I got into being an editor of the
paper--and you know, I was somewhat of a campus personality. I was
president of my fraternity, Sigma Nu. I was editor of the paper, and
I was actually mixed up in campus politics.
I: I was going to ask you the obvious questions. Were you a campus
J.: Oh, yes. Yeah, I was vice-chairman of one of the political parties.
I: Student groups.
D.: Student political parties, and we had the faction which was made up
of fraternitiesr-independents were involved in, ah...in, ah.... I
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learned a great deal, you know--learned how to get betrayed and
learned that people cheat and lie and...you know, all the things
that...and that...and some of them that maybe you can depend upon.
And it was a good little proving ground that I got, for
life. We had a mass betrayal. The only reason I mentioned that is
that we had, ah...we had a fraternity who made a deal with the other
sidewhich hit my sensibilities strongly, because I have, ah...I
don't want to sound like I run a Boy Scout troop, just to be all
right, but loyalty is a big thing with me. And I still feel that
way, very strongly, And on every level of politics, without loyalty
there's nothing--no trust, nothing. But anyway...and I got the
first President of the Student Body elected presidentzwhich I, ah,
frankly hand-picked and ran his campaign and he was President of the
Student Body and President of the Student Senate. And I managed to
make the next editor of the paper; the next editor of the Newman
Magazine and that meant...
I: What got you in such a position that you could do all the hand picking?
1: Well, you just, ah...
I: I mean, what were you aware of...that even at that time gave you that
kind of political maneuverability?
b: Well, you work at it for one thing, you know. You always know a little
more than everybody else and, ah, you work with people, and you get
good horses. You run good horses. You pick good people that, ah,
you know, are...who are acceptable and, ah, powerful to the situation.
And...but I was disappointed. After I got the boythe editor of the
Newman Magazine, I went into Marine Corps and I never heard from him
again. You know, you'd expect that he'd send me a subscription,
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anything. Again, lack of appreciation which I think is cognizant.
It's connected with loyalty, and I think...
I: Of course, you're putting this on a very personal kind of basis.
J.: Oh, I am and I do. I do. I'm that way. By the same token there,
you have people that you meet and then befriend and who you never
see, and yet, ah, you could call them tomorrow. You haven't seen
them in twenty years, they would do something for you or you would
do something for them. You miss seeing a lot of people that you'd
like to see. There's just as much warm friendship and loyalty,
certainly, as disloyalty--or more, I don't know.
I: Would it be fair to say, excuse me, would it be fair to say that
perhaps we could characterize loyalty and the issue of loyalty as
your central point in terms of you own political...
I: ...political philosophy?
D: Yes, and appreciation. Everybody needs help somewhere along the line,
you know. Everybody starts off, you know, with help from someone.
No, nobody's self-made in that sense. That's a false term. At any
rate, I went into the Marine Corps. It was actually the Marine Corps
Reserve and I was on active duty twenty-seven months. It was during
the Korean War and I was an infantry officer--0302 spec. number. I
got sent to the, ah...I got sent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and
did a number of operations out of-there. I was in a platoon for a
while. And then they found out that I had an English degree, and they
got mad, of course. So they made an adjutant out of me. I went to
Labrador and to Europe with the Sixth Fleet and some other operations
off the east coast. Then I got out in September, 1953, and directly
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went to the University of Florida.
b: ...for a master's. Andrew(Byt, an old Vanderbilt man and a member
of the old Agrarian or Fugitive group--one or the other, I never can
keep them straight. I was there, and I joined some of my friends I
know at Vanderbilt there. Some of them who had been in the service
and we had a writing group there in fiction.
I: American fiction, by the way, or did you...?
b: Yeah, well, I mean...I mean yesjit was American fiction--we were
Americans. But we wrote and I did a thesis.
I: On what?
b: A novella. I did it--and the main story was political, by the way--
about, ah...called Coldwater. And it never has been published. I
almost got the thing published, but, ah arriving, but...
I: Is it fair to ask you whether you think it's good?
.: Yeah, I think it's good. I think it's a damn mistake they didn't
publish it. Ah, and it's...it seems to be a story of small town
politics and political infighting. Political, it's...it's really
a person's observant and total story that he realizes that he's
gone over in his life It's all beenthe sound
and the fury and when he's ready to die
But, yes, this story's called Coldwater. It's a chilling name.
And a couple more stories which probablyAnot as good--short, shorter
ones. And that was my thesis. And when I got out of school, I
could not find a decent job anywhere. I had two children by then.
I married Katie Barnes up in Dawson Nashville, who'd been to
Vanderbilt, and who was my uncle's step-daughter and my brother's
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kin. And I had known her a long time, and dated her at Vanderbilt
some of the time. After I finished then, when she was with me during
the Marine Corps and at the University of Florida, we had two children--
a boy and a girl, David and Debra. And I finally got my degree in the
normal period of time, two years. And couldn't get a job in Pensacola
and went down and got a job with the Central and Southern Florida
Flood Control District. This is a joint state and federal operation
to solve the water problems of south Florida. I had had an assistant-
ship the first year at Florida in which I taught Freshman English.
But I got a research job the second year and was able to...which was
a lot more attractive and dramatic on Hamilton Disston.
J): Because he had dug those canals in central Florida. And the Flood
Control District had an interest in him.
I: So you've maintained an interest in him?
J): Oh, yeah, oh yeah. I was just tying the old string in my recent
book. So I dropped my fellowship to the dismay of the English
department, you know--had a year's investment in it. But I took
on research jobs and I...and we spent a part of a summer--I guess
of '54--down at Kissimmee. When I got out in '55 we went down
there and lived for...til January, uh, December of the next year...
uh, the same year. We didn't stay down there long. I had very low
pay and I also did a lot of public relations for the Flood Control
District. Anyway, I found a chance to get back to Pensacola as
editor of training publications. This was at the U. S. Naval Air
Station here, which was a lousy job but at least a way to get home.
And so we picked up and came home. I wanted to come back--I hadn't
FLA PER 33 ABCD
pursued medicine, which was a disappointment to my father--at least
coming back and living in Pensacola. And I stayed out there four-
teen months and instead of firing me up more than anything I've ever
done--working in a civil service job--it drove me up the wall. I
worked with people who'd hated their jobs and said, "I've only got
12 more years to go before I retire." I couldn't understand it; it
was like living Hell to me. Their situation and in my situation.
So I've learned all sorts of things. I've learned; I've learned
letter-press printing at Vanderbilt in the paper. I spent more
time on the paper than I did on my studies. But I loved
And quit and went to work for a mobile adver-
tising agency for a year, then I couldn't get him to open up an
office over here. So I opened my own office. In 1958, in March
or April of '58-- Pat Dodson Agency. By 1962, I had
two other partners, Frank Craddock and Patricia Born. And we moved
into a nice office in the Mutual Federal Building in 1960 and put
on what I call a "coat and tie" image and you know, we were really
Pensacola's first advertising agency. You know,
started first. Then we had...you know, we departmentalized and we
had a high respect for art and copy. We were all college educated
and we had offices on the second floor of the Mutual Federal Savings
and Loan, a downtown building. And we had...and we got, very quickly
got most of the local prestigious accounts and prided ourselves in
I: Trend-setting in your instance worked here in Pensacola?
t.: Yeah, and it made a good liv--, it, you know, made an adequate living;
put shoes on our children and we found...we bought a house on
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Hill--a modest house. And I began to kinda get on my feet. By 1964
I was able to...at least I had enough time by then, I was on my feet
enough, to participate in the Goldwater campaign.
I: Was that your first entry into practical politics in '64?
b: No, I had a...my father's nurse, Clarabella Jones was married to a
county commissioner, John R. Jones. And I had helped John R. as early
as, oh, I don't know, '58 or '59 in his campaigns. Being in the ad
business, we did some of his ads and then--guess '59, must have been--
he decided to run for tax assessor. And he took on the incumbent.
I: Was he running as a Republican?
P: No, Democrat.
I: Still running as a Democrat.
bi And I was still a Democrat.
b.: By the way, the family was all Democrat. I guess my grandfather could
be called a Roosevelt Democrat. He was active in politics in Tennessee.
I had an uncle, one of Daddy's brothers, was in the Tennessee legislature.
So there was some family tradition in government and politics. And any-
way, I helped John R. and we won the campaign. He ran on a platform that
he wasn't going to go to full tax assessment. It wasn't a Florida law or
anything, it was just a sort of a...
I: Popular issue.
:...sort of a moral issue, if you want to call it that. He said, "Hell,
no, he wouldn't go." And he claimed that the other guy was moving toward
a hundred percent assessment. And he beat him and he's still in office
today. See, that's '59, been a long time. This is '73.
John R. Jones. And I got...I learned a lot from him. I learned that...
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such things that if you're running against an incumbent and he doesn't
win the first primary, the incumbent's in trouble. That's a basic rule.
.b: Well, because he's got his votes and he's not liable to pick up any more.
And all the opponents'...his opponents' votes are going to go over to...
I: Merge into his opponents'
: ...go to one man. And so even...I remember in that campaign John R. says
he came out second. And I said, "Well, I guess you're disappointed."
And he said, "Hell, no." He said, "We're going to win." He said, "I'm
number two and I'm going to pick up like seventy or eighty percent, you
know, or the third man's votes because they were, a lot of them were
voting against the incumbent." And it was true. And he picked it up
and he won. That's a good basic rule that's generally true in Florida
politics. If the incumbent doesn't win that first time, especially if
there's just three people in the race, he's in trouble. And I saw that...
I saw it happen as late as last year. But in '64, you see, you had
Kennedy for the incumbent, right? I
I: No, Johnson was the incumbent.
.t: No, no. Well, what happened though before Kennedy was assassinated?
It looked like that Kennedy was going to be the incumbent and it looked
like that Goldwater was going to be the nominee. So this situation
went on for six months or a year, and led to what, you know, a lot of
Southerners believed was a clear choice between someone in the East,
then, whor-as a liberal and someone, in this case the West, who was a
conservative. It looked like it was going to be a real simple choice.
Well, what happened, of course, is Kennedy was assassinated and Johnson
came on and that upset the applecart on that situation. Because then
FLA' ]ER 33 -ABCD
you had a Southerner in instead of an Easterner--and a Southerner who,
at one time, had had some conservative credentials.
I: It's been reported by some political analysts and
I don't really want to get into the Goldwater '64 campaign at this time.
Goldwater even came very close to forty-eight some-odd percent in '64
I: Against Lyndon Johhson.
I: In the polls. Came very close. That it was the issue of retirees, and
the Goldwater stand against welfare and Social Cecurity perhaps had
something to do with his not carrying the state in '64.
D: Well, it's a very significant campaign in my-mind. You know, there's
an old saying that "victory is not always a victory, nor defeat, defeat."
That's exactly that. Because what happened was that the Eastern Repub-
licans lost control of the Republican Party.
I: For the first time, Eastern Republicans--you mean on the national front?
D: Right. For the first time in, you know, in,well, certainly most recent
history. They lost control. The Rockefellers lost control, the Lodges
and so forth. And here was this Westerner who got the grass root sup-
port in the West versus the East inside the Republican Party. And oh!
I think there was some--I won't deny that there was some--racial content
in the thing, but that wasn't really the heart of it as far as a young
Republican my age in the South. By that time, we looked around us and
we saw, to be really frank with you, a lot of uneducated Southern Demo-
crats in office, and, frankly, just people that we didn't want to be
associated with. They represented everything that is stereotyped and
FLA PER 33-ABCD
bad about the South. They were all your old crooked county sheriffs,
all your uneducated school boards, all your courthouse gang, and so forth.
And right on up--I guess even in some cases to the governor's office.
And someone who'd been, you know, gone to college, in the Marine Corps
and come back, we simply did not want to associate ourselves with that
party. I went to a rally. And I remember it distinctly and I know
who it was 'cause he's still around, someone running for the school
board, murdering the King's English.
I: What year was this? Was this '64?
D: This was about, oh, this was around '62 or '63, in that area. And I
I: This is local?
D: Yeah, local. And I had...I have other...I helped a young fellow named
J. V. Hopkins run. We in the advertising agency at that timeI helped
several people on a quasi-friendship-professional basis. We got paid,
but...it was fairly good ad business, but very disrupting; we finally
eventually got to a policy where we would not handle political campaigns.
It took us several years to learn that. There are a lot of pitfalls
in the advertising agency business and politics is one of them.
I: Difficult to remain neutral...?
D: Well, I just never...well, it's disrupting to your other business.
And I don't care to have...to help every slob who walked off the street
who thinks he wants to run for office. I mean, I took it too seriously.
And it was even disillusioning to even have friends who would get before
TV and shake, you know, shake like--be very nervous and so forth. How
you act in the political ways says a lot about what you are, in my book.
A man who runs his own race is a stronger man. If you got a bunch of
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campaign flunkies and so forth doing all the work and calling the shots,
then chances are he's not going to call a shot when he's elected. I think
there's a great deal...there's a great deal of...a good analogy there I
thought...okay. Anyway, the Goldwater thing came up and I went to con-
ventions. We had a primary of delegates here in Florida. A Goldwater
slate, and a pledged slate and an unpledged slate. I don't...most every-
body...but we still had some of the old Post Office Republicans on the
unpledged slate. Mostly from down around St. Petersburg.
I: Center of the old party?
D: Yeah, and the head of the party then was Tom Brown. But the guy who
put him in was named G. Harold Alexander. And I, I hardly knew Alexander,
you know; I wasn't...Tom Brown I got to know during the campvin. He
came up here a time or two. He came up here when Strom Thurmond came up
and I remember it distinctly because Tom Brown wasn't very-strong-and he
was an attorney from Tampa. Still practicing, I assume. And he wanted
to be up there on the platform with Thurmond, and we wanted to put him
up there! And we had a tremendous rally through downtown on old Palafox
Street. We had first-class offices and we had a big staff and we put
together probably at that time what was the biggest campaign organization
in Escambia County. And probably in its history. We raised $35,000)
I think it was, for the campaign, which was a lot of mbneyratethat time.
And we had an office, as I said, an office right in the middle of town--
Palafox and Garden--and we had seven or eight people maintained all the
time. We had a full-time manager.
I: Is this strictly a Presidential...?
D: Strictly a Presidential...and Goldwater and Miller.
FLA PE.R 33. ACD
D: But that guy Miller, he faded out. We're near the airport. At any rate,
I, we, what we did, I changed. I finally chan--, I changed, I had changed
my registration before the campaign, sometime in that spring. And I went
out to the convention. I was not a delegate, but I...I big-dealed a
sergeant-of-arms pass and credentials and got in on the floor and I had
a big time. Ronald Reagan was a member of the California delegation.
They wore all gold. It seems like to be there were eighty-some delegates
and they were very impressive. They were all...Goldwater had won the
primary out there. I, I interviewed Reagan on a tape, just for kicks.
And he was very frank, likable.
I: While we're on the subject of 1964, Claude Kirk was running against
D: Yes, Kirk was out there in '64. Kirk was out there and stayed at the
same hotel. I can't remember, it wasn't much of a hotel. And I heard...
I remember him out there smoking those little long black cigars and he
would--oh, yeah! He wanted...we tried to get him on national TV. That
was...that's always a trick at the convention. And I can't remember if
he ever got on; I don't think he did. But he was running against
Spessard Holland and he asked me if I could...I had...he had been by
my office. First time he came by my office, he waited thirty minutes
to see me. That's when I was
I dreamt about that. They simply came up without an appointment and I
was busy. And nobody thought he had a chance in Hell. He ran a pretty
good race against Holland.
I: Were you of any assistance to him?
D: Yeah, yeah. I got him a campaign manager and set up an office for him.
I'd forgotten about that. And I got a boy named I
FLA PER 33-ABCD
can't think of his name, Smith. And, uh...but he was out there; saw
him out there. And so we had a mixture of...a delegation of some of the
old types, old Republican types in Florida, and some of the new types.
All together. Bill Cramer, I think, eventually came out there. I think
that he was a pretty good friend of G. Harold Alexander. And I went to'
several big parties and...there was a girl there, the daughter of Walter
Dean, and, uh, I don't know. I guess she was a delegate, I guess. A
delegate. And I...we palled around a little bit together and she was a -
little bit of a social butterfly, and got us into a couple of the big
parties at the big hotels. I remember very distinctly, :though, a party
toward the end of the Southern Republican delegations at a big hotel
and it was one heck of big affair. And it was then that I realized
more than ever before the Republican Party was going somewhere in the
South, because I saw there a number of my old school mates from Vander-
bilt. It looked like, you know, a lot of us had gravitated towards the
Republican Party and were building it.
I: Was there any trouble? Was there any sentiment for Nelson Rockefeller?
D: Not in the South. I'm ashamed to tell you that we all booed him.
I: Right along with the rest.
D: Right. You know, along with the rest of the convention. We were wild
for Goldwater and we looked at Rockefeller as an Eastern liberal and,
you know, looking back, we were discourteous towards him and it was a
bad thing. There was a lot of young men that went wild
but, you know, everybody did it, I mean. He made
a speech, but you know, it's a wonder he finished. That's strange today,
because today he's almost acceptable to the conservatives. You know,
FLA PER 33 ARCD
I: How did they change? Let me ask you to react to a
statement that Neal Pierce wrote in his 1972 publication The Mega States
of America: People, Politics and Power in Ten Great States. And he
talks about Florida conservatism, conservatism, and he calls it a mixture
of, oh, about five or six things. Let me tell you what they are and ask
you to comment on each one or collectively, as you like. He classifies
a typical Florida conservative or conservatism: fiscal conservatism,
anti-governmentalism, opposition to any kind of welfare, and what he
calls "nationalistic patriotism," and a mild form of racism. Would
you agree with that ?
D: Pretty much.
I: Individually, collectively?
D: That's very good. Uh, except some of those--yeah, that's conservatism.
Now that's...that's...that can apply...
I: Either party.
D: To either party, right.
I: Yeah, this is where I'd like to start.
D: That's right, they can apply to either party. Oh, well, I want to go
back to the convention.
I: Okay, excuse me.
D: Jim Martin of Alabama was there. Kinda walked around some with him. He
had almost been elected United States Senator. Then he'd run and got
to be...gotten to be a Congressman, and he was a wise contact at that
convention. And Life magazine had a picture of Goldwater and Martin
on top of a hotel building and allegedly at that time he was a contact
with Wallace. Wallace had become a factor then. And I knew Jim, and
he used...Jim used to talk very frankly about it. He told me he'd met
FLA PER 33 ABCD 19-A
with Goldwater and I don't know what they talked about. It was some-
thing like, you know, "if you run, Wallace won't run," or something like
that. I just wanted to mention that.
I: Sure, appreciate it.
D: But your breakdown on conservatism is very good. I'd like to go over
them one by one. ,If you'llrname-them, I'd like to comment on each one.
I: Fiscal conservatism.
D: Okay. Well, yeah. Physical, fiscal conservatism is probably)I would
think, more Republican than Democratic. This means low taxes and less
government activity because of low government taxes. And, uh, even the
so-called Southern conservatives in Congress, a lot of them are fiscal
liberals, although they wouldn't tell you that. I mean in my book.
Anti-governmentalism is a...that's an outgrowth of the frontier and
prevalent in both parties, especially northwest Florida. And that, this
is a basic distrust of government. It's sort of a curious thing in that
people seem...a certain group of people seem to enjoy politics, but at
the same time their families and everybody else are basically anti-
government. And it starts off, first you're more anti-anti-Federal
government than anybody, but it finally comes down to being anti-state
government, anti-city government. You don't get what you pay for, they
waste the money. I don't know. It's a very dangerous...they get to be
very dangerous and I have trouble with people in my own party. I think,
you know, my gosh, the Federal government runs the armed forces, uh,
services. And in northwest Florida there's a big military center. You
know, how do you rationalize that? Well, some people say, well, they'll
pick up their Navy yard check and cash it and then go out and drink beer
and talk about the damn Federal government. You know, you can't explain
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it. But it gets down to they become anti-city government. And I had
to tell people...I've made speeches and somebody's got to patrol the
streets, somebody's got to pave the streets. And I'm not anti-government.
And some people might think that I'm a little less than hard-shelled
because of it, but with a nation of upwards of 200 million people, you've
got tohhve government--if nothing else, to protect ourselves from each
other. And somebody indeed does have to pave the streets, somebody indeed
does have to make new laws as mobile homes become a problem and as motor-
cycle noise becomes a problem and as society becomes more complex. The
third one: opposition to any kind of welfare. Oh, yeah. Well, that's...
I think that's...I can't speak for the rest of the nation, but that, I
would think that's pretty much Southern. You know, if you worked, you
get paid. If you don't work, you don't get paid. A day!'6 work for a
day's pay. And there's always been a saying by white people that the
sorriest people aren't the blacks, it's the poor white trash who refuse
to work. I've heard that all my life. So if that's a little bit racial
I: Do you agree with that? I mean is that part and parcel of your own
feelings on this?
D: I don't know. That's a pretty blanket statement. If you've ever seen
some real sorry white people, they're absolutely unbelievable. They are
the kind who can be nursed by welfare and so forth, and you'll do and do
and do and then they'll go out and spend fifteen bucks for a new toaster
or something. I mean, you know, it's lack of judgment. I don't know.
My sister got involved with some of these people. And she just crawled
up the wall. I would think that there are some people, generally because
of age and medical problems and so forth, that society has to keep. I
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think there are a Hell of a lot of people that ought to be working.
Welfare, the type of welfare that encourages pregnancies and multiple
births and this type of thing--if that's a proper impression-I'm
I: I was going to say, but you, you do admit to it. You do depart from
opposition to any kind of welfare for Florida ?
D: Well arpart-6dfa mark of a civilization is to take care of the poor
people. And you can't...
........................... END OF:SIDE 1.................................
......... .. ........ ..'BEGINNING OF SIDE 2 ............................
D: And what used to worry me is that--I hate to start using this expression,
but I may as well go ahead and be honest--red-neck Democrats would haul
the blacks to the polls. And it cost..it used to cost ten dollars a car.
You know, you could handle a car and driver or something for between ten
and twenty dollars. They would pick'em up at the precinct and take'em
to the poll and give'em a slip of paper and tell'em how to vote.
I: What period of time are you talking about? What years?
D: Well, this went on in the 1950's and '60's. And yet they wouldn't shake
hands with one or be seen in public with one. But gradually the blacks
got smart and they would...they would compel them to come to certain
rallies and state their position. I remember the first one I ever went
to was Singleton's Ice Cream Parlor which was in what they call,tin the
colored quarters of town and you...if you run for officezyou went there
and at least by your appearance showed some willingness to cooperate
and so forth. I remember at that time a lot of the white candidates were
pretty nervous about doing it, but gradually it's gotten now where,
where the blacks have rallies and everybody comes and talks. At that 4tJ'
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there was a black here named Cap Benbow who was a political strongman
and who could deliver fifty percent of the black vote, more or less.
And, you know, ran a funeral home and parlor and had allot of cars and
drivers and they would...you know, I forgot to tell you I was involved--
I apologize for this--I was involved in the campaign of 1960. I par-
I: Well, we can go back to that.
D: You know, the Doyle Carlton campaign.
I: Yeah, we can go back to it, talking about state politics.
D: Yeah, but...I was thinking about Republican politics. I was trying to
get myself to Republican politics. I was involved in a major Democratic
campaign in 1960. He was a very nice fellow. At any rate, it's gotten,
I think lot better and now both parties will openly have black political
contacts and black...will deal with black political figures and they will
make black appointments. Now, the first black appointments in Escambia
County were made by the Kirk Advisory Committeefor which I was chairman.
I: What appointments were those?
D: It was a...the first appointment I know of was to the county civil service
board. We appointed Reverend Powell, a black minister, to that board. He
served very well. And then we appointed two...I think a couple of members
of the draft board, the Federal draft board. And then we were also instrumental
in getting Hollis Williams as the first black city councilman. But the
theory was that the...it was both pragmatic and then I think a little more
honest and some human warmth about it that...that number one, why let the
Democrats get all the black votes. And number two, well, number two, we
could deal with them certainly as well as a bunch of prejudiced, red-necked
Democrats. And number three, that there was certainly room in the party
FLA PER 33. ACD
I: How many registered black Republicans are there in EscambcutCounty today?
D: Only a few hundred. But registration is not the only thing. I mean,
you know, Ed Gurney says, "Don't worry about registration if you're
Republican." Having a large white bloc, I mean--having a large white
bloc or conservative Democrats who have voted Republican is as good as
having a bunch of...a large number of registered Republicans.
I: So you think that in fact there are many blacks also serving the party?
D: Oh, yes. As a matter of fact, one of our appointments was the president
of the NAACP, a man we appointed--I say, when I say "we appointed" that
meant the advisory committee of the governor. He was appointed to some
state human relations council. This was Reverend Bill Brook, who quite
recently has been involved in some degree with militancy in Escambia
High situation, but who is a good man and who I think has held the position
in the NAACP in order to keep the more militant types
from getting it, who would misuse it. I think he's a good Christian,
I think he's a good man morally--he's got a family of about five, wife
and five children, and I found him to be very fair and honest and I liked
him very much. He ought to be playing basketball for some pro team
somewhere--he's about 6' 8". Size means a lot to them, by the way. That's
true in the old Indian tribes. But there's still some prejudice, but
you can deal politically with the blacks without having to deal with them
socially--you understand me, it's the same old thing. Well, that's true
with anybody. The people you deal with politically are not necessarily
the people you run around with socially or the people you live with. So
I think we've made tremendous-progress and I would think now, in 1973 the
Southern Republican Party has the doors wide open to blacks. And there's
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been a great effort by the blacks now to get a lot of their people
on the Republican side so they can parlay that power as they see fit.
I think it's a very smart move.
I: Instead of taking...
D: Instead of somebody taking them for granted.
I: Let's start talking a little bit about the Florida Republican Party.
One question starts right off the top and that is you're, you are in
the midst of the Panhandle, Escambia County, and West Florida is not,
nor I suppose has it ever been close to being a bastion of Republicanism
in the state. What's it like being a, really, a minority figure?
D: Well, we've got, we've got a lot of quality rather than quantity. And
I say that because a great many and sometimes almost a majority of the
young local leaders are Republican. And I mean this, this right now.
The president of the Chamber of Commerce right now is Republican. We
had three straight Republican mayors. I think, I think the man
I think he's still registered Democrat, but he's very
close to us. And the head of Action '76 is--the Bicentennial group,
which is a community action program--Warren is Republican.
I could go on and on. It takes a little thought but we have a lot of
people in their thirties and forties who have changed their registration
and are slowly but consistently building a Republican Party. And we
have, I don't know, the registration now must be something like 8,000
Republicans and maybe 65,000 Democrats. Bct we have a Republican in
the legislature that's been elected three or four times, Tom
Kirk carried Escambia County. Gurney carried Escambia County. We can
win elections with good people. Our biggest problem is getting can-
didates right now. And we are able to even put a coalition together
FLA PER 33 ABCD
with Democrats in trying to get good government types in office. I
was...the Democrats are split into a good government group and an old--
there I go again--an old redneck group. And we have more in common
with the good government group, frankly, than they have in common with
the old courthouse people. So on a given candidate we can agree. And
last time I had one of the leaders of the Democrats call me and say,
"Can you get Bill Chisholm to run for the county commission?" And I
said, "I'll try." And I tried to get him. And if he had run, then
they would not put up a candidate. And they was for the Republicans.
It's getting so hard to get good people to run that the party doesn't
have that much to do with it.
I: Why is that?
D: Well, every time there's a new political scandal, I think it hurts.
And I think, I think the press and the media blow it up. You know,
you have a little meeting and somebody says something cross to some-
body else and it's a headline the next day. And you know, most people
try to be decent people and you can't...few people thrive on controversy
and even the most egotistical get tired of seeing their name in the
papers, especially in a negative way. And I think in an effort by the
media to report government that they actually do government a disfavor.
So it's a very peculiar thing and I could get in a pretty good argument
with my dear friend Earl Bowden, editor of the local paper. But a
reporter goes to a meeting, it's dull, it's routine, and there's one
little tiny outbreak of tempers during the meeting and that's going
to get your headline. He doesn't say, "They had a pretty damn good
routine meeting." That doesn't make good reporting. American journalism--
and you know, no matter how you say it or justify it--is based on
FLA PER 33 ABCD
sensationalism. And I feel very strongly about that although I
love to read the newspapers.
D: And I love, you know, I love the press. But it's the nature...we're
all, you know, the whole country's on stage. Everybody plays a damn
role. And the press is the script almost. The after-script. It's
a peculiar thing. YOu know, it's not how the play went, but what did
the critics say about the play.
I: Sure. Let me ask you this question. Mr. Dodson, certainly the fact
of the Republican Party in the 19th century in the ReConstruction
period has carried over at least in a distorted sense, I think, as
history has proven in Florida. But they were neither as corrupt nor
as venal as some people have said them to be. Has that been a problem
for you as a local Republican doing the rural areas of the Panhandle
organization and trying to deal with the traditional Democratic, rural--
what you have called, and care,,to have you comment further on it if
you'd like at this point--a "redneck" Democrat?
D: Yeah, a little bit of the older ones. Now my grandfather and grandmother,
my God, they used to talk about that they didn't like the King and Queen
of England, which was a throwback to the Revolution, you know. They
also didn't like Jews, Catholics and everyb--, you know,
it was typical Southern Anglo-Saxon family. And Republicans was at the
top of that list. However, I'm not so sure that if my grandfather were
living today that he couldn't adapt himself to the Republican Party.
My father never changed but he felt that way. I think the party changed.
The old...there are a lot of old-timers. Goldwater broke a lot of that,
you know, broke a lot of that, but there are still, I'd say, people in
FLA PER 33 ABCD
their seventies and eighties now that will say, you know, "I never
have voted for a Republican and I never will."--type. But that's...
that's going out of style.
I: Do you suppose it's possible to...if you can't talk about Escambia
County, is it possible to talk in terms of state candidates, state-
wide registration in the Panhandle ever becoming significant to
the Republicans in terms of registration?
D: Yeah, I think it could happen. I think therire about a million Repub-
licans in Florida by the way, and I think it could happen.
I: What would be the factors that would produce this? I realize it's
an "if" question, but what kinds of changes would we have to make in
D: Well, I think that the...what, what's, as I keep referring to, localism
and Eastern dominance of the Democratic Party, and is the best thing
we've got going for us. We feel that way.
I: Even on a local level?
D: Even on a local level. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And this, you know, and
then any issues that are--course I mean times change--but, you know,
pro-marijuana, pro-abortion, those pro-free love--a lot of these things
that the young Democrats, especially some of them, have followed in
their party line are fuel for building a Republican party in the Pan-
I: At least there's an association with the ?
D: Oh, yeah, yeah, and so one can register Republican and hold his head
high because he can point out what the national Democratic party
represents. And this started with...I don't know, let's see. It was
certainly true in '64, and since then I can't remember back, but it
FLA PER 33 ABCD
still seems to be true, although I don't know. I think...it seems
like the Democrats are starting to react to that. When:Kennedy starts
playing footsie with George Wallace, I don't know how long...any time
in Florida that you could put a conservative Republican against a liberal
Democrat, you'd win statewide. Tbat's the way Kirk beat Robert King
High--aridKirk didn't win that election, people voted against High.
And the same thing with Ed Gurney against Leroy Collins. Collins had
been at that Selma thing and...but not only that, Collins had been
moderate or liberal on other issues. And there were a lot of Democrats
who voted for Collins so he could get in the run-off with Gurney. That's
an old trick, by the way. I was discussing that as late as yesterday,
uh, the other day with a Democrat friend of mine. That's the oldest
trick in the book.
D: BUt that will generally work in Florida. When Claude Kirk ran against
Reubin Askew, he had...Claude Kirk had run, had lost so much of his
credibility because he'd come out for Rockefeller that he couldn't put
a liberal label on Reubin, although the stuff was there. But his
own credibility was shot so he was unable to do itand therefore he
I: How about the Republican Party in Florida as a whole? The Panhandle
trying to relate to a center of urban Republicanism like St. Pete.
We're a wide state. People are spread out. Is there a problem in
doing a...obviously I'm referring tojin some senses.to what happened
in 1970 between Governor Kirk and Senator Gurney--William Cramer-Carswell
thing--but is there a possibility of ever merging a cohesive Republican
FLA PER 33 ABCD
D: Oh, I think we have a fairly cohesive party now. Now the state chair-
man is from Panama City, Tommy Thomas, Panhandle town. Aid I personally
know of--you know, I mean here I am living in west Florida but I know
all the Florida delegations. Skip Bafalis. Theycome up here...Bill
Cramer! Popular here. Know Bill Young. They come up here all the time,
one after another. Seems like there's one of'em up here. And they
respect the Panhandle vote. And the chairman comes over. We have no
problem with the state office. They moved the state office to Tallahassee
by the way, which is...which is also in west Florida. Now, how we
relate to the St. Petersburg type Republican retiree...?
I: That's really the question I'm asking.
D: Un, I don't know. I, you know, maybe you don't have to relate. They,
well, for one thing, when people start, generally peoplewhowhen they
age they get more conservative. So you've got that going for you for
that type of Republican. I'm also told they get more pragmatic, too,
by the way. Have you ever heard that?
D: You tell'em you're going to this and do that and it's a pro--, a political
promise. They'll buy your promise and expect you to deliver it. And
An older person has become that pragmatic, you know. BUt I don't see
any problems in relating. I don't, I don't...I don't see any problems
at all. Goldwater went down there in '64 and I don't...nobody can
understand. He said absolutely the wrong things. He talked against
D: You can't talk against somebody's pocketbook.that frankly in an election.
It's uncalled-for and it's just absolutely stupid. I don't...I don't...
FLA PER 33 ABCD
I feel as if it were his advisors and I just don't know. But that
whole campaign was loaded with mistakes and we feel the press was out
to get him. And we feel like that Goldwater's probably got more prestige
in 1973 than he has in 197-, uh, 1964. But that's the way we do our
people in this country, anyway. You know. The further we get away from
Washington the grander and more saintly he is--Lincoln and Roosevelt and
all of them. I guess they'll make a saint ouf of Goldwater before it's
over with. That's the way, you know, that's a fact. We're very rough
on our politicians while they're in office. By the way, we're very
rough on our ex-Florida governors, too. It's almost a shame. They
tell me now that Fuller Warren is almost a pauper.
In...in Miami. And, well, Kirk's doing all right, because he's a
pretty industrious type. Farris Bryant set up enough things while
he was governor to last him a lifetime. And I know what I'm talking
about. Through bonding and so forth, Hayden Burns is making a good
living, I assume. But I know that Doyle Carlton, Jr.--I mean, Doyle
Carlton, Sr.--moved out of the Governor's officehe had to borrow money
to move furniture. I mean, out of the Governor's mansion. His son
told me that. He did all right, but, uh, we don't...no provisions.
I guess they got a pension now.
D: There seems to be some sadness in
Fuller Warren's situation. I don't know what to do. They can't put
him on welfare, but there ought to be something.
I: Well, with few exceptions also, the Florida governor's chair has never
really led anywhere politically past that. Spessard Holland was the
only man that...
FLA PER 33 ABCD
D: That's right.
I: ...moved from the governor's chair to the Senate
D: That's a very good observation. One I've heard before, of course, but
I: Sort of a dead end.
D: Sort of a dead end. And that almost seems the best way to the U. S.
Senate is through...by being a Congressman or elected to the State
Senate--Lawton Chiles. which I considered a fluke election. Nobody
understood Claude Kirk's sophisticated remark that he's going to run
for the U. S. Senate and swim, and swim around the state. Sounds like
a kooky remark; it's a very sophisticated remark. What he was saying
was if you're foolish enough to vote somebody in the U. S. Senate
because they walked around Florida, then I'll swim around the thing
and you can elect me. Nobody caught it. That's a typical Kirkism.
I: Before we get onto Governor Kirk, and I suppose we want to do that,
we need to perhaps set you in some kind of focus for posterity, if
nothing else, in terms of west Florida politics and Florida politics.
I've heard you described as a rather, well, what shall we say, king-
pin of west Florida Republicanism or something in that sense. Would
you agree with that? How would you classify yourself as a Florida,
west Florida Republican?
D: Well, in the first place, I don't believe you seek that kind of title.
I don't like people seeking honors; I don't like people seeking power.
If it happens, it comes...it comes because of work, okay? Here again,
if I sound like a Boy Scout I'm sorry, but I cert-, I am suspect of
people who are seeking honors and seeking positions. Usually it's
the wrong people doing it. I've been called a "kingpin" and so forth.
FLA PER 33 ABCD
Some of it's by people who would like to have that power and some...
you know, it's--sometimes I'm a bit derogatory. When I was in Tallahassee
at the Department of Transportation, the News Journal used to have these
little minute editorials and they called me the governor of west Florida
because Kirk was in and I was calling the shots for Kirk! And indeed
I did. And I called a lot of;them. But you know, it...you can't do
a great deal by committee, you know. Committees are hard. We had the
most. We had a Kirk Advisory Committee here in Pensacola and we had
a West Florida Advisory Committee kinda made up of chairmen of the
different counties, and I was chairman...Reinhart Holmes, who was mayor
of Pensacola a short time and who was head of the Kirk campaign, was
the first chairman of the advisory committee and he got crossed up with
the governor and resigned. And I took it over. Very...it was very
early in the first year and Reinhart was older and had been in city
government and very well-respected, and then shortly after he died of
a heart attack. But...we had a committee of about twelve people.
We brought the county, uh, executive committee chairmen in. I insisted
that we do that as a matter of policy. And we tried to bring other
representatives of different Republican groups in and we had a pretty
good cross-section. And that committee voted on all the recommendations
for appointments to the governor and so forth. And that included
everything from the old Road Board, which was a regional thing. We
voted the regional thing, but obviously Pensacola carried a lot of
weight. Except...you don't on the very highest, like the governor's
going to pick the Board of-Regents. He's not gonna...the very big
ones, Turnpike Authority, things like that, the government's going to
pick'em from the people he knows. But when you get down on the county
FLA PER 33 ABCD
commissioner dies and you have a reappointment, as we had with one called
Sam Honor which caused a great deal of trouble for me. I insisted that
we appoint a Democrat to the office rather than a weak Republican. And,
uh, time has justified meybut I couldn't see appointing some farmer
from the northern end of the county who would most certainly not be
able to handle himself on the county commission, and secondly would
get beat when he ran. We made some agreements which I'm not going to
talk about with the Democrat. He got appointed. He was later elected
chairman of the Florida Association of County Commissioners, Sam
Honor, and he's been a good force on that board. He's still in office
today. I think time has justified that appointment. In other words,
the man in this case was more important than the party. That's not
always true, but I think it's generally true. It's people--the party
is just a track to do something. It's a vehicle hopefully for good
government. A way of government. And you have to do it through
people. And a man's character, a man's character doesn't become
a damn bit better if it's lousy if he goes down and changes his
registration to Republican. As a matter of fact, I wish I could figure
out a way to keep him from doing it. And I have had trouble with
some of the other members of the party who'll support any damn
character off the street who goes down there and changes his regis-
tration and says, "I want to run for something." We've had some real
idiots run and they embarrass you. So I based all my recommendations
to the governor on people and character. And generally, you know,
hoping they're Republicans, but they're not always Republicans. And
some of them you get to change registration, but some of'em's influence
you can harness into the party. Even if he stays a Democrat and, say,
FLA PER 33 ABCD
he has influence over two or three or four hundred or a thousand
people one way or another, through his business associations or
whatever, then we've gained. And eventually history shows that
they will change. And they'll just go down and voluntarily do it.
You don't have to twist their arm. The guy you gotta twist their
arm, you don't want to change his.
I: It's an interesting observation. What about the...let me ask the
question this way. Who served on the West Florida Advisory Committee
and did you haveAdifferent role or a different function with that
group than you did with the Kirk Advisory Committee?
D: Well, that's a loose organization, but we had...let's see, I was the
coordinator for it, the top guy, and we had a chairman in each county
and we met a few times, not too often. Maybe a couple of times a
year on some major appointments. But it generally turned out on, on
positions like the Game and Fish Commission, the Road Board--which
is now defunct--the Board of Regents, things like that the governor
made up his own mind anyway. So really it was a waste of time to
meet, but there were...I, I generally, they generally checked with
me on most of the appointments as a courtesy--I mean as a double-
check. Like the guy, the committee in Santa Rosa County has nominated
so-and-so and I, I have vetoed some of them. Then you get in a fight
with that committee over there. But we had infiltration in Santa
Rosa County. We had a Democrat who actually got people to change
registration and got on the county advisory committee, which is another
old trick. And I knew who they were, and I did my very best and I
think I succeeded in most every occasion in keeping them from getting
I: In this context, and certainly in this area...
FLA PER 33 ABCD
D: Am I answering your question?
I: You certainly are, very well. No problem. I won't let you not answer
it unless you choose not to. Uh, and I don't...I now don't want to
call you a kingpin in that sense. (I don't know when else to use the
word) But in that context I'm really interested in your relationship
with the senior Florida Congressmn~--Bob Sikes, Congressman Sikes,
who is a Democrat--and in terms of... this kind of connection.
How does it operate appointments and so on in Washington in that
D: Well, today? Today?
I: Whenever you like.
D: Well, it's a very interesting relationship. I can probably...this
both pleases, amuses and amazes me. But I can probably get Bob Sikes
on the phone faster than most anybody. Either he appreciates my
position, he's that pragmatic or whatever, but we have a good relation-
ship and because of it.and because of his voting-record and.his, you
know, general support of the President and so forth, we don't have any
desire to replace him. Why should we? Immediately after the Goldwater
election, he...his voting record, you know--don't hold me to figures...
D: ...jumped something like from about 55% to about 85% ACA rating and
he is very conducive to his constituents' wishes. If that's...that's
the proper way to say it. He does, he follows their thinking and he's
an old pro and he's not going to try to convince his constituents...
oh, I've seen him take some fairly controversial positions. He's not
going to buck the wind too long if it's pretty basic west Florida
FLA PER 33 ABCD
I: Can you give me an example or two of what would have been controversial
in terms of west Florida? Anything pop into mind? That's a better
question for him to answer, but is there something which strikes you
D: Well, yeah, course generally he's taken care of our military bases,
which is a basic economic leg. Oh, every now and then he'll try to
move something to Crestview from Pensacola or something like that--
then we've caught him on that. But generally I...I went to Washington
and took my family and--and you know, obviously I recognize flattery.
I mean I'm not stupid. But he took us to the Congressional dining
room. We went out in front of the Capitol, he had a photographer
waiting--and not only that, he sent a picture to the News Journal
of his meeting with the local Republican leader and his family. They
didn't run it, they thought it was...they thought it was...they
thought if they ran that they would hurt me. But I wouldn't have
cared. And at the last Sikes testimonial we had, oh, I think that
out of a thousand people there, a couple of hundred of'em were Repub-
licans. He has a good relationship with Gurney. I call Senator
Gurney's office all the time and, you know, just by the tone of
voice .aid so forth, they...no trouble. And I'd say the only trouble
we have with him is the fact that in, you know, in organization voting
of the House, he of course has to vote Democratic. Besides that,
he's virtually a Republican. I think that's what you're getting to.
And my uncle who is in Washington says, "Why, Hell, he's a Republican,
you know." And I wrote a column about a year ago, a guest editorial
in which I said these things openly. No, no problem from Bob. But
he's courteous and he's developed a tremendous office efficiency.
FLA PER 33 ABCD
He's got the staff and the people to respond to any problem that
an individual or a local government or what-have-you has. And there's
just no substitute for that kind of action. I can...we've been trying
to get a med school over here and E.W. Hopkinswho I got with Sikes,
recently called Sikes about it, said we're getting the short end of
the deal. He called Reubin over the phone and called E. W. back in
thirty minutes. He'd already talked with the governor of Florida.
That, that fast. That was a Republican that called. Ahd he knows
h how to do things. There's just no substitute for competency.
I: There's no no need actually for you to search out a
Republican opponent for Sike's seat.
D: We've got a...no, we got a...no, not particularly. We would like the
next Congressman to be Republican and to be from Pensacola. And
Pensacola has a terrible record under the Democratic party of not
producing leaders. We haven't had a congressman since the 1920's.
We haven't had a governor, before Askew, since 1885, I think it was--
old Governor Perry. We haven't had a U. S. Senator since Mallory,
before the turn of the century. And if I were running for office now
or running for Congress, I would point out Pensacola's poor record
under the Democrats. And I think that has a lot to do with some of
the, some of the...I don't know how to say it...progress the town
hasn't made, some of the problems. In roads--obviously we're hard
to get to from transportation. Whether it's air, land, sea or what,
you can't get to this town. And I think that the public servants
in the past that dropped the ball;-we haven't elected strong people.
We haven't elected people who are really dedicated to getting some
things for the town. We've got the same problem to some extent with
FLA PER 33 ABCD
the present governor. He's afraid that he would get accused of
helping west Florida. My philosophy is that any public servant
worth his salt will take care of his own district, no matter where
he is, and that's part of it.
I: Always touching base...
D: That's right, and, you know, Reubin's al-, when Reubin was a state...
was elected from Escambia County, senator from Escambia County, he
thought he was Florida state senator. Now, he always operates on
one level higher in my mind than he, than he was elected.
I: I think I follow that.
I: Okay. Let's talk about Governor Kirk. Well, let me ask you the
obvious question to begin with. Where did you first meet him?
D: I met him when he ran, when he came over here in 19--, when was it,
I: He ran against Senator Holland. He was the chairman of the Florida
Democrats for Nixon in 1960.
D: Yeah, I didn't know him then. And I ...in 1960, as I told you, I
was involved in the Doyle Carlton campaign. As a matter of fact,
in the last few weeks I was even a local manager for Doyle Carlton.
He was a Democrat and he ran against Farris Bryant. And a very interesting
campaign. Maybe this is the time to comment on it.
D: Carlton began his race late. That had a great deal to do with his
losing. But Carlton suffered from the racial issue. Bryant made
hay with the racial issue, uh, issues, which interestingly enough,
put me supposedly with a racial, racially moderate candidate. And
FLA PER 33 ABCD
you go back to the statements and they said, at do you do if your
local schools integrated Farris Bryant said "I will send my children
to private schools." A Harvard-educated lawyer said that. And Doyle
Carlton, the Florida Cracker, in fact, said, "I'll send my children...
I'll keep sending them to the same school." And how in the world
that Farris Bryant got away with such answers as that during that
idiotic campaign of 1960, I'll never know. It was an unbelievable
campaign. There's a young.woman, by the way, at Florida State who's
done a master's thesis on that campaign and I'm quoted in it a little
bit. I turned over a Carleton scrapbook to the P. K. Yonge Library.
When I turned it over, I put a little analysis of the campaign. But
it was...Bryant spent his time walking in front of the television
cameras talking about what he was going to do about the racial problem
and about this damn Supreme Court and it was a lot of demagoguery.
And Doyle told it like it was. And how a Harvard-educated lawyer
could carry the Panhandle against a Cracker-type cattleman, God knows,
but he did it. And he...it was because Carlton was associated with
Leroy Collins. And the Miami Carlton people got an.'eleventh-hour
Collins endorsement which killed us. And Doyle Carlton somewhat loses
incentive. And it's the old trick, which we've pulled on other people.
But in this case I have no...I feel had no merit for putting the racial
onus on a:candidate. And it taught me in 1960 that the racial issue
was a phony issue. Politically, it's a phony issue. Nobody's ever
done anything about it, you know, even if you said, Okay, we don't
want integration, I don't know a single politician that's ever done
anything about it--George Wallace included. It's...you know, so I'm
not, I'm not saying what the moral part is. The immorality is that
FLA PER 33 ABCD
it's been used as a phony issue in the South all my life to get votes,
and, you know, George Wallace has never done a damn thing to stop any
kind of integration of any type in Alabama schools, you know. And he
thrives off those racial issues. It's a phony deal. And in this case,
1960, I think we fought a man who didn't have a character and a lot of
of other abilities that, that I think young Doyle Carlton had--he was
only thirty-seven. And I think Florida was a loser, you know. What
was it? It was a lunch counter deal--the silliest, you know, and now
Aho gives a damn who eats at a lunch counter anyway. I'm not...you
know, I said this back then, by the way. It's not just something I
say today. It's...but I, I always thought that Collins was political
death. YOu know he still is. He got beat. You know it's unfortunate.
I don't know how would you have handled that thing...?
I: It's an interesting observation, I think, about race as a phony issue,
but, you know, not being able to do certain things. It's
getting way ahead of where I'd like to be, but I would like to get a
comment in connection with this. Governor Kirk in Manatee County
D: What'd he do there?l
I: What are your feelings about that in light of what you just said?
D: Well, I think...I'll modify...I'll modify my statement to this extent:
that certainly there's a point after integration of schools when you
get into bussing, you know. I think you start moving toward a point
of what can-be absurdity. And I, that's where the line is drawn and
we can finally say that if we're going to have a townhouse development
every other apartment must be colored, you know. I mean, finally
it gets in all kinds of services. Certainly at that point, uh, it's
FLA PER 33 ABCD
a true issue. And a lot of people thought...I'm not sure, I don't
know what the exact problem was in Manatee County. I think that Kirk
probably played that a little bit for what it was worth. He had been,
he had lost a lot of his so-called conservative credentials in the
Rockefeller endorsement and so forth and then, and also in his campaigns
against George Wallace, he thought it was clever to go into Alabama
and campaign against Wallace. He was trying to show the Republican'
National Committee how brave and gallant he was! And that Manatee
County thing, I think he probably thought it was absurd--the bussing
thing. But then again, people, you know, people move out of mixed
motivations. That's, that's something a lot of young people don't
understand. We do things for maybe three or four or five reasons.
And also he had a little,,,I was, I was over in Tallahassee during
that time and had a professor out a FSU do a little research on
Jackson bucking Federal judges. YOu know, he had some pretty good
cases. And I gave them to Kirk 'cause I'd sent one to Manatee
I don't know if it stopped him or not. But having a
Federal judge tell a governor something gets into some, you know, that
kind of would make any governor's hair on the back of his head rise.
And so it was a rather complex and...he finally had to bow to the
I: Right. This was why I raised it
D: Well, I think there's a good, I think there's a good answer. But,
you know, I think we ought to start back.
I: Yeah, I agree. Okay. In 1964, he ran against...
D: Robert King High.
I: Robert King HIgh. And in '66 he ran again. And you made the state-
FLA PER 33 ABCD 44-A
ment much earlier that you thought that it wasn't so much a matter
of Governor Kirk winning as it was a matter of Robert King High losing.
D: That's right. MOst thinking Republicans believe this. As a matter
of fact, I've even heard Kirk himself...
....................... END OF SIDE 2........ TAPE A ............... ....
-... il .... S'z
*: twas identified with the Kennedys. ... had been done fairly success-
fully. Ed Ball was against him. Do you remember? He was a young
guy who had run a pretty good race against Cei4ns. People didn't
know a great deal about him, but he had some good connections
in Jacksonville, and some other people. He had
built a ... allegedly built insurance company that had done well--
American Heritage. And I'm told that the polls indicated even
towards the end that by gosh, he was going / I remember driving
down to the campaign office that night for the party and it on
the radio that he won and I must admit that I could hardly be-
lieve it. He had come up here several times. I had made a
couple of significant moves for him. I got James Lee, a Demo-
crat and a member of the old road board, in fact he was, let's
see, I think he was the president of the board. I got James Lee
to come out for Kirk on television and here agin we had Rein-
hart Holmes as campaign chairman. I forgot to tell you/the Gold-
water thing the idea was to get a Democrat.
don't think they could get a Democrat to be campa--, --paign
chairman,- Zo' e__c- _'_7 i_ for the state offices. Maybe
... we had Mixon Daniel, a Democrat, chairman of the Goldwater
committee. Then I was what they call campaign ... he was chair-
man, I was manager. We sort of split the duty.
K: What was the r4QSOp ) ?
D: And well, it was, you know, ... to get Democratic votes. To
project a prominent/young lawyer who had a tremendous reputation,
UF PERS 5-3-
When they made the announcement, they ran his picture in the paper,
than than mine, which was fine.
K: While on the subject of the Goldwater campaign in '64 ... did you
have any feelings about Claude Kirk in '64 running against Holland?
D: Nobody thought he'd win. I can remember getting the family down, I
opened his office, but nobody, nobody ... everybody sorta felt like
it was a ... felt as if it were an exercise. And I think Kirk
I think he did. He was very loose and affable.
K: Didn't spend very much money.
D: We didn't have much money. Didn't spend much money. And we
ran a good race. It was a/ example of what one can do. It
set him up for the '66 race and so when the returns came in in'66,
well,, there was a 44 1" statewide, Ol high vote.
K: What got Claude Kirk the Republican nomination in '66?
D: he got it by default. I don't think, I don't
think there was a Republican primary then. In '64 a guy named (Ch/ej)
Holly had run for governor and had gotten about 35% of the vote.
But if you watch the figures Republicans had been getting an
increasingly large vote every time. There was always some Re-
publican I believe the record will hsow who ran who would pick
-t do 0Va t14 / HMc -
up 25%, 35% of the vote. And I mean I'm just saying
that Holly got, I believe Holly got 35%-40% of the votes.
K: I think that's correct ...
D: Yeah, and he was not a top candidate, at that time. He was a pretty
good man, but he certainly didn't have the charisma that Kirk
had to use a modern term. And he didn't have the general state-
wide ... Kirk had some pretty good people around the state
UF PRRS 43-
K: Who were some?
D: Well, here in Pensacola he had ... he had, he had, well, he had
Holliday UC( ~I who, who'd become a Republican in 1960 in
the Nixon campaign. Reinhart Holmes, who had been on the city
council for a number of years. He had Bruce Smith, who was a
senior engineer out at Monsanto, which is a conservative, con-
servative hotbed---7000 employees voted against joining the union
the union, when they had the union vote. We had Roger Doyle from
an old Pensacola family. His uncle was b) /,* e\ae _
His family was here in territorial days. We had
D.A. Bob Shutti, who had been around quite a bit. We had Ed Riles,
a young doctor; myself, of course, and others. But we, you know,
we had, and then the Robert King High people here 4i rl / /
had a ... They had about the weakest organization
there ever was. There was an old county politician in there ...
they had a ... it was pretty bad. They had a, they had a homo-
sexual running the campaign office, I mean he, they couldn't get
anybody of any prominence.
K: This is one you thought you knew you were going to win?
D: Yeah, well, we thought we'could win the county perhaps, but we
didn't, we thought- statewide it would be tough and all of a sudden
the returns came in. Actually Kirk had won before the west
Florida returns came in ... you know, so ... So anyway when he
got, when he got elected, we got the committee together and I
said we ought to send him a telegram immediately to tell him we
want to confer with him on appointments! And so we did. I
drafted the telegram and then e V04 Bill Stafford,
who got appointed State Attorney later by the way. And I would
UF PERS -3W
go down and meet with him. And I went down and met with him
_ the old Duval Hotel.
K: What town?
D: In Tallahassee. And I remember we had to wait while Bud Dick-
inson saw him ) q ic 'irr.'-,- )/, ok. /& V .' But im-
mediately all these cabinet members, you know, they knew what
was what, and we waited about thirty minutes while Dickinson and
Kirk met. And then Kirk met with Stafford and me and he started
off by saying, "I'll slap your wrist a little bit for sending
that telegram." He was a little, a little impatient, you know.
We didn't say "congratulations." We just said we want to be in on
the appointments! Ha, ha!! But he kinda like ... Kirk was, had a
sort of Andrew Jackson quality like that. He liked people who
bucked him, if there was a pretty good kick. And I, I bucked
him alot by the way during the whole four years. And I know one
time 40 when he hired Bill Saf/ire, who now is a writer with the
New York Times, and I got on the phone with him and I ate him out!
I told him that he didn't need him, and it was absurd and that,
you know, he had good people around him. And he hadn't, you know,
certainly he hadn't called on me for one. If he wanted to get
in the press, by god, we could get it. He didn't need Saffire.
And I raged for an hour, and you know, he really should have
thrown me out of the office but he didn't do it. And he was sort of
K: That's an interesting commentary.
D: It is. And I, oh, I can tell you just tremendous moments with
him. I, I remember when I, I made a big drive on west Florida
farms. I even made up a chart, and after about a year in office,
UF PERS 3ft-
you know, we were getting SIloA Ch4 fc in Pensacola. And
I, I made a chart of all the appointments and showed how he
wasn't ... how we were not getting them. And so he made ... he
appointed the Game Commissioner from Marianna. He reappointed
James Lee to the Road Board, which we'd encouraged. But, you
know, nothing out of Pensacola. And they started... there was a
little rumbling downtown. The Democrats wanted ... trouble
about something. And so ...
K: You weren't getting any major appointments?
D: I used to get on the phone to the governor's office and then
I'd say to him, and I'd go over a list. This was when I
was till over here. This was in '66 ...n&, it'd be '67 and '68,
wouldn't it? Yeah. And I'd go down and I'd, I'd recommend
people, the Board of Regents appointment was coming up ... he'd
ask me about that. And I remember I recommended a local fellow.
He said, "That pompous bastard?" He said, "I'm not going to ap-
point him to anything." He said, "He's the kind who gets appointed,
appointed to everything." And I thought ... and, and Kirk was
right. He was the kind who always got appointed to things no
matter who was governor. Kirk said, I, you know, why don't we
appoint some young guy? And he was real strong on young people.
He said the best appointment you could get was to appoint a
thirty-five, a thirty-year old lawyer to be sure. You know, a
good clean type, instead of these red-neck bumpkin types, who're
slinging pistols and wearing cowboy hats. He had a tremendous
feel for this type of man. And when I got appointed to the
Board of ReAgents, I was on one of my trips, and I went down there
rasing hell ...griping; I had my chart. And they're all grinning
UF PERS 35-
like hell at me because they knew that Kirk had decided three
months ahead of time to appoint me to the Board of Regents
because when the presidency of the University of Florida
came up, Kirk wanted to appoint somebody besides Steve O'Connell.
Steve knows this. I think it was probably that congressman from the
Ocala area. I can't think of his name. At any rate Kirk didn't
have the votes on the Board of Regents. O'Connell got it. And
O'Connell had been heavily identified with politics. So you
know here was a guy who was governor, been in damn near two years
and couldn't, couldn't prevent, at least veto a major appointment.
You know it showed exactly what he told me. He says, you know,
we are just in here for a short period. We don't really have
this thing, the Democrats essentially have it. We're just occupy-
ing the damn premises. That's what he told me. And you know
they'll get us anyway ... and it / true. This type of appointment
was right. Now as soon as Reubin Askew became governor you can
bet your bottom dollar that he had ... certainly veto powers all
... on any college president appointment. I know this for a
fact. But he got control of the Board of Regents immediately.
Kirk did not have any control over the Board of REgents for two
years. Alright. So/I came there about September, raising hell
about appointments, and uh, after going through a couple of aides
who were grinning, I went into his office and he didn't say ...
"I'M going to appoint you to the Board of Regents." He picked
up the phone and called a press aide and he said, "Have you got that
release on Dodson's appointment to the Board of Regents ready?"
You know, it was, it was as low key as youould possibly ...
K: This would have been in September of '69, right?
D: Yeah, and I'm sitting there, you know. And I say, "gee," and
you know, he says, okay, and he hung it up and he turned around
and puffed on a pipe or something. And I don't even know what I said,
but what he had done because John had bucked him, he made,
he announced it early as a sort of a slap at FL'. I saw it and
it worked. You know so he comes out in the papers. Actually John
Pace and I are old ... he's, he'a generation before me. We were
friends and so forth. And I went down to the last meeting in
December with him and he broke me in and he was very cordial and
courteous and so forth, but, but on a turnpike appointment once
before ...he said... we, we worked, we finally worked it out,
he and I. He wanted to appoint Roger Doyle, who was a member
of an old Pensacola banking family, to the Florida Turnpike
Authority .. And Roger checked with his boss, A4 Reese at
the bank and his boss said "no." So I told Kirk, I said, /
Reese won't let him take it. He said, the hell with /rtf Reese,
I'll appoint him anyway. He said, when they see it in the paper,
then, then, he's ... Kirk didn't explain this but what his
thinking, his thinking was: what's he going to do? Call the
paper and say I'm not going to let my employee, who is my nephew,
take the appointment? Kirk knew how to handle power in that case.
And he appointed Roger. I4Pt Reese read about it in the damn
paper and Roger served on the turnpike authority and did a pretty
good job. I could tell many stories ... of gutsy things like
that he did. He didn't need Bill Safire to project a gutsy
image. He had a ... a true, sincere gutsy personality. And
alot of it was attuned to the young generation. Young people--
not the old establishment. Kirk was essentially anti-establish-
ment. That ... 'cause I'm telling you things that you know ..
UF PERS 33B
... that never was projected in any public image.
K: I read two things about Governor Kirk before I came over here
that impressed me philosophically instead of imagewise, per-
haps is the best way to put it. First is when he came into office in -66
he was at least unencumbered by so many different ties. He
had an opportunity to do so many things because he was not ...
D: No promises.
K: No promises made and, and everything that he could start clean
with. And the second one and you can relate both together if you
like individually. The second
one that amazed me was the statement was made thatlGovernor was
an idea man; that he gave off ideas in an ~iti~ma sense "almost
like a pinwheel," was the expression.
D: That's very true. He didn't really, he didn't really want the
support of people who routinely supported government. And I, I
named some people to him I thought we could get. He says, 'Let
K: Like who for example.
D: Well, I'd rather not.
D: I'd rather not name tem but, but he said, you know, "hell, I don't
want 'em." And Z said, they've got power, they've got, you know,
but I, you know, he says, they'll want some-
thing, and I don't want to get them. You know I don't want ...
alot of time he didn't explain
the why, but he gave you enough hints that anybody with enough
brains could figure it out. And when he got in, it was the same
UF PERS 33B
way on appointments, He didn't allow to appoint the guy who
always got the appointment. I've gotten redundant but it was a
healthy ... e was he was.really anti-establishment. This
was as fresh, you know, as the gulf wind in Tallahassee because
... and actually there was even in patronage, YI like in buying,
you know they've reformed alot of this stuff now but there
was a, there was a joke and I don't, you know. We had, you
htink we had no experience in state government. Now here we
got a governor, and 1, I say we, there was nobody. Hell, they
didn't ... I don't know if he knew how to'veto a bill; I mean
anything. He got Tom Ferguson in from the Secretary of STates
office and finally, you know, some young aides, and you know,
set up an administration. But when they first moved in, they
didn't know what kind of cooperation they would get from these cabinet
officers or v-a./^ And it was a, it was a strange thing.
All he got ... he got a p big popular vote and anyway he waded
in. And right away he made a decision to go for the vice-presidency
even before he got inaugurated. I know that for a fact. And ...
I know it from innuendo and so forth and 'course that was the thing
that wrecked him. At the same time it was very possible--look what
happened to Spiro Agnew. So g you've got to give him credit for
recognizing the fact that he figured the Floridians have got it.
As a matter of fact he still, he told me that he was still... he
was on a list even when Agnew got it of five, five governors. And
as a matter of fact allegedly when Kirk married Erika ... at the
... at the reception, Kirk had a father-in-law- from his divorced
wife who lived in Panama City, you know, old timer, who I used to
know. And every now and then I'd feed him something
UF pers 33B 71 V 4 / ?U 5 7 -
87 1f 6. And Kirk would call him.
He'd call him from the Mansion in the morning and he'd say, gee,
I forgot his name, but he'd say how're things going? You know
he just kinda looked after the old man. He was a wonderful type.
The old man had gone around and ... well, I talked to the Gover-
nor, the Governor said this ... Kirk didn't give a damn. Once
I told the Governor I said, you know I'm not going to go fly out
your name. He said,"go ahead, I IYA don't care. You know. You're
a good friend; I don't mind your throwing my name if
you want to." But what was I saying?
K: You were ready to say something Kirk's father-in-law allegedly said,
D: Oh. He said that, the old man told me that Nixon turned around
in the reception line, can't believe he was A in the reception
1 line, 'course I guess 4 he was, he wasn't, he was just an ex-Vice
President then, and said something to the effect that, "I'm going
to put that boy on the ticket with me" when he ran in '68. And I
don't know if the old man doctored up the talk or whether he A said
"wouldn't he make a good ..." you know he could said all kinds of
things; "wouldn't he have ...", "wouldn't he make a good guy on the
ticket?" The old man told me, it was "Uncle Cleve," by the way, that's
what they call him, told me that he said, "I'm going to put him on
the ticket." And he told, 'course he told Claude that. And Claude
had ... Claude Kirk had alot of reasons to believe that he would
get on the ticket. So he immediately had this in mind when he
started his administration, and I'm sorry to say, that, you know,
he, he hired Saffire I don't know when it was but, you know he
started doing some things that got him more in trouble than got him
UF PERS 33B
on the ticket. It would have been my theory, and believe me I'm
not second guessing, all he had to do was be a good governor. And
he'd a gotten the damn thing. 'Cause Florida was indeed a border
state, ... and but he didn't do it. He got into confrontation-
type politics. He got into ... confront Rap Brown and... He
did, he did, some of those tricks were pretty cute. I'd like to
comment on the orange juice stand. OK. What happened--- down
around Sanford, wasn't it?
K: Umm, huh.
D: A kid opens up a lemonade stand or an orange juice stand on
the street;l and some Board of Health guy closes him down because
he doesn't have a men's and women's toilet.
K: 0C,4~El C9
D: Yeah, OK, right, right. And Kirk hears about it and hits th
ceiling. He say, you know, has, has free enterprise in this coun-
try gotten to the point where a kid can't open up a lemonade stand
without all this bureaucratic crap? So he goes down and says, you
know, I think, I think the state Health Department was pretty
much either under the cabinet or under the governor, one anyway.
And he goes down and reopens the stand with a ceremony and the
press did alot of ... 4 and so forth about...
D: But even, even with the circu4like on the thing, I guess
you might say, ,the fact is that it was a hell of a good example of a,
of a good-way of making an example of a, ofia pretty sad situation.
You know. And it was true that, that it had happened to pri-
vate enterprise. It was symbolic of what had happened to
US EgS 33B
private enterprise in this country. So it wasn't all that silly.
He made a comment at a Cabinet meeting once. "We ought to build
a wall at the Georgia line because/all the damn people
coming in." Oh, they jumped on that. You know. What an absurd,
ridiculous comment. Well, here in 1973 it's not so absurd and it's
not so ridiculous. If anybody could devise a way of stopping
immigration to Florida I think they'd do it. But he would ... he
would consistently make these crass comments ...
K: Was it a matter of his being misinterpreted or was it the way he
said it or was the press out to get him or was it a combination of
D: I think it was a combination of all three. And I think that ...
first place, alot of times he'd say these things in a ... he had
almost a slurring sort of way. He wouldn't ever say them in a
very coherent h#J manner. He'd say them almost casually. And then
second, I think they were more sophisticated than the press re-
ported. They were used to listening to a bunch of "pork chop
politicians" frankly. And thirdly, I think they were out to get
him. And I think the combination of the things ... you know, I
mean there's no doubt about it that $ Reubin Askew has had the biggest
honeymoon press in the history of the state's history. He's even
two of them on his staff and/they will not criticize him no matter
what. Let me give you an example. Kirk, Kirk was criticized for
the party aying for his airplane. Now, you know, looking back
this is about as absurd as the, as the Farris Bryant lunchroom
junket. Reibin let's the state buy him a $600,000 plane. And he's
not criticized. You know it's a double standard. And the press,
when I say the press, I don't mean, you know, we're talking about
UF PERS 33B
St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald and you know, and certain
other newspapers who, who like to dominate state government.
The Tampa Tribune, if their, in Democratic times, if their
governor didn't win, they would ride the guy who did win for
four years. And that was the way the Trib worked. So naturally
when a Republican got in that wasn't their guy, so you know, ... they
rode Haydon Burns. They'll ride, you know, what the hell. Some-
times ridin' Claude Kirk was easy. And they rode him. It's, it's
right back to who's going to rule which is a basic question in
American politics. Who's going to rule? And you can clothe it
with alot of philosophy and alot of issues, some of them, some of
them truthful, some of them phony or what. But that, you know,
that's always the basic question: who's going to call the shots?
And when, and when the ones who are used to calling the shots
ain't calling anymore, they raise hell. And as I told you before,
I think that's a great part of the Watergate thing, not totally,
but a great part of it.
K: Let me ... I really didn't want to talk about controversial things
before I talked about his contributions, but while we're on the
subject of the things that made Governor Kirk controversial,what
about the 1969 audit? And the spending irregularities ... the
honeymoon trips ...?
D: Well, ...
K: The Governor's Club, these kinds of things. Things that came out at
least and again 4X/a.S I'm distorting it.
D: The first thing he got in trouble with was that Wackenhaut thing.
D: No, that's a good one. But ... he said that state ... if the
UF PERS 33B
legislature hasn't appropriated, I think this was a thesis he
had, enough money to root out organized crime in Florida, then, we'll
raise the money publicly)y and get the Mafia and so forth out. And
you know, it had, it was a dramatic thought, but the only thing
about it, it led to all kind of problems about if you're investi-
gating somebody for political purposes.
K: Did you have any input into the formulation of that policy?
D: No no, I did not. He announced it at the inauguration. I had a
seat ..I was next to Claude PeppEr. But he broke it and I don't think
many people knew about it. I think Wackenhaut was a friend
of his. Well, and that would involve all kind of problems and ,
and I really think that some political inexperience was behind
that. I, I think, I think if he'd thought it out, he would have
realized that the I press would've finally got him on this one.
There was no way to run that thing in a pure manner. And then he
was sorta running up a debt with Wackenhaut. This meant that you
had to form a Governor's Club and so forth to raise money. Now,
every governor of florida has had to have private financing after
the election. In recent time, at least certainly in the forties,
fifties and sixties. Because there, there are many things that are
simply not provided for in the gub natorial ... governor's
office budget and so forth.
D: No. Travel is a good ... good one up to this time. Sure, you
could travel on a commercial airplane. But hell, it's still hard ...
and time becomes a premium. And a jet was absolutely the answer.
Kirk had the answer. And he was thinking forward and that's
most governor's fly in now anyway. I bet that's why Reubin flies
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in one now. If it's not a jet it's some--, a turbo or something
like that. So he said, you know, I can go to Miami in an hour in-
stead of a five-hour milk run.
D: So that's one thing. Second, you just need money to do things
politically. How are you going to set up, how are you going to
set up any kind of basic organization to make a bid for the
vice-presential's bid without raising money?
K: Maybe this was partCef /. / ?
D: Yeah, let me Aive youn example. u, you do things that are
honest, but which require money. Like, a friend in a fellow state
who is running for Congress. And you've got a good man, "in the
family", so to speak, that you could run him. I mean a guy who
who could run the campaign for him. So he could get some assistance.
OK. You say, OK, and I know this, this happened. We sent a guy
to Mississippi. And he was a close friend of mine. To help someone
run for Congress on the Republican ticket. Alright, you send him
over. You got to finance it. So he goes over there and stays two
months. You got to pay him. You know, we're, we're talking about
something that's going to cost with expenses and all three or four
thousand dollars. There are all kind of things that, that are
legal and are perfectly natural, that require money. And you can't
take it out of the governor's office budget. That would, that
would be wrong. So there's always a need for money. Askew's had
to raise money. Haydon Burns was constantly raising money. As
was Farris Bryant. Well, obviously, this cant lead to some, some ...
Obviously any given governor can say, hell, we'll have a cause-4to
raise money. And I'm sure that's been done. A guy's in office,
puts out the word through his campaign organization that they
UF PERS 33B
have a need for money and he's going to be in for three or four
years. It's pretty hard to say, oh, hell, no, we gave our money
during the campaign. I don't, I don't know the remedy for this
type of thing. I don't know the remedy for any disease it may
K: Within the party itself Governor Kirk, certainly in office was
from all that I've read, flamboyant in certain ... >1 V
perhaps, financially extravagant in some ways.
D: Yeah, of yeah.
K: There's some suggestion that the Republican Party got somewhat
tired of it in the end and ...
D: Oh, yea. Oh, yeah. They did.
K: What about this kind of thing?
D: Well, he did like to go-LpLA first class. He ... he was a
complex man and that was ... thrift, personal thrift, wasn't one
of his virtues. And it got him in trouble. He loved to go some-
where ... I was told out in California he was somewhere, he ordered
champagne for all the tables, ... and he liked to do that type
K: Did he ever get any advice or input from the people in the party?
Did you, for tance, caution the governor at any time that this
was not politically sensible, if nothing else?
D: I never had occasion ... you know, I was involved with him on a
... it wasn't ... in the first two years, first three, "first
two years got my Regents appointment particularly. It was a
hit amd miss type of thing. I mean I did things like I went
out to Dallas once. I was advance I was advance man for him.
FLA PERS 33 B
Before I got on the Board of Regents, I, I think it was the Board
of Regents, I was advance man ... it wasn t, it was Houston.
Everfett Dirksen was supposed to be the main speaker at a ban-
quet in honor of John Tower, Senator Tower. And Senator Dirk-
sen got sick, and so Kirk .. I think Dirksen recommended that
Kirk be the substitute. And they erased ... Tower had a $75,000
deficit from his campaign, I understood. And so I got a call out
of the blue, said, you know, the governor would like for you to
advance his trip to Houston. And I thought, you know ... I was in
my thirties then, a little younger than now and said, well, what
the hec'll go out to Houston. So I went out there and hobnobbed
with the wealthy Texan Republicans for two or three days. I
called on all the local newspapers and gave them a little infor-
mation and figures. Everything was very pleasant. e ad'a big
blowout at the Shamrock Hotel. The only nistake is they let ...
Dirksen called down there by telephone; they i couldn't get the
old man off the phone. So he talked to the banquet for fifteen ,
twenty minutes! You know. Then Kirk came on, but he did well.
And, and he brought Erika out there and he brought Bill Murphy out
there who was the party chairman. And I asked Bill at the time,
I said, you know, what's the game plan? What's going on? And
Murpbf\ said something to me like he didn't know. And that told
me for the first time that there was something that wasn't right
between Kirk and Bill Murphj, who was the state chairman. Murphin
had a rather stronkopinion of the state chairman's position and
power. And Kirk had a pretty strong opinion of the governor's
FLA PERS 33B 19
power. So it was quite natural that they fell out. I think
.eT P 7,L He flew a jet out : there by the
way. didn't come back with him because they flew straight to
Miami, I think but if you want to go to Miami,
come on, you know. But I stayed out there, I -
I think Anne Armstrong, who's now Counsel to the President, was
there. Quite alot of Texans. I remember John Tower was there.
It was a very interesting trip. But everywhere he went he wanted
to go first class. I don't know whether he ... I think he's still
kinda like that. But bein' governor ... You see, that's you
know de Tockueville in 1835 pointed out that Americans resent
their leaders going first class, to use a term. And it's a
problem in foreign countries even today that you have somebody
in an embassy or something and he's around in an old Army car
or something like that, not having a chauffer. So the europeans
think he's nobody. But we, we are that way about our leaders
and I, I think that ...
D: Yeah, yeah, that has ...
D: And I think that had something to do with the press getting on him.
Certainly he lived more flamboyantly than any other governor and but
you know, in a sense, in, in defense of Kirk he thought the
position deserved to go first class and he enjoyed doing it. And
he just overdid it. But I think it's a flaw in his ... it becomes
somewhat of a flaw in his character in : not recognizing that
he is overdoing it.
FLA PERS 33B
K: Let me pursue the point you raised about Bill Murphin's com-
ment to you in Dallas, ...
K: I mean Houston. And it's something other to ... besides the money
issue. One man had a strong feeling for the-state Republican
chairmanship and Govennor Kirk had a strong feeling about being
head of the party he was governor of. Can you elaborate? That,
that aspect of what took place.
D: well, I never was ... I never was a Bill Murphin fan, frankly.
Murphin was in the drug business, you know, druggist, retail druggist.
And he ... had gotten to be elected state executive chairman and
... and he wasn't warm person, particularly, and I ... he was a
great improvement over Tom Brown, I guess he was I that he beat,
but uh, I still didn't ... I just never thought he was that good
a fellow and he just, he just didn't win me over. So I, I was ...
I always sorta leaned toward Kirk whenever a breach developed and
I think Murphin got tired of some of the spending; I think he got
tired of having to defend Kirk on some things he did. And of
course, the Rockefeller thing, I, I can't remember now when the
break was, but certainly the Rockefeller thing was ... he did ...
I understand, oh, lord, who was the ... the guy that got Kirk
in the Rockefller thing was that state road chairmanwho, whom
the Senate wouldn't confirm. What was his name? Well, at any
rate he was, he was from the General I c) company out of
Dayton, Ohio, or somewhere. Anway, Mike O'Neal, Mike O'Neal
FLA PERS 33B
was a friend of Rockefeller's. And I'm told that o'Neal was
the guy who got Kirk into that razzmatazz and .... You see,
Agnew came out for Rockefeller too.
K: Yes, indeed.
D: You know everybody forgets that. I think Kirk's reasoning was
and that, they called me, the local paper,and they were jumping
up and down some ... you know, down there. They were really, you
know, this un--) expected move and so forth, and I said, well, that
it would be quite natural if Rockefeller's not going to be the
candidate, that he pick, that Nixon pick one of his supporters to
unite the party. That's exactly what he did. And I made that
comment to the local paper when it happened. Some of the other
Republicans, we had one committee member who, you know, ; knocked
Kirk because of it, but I thought he had something in mind. I
think, I think. I'm not sure whether the thesis- I just gave
you was Kirk's thinking or the fact that by that time he .had
pretty well realized he was out of the Nixon campaign-- wasn't
going to get it. And therefore the Rockefeller endorsement was
a last straw thing encouraged by Mike O'Neal. Of course, any-
thing can happen at a convention and Rockefeller was certainly
in the running to some extent. Well, anyway, it ... that move
did more to kill Kirk in Florida politics than anything.
K: What about the 1970 campaign? First primary against Jack
Eckard and .... Foregone conclusion that ... he was in trouble.
D: By that time, by that time I was direction of administration, I
had gone off the Board of Regents. I got a call ... for the
FLA PERS 33-B
record, I want to tell you about. I got a call one Sunday about
noon from the governor's mansion. And Senator Gurney, Lt. Gov.
Osborne, state chairman gi4 C(' ^ and Claude Kirk were
all there on a conference phone and ... I forgot who asked me,
I talked with several of them, to get off the Board of Regents
and take this very sensitive job in a part of the administration
and, and I took it for several reasons, mixed emotions on it.
One, I felt that you couldn't accept the prestigious jobs and
then when, like the Board of Regents, and when they call you for
one that's really tough and the/really need somebody and ... really
hard to find somebody to fit the bill, and he could say, "oh, no,
I'll take the prestigious job and you get somebody else to take the
tough one." That jA was one thing. Second I guess I was a little
bit flattered that they all ganged up on me. And third, I thought
I had, I thought I had a chance to be on the ticket with him as
lieutenant governor. And I told him that. I said, I think you will
understand that I've got, you know, a shot at it, and I said OK.
Whether I ever did or not you know it never worked out because
Osborne ... Ray Osborne attempt to run for the Senate.
was ... was kinda blanked out. He couldn't raise the money so
he was pulled back on the ticket. But I thought that f if I ,that
I, you know, had a good background with the Board of Regents
and then an appointment in the administration / would ...that
would strengthen my credentials and so forth. And then again
there was a chance to come down to Tallahassee the last year and
FLA PERS 33B
get in the thick of it, you know, be a good fight. And I was
a little ... I had already begun to start tiring of the adver-
tising business by that time, so I took it, you know. Here again,
mixed ... mixed motivation. And I'm glad I took it. I enjoyed
the devil out of it when I went dowilthere. DO you want to talk
K: Sure. Fine.
D: I went down there. He had put a ..I relieved Jack Cash. Jack
stayed around for about two or three days and I, I told him
q There was no ...
there was no directive, no trans--, director of director of trans--,
I mean there was no head guy. Mike O'Neal had not been replaced
and Kirk had picked Ed Miller, pronounced, or spelled M-u-e-l-l-e-r-,
and he had, he was still in Washington. He was still with the
National Academy of Science. And so for a little while/I was
the head guy. I was really always the head guy in a sense because
the governor's ... what do you call it, political appointee, while
Mueller was really an engineer and he needed a good front man. Al-
though Mueller was the real thing. We had a tremendous association
because I covered the so-called political angle and work; and
th&s relieved him of having to worry about it.
K: This, while we're on the subject,of the Department of Transporta-
tion and your role in it, of course I guess it's common know-
ledge that one of the problems in any/government is the moneyin
contracts and so on and so forth; what about the political reputation?
FLA PERS 33B /
What, what did you manage to ---?
D: Well, first thing, well, uh, they spend an awful lot of money.
They spend millions. And I had about ten departments under me.
I had _j_ L- /____ acquision, I had the Florida Turnpike,
I had the Ahb/c)/ ,, the press, I had... name all ten of 'em,
I can't think. I had, I didn't have the engineering one, but I
had, I had an awful lot of, I had/the purchasing department
was under me. I had a awful lot of repsonsibility. The computer
was under me, and the road operation and construction were you
know essentially under the chairman. But ... it was the number
two slot and an official, being / governor's appointee, alot of
people thought it was the number one slot. I didn't ever have
any illusions that it was, but I had people tell me it was, you
know. But I, I was I tried to operate you know, as a strong
office and did. And immediately I started talking to the press
and I didn't even check with the governor or not. We had that ...
he knew I wasn't going to take it and have to have some flunky
over in the governor's office approve personally. I immediately
started taking phone calls, I had guys come up to the office,
I had investigative types come up, and I'd say what do you want
Now go get it. And I met I all the boys at AP and UPI and we
got, we started getting better press. We're still
Co U~v L f around there but you
can write stories about road building within ho j
FLA PERS 33B
First place all contracts are by bid. You let them out. Now
engineering consultant contracts are negotiated, because the
engineers don't ... the professional association doesn't want
to be by bid. And it's like bidding for medical service or
something like that. Now that's where the governor can give
the business to his friend. And in every state this is true.
Now you could say well, that get's abusing. Well, what if I
told you that one Florida governor set up his own engineering
firm and gave the business to that firm. That's how bad it can
get. And it wasn't elaude Kirk. It was a Democratic governor.
And I found out about that. And I thought it was terrible. YOu
know, that's ...
K: Are you going to tell me who it was?
D: No ...
K: Going to make me look for it...
D: I'll let you look for it but I ... it wasn't too many years be-
fore Kirk, I'll put it that way. And he simply took somebody
out of the Department of Transportation as I remember it and got,
you know, built his staff andgave them a heck of a lot of business.
END SIDE 1.
D: ....I'm sure they made campaign contributions in 170:, although
I had ... I never had any dealings, political dealings, with
party or a campaign organization or anything like that. The only
FLA PERS 33B
thing that I did was supply him with information about road
building. And we even had at one time gg . e .,
Sj~, "rL~t~e e ,' with the governor when he would
go into areas and they would ask him about roads. I didn't,
I didn't play a big part in the campaign in 1970. And it was
a foul-up campaign. In the first place they got a guy named
Bob Lee who had happened to come down from Colorado in
the '66 campaign. Robert E. Lee, I think he was named. And
all of a sudden after the campaign the press was looking for
some kind of miracle man and they tapped Lee as the f genius
behind the Kirk victory. Lee didn't have a damn thing to do
with it. And he's, he got involved in that Ciebe/I case
though when they fV (.4ALL But he came up with
such bright ideas as putting (fC Uj e 's picture on
bottle caps and so on. And I think he was totally incompetent
and I'm not hesitating to put it on the tape. And one(i of
the reasons that we lost in 1970, was it '70(?), 1970 campaign.
He was not a political genius. He got involved down there
with the Queen Elizabeth or Queen *ary down in Lauderdale
and embarrassed the governor. But we had a meeting in Or-
lando, the only campaign meeting that we went to. Gurney was
there; Duke C' S who succeeded Bill Murfin, the state
chairman in office, nice quy, whose mother was a Dodson. And
all the ... Skip BAfalis was there. This was i I guess after
they'd ... well, I never have understood Bufalis. He, he
caused Kirk alot of headaches. Then they healed it...you know,
was like it was at the Green Corn Dance and started over agin, you know.
It took me a long time; I couldn't, I couldn't be that friendly,
I'm just that way. I think Bufalis ...
K: L Z 2 A .
D: Yeah, I think Bufalis helped beat
Kirk. But there he was in that damn room there and/back together.
The hell with it. Well, I'm a friend of Skip's now but still
I'm, maybe I'm ... I don't know. But anyway Jack Eckerd was
not there. Anyway I told them that they ought to hit Askew
on .. you know for being an advocate of y_/4, socialism,
n/r/, a economic policy. I don't think anybody in the
amn room knew what I was talking about.
And ... otherwords call him a ,~i,u socialist. You know,
which was taking the liberal thing a little further and there
was some evidence that Reubin .'' followed these views. You know,
I obviously they were really cramped into finding something.
We found the pronography thing, but ... Reubin had a law partner
who'd been defending pornography cases. You know we're not
going to get to Askew but Askew's law firm could be his Achilles
heel even at this point. They were a bunch of swingers
But you know everybody in town knows that they
like to gamble, like to have a good time and one ,
FLA PERS 33B
You know it's not the kind of image .....
K: 1ir21^7W74 f' U^ -____
D: Yeah, the type, kind of Presbyterian elder image that they were
able to project. There's never yet been a real good in-
vestigative reporter on Reubin Askew's background. I can say
that right now. I think you know they found out who Claude
Kirk's first girlfriend was and everything else. But it's a
double standard and I'm telling you it's true. That's the
way the facts are, you know. You never hear about who Reubin's
father was. Or the fact that he had a brother ig who was a
bartender at the San Carlos Hotel. You just never heard of
these things. They are unspeakables that are unspoken. Well,
at any rate the campaign was sad. Kirk got crossed, according
to him, which was typical. Haydon Burns got ... I know Haydon
Burns got so cross
but I had a client who was close to him and I got on the phone
with him just a little bit. But you could he'd
use his own people. We had one staff meeting, Kirk said, you
know, you guys gotta make up your mind wether you're going to
stay here or J4 all are going to go home. Throw in the towel,
you know. I want people to start work. .And I understood ...
governor, we're all working. I said, we're not your problem.
You're your problem. You come out for Rockefeller. made an
ass out of A yourself down at the convention and got written
up on it. You know. And now you're having to reap your, your
FLA PERS 33B
harvest. Hell, I cant help it. You know I've done ... just what
I ... you know I never told him. I told him after ... I told him
last November I told him that it was-: .- -. --We talked for
thirty minutes. He called *~^ elections and he had,
he had a commentary spot on a, on a big Miami television station.
He was going to comment on the west Florida ret--, uh, the Florida
returns ;as- they came in. He called up here and I gave him a
rundown on west Florida and we got to / You know, I told
him ______ in a couple of years, and
he takes it!V You know ... nothing he could do about it./ You
know you don't have to be ... you don't have to work at being
flamboyant, you ARE flamboyant.
K: Would he still have a chance to get back into
D: Oh, yeah, yeah. He stood a better chance
He got ... he got that split in the party. Here w ad a tre-
mendous split in the party with Bill Cramer and ...
K: I do want to talk about that
D: All that, all that ... happened to contribute to his political
defeat. However, you know, a social, scientist at Florida
State University said the damn vote was strictly according to
party lines. He says, and the figures show that. I don't
know. I feel there were alot of Republicans who i gave
FLA PERS 33B
him feinthearted support. ... Everybgovernor has alot of
enemies. Every governor ... everybody who doesn't get an
appointment or get, or doesn't get the appointment they
think, everybody who doesn't end up eating at the
governor's mansion or and, you know, who, from the day you
start, you take office to the day, you know, you don't do any-
thing but make enemies.
D: You're the campaign, you're the then all of a sudden
you're forgotten about. That's all. And it'a an impossible
situation. ... Sure. Most, most .. the conduct of the governor's
office is, is about you know, eighty percent consistent no
matter who's governor. Askew has jealous aides. Askew has
trouble getting good men around him. Askew has financial prob-
lems. It's true for every part of the government. Now the
press can blow` it up. You know, and make it seem worse. But
generally it's the same basic problem--- the trouble with the
cabinet. Kirk said we ought not to meet ... let me give
you another example. ... ought not to meet but once every two
weeks. And they wouldn't do it. So they met without him. And
Askew, Askew's come out, we don't need but two cabinet meetings
a month. It's OK if he says it. Right back to the double
standard. And Askew had trouble with the cabinet because there
was a jealousy factor. Hell, they ... they want to 'r all be
governor. And Kirk had this same trouble. Kirk though just
FLA PERS 33B 30
bucked them directly. Askew is a little more diplomatic about
K: In terms of Governor Kirk's feelingabout the cabinet
the conduct of government, I guess really the one thing we
haven't talked about that we should in reference to Governor
Kirk and that is what actually P ..
D: Come in.
D: In reference to the conduct of government what about that which
may be in terms of the Kirk Administration perhaps his greatest
benefit in terms of contributions to Florida / : the whole
issues of reapportionment, .9/ d1 consolidation
-/~f~~f / ~ constitutional revision. All of
these things wer happening during this administration.
D: That's right. All the basic things happened and, you know,
& people still think about his coming out for Rockefeller.
We had a new constitution, it passed. He supported it in general.
We had reapportionment. He called the legislation together to
reapportion. Before the courts did. He called for a better
state law enforcement agency which we eventually g .
K: Bureau of Law Enforcement.
D: Bureau of Law Enforcement. He did some other basic thing which
I taught were great. He took the unions out of government.
The unions, when he came in, were docking their dues through
the state payroll, which is the greatest way in the world for
them to get set up. He stopped it. As soon as Askew got
FLA PERS 33B 31
elected he put it back in. This is very important. Now you
take the Department of Transportation. At one time they had,
I don't know, a thousand or fifteen hundred people were members
of unions. If their union dues are docked through their pay
check the union can operate efficiently, but when it's cut off,
and unions have to collect those dues man to man, they can't
collect them and the union doesn't ... you know, defunct. As
unions and state governments progress and become strong, then
this overflows into the local government, such as your firemenL
and policemen. And you get into a situation where the unions
have a grip on, on government and can call police and fire
and every kind of strike. And you know I, ... in my opinion
in my considered opinion you're, I think you're approaching
anar--, anarchy. And here again we never got any credit for
that type of thing. It was never explained ... I haven't explained
it to a single living human who doesn't agree. Even, even
working types. *Est-Lf west Florida anyway. You know, they
don't think that unions ought to be able to have policemen and
firemen strike. Askew appointed a boy named Skipper who
is known as a ; who was on Kirk's list, you know, of
people he would not appoint under any circumstances. Askew
appointed him this Skipper boy from Pensacola to a position on
E .cX Fighters
the State Cri4ke / Board or whatever it is, the first six
months he was /office. So this was the difference in a, in the
type administration. But this was the type of thing that we
FLA PERS 33B
never got credit for, you know. It was always the flambouyancy
rather than the day to day gutsy,_ solid, what I think is
solid work and things done
K: Whfat else would you include in that?
D: Well, we ,/t: more ... on the road building thing, we really we
really got going. And that last year and I had a part in that.
But we got the interstates going. We got ... when Claude Kirk
... even I think after the first, even to this point now, he
built, he built more miles j of Interstate 10, for instance
in west Florida than any other governor preceding him, including
Collins, Bryant and Burns. And we brought in a consultant on
a right of way acquisition--for instance down on I, 1-95, be-
cause you can't have a $7000 a year man talking to a millionaire
about -profit And when we brought in some people who could,
who could put little patches together and make a mile
SInstead of/getting to this mile or
this mile or this mile and I notice that they're still under
retention by the Askew administration. Well, you know. When
we first brought in that right of way consultant the Tampa
Tribune tried to make an ugly thing out of it. And I brought
the reporter up. Said, OK, let's talk about it. I explained
the 1-95 problem. It was an urban right of way acquisition
problem. You had to go through condominiums. It was terrible.
What we really need is a law. And you
five, ten years ahead of time and you restrict building in that
FLA PERS 33B
law. This California _they have a law. We had a
law. I lobbied, I was the j 's man in the legislature and I
attended every House and Senate transportation meeting for
that session in 1970 and gained the confidence of the committee
... Verle Pope was chairman of the senate committee and he,
you know, he thought I was weak when I first came in.
But he called me one day for something, for a little old/favor
and I did it. And after that he thought I was crazy and we had
a very warm association. He also was second cousin of Doyle
Carlton. But we ran, we ran a damn good Road Department. We
went to Washington; we saw Volpe, secretary ... I made a
trip to Washington with Kirk and we called on various cabinet
members. We went to the Pentagon and saw Laird. We went to
the Department of the Interior and saw, who was the guy that/ ?
No, the one that got ...?
K: Governor Hickel
D: Who was it?
D: Yeah, of Alaska. We also say Mitchell. He didn't ... he didn't ...
And we saw Laird at the Pentagon, regarding the/airport, you know,
the Everglades. And we saw Volpe about getting interstate
funds. And we got, you know, they always accuse him of losing
nineteen million dollars. And we got that back. Amazingly so.-
Working with Nixon's administration just because a Republican
administration's / in office doesn't mean that we could have
FLA PERS 33B
a phone to phone basis on highway funds and things like that. You
still operated pretty much, you know, through your regular ...
K: Federal-state channels.
D: Federal-state channels, yeah. And uh, I don't, I don't really
think that the administrative changes in Washington or in the
state make a great deal of difference I think alot of the
federal government has gotten A organized such that, just
politics. I think they could ... they could do you some favors
but I don't think this particularly got any.
K: What about Operation Concern?
D: That was the ... that was gone .-. they didn't A want it in
Gainesville. I think 1 that was a good program. Let's see.
Was that the operation where he went around to different cities?
That was a fascinating thing and I, I attended several of
those. One in Pensacola, I went down to one in Miami. I r~
tj4 i'/iteL/tL 4 The governor would, would listen
to the people and it was a fantastic thing. Anybody in the
community could come and they could take their time to talk
to the governor. An open forum. And it worked very well. I
attended one in Jacksonville and I don't know, I can't, he
just liked to hav some people with him. I, I think I attended
where, where the roads would come, or even, even maybe
higher education sometimes. I did, I did one in Pensacola, one
in Jacksonville and one in Miami. And they were all real good.
And, here again, I, you know, I don't want to sound paranoid
FLA PERS 33B
about it, but I don't think the press ever took them seriously.
D: But it was a tremendous thing. You know, Rockefeller's been
doing it. Sit up there and answer the questions of the people
and they get tough. We had one in Miami where we had this,
this gal who was a black militant who had only months before
she was ... she had emotional problems, that was her problem.
We'd get th&se types. It wasn't a racial problem, it was an
emotional problem. And she liked to be somebody and she be-
gan to realize that/she started talking loud at the meeting,
a public meeting, and startedraising hell and so forth. She'd
get in the paper and so forth. She had aIJ. some b tmId
down there that had killed, you know, ended up killing two
people about two months before and she came. &e
She, she she was ... absolved of if that's the/term,
She came to that meeting
< 1, > _i -)- and that was in Miami; we were in
a black area. I know we had a black, we had a black ... we
brought down a black highway patrolman.
K: I think he had black National Guardsmeng _C C t
D: Oh, did he? I didn't know. He had, we had several blacks
on the staff. Finding good blacks to work on the governor's staff
was a problem frankly. Finding good whites was a problem. It's
really a problem to get somebody to take a year or two or three
FLA PERS 33B
or four out of their life and serve on a staff. 'Cause every-
body else, it doesn't fit in with personal goals. You can get
some young buck lawyer or somebody like that, but hell, they don't
know anything. You really need somebody that's M got ten or
fifteen .years experience in business or government who really
has something ... we had some good aides. We had, we had,
I think we had Chuck erry, who's now president of Florida
Internati nal and who is doing a tremendous job. 4vO
y/i /____ Kirk picked up, you know, I think ... we had
Wade,/ 4 who he later appointed to the state Supreme
Court. AndWade 44i was a tremendous man. We had some
lesser aides that you wouldn't recognize. But J we had,
we had some guys that got into trouble. We had Tom Fergeson
who, who was a wheeler-dealer and who, who complemented Kirk
in the wrong way. He 9 added to Kirk's vices. Rather than
subtract from them, you know. While 0 Fergeson and I got along
he, you know,
toward the end/I felt like he was a bad influence on the governor.
I think if we'd had/Ak4 and /1 and/B tJ
who was brought over the last year, if we'd had those types
around Kirk the whole four years I think ... and they could
have said, "no, you don't endorse Rockefeller;" "no, you don't
get in a battle with Bill Murphin;" "no, you don't get mixed
up in the Senate race;" then I think that ... 'course I, I
FLA PERS 33B
apologetically include myself, you know. I wish I had ...
K: ) ,WAt apology.
D: Yeah. I would like to have been ... I don't have ...I was
close enough to him but, but not always physically, you know,
what I mean?
D: I mean you know, he'd go out of town and you can't ...
K: Also C QA1fi/Q 4zl > Governor Kirk had a rather large ego.
D: Oh, yeah, he had a tremendous ego. He's still gotha.2 .4 tremen-
dous ego. Although he misses state government terribly. He
misses being governor. Nobody ever enjoyed the governor's
office like he did.
K: That's an interesting observation.
D: Nobody. Haydon Burns didn't. Farris Bryant. He enjoyed every
moment of it. He enjoyed the authority; he enjoyed the, the
... he enhoyed being governor.
K: That's very healthy.
D: I, I agree. I'll tell M you he, he's a complex man. Some
people said, you know, he wasn't quite URBLA But I, I
found his virtues were greater than his vices. And his wife
was no help to him. He married the gal he called "Madame
X" at that inaugural ball. Remember that he had / inaugural ball
and she was no help, she was a drag to him the i entire
time. All credit to her she didn't care a care a tinker's damn
FLA PERS 33B
about that little Tallahassee social circle who always sur-
rounded the mansion. And you know they had a mansion committee
and all this jazz and she couldn't care less. She was artistically
inclined. When she came into a room and the flowers were not
right she'd fix 'em and so forth. But she wasn't any help
to him as a governor, besides, you know just being a wife.
Politically she was, politically she was, she was not a, you
know, she started puttingon weight' The last couple of years
and she became ... she moved from being a mysterious German
girl from South america to a rather chubby German "frau", you
know. But she, she got rather demanding also on this and that.
She got used to going first class and you know ...
K: This added to the problems of the governor.
D: Yeah, ... no question, ... that added to his problems. He always
had to take care of her and I heard his staff commenting to
him about it'.
K: What about Lt. Governor Osborne? What was his relationship to
you and ... ?
D: Well, it was close. I recommended Osborne to Kirk. And I was ...
K: What wayour prior background?
D: Well, I had helped Osborne when he ran for state utilities
commission. He came over to Pensacola and I helped him get the
campaign organization going. I think we got Don Partington ,
a local attorney to be the manager I forget, I think
Partington had some relations J4 a____ So when the
slot became open, he seemed a good choice to me. He ran a good
FLA PERS 33B
statewide race, although he didn't win. He done well. He
was good looking. He's friendly. He's got a pretty good leg-
isative record. However I don't think that
SIt turned out that he
wasn't particularly aggressive. And we found out in the Senate
campaign that he couldn't raise large sums of money. And
he ran the Department of Commerce. I don't know a t great
deal about the operation. I would say that, I'm sorry to say
that he ... he didn't have the stature that I thought he had.
That's what ...his performance was one of things that gave me
71jAj to think that I could do better, well, I don't know
I ...he called me at the Deaprtment of Transportation two or
three times for some help towards some friends down in Tampa.
One time I, I simply bucked him. I don't know. I just don't
.... I don't think a lieutenant governor's been used pro-
K: ... recent yt
D: In recent times. And I think a lieutenant governor could. I
think the governor should bring him i and say, "I'm going to
make you the liason man for the Department of Transportation
and the Board of Regents and, you know, two or three things."
And say, "I'm going to spend my time running some of the other
things. I want you to report to me." And I think it could
work out. I think there are ten different ways it could work
out. But, but Osborne didn't seem to perform in my book,
FLA PERS 33B
And secondly, Tom Adams, you know, was dropped like a hot po-
tato on election night. And so we, you know, the office really
hasn't been given a chance. I think it ... I feel like it
could be a helpful office. 1- -- --
K: In reference to what ,4204 '-" constitutional
revision, of course, Governor Kirk had a great deal to do with
the success, I suppose you might say 7. 4 being
passed. It had one effect at least in the 1967 election in terms
of reapportionment. The whole, I'm really trying to
establish whether or not the Kirk administration felt that there
was this kind of movement; solid, advanced reform, cleaning
up state politics; you've referenced A yourself to redneck Demo-
crats and those kind of things. Were these very positive kinds
of achievements you # saw as part and parcel of a whole package
or werelthese things independent and individual acts?
D: No, I think they were the general feeling, a general feeling and
a general drive that there were alot of wrong things in state
government. A great deal of room for improvement. And that ...
there was, there was a we talked alot about olt-time Demo-
cratic hacks and political hangons. Now Haydon Burns had a
man, had two men, on the DOT, on the state Department of Trans-
portation payroll in-oa-eh Florida. One of them drew $10,000
and did absolutely nothing. And I could name him. He still
lives here in Pensacola. There was another one that ran around
FLA PERS 33B
with the Road Commissioner and he was just a flunky. I don't know
what he got paid. Well, Kirk fired those two guys the day he
got in. I mean, and I just don't know how much of that went
on. But a great deal of it must have. Oh, we had a few people
on the payroll that should have been let go. But we didn't have
'em, we didn't have 'em hanging onlike they were when we went in.
K: It sort of sounds as though there was a great deal of promise
D: Oh, it was.
K: It must have been tremendouly discouraging.
D: Oh, the promise, the promise, ...
K: ... '66.
D: The promise faded way before then though. The promise began
to fade toward the end of the second year. You know, after the
Rockehler thing, it was kinda patchy, at the convention they
were trying to patch the thing together.
K: j2Q zor2r-^--g ^ 4,'s c
,C _____ almost a watershed.
D: Oh, it was, it was. It really was. 'Cause I remember I was at
a local level at that time. And by that time they started
picking on the governor. Then he makes zl overt act to give
everybody a good reason to say oh, he's not a conservative after
all. Here he is doing this. And I, you know, guys on the
local level like me at that time I had to alibi out of the damn
thing. And such things as the constitution ...what-, whatever
FLA PERS 33B 42
he'd done. People just look at the big, sweeping,dramatic things.
Well, I think Nixons got the same problem now. You know, he
gets ... he's probably prevented a major war between China and
Russia which would/virtually destroy/the earth and they're, you
know, they're on something else. That's the way they are, though.
They ... Doyle Carlton had a tremendous record in the state
Senate and a tremendous personal alliance and so forth. He
told me, he said, "I thought people would educate themselves on
the candidates and see." And you know he said this in a very
unegotistical way. "... see who I was." But he said, they don't.
They don't do it. They read the headline and never the story.
They certainly never pass the first paragraph. It's a sad thing.
And television reporting doesn't help a damn bit.
K: What happened in 1970 in terms of, well, maybe we shouldn't
start there, maybe we should start with Senator Gurney be-
coming senator in 1968. What was your ...?
D: Well, he ran with that was/the Nixon campaign.
D: My role in that was I helped, I helped tga .the whole
west Florida campaign. I got him a west Florida coordinator
which was Bob Liggett, my brother-in-law. I got him a local
manager who was D. L. Middlebrooks, who later was appointed
Federal judge. And by the way Gurney has said that that was the
best appointment he ever had anything to do with. But the
Gurney campaign was a fairly easy campaign. He was very popular.
FLA PERS 33B
I remember we had trouble keeping people from working together.
Gurney always, we needed help 4 in some of these local races.
And he was somewhat the glamour candidate. I don't mean,that's
K: No, I think it's very, very, he projects a very 6t"ai
D: Yeah, he was. And I have known Gurney when he was a congressman.
And I would say that the way we set the Gurney campaign up in
west florida was, it was ideal; we had the right people. We
came out with, here again, I think, I think the year was
Democrat when we first took a position. I'm not sure. We
had good people. Let's see, _, had been mayor?
'68, I guess he was mayor then
K: But no problems?
D: No, No problems.
K: No controversial issues?
D: No. He had a good conservative voting record,/he was from
Orlando. He wasn't from Miami which is always a bad thing for
a candiddate up here. We had a tremendous ... you know, they
say now that Bob Graham is going to run for state Gommissioner
of Education. He's the ... he's the fifth candidate, I think
the fifth candidate out-:/Miami. You know this terrible dread of
Dade County is a real thing up here. And, if you knowfanything
about Dade County, Dade county's starting to go conservative.
I don't know if it's because of the Cubans or what, but two or
FLA PERS 33B
three Republicans almost got elected last time. I think the
Cubans had alot 4 to do with it.
K: I'd like to pursue that but I would like to wrap up Gurney
first in .68.
D: Well, the Gurney campaign was smooth, successful. We had no trouble
raising funds. I was quite active in it even though ... and
we gave him the backing of the Kirk organization in west Florida
and, you know, we had everything working for us. We did not
insert Kirk in the campaign, but everybody, all Republicans worked
for him. And oh, he had no Republican opposition, did he not?
K: Nice and smooth.
D: It was one of the sweetest things.
Well, what happened in 1970?
K: Cramer and the split in the Republican party.
D: Well, I was told, I'm told that they could not get Cramer to make
a decision. Now this is ... I got this from the Gurney camp.
You know, the Republican leaders.
K: Decisions as to what?
D: To run. They, OK, if you want to run, you know, run. We'll
support you. But Cramer vacillated. Now this is 9 just a
story. I mean this is what they told me. So finally they
got the idea, okay, 6C k / was a national figure. We'll
just put him in the race. And, and then if you'll remember, 4Sui
I think announced before Cramer, if I remember, or very
FLA PERS 33B
K: He had just lost the Senate, the Senate nomination for the Su-
D: Yeah, but I think that ...I think you'll find that Carswell
announced for U. S. Senate before Cramer did. don't know.
It's very close. Well, it doesn't make a great deal of
difference, but it sort of ... so anyway so I ( 4/// 24
that Kirk and Gurney were behind it. And they, I was talking 2 j
to somebody the other day that said, that you know, what they
should have done if Carswell was going to do it, was not
make some blatant announcement about it but build up alot of
press on the thing, that he's thinking about running.
K: What produced the split though in the sense of Republicans
suggesting to him ...?
D: Well, I think that, I think that Gurney found Cramer hard
to work with (j l~~rI v .
K: ,K .
D: Damn right. I don't, I'm not privy to all that but I think
that Gurney had some trouble, I think that perhaps Bill Cramer
resented, I just don't know. I know Bill Cramer. I had some
dealings with him in the Department of Transportation.
SBut by the way, I understand he's
doing very well practicing law in Washington. But anyway I
FLA PERS 33B
'II thought it was stupid. And I wasn't involved in it.
I was at Tallahassee at the time. I was, I was, I was at the
Mandion with Beth Johnson, Senator Beth Johnson. I took her
out to dinner. It was a crazy type thing. She introduced the
Bicentennial bill A ~/i r "- 7 The night that they
announced it, I didn't know it was coming. Let's see, I was
told by / who was a Kirk friend that something
was in the mill. And I know I was interested because it
effected whether or not there was going to be a lieutenant /C-oi
slot. So they you know, they j ssrs-ar back,
that, that killed that. And I, and I ... but obviously I was
disappointed for that reason. And ... here again I have no idea
really you know whether I had a chance at that thing or not. I just
don't know. But at any rate that, that killed it. And, and
Kirk was elated that he had sort of zapped Kramer on the thing
and I ...
K: Kirk had problems with Cramer, and later Gurney did too?
D: Yea, Kirk did too. And I guess Murphin too by that time.
So we had a deep split. Sort of Murphin--Cramer, and Gurney
K: But you were on the periphery of it and not ...
D: Well, I was with Kirk. But I didn't ... I didn't get involved
with anamosities which were ...
K: Do you have any idea the kind of ... any specific issues?
D: I didn't know Carswell at the time. Well, I had known
FLA PERS 33B
Carswell slightly excuse me.
K: Were there any specific issues that created this
D: No. No. I just don't know that. I think it was more on a
personal level and ... I just don't know.
K: What about on a local level? As far as local Republicans?
D: It got pretty ... it was mixed. Cramer had, you'd be surprised
but Cramer had some Democratic support around the state/,#
_'____t __My___. Cramer was on that House Trans-
portation committee and had done pretty well for Florida. And
he had some contractor support around the state. And of course,
he, you know, he was at the Goldwater convention in '64. He's
been knocking around. He had, he had some basic support es-
pecially with some of the older, old-time Republicans. Carswell
was somewhat of a folk hero, I guess you might call him. But
it just sort of split everybody up. I never was g ZZ .
It was sort of interesting though.
K: Has it hurt the party?
D: Oh, yes, it seill hurts the party. It still, you know, people
still think Bill Cramer might run again, maybe even governor
or something, Gurney's sort of tried to outlive it and done
fairly well, I think. Essentially there's no party split anymore
in I think the state Republican headquarters. The Cramer
faction pretty well put Tommy Thomas in but I think with the
agreement of Gurney. Bill Murphin who o in New
FLA PERS 33B
Orleans now. He's out of the picture. Kirk and Thomas though
had-a falling out. But Kirk's out, still out of the ... some-
what out of the picture. And so you know it's the ones that
call the shots are the 0 ones that are in. You've got Gurney
in. You've got Skip Befalis. You've got Bill Young. And who
else? ... one or two. And Lou Frey. And isn't there another
one down there in Lauderdale? I don't know. But the one ...
you know the j ones in power, now Cramer still has a f great deal
of influence in Florida.
K: Well, he was an early, an early, early successful J&AA,
D: Well, he's in Washington. He's sort of like Claude Pepper.
They say Claude Pepper's got as much influence as a U. S.
Senator even though hes in the House. He's got old cronies
and friends who were around and who entrenched themselves
since FDR. And he can do favors and pull strings and everything
K: As a Kirk supporter yourself, are you in or are you out as a
D: Oh, I'm ,in.
K: As far as,then as far as the factions of 1970 and,the splitting
hasn't affected you?
D: Not by design or avoidance or anything I'm in. And I'm, I'm
up, you know, I'll tell you, I'm up for nomination to the na-
tional Bicentennial Administration as Sam Proctor knows and I,
FLA PERS 33B
I called on ... kind of let it out of the basket now. ... A
letter from Tommy Thomas to Anne Armstrong in the White House
you know, a real tremendous recommendation. And I called on
Reed Clark who's chairman of the Republican Executive Committee
S~ ""_ last Tuesday. And you know he's he
has a mall and I gotta get a hold of Paul. I guess I'm going
to have to 9 go up and see Paul at the White House to get
this thing. But I don't have any problem. Bill, I did ...
when I got in D. 0. T. I got hold of Bill Cramer, I wrote him
a letter and said, you know, you're a congressman. And anything
I can do to help you, I will. I did the same thing. Bill
Young was in the Senate, in the state Senate then his aide was
calling. I always tried to...
K: So you only see this thing as a sort of limited personality
D: Yeah, oh yes.
K: It really didn't effect perhaps as many people around ...
D: The average rank and file didn't like it. And even though,
K: It's, it's kind of strange. the reason I'm trying to clarify
that is because some of the things that I have rather suggested
that it's really quite a bit deeper in some respects.
D: Well, like philosophically?
K: I don't know. That's what I'm asking.
D: I can't imagine. Hell, Gurney's as conservative as Cramer.
FLA PERS 33B
Geographically? I think not. I think it was a personal
thing. I think it was a ... I think it was somewhat a growing
pain. And it taught us a lesson, taught the party a lesson. I
think great extremes will be made to avoid it. I think now
they're trying like the devil to avoid a race between Jerry
Thomas and Lou Frey, although I'm not so sure that a good clean
race couldn't be beneficial. The only thing about it is
... Frey's not ready to be governor and Reubin's going to be
hard to beat. I think it's very complicated.
D: I think if it got bloody it would be bad.
K: Let me ask you just a couple of more questions.
D: Yeah, I thought 'we ought to do a couple more and then let's
get together tomorrow sometime.
K: OK. Let me just ask you just one last question. About this
whole issue, and really it's a kind of futuristic question.
Do you think Repulbicanismr as a party sturcture is growing ..
people, qualified people seem to be more and more coming
in? This thing happening in 1970-- and Askew being elected,
Chiles being elected, the Democrats/retaking a little bit of
K: And ... or maybe a whole lot of ground.
FLA PERS 33B
D: Alot of ground.
K: Yeah. From an emerging Republican Party. What ...
(ut4d/ purview of the dates of this of Y I think
it's germane for those who will come after and listen to the
tape. What about the Republican Party in Florida in the future?
What do you see?
D: I think it's going to grow, it's going to prosper. We're
wiser. We've had experience in government now. After all we've
had congressmen in. We've had a governor. There are
going to be alot of people in the next ten, twenty years who
served in minor capacities in the Kirk administration, who've
been involved in the Gurney campaign, the Carswell campaign,
in Congressional campaigns. We've started to build a base.
You know it's just like, "Where did the generals come from?"
They ... they come from the lieutenants or even the sergeants
in a prior war. That's what we've got here. There's some in-
teresting things. Like this Miami turn possibly towards con-
servatism. I know the Cubans are anti-Kennedy. I hear this.
I hope that's not just wishful thinking. Alot of it becuase
of the Bay of Pigs sellout. And there are alot of older, retired
people in Florida. And I think alot of them tend to get con-
servative. Usually a man, if he's liberal, he's liberal when
hes young. And he mellows during the years. 'West Florida
is essentially Republican anyway. They're just not registered--
FLA PERS 33B
K : Are they going to? In years to come?
D: Yea, slowly, slowly. They will. But the big job is identifying
and persuading competent people to run for office. And after
they get elected to the office they need to be counselled and
directed and ... I'm serious ... a young fellow gets on the
county commission and he's say he's a four-one minority
Theres a way to play that role. He can play the vocal minority
role which is a hell of a good role for someone, you know.
He-can, he can play the press. Or he can decide that he can
be the swing man on a two-two split. Sometime that happens.
And he can gain power that way. There are all kinds of com-
binations. He can decide that maybe he wants to I / the
Democrats. And we have a member of the school board like that
now. It turns out that he's decided to work with the Demo-
crats and he's really the most powerful man on the school
board. When we had those racial problems at Escambia HIgh
School he was the only one that could QLi 4 d^ /with
any grace at all. Because he was a good man. You get/good people
in spite of party. And I repeat, I don't want to sound like
a Boy Scout, but the party is simply a convey -**.44/- // I c
yw ^I^ 2
END SIDE TWO. TAPE B.
I: What's your relationship with him?
A: Well, it's...it's been rather close ever since he...ever since he
went into office. HegetAe down here...to4e &on- time. Pro-
bably, more than any...any other U.S. Senator comes to Pensacola,
for one reason or another ah...and ah, he...I've been to Washington
several times. He...had the family up once and to...saw sights,
ate and sat at the table...in the dining room, he took the whole
family and we got a perfect table, first style treatment. But ah,
ah, I've maintained the telephone ah, relationship with him and/or a~
his office ever since he got into office, up til the present time.
And he became very...always kind of man. Gurney, ah, Senator Ed was
ah, greatly responsible for my...my ah, pre.-~-maee to the D.O.T.
I: How did that happen?
A: Well... Kt had in mind probably somebody else, a Democrat probably,
,and they were...they were flying a plane back to Tallahasseee for that
meeting I described and...and I had ah, seen Gurney that...I guess the
previous summer in Washington, anyway, he brought my name up, he said
why not pickD6)SO/V, and ah, e~e--he said fine, and that's when
they called me from Tallahassee. They called me back in March the
tLn% of last year would that be 1970 or?
I: Hum, um.
A: And ah...in one week I got my affairs fairly straight and went to
Tallahassee. And, of course, in route to the Governor at his mansion,
he was sick at the time. And ah, I sent him a silly card, ~f~ryka
saying LaFayett am here. What is it...what is it that ah...
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I: That t-P s said.
A: ia yea it's l (laugh). That was kind of a fine thing
to do, anyway. But ah...ah...Gurney, of course, had been in Washington,
I think three terms, I believe it's three, in the House and so he
was quite accustomed ah, to the area and ah, he wasn't up there to
long before there was a number of Federal Judgeships available...
in this day, and, of course, he would make the recommendations to
President Nixon. Well, finally he made the Ca~Vel recommendation and
ah...and ah...this....this here,-av~e l..Cv was Federal Judge.
See I thought he meant, in this Judicial, Judicial, Federal Judicial
district, ah, Tallahassee and Pensacola. Any way I'm, I'm not sure
Gurney had something...eveel- was ah, Eisenhower appointee and ah, I
think he had been recommended by G. Harold Alexander, you know, we've
talked about him. But, at any rate ah, the-Gavell-thing broke into a
- h7// 6 Urov 4P .-t ...non confirm'ah,...confirmation and... But
any way Gurney had a number of Federal Judgeships to recommend and
ah, I recommended ah, D.L. Middlebrooks. And...and this is the kind
of thing that went on for several months. This particular position
would be in Tallahassee and they would move Judge & e out of
Gainesville over here,i-A Pensacola and...and ah, of course,
was out. I guess...I guess...I guess ah, I forgot who replaced whom,
but ah,... At any rate I took ah, I con...so, I convinced -the D.L.
he ought to be a Federal Judge. He was perfect material for it. He
was really from the Grass Roots. fe was not from ah, aristocracy by
any means, and a good...good plain family and ah, he ahd gone to FSU
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Law School and...and ah, he's an outstanding young lawyer, and ah...
so...ah, we went to Washington together, I sort of took him up to
Gurney's office, and I remember that he had asked him just why do
you want to be a Federal Judge? And ah, he asked him some good
questions. And ah, D.L. ah,...you know, he didn't see4 the job...
with a great deal of ah...fer or, I think, you know, he said I'm
available. I'd like it if you think I'm able, but it wasn't a school
boy fanaticism or anything like that, to get it. Although he did have
a great deal of support around the state. He had the support of all his
Law School, anybody that ever knew D.L. would recommend him. I just
happened to be the vehicle that took him up there c And
ah, he got...and he got the appointment and the...and his rival in
the appointment was a Tallahassee Lawyer who had been sort of ah,
well, an old-time Republican, and he had long party credentials, but
ah,...he wasn't as strong a man as D.L. Anyway, ah, President Nixon
appointed D.L. and he served in Tallahassee at least two or three
years and ah,...I guess it has been longer than that hasn't it. Any
way ah, he...I know that ah...I know that ah, Senator Gurney had been
extremely pleased over his appointment. I think we had five or six...
I: Hum, um. Did you provide influence on...on any other appointments
besides getting \ ?
A: No, ah...ah...oh, well, there's...there's...there's a little getting...
I: As far as Senator Gurney is concerned.
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A: No...no more judges. I...I just remember another one named Pete?
in Miami, I think he was a friend of D.L. I understand he is
an outstanding person also. I think there were a couple of them that
ah...I don't know where that Gurney hasn't been all that pleased
with. I know he has been extremely pleased with D.L. D.L. had some
pretty...tough cases and he's always handled himself well, and ah...
I see him from time to time, but not a great deal. Ah, but any time
that you make a recommendation to some one in an office, on some-
body, and that recommend...that person works out well obviously that
enhances ah, your esteem in that person's eyes because it shows that
you apparently have good judgement or, even if you're luckly as I
was, but ah, ah...I, I think, certainly recommending D.L. Middlebrooks
ah...ah, well, not that I have any problem or anything like that, but
you know, it...it certainly added to the record. Oh, we had some small
local appointments, I don't know. Ah, well no we had a th r one we
had US Attorney Bill Stafford and that wa anoW.er Ah, and
the US Marshall over here we left alone, f or several reasons.
We sent to we had the carrier send confirmation whose
appointment r aee-and you have to deal a little bit with Democrates,
ah. But ah, Bill Stafford has been an outstanding State Attorney. I
suspect that Stafford will be going to US Judgeship one of these
days. Many of them, ah, come duec during Nixon Administration, and ah,
and D.L. is definitely up for 9aJudgeship. Ah, it wouldn't...it would-
n't surprise me at all if D.L. was...was some day appointed
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o US Judgeship, maybe ah...I mean US ah, Supreme Court.
I: Supreme Court.
A: Ah, perhaps not by Nixon, but by some Republican in future years.
He has a clean record. There's no racial ah, marks on the record
or anything like that,you know, he's a very southern judge.
I: Hum, um. How did you feel about...about CLswelli, Judge Caswell's
ah, background being brought out in the way that it did ?
A: Well, I...I know...I know...I know the man who did the hatchet job,
apparently Don Pride, who's on Governor Askew's Staff as a hatchet
man. He found ah...at least two of those little racial things. Ah,
one of them was a racial clause in the deeds... Thire. in at least
three quarters of the deeds in...in Tallahassee, so that was negi-
(ible, nothing. The other thing was ah, that country club thing, well
it's not...if you're a member of any white group of any sort in
the south there could easily be a racial clause, ah, in some of
theABI-Laws. So I...I think it was fabricated and I just a soon
forget it, ah...I, not that I have any great ah, feeling about Judge
Chaswell's ability. I...I really don't know. I...I haven't been in
the position to judge ah...certainly ah, I don't think he had a great
deal of trouble as a...as ah, Federal Judge, ah.
I: Well, there was some question about the number or reversals of his
decisions that as well...come out of this.
A: Well, I've heard that...I've heard thalI...I just don't know. I...
I know Judge C swell personally and I found him a gentleman. He's
overly frank in the way he talks, and I would have thought he would
have been fine, you know, knowing ah, some of the people that have
been with...ah, the Supreme Court, I certainly feel he wasn't no
better. I don't think he ah, lowered the...the quality in him, ah,
he might be ready to say something, but...I think he was as anti-
Nixon -f r--iftstLac.
I: Anti-Nixon rather than say anti...anti-Chaswell in anyway.
A: Oh, yea, anti-Nixon not anti-Clhswell.
I: He had nothing to do within the state.
I: You...you said Don Pride a hile ago.
A: Oh, well, well, Don Pride was a reporter for the ah,...St. Petersburg
Times. The St. Petersburg Times is a liberal, Democratic paper. Some
people say it's for left and-paty f
aa S Sbt a41 0 e1ots u eCla e Zf -rca- C
of course is pri.nt-edt-o-t-i4 politics. But ah,...that's the kind of
11ka- Ya k
thing that they would do and ah, they...they chopped .t._Kur;t the
entire time. There's no reason why they-wouldn't chop at any Republican
I: Well, this is what I'm getting at now, was this ah...ah, thing ...ah,
reaction against Nixon or a reaction against Gurney or a combination
A: Ah, it's a nature...it's the nature of a newspaper ah, which...ah,
which is against an administration.
I: I see.
A: It's simply that. You ride them the entire time there in and you
don't report anything good about them. Ah, and that's the way it is