James L. (Jimmy) Paulk PapersJames L. (Jimmy) Paulk Papers

James L. (Jimmy) Paulk Papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: James L. (Jimmy) Paulk Papers
Creator: Paulk, James L. (Jimmy), 1949-
Dates: 1977-1980
Extent: 4.0 boxes (1.5 linear feet and 1 sound recording)
Collection Number: RBRL/117/JP
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: The collection consists of Democrat James L. Paulk’s state senatorial papers during his term representing the 13th District from 1977 to 1979 and a small selection of files of Senator J. Ebb Duncan (30th District). Paulk’s papers include incoming and outgoing correspondence, memoranda, reports, clippings, bills, speeches, constituent questionnaires. Printed and photographic materials document state fiscal concerns, environmental issues, and the state of county correctional institutions. Of particular interest are the constituent surveys and responses from 1978 and 1979 as they reflect the opinions of Paulk’s constituency on issues of the day such as the Equal Rights Amendment, tax issues, capital punishment, and teacher’s compensation. Duncan’s files, dating from 1977 to 1979, are legislative in nature and touch primarily on his efforts to secure transportation for the elderly and mentally challenged through S.B. 553.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

James L. Paulk

James L. Paulk, known as Jimmy, was born March 26, 1949, in Fitzgerald, Georgia to Milton L. Paulk and Madge (Harper) Paulk. Paulk grew up in Fitzgerald and graduated from Woodward Academy in 1967. He received a Bachelors of Business Administration in Management from the University of Georgia in 1972. While at the university, Paulk represented Georgia in the 1971 White House Youth Conference. During high school and college, Paulk participated in several state political campaigns including Jimmy Carter’s 1970 gubernatorial bid. After college, he returned to Fitzgerald where he opened a small insurance agency and a farm equipment finance company. Additionally, he led in organizing the Bank of Fitzgerald (chartered 1975), of which he was vice president and director. He was president of Colony Growth Inc. and a director of the Paulk Funeral Home, Inc. He was a frequent columnist for the Fitzgerald Herald and Leader.

At the age of 26, Paulk defeated Senator Martin Young, then the longest serving member of the Georgia Senate, to represent as a Democrat the 13th District, which covered Ben Hill, Irwin, Turner Worth, Crisp, Dooley, and part of Tift counties. During his two terms in office, Paulk served on several committees including the Banking, Finance, and Insurance and its Banking and Insurance subcommittee (1979-1980); Community Affairs (vice chair 1979-1980); County and Urban Affairs (1977-1978); Economy, Reorganization, and Efficiency in Government (1977-1978); Human Resources and its Mental Health and Mental Retardation subcommittee (1979-1980); Offender Rehabilitation (secretary) and its Penal and Correctional Institutions subcommittee (1977-1978); and the Senate Study Committee on County Correctional Institutions (chair, 1976-1977). Paulk authored legislation on a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and successfully lobbied against the passage of H.R. 453, the Tri-River Compact, an agreement he believed would weaken protection of Georgia’s waterways. Paulk was also known for some of his more light-hearted antics. For example, during his first election campaign, he consumed a spoonful of expired Myrex, a fire ant poison. In honor of Jimmy Carter, he proposed that Georgia be known as the Peanut State. In January 1978, Paulk defended the use of tobacco spittoons in the Georgia Senate chamber and was featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, in UPI stories and on local Georgia news programs discussing chewing tobacco.

After leaving office in 1980, Paulk relocated to New York City to work with the National Audobon Society. While there, he developed the Birdathon, a fund-raising event for the organization. In 1983, he resumed his work in the insurance field, first with Prudential Insurance and then in private practice as an independent life broker. That same year, he received his MBA from Columbia University.

Paulk has been involved in a number of civic activities. Beginning in 1976, he served a term on the Georgia Baptist Christian Life Commission. In the 1970s, he was active in the Fitzgerald Jaycees and Rotary Club and was a Shriner, Elk, and Mason. In 2000, he was the vice president of the Manhattan Council, Boy Scouts of America. Paulk remains involved with the University of Georgia. He is a past vice president of the University of Georgia Alumni Association and serves on the University Libraries’ Board of Visitors. Additionally, he was a Distinguished Lecturer/Practitioner for the Terry College of Business. Paulk is also in several New York City area music and arts organizations. A music critic, he served as an associate editor of New Music Connoisseur and as the principal opera critic for 20th Century Music.

J. Ebb (Joseph Elvin) Duncan

Born February 18, 1909 in Douglasville, Georgia to John Raymond Duncan and Pearl (Perkins) Duncan, Joseph Elvin Duncan, know more commonly as J. Ebb, resided in Carrollton, Georgia. Duncan graduated from Douglasville High School in 1926 and from Young Harris College in 1928. In 1931, he married Antoinette Talmadge Tyus, and the couple had three children: Robert Tyus, Richard Allen, and Joseph Elvin, Jr. Prior to his political career, Duncan was a theater and radio station owner and director of the West Georgia National Bank. Duncan died January 17, 1980 while serving as majority whip of the Senate.

Between 1949 and 1964, Duncan represented Carroll County in the Georgia House and from 1973 to 1978 served as senator for the 30th District (Carroll and parts of Coweta and Douglas counties). A Democrat, Duncan was elected majority whip in 1977. During his tenure in the Senate, he served on the Appropriations Committee (1973-1978); Banking and Finance (1973-1978), chairing its Banking and Insurance subcommittee; Human Resources Committee (1975-1978) and its Mental Health subcommittee (1975-1978, chair 1977-1978); Interstate Cooperation, vice chair (1975-1976); Rules (1973-1974); and World Congress Center Authority Overview Committee (1977-1978). Duncan’s legislative interests focused on banking and mental health issues. In 1978, the Mental Health Association recognized him with its “Most Effective Legislator” award.

Ducan’s philanthropic interests mirrored his political ones. He worked with the Carroll Mental Health Board, the Advisory Committee on Adult Counseling Service and the Carroll Advisory Board on Mental Health. Additionally, he was a Mason, Rotarian, Director of the Chamber of Commerce for Carrollton, and a member of the fraternal benefit society Woodmen of the World.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of Democrat James L. Paulk’s state senatorial papers during his term representing the 13th District from 1977 to1979 and a small selection of files of Senator J. Ebb Duncan (30th District). Paulk’s papers include incoming and outgoing correspondence, memoranda, reports, clippings, bills, speeches, constituent questionnaires. Printed and photographic materials document state fiscal concerns, environmental issues, and the state of county correctional institutions. Of particular interest are the constituent surveys and responses from 1978 and 1979 as they reflect the opinions of Paulk’s constituency on issues of the day such as the Equal Rights Amendment, tax issues, capital punishment, and teacher’s compensation. Duncan’s files, dating from 1977 to1979, are legislative in nature and touch primarily on his efforts to secure transportation for the elderly and mentally challenged through S.B. 553.

Organization and Arrangement

The papers are organized in three series: I. Paulk Papers, II. Duncan Files, III. Audiovisual Materials. The Paulk series is organized in two subseries: A. Legislative; B. General. Arrangement is alphabetical.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Preferred Citation

James L. (Jimmy) Paulk Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

User Restrictions

Library acts as "fair use" reproduction agent.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2010.


Related Materials

Access Points

Agricultural laws and legislation.
Audiovisual.
Democratic Party (Ga.)
Duncan, J. Ebb (Joseph Elvin), 1909-1980.
Georgia. General Assembly. Senate.
Mental health.
Taxation--Law and legislation--Georgia.
Water resources development--Georgia.

Related Collections in Other Repositories

Joseph Elvin Duncan Papers, Annie Belle Weaver Special Collections, Ingram Library, West Georgia State University.


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

I. Paulk Papers

Extent: 2.0 boxes
Scope and Content: The Paulk series, organized in two subseries, Legislative and General files, documents Democrat James L. Paulk’s two terms representing Georgia’s13th District (Ben Hill, Irwin, Turner Worth, Crisp, Dooley, and part of Tift counties) from 1977 to 1980. His legislative files are comprised of incoming and outgoing correspondence, memoranda, reports, clippings, bills, speeches, and printed materials. The bulk of the files focus on state fiscal issues including the Tax Payers Rights movements, salary increases and benefits for teachers, and the economic difficulties facing American farmers. Paulk’s interest in environmental issues is documented through materials relating to Georgia waterways. The Legislative subseries also documents the county correctional system and local constituent concerns. The General Files subseries consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence, memoranda, reports, clippings, bills, speeches, constituent questionnaires, and printed and photographic materials. These files document local concerns, constituent opinions, and the Georgia Democratic Party. The constituent questionnaires and responses address state fiscal policy, the Equal Rights Amendment, capital punishment, educational funding and reform, privacy of adoption records, and voter registration among other topics. The Democratic Party materials, a kit for district chairs, belonged to his assistant Louise Summers, a member of the state party’s membership committee and the senate district chair for the 34th District and at one time J. Ebb Duncan’s assistant.



A. Legislative Files

BoxFolder
11County Correctional Institution Study Committee, 1977-1978
12County Correctional Institutions Study Report, 1977 December
13Dry Creek Watershed Project, 1977
14Education, 1977-1978
15ERA, 1977-1978
16Estuarine Sanctuary Apalachicola Area, 1979
17Farm situation and the economy, 1978
18General Correspondence, 1977
19Fourteen wide mobile homes - highway travel permits, 1977
110HB453 Tri River Waterway Compact, 1979
111HB611, 1977
112HB697-- Nurses Bill, 1977
113J. Paulk 1980 session correspondence, 1980
114Memo to Senators-- Tax Payers rights, 1979
115National and State Parks, 1977
116Pari-Mutuel Betting Bill, 1977
117Peanut State designation Bill, 1977
118SB159, 1977
119SB300 Licensing of Social Workers, 1977
120State Board of Nursing, 1977
121[Tax Limitation Amendment], 1977-1979
122[Teachers' raises], 1979
123[Teachers' raises], 1979
124[Tucker-Ross bill concerning the teachers’ retirement system], 1978



B. General Files

BoxFolder
2113th Senate District Questionnaire, 1978-1979
22Biographical sketch, 1977
23[Clippings regarding computerized election systems], 1977-1978
24[Correspondence], 1979
25Correspondence, 1979
26Democratic Party, 1979-1980
27GA Attorney General, 1977
28Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources, 1977-1978
29General Correspondence Senator Paulk, 1977-1978
210Jimmy Paulk [Correspondence], 1977-1978
211GBI, 1977
212Pages, 1978
213Record letters, 1980
214Sen Paulk [results of 13th senate district questionnaires], 1979
215Senator Paulk's pages, 1979
216[State of Georgia Model Affirmative Action Plan Handbook], 1979
217U.S. and Georgia State Department of Agriculture, 1978
 

II. Duncan Files

Extent: 1.0 box
Scope and Content: The Duncan Files consist of correspondence, memoranda, notes, speeches, and research materials documenting primarily his work on S.B. 533, a bill to fund transportation of the elderly and mentally handicapped to assistance centers. Other topics touched on include the construction of the World Congress Center in Atlanta, vocational education, health insurance, and mental health issues.
BoxFolder
31Correspondence, 1977-1978
32Mr. Duncan [correspondence regarding teachers’ retirement, World Congress Center, and transportation for the elderly], 1977-1978
33S.B. 533, 1979
 

III. Audiovisual Materials

Extent: 1.0 sound recording
Conditions Governing Access note: Reference copies of the audiovisual recordings are available upon request. Research requests will be filled as soon as possible and will be dependent upon the condition of the recordings.
item
UC RBRL/117/JLP/MCS_0001Questionnaire tape, 1978
Extent: 1.0 sound recording