Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 037 Ed JenkinsReflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 037 Ed Jenkins

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 037 Ed Jenkins

Descriptive Summary

Title: Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 037 Ed Jenkins
Creator: Jenkins, Edgar Lanier, 1933-
Dates: 2008 July 07
Extent: 1.0 interview
Collection Number: RBRL/220/ROGP
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Democratic Congressman Ed Jenkins discusses his 16 years of service, from attempts at preserving the textile industry in his district to serving on the Ethics committee during the Page scandal and Iran Contra affair. Jenkins discusses his fiscal, social, economic, and military policy beliefs and explains his disapproval of several major political moves during his term of service including entering the first Gulf War.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Edgar Lanier Jenkins was born in Young Harris, Towns County, Georgia on January 4, 1933. Jenkins graduated with an Associates of Arts degree from Young Harris College in 1951 and served on the United States Coast Guard from 1952 to 1955 before completing his college studies on the G.I. bill and graduating from the University of Georgia Law School in 1959.

After being admitted to the Georgia state bar in 1958, Jenkins practiced as a trial lawyer in Jasper, Georgia (Pickens County) as well as working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Jenkins also worked as an assistant to U.S. Representative Phillip M. Landrum from 1959 to 1962.

In 1976, Jenkins was elected as a Democrat to the 95th Congress representing the 9th Congressional District (Northwest Georgia) in Georgia. While serving in Congress, Jenkins was active in the Ways and Means Committee where as a member of the Trade Subcommittee he supported and passed several bills related to taxes, trade, textiles, and land and mountain preservation. Jenkins also served as chairman of the Congressional Textile Caucus and as deputy Whip in the House. He served two terms on the Budget Committee where he was appointed chairman of the Community Development and Natural Resources Task Force. Jenkins also served on the Ethics Committee as well as the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions during the Iran-Contra Hearings in 1987.

Jenkins retired from Congress after serving for sixteen years. In 1992, a large mountain tract in North Georgia was designated the “Ed Jenkins next hit National Recreation Area.” Following his retirement from Congress, Jenkins served on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia where he served as Chairman of the Board. Jenkins was also a partner in the consulting firm of Winburn & Jenkins in Washington, D.C.

Ed Jenkins passed away on January 1, 2012.

Scope and Content

Jenkins discusses growing up in Young Harris and around the Union County barbershop where his father worked, mentioning the many politicians he encountered at a young age. He discusses his education and working on Congressman Phil Landrum's staff, including experiences with Bobby Kennedy, Adam Clayton Powell, Sam Rayburn and Richard B. Russell. Jenkins discusses his struggle at working for Congressman Phil Landrum while he ran against Jenkins' close friend Zell Miller. Jenkins describes his campaign to succeed Congressman Landrum, including campaign politics and funding.

Jenkins discusses his career as a Congressman, describing his ambitions to work in the Ways and Means Committee and his subsequent appointment in the Trade subcommittee. He indicates his attempt to look out for the textile industry of his district by imposing quotas. Jenkins discusses his association with conservative Democrats called Blue Dogs. Jenkins discusses his stance on fiscal issues, citing himself as a great believer of a balanced budget, barring unforeseen circumstances such as war. He discusses associates in his later work in Congress including Tip O’Neill, Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, Phillip Burton, John Lewis, Newt Gingrich, Bo Ginn, Dawson Mathis and Tim Wright.

Jenkins describes the incidents of "Koreagate" and "Irangate" that occurred while he was in Congress. When Jenkins was on the Ethics Committee, he oversaw investigations into two major scandals: the Page scandal and the Iran Contra affair. He also discusses foreign policy issues such as the US War on Terror and military involvement in Afghanistan.

Administrative Information and Restrictions

Custodial History note

Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.

Preferred citation

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 037, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

Copyright Information

Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2013.

Related Materials

Access Points

Democratic Party (Ga.)
Emory University.
Gingrich, Newt
Iran-Contra Affair, 1985-1990.
Landrum, Philip M.
Lewis, John, 1940 Feb. 21-
Mathis, Marvin Dawson, 1940-
Miller, Zell Bryan, 1932-
Oral histories.
Powell, Adam Clayton, 1908-1972.
Russell, Richard B., (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
Textile industry--Georgia.
United States--Congress--House.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Ethics.
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Ways and Means. Subcommittee on Trade.
University of Georgia. School of Law.
Young Harris College.

Related Collections in this Repository

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection

Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 006 Ed Jenkins

Ed L. Jenkins Papers, Audiovisual Materials

Ed L. Jenkins Papers

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

ROGP 037 Ed Jenkins video, transcript, and interview index in OHMS Access Online
ROGP 037 Ed Jenkins video (Extent: 110.0 minutes ) Access Online
ROGP 037 Ed Jenkins transcript Access Online