|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 038 John Blackmon|
|Creator||Blackmon, John A., 1933-|
|Dates||2008 July 8|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||John Blackmon discusses attending law school at Emory University, working in the state law department and in the Georgia Revenue Department. He mentions his experiences working under Governor Lester Maddox as state revenue commissioner and explains how he improved the state tax structure by modeling it more closely after the federal one.|
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.
Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 038, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
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.
John Blackmon was born November 9, 1933, in Columbus, Georgia. After three years in the U.S. Air Force, he attended law school at Emory University and then worked for three years in the state law department and seven years in the Georgia Revenue Department. In 1968, he became the deputy revenue commissioner. Governor Lester Maddox appointed him state revenue commissioner in 1970. In that position, Blackmon improved the state tax structure by modeling it more closely after the federal one. He went on to serve under Governor Jimmy Carter. He then joined the state staff of the Georgia Air National Guard. In 1996, he became chairman of the Georgia Democratic Committee. In the private sector, he was appointed to the Georgia World Congress Center team. He practiced law at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, focusing on tax issues.
John Blackmon discusses his education, early career and many aspects of his work as a revenue commissioner. He talks about his early law career, beginning at Auburn, and his work for Attorney General Eugene Cook and Arthur Bolton.
Blackmon recalls his trepidation becoming Govorner Maddox's revenue commisioner in 1968 and how the influence of Peyton Hawes caused him to become deputy revenue commissioner. Blackmon discusses the role of the press in regards to Governor Maddox's public image and his investigation of a south Georgia prison. Blackmon discusses Speaker Tom Murphy's influence on his career, having facilitated nearly 130 amendments to Georgia Tax Code during Blackmon's tenure.
Regarding technology, Blackmon recalls how the implementation of computers were problematic in the Georgia government, causing fear that computers would put engineers out of work. According to Blackmon, Georgia Tech students protested on Peachtree Street in the nude with signs that said “Computers are Obscene.” Blackmon also discusses his support for a sales tax exemption for food items.