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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with George A. LeMaistre, April 29, 1985. Interview A-0358. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Evaluating Alabama governor Frank Dixon

LeMaistre describes former Alabama governor Frank Dixon. He was not a Dixon supporter, but did not think that Dixon was a bad governor, despite his flaws of character. For example, he supported some progressive reforms, even if he was prone to cronyism.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with George A. LeMaistre, April 29, 1985. Interview A-0358. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ALLEN J. GOING:
Well, now you've already said that you never particularly favored Dixon, and I guess you left to go into the service while he was still governor, didn't you?
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
In '41. Now Dixon was not a bad governor. I never opposed him because I thought his governing ability was bad. As I mentioned last time, I think that we wrote a—group of the Alabama Policy Committee—wrote a model constitution for the state, and a number of the provisions of it were either incorporated into our constitution by a member—into our present constitution or into statute. Among them being the Fletcher Budget Act and the Merit System and the Prison System, all of those were a part of that matter that we put together. And Dixon supported every one of them. He was a progressive governor in the sense that he knew that was good political science. He was not likely to take a stand just because it favored Birmingham or some of his cronies. He'd give things to his cronies like that liquor appointment. I think we've covered that.
ALLEN J. GOING:
Yeah, I think we did.
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
But those were just evidences of flaws in character, but not making him a bad governor.
ALLEN J. GOING:
And I guess he really was ideologically conservative. he thought in terms of sound, honest, low taxes . . .
GEORGE A. LeMAISTRE:
Conservative in the sense that he wanted to conserve what we had, and get the most he could for the money that was available. But not conservative in the sense that he wanted to preserve the status quo. He was in favor of a new constitution for the state, and would have liked to have had a short, simple constitution that contained the framework of government without all of the little bits of legislation that are now in our constitution.