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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982. Interview C-0135. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The North Carolina Citizens Association and the alliance of business and politics

Griffin explains in greater detail the purpose of the North Carolina Citizens Association and the alliance between business and state government. Especially important, according to Griffin, was that the state adopt tax laws that were favorable to business as business became more complex during the twentieth century. Griffin emphasizes B. Everett Jordan's participation in the North Carolina Citizens Association and explains that when Jordan became a United States senator in 1958, he was able to further pursue business interests for North Carolinians at the federal level.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982. Interview C-0135. 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

BEN BULLA:
Where did you first meet Everett Jordan?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh I probably met him in Raleigh; most likely in an assembly in Raleigh. I was there in the Senate in '33 to '35 with Governor Ehringhaus. During theseyears is the time I think we first met. You see, there was a group of folks around there - Leroy Martin with the Wachovia Bank, Bob Hanes of Wachovia Bank and others involved with them - all in a group, and we worked together. Leroy had been secretary of the Senate, and Gov. Ehringhaus from Elizabeth City had been up there before too. We all worked together for the common interest of the general good. Not for any one particular person, and they were members of the Citizens Association. The Citizens Association employed me.
BEN BULLA:
The association assessed dues and the business paid those dues based on the size of their business?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well, yes and no. You see every organization has its own goal out yonder that it wants to reach and the question is: How soon can they reach it; and who do they need to help reach it, etc. - among the various organizations in the state. I'm talking about state organizations - members who had contact with the state government. You want to see the state government operate in such a way that its tax laws are favorable; all types of its laws are favorable as far as the public is concerned, but where you would have the least trouble with getting the laws executed and so on. Some of the laws back in the old days were not too carefully thought out - I'd say around 1900. But little by little as business began to expand and trouble popped up, then you try to find out what the trouble was and get the laws properly executed.
BEN BULLA:
Can you give me an example?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
I've got an idea what you've got in mind [laughs] but I don't want to get involved. Let me tell you something. Each time an organization grew up here in the state and got a little bigger than the surrounding neighbors, it started having critics. I don't know whether you ran into that situation or not, but it was - there were some fellows in Asheville and Charlotte and Winston-Salem and Raleigh -
BEN BULLA:
How about Greensboro?
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Well, to some extent, but these various groups found out after a while that it paid them to work together; they could save money doing that; they could have less trouble to contend with doing that, and more success that way.
BEN BULLA:
Working as a unit.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Yeah. That's the reason they had to have something like the North Carolina Citizens Association. where they could work together and get their laws executed.
BEN BULLA:
I'm sure the organization was highly pleased to see Everett Jordan go to the United States Senate. Then he could do the job in Washington that you were doing in Raleigh.
LLOYD E. GRIFFIN:
Oh yeah.