Business relationship with Governor Jim Hunt
In this excerpt, Medlin briefly describes the period of adjustment that the newly elected Governor Jim Hunt, who took office in 1977, went through with North Carolina business leaders. The comparatively liberal Hunt found common ground with the more conservative businessmen.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with John Medlin, May 24, 1999. Interview I-0076. 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
- JOSEPH MOSNIER:
Here's an interesting question that has sort of been suggested by some
of these things, I hadn't thought about this before, but you mentioned
that folks coming in from outside bring a certain new diversity to the
culture that has traditionally prevailed in say the business community.
I'm wondering if there was as you measured it early on the relationship
with Jim Hunt, he's quite a young Governor. He was a young man when he
was elected Governor, a Democrat obviously. Was there some period during
which young new Governor Jim Hunt had to work out a relationship with
this group of twenty in the one instance you mentioned senior business
leaders? Were you all on the same page or was there some time that you
sort of had to navigate to get to know one another?
- JOHN MEDLIN:
We had to navigate to get to know one another. I think he was, to use a
word that doesn't describe things very well, he was more liberal, and
they tended to be more conservative. Despite the fact that most of us
were Democrats, there were a few, well Paul Sticht who came from
somewhere else outside the state was a Republican. There were some
Republicans on the Council, and I think it was good for everyone. We had
to get to know each other. I think Jim Hunt became more realistic. I
don't think about certain things, taxation and regulation and so forth.
I think some of the business people became more sensitive about some of
the human issues. I think there was a coming together on some of this.
Not that they weren't concerned. I think the Governor got enlightened
that business people were concerned about human issues just as much as
perhaps he was in some cases. But the best way to deal with human issues
is to have jobs and income and so forth too, rather than the welfare
satisfaction of human needs.