Interview with Robert R. Martin

  • Identifier1986 OH 139
  • Date7/30/1986
  • InterviewerEllis, William E.
  • IntervieweeMartin, Robert R.
  • DescriptionDr. Robert R. Martin is President Emeritus of Eastern Kentucky University and retired Kentucky State Senator. Dr. Martin discusses his years in the legislature and views on Kentucky government.
  • LocationRichmond, KY
  • Duration:48:33
  • Time Summary0-01:0 Introduction
    01:0-01:30 Robert Richard Martin born December 27, 1910
    01:30-06:0 Explanation of project's purpose by interviewer. Martin discusses his decision to run for Kentucky State senator. Asked to run by local party leaders. Primary opponent Michael Conover (Mercer Co.) and the election of 1978.
    06:0-08:50 Reelection bids and discussion of opponents
    08:50-09:50 Retirement from the senate due to age, health, and pursuit of other interests
    09:50-14:30 Changes in Kentucky politics in 1980's. Gov. Brown's terms role in increasing legislative power. Increased leadership under Gov. Collins. Importance of the passage of the (5 cent) gasoline tax and his reasons for support it (passed in 1986)
    14:30-15:30 Discussion of legislative leadership: Joe Prather, president pro temp; Tom Garrett
    15:30-16:50 Role of financing in the governor's race for 1987 and mentions some possible candidates
    16:50-23:0 Important issues he faced on committees: Education (vice-chair), appropriations, and Health and Welfare (chairman). The controversy concerning the Abortion issue. Also the development of roads and economic issues such as Collin's Toyota package. Increase in the Dept. of Health and Welfare.
    23:0-28:20 Rivalries among executive departments. The increased issue of education and popular support of the public
    28:20-31:0 Discussion of Marie Turner. Gov. Earle Clements' role in education reform.
    End of side 1, beginning of side 2
    31:0-34:30 Role of Clements in the U.S. Senate. Gov. Bert Combs' role in developing roads, education, and parks.
    34:30-37:0 Diminishing role of mountain family political organizations. Gov. Brown's role in destroying the Democratic organization
    37:0-39:40 Continued discussion of Marie Turner and other political families in Eastern KY.
    39:40-43:10 Use of vote- trading and influencing other legislators. Differences in the senate and the house of representatives.
    43:10-48:30 Dr. Martin discusses his belief that the state has too many employee and is often ran inefficiently. Supportive role he has played to governors.
    End of interview
  • Restrictionsyes, not quote about anyone unless permission received.
  • RightsContact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, rights and permission to publish.


“Interview with Robert R. Martin,” William H. Berge Oral History Center, accessed June 17, 2024,