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Moe FonerMoe Foner
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was suggested that -- we knew there was opposition. It was a question of how to handle it. We suggested that the best way to do it was to have Koch and Cuomo invited to debate, and the Koch people said, “No,” they don't want to debate. They would rather meet separately. Pushing Koch at that time in 1199 was Jack Bigel, who was a consultant to Doris. He was trying to get an endorsement of Koch for Doris. Remember it was a union led by blacks. At that time the black community was united against Koch. The decision was that Koch and Cuomo would come and talk to the executive council individually, at different meetings.

I'd known Cuomo. I'd spoken to him, I remember, in that strike that ended in compulsory arbitration and he did several things to indicate his great concern and interest -- calling me from out of town at one time, I should be sure to tell Davis he called. But I didn't know Cuomo very well at all. Cuomo was the first one to come. He came, and he made a very good presentation. I first found out that he's really a good talker. Then the questions, and it became clear that they were loading questions against him to attack him, from her people. He knew exactly what was happening, because Judy Berek was in touch with his people. He came and he knew what happened. We said we were going to try and get an endorsement.

Next week Koch came, and they wore kid gloves with Koch. Then there was a meeting to discuss what to do. On the table was a recommendation to endorse Cuomo. There was a debate, and every cock-a-mamie reason you can think of was thrown in about why Cuomo was really a racist, that they were both really racists. Doris is chairing the meeting. We're counting heads -- we know where it is. We finally come to a vote, and the vote is nine to eight for an endorsement of Cuomo. Doris says, “In that case, I'm voting. The vote is nine to nine, there's no endorsement, the meeting is adjourned.” When we tried to do it at a delegate assembly meeting, where we knew we couldn't get an endorsement but we wanted to raise the issue, the hospital delegates were put in this horribly uncomfortable position of how to explain why we weren't going to endorse Cuomo, for no endorsement. Now that issue came up during the strike. For obvious reasons. Cuomo remembered that thing. But Cuomo then tried to help us.

But anyway, when The Voice, Wayne Barrett, was writing the piece about the strike -- I had tried to get Wayne to do the piece. He was playing with it and playing with it, and finally he said -- I remember one weekend, it was towards the end of the strike and he said -- “Moe, I thought about it and I spoke to a couple of union people I know, and

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