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because one member says it's not discussable. That's ridiculous.
We won't have any rules. We'll just play it by ear.” And that's
how it started. We had no rules, because the great fear on the
part of some of the members was that it would end up with a reform
regular split. It would be involved in reform-regular politics,
and people would become embarrassed. It didn't work out that
way. And so we began to meet and enjoy it -- people sort of
enjoyed it. They decided that breakfast wasn't the best.
They'd rather have lunch. And so we started our luncheons.
And in the first few months, I asked the question (Rooney used
to come to those lunches): “What are the names of patronage
employees that New York State has allocated to it?” Because
you have a certain number of employees on a federal payroll --
minor jobs in most cases, some major ones, but mostly elevator
operators, postal employees, messengers, some major clerks in
some of the major offices. And Rooney had been the patronage
chairman of the delegation for like 20 years. Nobody had ever
asked that question. Nobody ever questioned him at all. And
he said, “It's none of your business.” “Oh,” I said, “it certainly
is. I want to know. Don't I have the right to know who
the people are?” “I'm not going to tell you,” he said. This
is all across the luncheon table.
So I pursued the matter on three different occasions, Each
time I would say to the chairman, “Mr. Chairman [this is Manny
Celler], I believe that you should instruct Mr. Rooney to provide
that information to the delegation.” And Manny would say, “Oh,
come on, John. You'll give it to us, right?” “I will not,” he
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