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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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I went to see him on this subject only once. My sister, Alice Fordyce, and Mike Gorman went to see him several times, and Mary McSweeny also went to see the Director of the Budget, before I went to see Governor Rockefeller, and they urged increased funds. Rockefeller took a very mild view of what was needed to be done in the state hospitals, and we proposed large increases in education and research funds in the budget and then we gave out releases to the press which contained our program for research and education in the field of mental illness for New York State.

The minute this hit the press Rockefeller felt criticized and wrote a letter saying that he felt we hadn't appreciated sufficiently what he had doing. Well, what he had been doing was so miniscule that although he gave brave words to the support of medical research, hereally wasn't putting in any adequate money compared with the costs of the hospitals and the stays of the patients.

So, in the last year, in '62, finally, I decided I would go to see him and brought a program with suggestions of what could be done. He was extremely agreeable and suggested that I should be a Republican on the state level even though I was a national Democrat. I could remain a Democrat nationally! An arrangement I didn't think was very practical.

I did the best I could, but I felt that his general attitude was to give words in favor but no substantially increased money for the hospitals.


What lies at the root of his disinterest in this area?

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