Wednesday, September 8, 2010
CUOMO (II) TALKS OF CAREY; CAREY BIO TELLS A TALE OF CUOMO (I)
By DAN JANISON
For those of us still playing catchup for the week: In a Labor Day op-ed piece, Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic candidate for governor, cited past sacrifices by the labor unions in tough fiscal times. It stated in part:
“The story of how we averted disaster is grippingly told in a new biography of Gov. Hugh Carey by Seymour Lachman and Robert Polner, entitled ‘The Man Who Saved New York City.’ The authors recount how Carey’s determined and creative leadership brought New York back from the brink of civic and financial catastrophe. In the end, the state recovered through shared sacrifice and a balanced approach that did justice to the interests of both business and labor.
“But Carey did not act alone. He enjoyed a relatively effective and productive partnership with the state Legislature.
“Beyond that, though, the book’s most poignant relevance to today’s crisis lies in its portrayal of the vision and statesmanship of public employee unions, which played a crucial role in saving the city.”
What goes unmentioned by Cuomo — logically, since it wasn’t the focus of the op-ed piece — is that the book, published by State University of New York Press, also mentions the 1977 mayoral bid of Mario Cuomo and how it purportedly got started, through the prism of Carey’s storytelling. Carey — whose name graces the institute at Wagner College headed by Lachman — portrays himself as having appealed to Cuomo’s religious faith, by (supposedly) saying, “This is a fateful day, Mario ... Mario, after Holy Thursday, Good Friday came next, and the Savior had a vision of his crucifixion and he said, ‘Oh my Father please let this cup pass from me.’ … then He thought about it, and He went through with it. Now Mario, you can let this cup pass from you, or you can try to become mayor … by Easter morning I want you to let Dave here know if you’ll let this cup pass from you.”
“And with that, Carey and (aide David) Burke walked out.”
“ ‘You son of a bitch,’ Burke snapped, according to Carey. ‘You trapped him. Now he’s going to go around thinking he’s Jesus Christ.’ ”
Funny story. As for Carey, the fiscal crisis, and history, commentator Jim Callaghan had this to say in The Chief:
“The recent publication of ‘The Man Who Saved New York,’ reviewed here recently by Richard Steier, dealt with former Gov. Hugh Carey’s role in saving the city from fiscal collapse by, in part, imposing higher transit fares, ending free tuition at the City University of New York, cutting services, and laying off 30,000 city workers. This figure included firefighters and cops, which gave the criminals the signal that the sheriff had left town and all was fair game, which was underscored when half of Bushwick was looted and burned during the 1977 blackout and the Bronx was meeting a similar fate as landlords paid drug addicts and professional arsonists to torch their properties with impunity, leading to 13,000 fires in the borough in 1975.”
Newsday writer mulls Andrew Cuomo’s op-ed on Carey exampleNovember 2, 2010