Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Judy Parente, April 23, 1980

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:30 - Working at Cooper's office

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Partial Transcript: . . .Sort of get some background on yourself--how you initially got--s--uh--began working with Senator Cooper and how that developed.

Segment Synopsis: Parente recalls what it was like to work at Senator Cooper's Washington D.C. office as a summer intern in the 1960s.

Keywords: Apology; Backgrounds; Big picture; Bill; Campaign; Campaigning; Campus; Car; Central question; Committee; Complex; Congress; Details; Eastern Kentucky; Friends; Good mind; Good time; Hurdles; Important; Informal; Insightful; Job; John Sherman Cooper; Judicial background; Judicial process; Legal pad; Legislation; Letter; Major; Menial tasks; No lunch; Not aloof; Note; Operations; Opponent; Opposite; Organized; Out; Problem; Proponent; Reason; Recommendation; Senate; Senators; Sense of history; Sharp; Solved; Store; Suit; Summer intern; Talking; Thoughtful; Tour; University; Warm; Words; Working relationship

Subjects: Coffee; Education; Facts; Fall; Father; Food; Intelligence; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Language; Mail; Political science; Politicians; Reading; Sincerity; Staff; Time; University of Kentucky; Value; Washington (D.C.); Work; Writing

00:05:39 - Cooper and constituents

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Partial Transcript: Wanna go back for just a moment to the campaigning in Kentucky. . .

Segment Synopsis: Parente describes the good rapport that Cooper developed with his constituents despite being involved in the Washington D.C. social scene.

Keywords: Busy; Comfortable; Constituents; Dress; Eastern Kentucky; Enjoy; Formal; High society; Intern; John Sherman Cooper; Lorraine Cooper; Met; Office; Relate; Street; Suit; Surprised; Talking; Tours; Visit

Subjects: Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.); Children; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Learning; Listening; Meeting; People; Personality; Politicians; Reputation; Society; Staff; Teachers; Washington (D.C.); Work

00:08:04 - Job responsibilities/Cooper's habits

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Partial Transcript: . . .You came back up here as a staff member.

Segment Synopsis: Parente lists some of the job responsibilities she had as a file clerk and an assistant. Parente also describes Cooper's office habits.

Keywords: Afraid; Agencies; Agreed; Alone; Answer; Appalachia; Background; Bailey Guard; Basic mail; Benefitted; Better; Carswell nomination; Clear; Committees; Concise; Confusing; Conviction; Corrections; Crumpled; Dictation; Difficult; Direct; Dislike; Drafting; Dress; Elected; File; File clerk; Files; Finished; Formal; Friendly; Front office; Handwriting; Haynsworth nomination; Hire; Important; Indecipherable; John Sherman Cooper; Late; Legislative assistant; Letter; Nice; No cliches; No temper; North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); Not insulting; Office; Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO); Old; On duty; Open; Private; Problem; Quality; Questions; Receptionist; Responses; Secretary; Senate; Senators; Sentences; Serious; Simple; Strength; Suit; Talking; Treatment; Underestimated

Subjects: Best; Draft; Economic development; Education; Letters; Mail; Papers; Pentagon (Va.); People; Personality; Politicians; Research; Respect; Soldiers; Speeches; Speechwriting; Staff; System; Telephone; Thinking; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Views; Washington (D.C.); Work; Writing

00:16:24 - Cooper and education

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Partial Transcript: He really--uh--he really felt very deeply about education.

Segment Synopsis: Parente considers why Cooper valued education as an important legislative issue. Parente shares Cooper's stance on education in Kentucky.

Keywords: Appalachia; Apprehensive; Attention to detail; Basic education; Beliefs; Bill; Careful; Concerned; Control; Covered; Deficit; Desires; Development; Dignity; Feasible; Focus; Framework; Fundamental issues; Funding; Goals; Important; Independent; Individual learning modules; Individuals; John Sherman Cooper; Leave; Legislative areas; Local concern; Local control; Needs; Neglected; No categorizing; Opportunities; Potential; Senate; Senators; Separate; Software programs; Support; Thorough

Subjects: Change; Children; Civil rights; Classrooms; Counties; Debt; Education; Facts; Fear; Federal government; Great society; Hope; Human; Intelligence; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Mail; Money; Mother; People; Philosophies; Politicians; Poverty; Respect; Rhetoric; Staff; Teachers; Teaching; Washington (D.C.)

00:21:28 - Cooper and Appalachia

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Partial Transcript: So then from education, you moved into the Appalachian area?

Segment Synopsis: Parente details Cooper's thoughts on the best methods by which to improve conditions in Appalachia. Parente also talks of her work in Senator Cooper's office on Appalachian issues.

Keywords: Appalachia; Attention; Beginning; Behind; Bills; Boom and bust cycles; Concerned; Deep; Deprived; EDA; Early childhood amendments; Economic Development Administration (EDA); Focus; Governor; Health program; Infant mortality rates; Intentions; John Sherman Cooper; Lack of stimulation; Legislation; Occupational retraining; Problems; Realization; Response; Senate; Senators; Start; Tradition; Understood; Vocational education training; Vocational school; Welfare

Subjects: Appalachian Regional Commission; Best; Budget; Capital; Change; Children; Coal; Coal miners; Communities; Cool; Counties; Culture; Early childhood education; Education; Frustrating; Great Depression; Great society; Health; History; Hope; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Mail; Money; North Carolina; Nutrition; Parasites; People; Politicians; Poverty; Programs; Reality; Reasons; Staff; States; Survival; Thinking; Tuberculosis; Unemployment; United States; United States. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; Washington (D.C.); West Virginia; Work; World War II; Writing

00:24:56 - Cooper and poverty alleviation

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Partial Transcript: This goes back to I think Cooper's--um--sort of always interested in giving people the best potential in which to develop and helping them do that.

Segment Synopsis: Parente explains Cooper's philosophy on poverty alleviation.

Keywords: Abilities; Balance; County judge; Development; Different; Improve; Influential; Interested; John Sherman Cooper; Not paternalistic; Opinions; Potential; Regard; Senate; Senators; Strength; Striving

Subjects: Education; Great Depression; Great society; Kentuckians; Kentucky; People; Politicians; Poverty; Washington (D.C.); World War II

00:26:26 - Cooper and improving Appalachia

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Partial Transcript: Seems like there's two approaches to the Appalachian problem. . .

Segment Synopsis: Parente considers Cooper's preferred methods of fixing the socioeconomic problems of Appalachia.

Keywords: Agencies; Alternatives; Appalachia; Approaches; Bad; Banks; Basic act; Better; Debate; Decision; Decision makers; Dependence; Early studies; Feelings; Flexible; Formal legislation; Grassroots; Ideas; Ignored; Information; John Sherman Cooper; Later; Need; New legislation; New programs; No capital; No preference; Not reinvested; Outside; Plight; Political reality; Program; Reasons; Recognition; Region; Senate; Senators; Special; Special focus; Strength; Thoughts; Topography; Unsure

Subjects: Appalachian Regional Commisssion; Budget; Capital; Change; Coal; Counties; Culture; Fayette County (Ky.); Good; History; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Politicians; States; Thinking; United States; Washington (D.C.); West Virginia; Work; Writing

00:30:04 - Cooper and the Appalachian Regional Commission/Eastern Kentucky mail

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Partial Transcript: . . .How was his relationship with the ARC?

Segment Synopsis: Parente characterizes the dynamics between Cooper and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Parente details her role in sorting through mail related to eastern Kentucky issues.

Keywords: Answer; Appalachia; Appalachian Highway program; Arid; Assistant; Attention; Available; Bailey Guard; Basic facilities; Chairman; Close; Committee; Compartmentalized; Constituents; Different; Directed; EDA; Economic Development Administration (EDA); Facilities; Familiar; Friends; Funding; Funds; Information; Innovative; Interested; Interesting; John Sherman Cooper; Letter; Listen; Need; New; Overview; Plentiful; Projects; Region; Resources; Road program; School; Senate; Senators; Setup; Slowing; Talking; Tenets; Trouble; Visit; Water system

Subjects: Appalachian Regional Commission; Areas; Best; Education; Great society; Hospitals; Infrastructure; Jails; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Letters; Mail; Money; People; Perspective; Philosophy; Politicians; Programs; Public works; Reputation; Schools; Staff; Thinking; Washington (D.C.); Wells; Witnesses; Work

00:34:06 - Cooper and Kentucky issues/Lobbying

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Partial Transcript: So, how did Cooper feel about roads--ARC roads?

Segment Synopsis: Parente reflects upon how Cooper handled Kentucky-related issues, such as healthcare and education. Parente provides an explanation of the lobbying structure of Capitol Hill.

Keywords: Amendments; Appalachia; Appalachian Highway program; Arguments; Ban; Best interest; Coal mine safety; Commitment; Completed; Concerned; Different; Early childhood program; Economic development theory; Economic structure; Figures; Groups; Health program; Holdings; Improvements; Individuals; Issues; John Sherman Cooper; Later; Legislation; Needs; No complaints; Perpetuating; Prerequisite; Private enterprise; Problem; Senate; Senators; Served; Serving the people; Sincere; Skeptical; Slant; Started; State; Tradeoff

Subjects: Appalachian Regional Commission; Civil rights; Commerce; Criticism; Early childhood education; Economic development; Evaluation; Facts; Federal government; Health; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Listening; Lobbying; Mail; Money; People; Politicians; Power; Programs; Red River Gorge (Ky.); Roads; Staff; Tennessee Valley Authority; Timber; Time; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Washington (D.C.)

00:38:58 - Debates over the Appalachian Regional Commission in the 1980s

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Partial Transcript: Of course, Cooper's been out of the Senate now for several years and you're still involved in. . .these debates.

Segment Synopsis: Parente details the debates over the Appalachian Regional Commission in the early 1980s.

Keywords: Amendments; Appalachia; Approaches; Argument; Attention; Bailey Guard; Constituency; Decreasing; Entrenched bureaucracy; Extended; Few; Function; Funding; Innovations; Involved; John Sherman Cooper; Momentum; Monitoring; New programs; Progress; Question; Quid pro quo; Self-perpetuating; Senate; Senators; Structure; Temporary program; Vote

Subjects: Appalachian Regional Commission; Area; Bureaucracy; Change; Economic development; Governors; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Money; Participation; Politicians; Staff; States; Time; Washington (D.C.)

00:41:21 - Cooper and political patronage/Randolph and Cooper

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Partial Transcript: Was there political patronage in Appalachian--area, handled through Cooper's office?

Segment Synopsis: Parente illustrates Cooper's infrequent use of political patronage in the office. Parente assesses the working relationship between Cooper and West Virginia Senator Jennings Randolph.

Keywords: Administrative assistant; Appalachia; Approval; Asked; Better; Busy; Close; Committee; Congress; Constant; Continue; Dangerous; Democrat; Details; Equal; Exchange; Hands-off policy; Help; Input; Jennings Randolph; Jobs; John Sherman Cooper; Key Senators; Legislation; Legislative assistant; Majority; Markups; Merit; Minority; Origins; Patronage; Political; Powerful; Problems; Questions; Republicans; Senate floor; Senator; Senators; Situation; Skeptical; Stories; Talking; Wording; Work together; Working relationship

Subjects: Kentuckians; Kinship; Money; Politicians; Postmasters; Staff; Time; Trust; Washington (D.C); West Virginia

00:45:32 - Cooper on the Senate floor/Cooper and the Kentucky delegation

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Partial Transcript: He was very effective on the floor.

Segment Synopsis: Parente evaluates Cooper's effectiveness on the Senate floor. Parente discusses the dynamics between Cooper and other politicians on the hill from Kentucky.

Keywords: Acrimonious; Agency; Aggressive; Angry; Approach; Attention to detail; Aware; Busy; Campaigns; Careful; Carl Perkins; Chewing; Close; Committee; Coordination; Decisions; Democrat; Development; Different; Direction; Domain; Effective; First; Frail; Gone; Good relationship; Got along; Hard; Help; House; Important; In-between; Independent; John Sherman Cooper; Justices; Kentucky delegation; Lead; Legislation; Markup; Marlow Webster Cook; Methods; Name; No schism; Not approving; Not close; Not fond; Notepad; Pencil; Personal; Political issue; Political year; Privacy; Problem; Relied; Republican; Selective; Senate; Senate floor; Senators; Strong; Talking; Thruston Morton; Undercut; Unwind; Upper hand; Well-served; Western Kentucky

Subjects: Agriculture; Appalachian Regional Commission; Civil rights; Commerce; Education; Elections; Families; Finance; Good; Hearing; Histories; Infrastructure; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Knowledge; Memory; People; Politicians; Press releases; Programs; Reading; Research; Staff; Swimming; Thinking; Washington (D.C.); Washington post; Work

00:52:27 - Interactions between Senators

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Partial Transcript: Who were some--other Senators that you saw Cooper work closely with. . .

Segment Synopsis: Parente highlights the strange dynamics between Senators in which they are friendly socially but not as amicable on the Senate floor during debates over certain divisive issues.

Keywords: Against; Allies; Amendment; Asleep; Aware; Bad; Banquet; Committees; Cross; Debate; Details; Earlier; Effects; End; Even; Formality; Help; Information; Issues; John Sherman Cooper; Learned; Leave; Legislation; Mad; Never personal; Office; Opponents; Organized; Questions; Result; Senate; Senate floor; Senators; Separate; Staff aid; Talking; Varied; Vote; Votes; Watching

Subjects: Change; Experience; Friend; Good; Kentucky; Men; Money; Politicians; Social; Staff; Time; Voting; Washington (D.C.); Work

00:56:22 - Early retirement announcement/Senate Public Works Committee

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Partial Transcript: Cooper announced that he wasn't going to run again in--in '67. . .did this have an effect on the running of the--office?

Segment Synopsis: Parente considers if Cooper's early announcement of retirement from the Senate had an effect upon the office. Parente recalls her work on the Public Works Committee as an assistant to Senator Cooper.

Keywords: 1964 Civil Rights Act; Announcement; Appalachia; Better; Bill; Complexities; Constituent mail; Constituents; Early; Effective; Flexible; Follow; Good work; Hard work; Hearing time; Idea; Innovation; Issues; Jennings Randolph; John Sherman Cooper; Last years; Legislation; Less; Liked; Meeting time; Missed; Needs; Never let up; New ideas; No change; Not glamorous; Operations; Project; Reaffirmed; Senate; Senate Public Works Committee; Senators; Structure; Vote; Voting rights; Working relationship

Subjects: Best; Civil rights; Experience; Food stamps; Governors; Housing; Kentuckians; Kentucky; Money; Participation; People; Philosophy; Politicians; Proud; Public works; Retirement; Segregation; Staff; Time; Washington (D.C.); Work