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Cuomo's qualm

Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 5:29 p.m.

While so many Black leaders simply seemed to fall in line, there has been some opposition, however.

Perhaps the most vocal is Charles Barron. "Firstly, David Paterson should have stayed in the race and given Cuomo some opposition," he told the AmNews. "Secondly, Black leaders should've put the heat on Cuomo and conditioned their support for him based on him picking a Black lieutenant governor.

"Thirdly, Paterson should have never selected Gillibrand for U.S. senator, but since he did, Black leadership should've run a candidate against her--she is beatable! Fourthly, Black leadership should've fielded a candidate for attorney general candidate. I believe Esmeralda Simmons of the Center for Law and Social Justice would've been an excellent choice. With five whites in the race, Esmeralda Simmons would've had a great chance of winning."

Barron continued, "So one wonders what this after-the-fact Black leadership meeting was really all about. Was it to ask Cuomo for diversity in government?

"Perhaps we'll get the top position on the governor's staff. Maybe we'll get some Black commissioners or some other deals will be cut with Black leadership. One thing we won't get is Black power. It is time for Black leadership to protect the Black masses from the Cuomo types of this state and not be Black vote getters for Cuomo when he has made no commitment to our Black communities, our Black agenda or our Black empowerment."

The AmNews reached out to Cuomo but was unable to get a response.

Is he trying to lay back unchallenged? Sharpton replied, "Well, we'll see what happens with the Working Families Party."

"Paterson should have told Cuomo that he wanted a Black person on the ticket, and I want the Senate preserved before I announce that I am not running," said an attendee of Saturday's meeting.

State Senator John Sampson told the AmNews, "The concerns of Black and Latino leadership about the lack of diversity on the gubernatorial and other state Democratic tickets are important and valid. New York State is a racial and ethnically diverse one, and our politics should reflect this social reality. However, I believe that there is an opportunity for constructive dialogue so that the new gubernatorial administration will be sensitive to this issue.

"However, important though diversity is, I believe that in the final analysis it is about picking the best possible candidates to contest these elections that would allow the Democratic Party to win in November."