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What Andy has to do

Elinor Tatum | 4/12/2011, 5:26 p.m.

Now that Attorney General Andrew (I won't announce yet, even though you know I am gonna run) Cuomo has announced, what next?

The fact is that the Black and Latino communities really have little respect for Andrew Cuomo and don't really believe that he will do anything for us if he succeeds at his quest for governorship.

To many, it is clear that all the back-room dealing that went on in the Obama administration to make sure Governor David Paterson did not run for a full term was plotted out like the "Manchurian Candidate" to ensure that Cuomo would have a clear path to the governor's mansion.

And we know that if Cuomo had taken Paterson on in a primary, he may have ended up with the same result as he when he faced Carl McCall in 2002 and was soundly beaten.

Cuomo, who thinks he should be anointed as the Democratic candidate rather than winning a nomination in a fair fight, has so far gotten everything his own way. But even without a primary, he will still have crosses to bear. Many in our community have not forgotten that it was because of Cuomo that our president was forced to make a fool of himself by asking Paterson not to run so that Cuomo could, indeed, have a clear path to the nomination. Folks from our community did not appreciate having our first African-American governor pushed aside for a family that has done so little for our community, despite decades of our support at the polls.

Then we have to look at the fact that he got into the race at the last possible minute, dodging all the big potholes that were in the way. He did not have to comment on the budget or the stalemate in Albany. He could stay on the sidelines--the beloved prince waiting his coronation--as the governor took hits left and right from legislators and a media determined to see him not succeed as he grappled with tough economic challenges. Cuomo stayed silent, never offering any support to Paterson, and only now is he beginning to chime in with his two cents as the battle for New York State's future is on the line.

So now comes the challenge. How does he prove to us that he is the man for the job? He has no track record with our community. We do not see him as the "heir apparent" to whom we should turn over the keys the kingdom because we worship the Cuomo name and so-called legacy. To us, he is just Andrew Cuomo, attorney general and the son of a former governor who disappointed many Black people. Mario talked a good game, but did not deliver that much to our communities, and I can't think of anything tangible that his son has done for the Black community at all.

Andrew has sat silently as men and women of color have tried to hold on and survive during these turbulent and trying times in our state's history. And in addition to not backing Paterson, he also has failed to add his voice in pushing the legislature to act in the state's and our communities' best interests.