[A]ll of [New York's] statewide elected officials are white politicians. And in Albany, Republicans and a group of dissident Democrats have taken control of the State Senate by forming a coalition that would consist almost entirely of white lawmakers. The coalition would prevent the Senate Democratic caucus, which includes 14 blacks and Hispanics and is the only legislative caucus in Albany led by a nonwhite person, from taking power. Democrats have 31 of the 63 seats in the Senate, and are expected to win seats in two districts where votes are still being counted; Republicans have 30 seats.Gov. Andrew Cuomo lent his tacit support to this shut out of non-white legislators from the Senate leadership. And, unfortunately, Gov. Cuomo and his father, Mario Cuomo, have not always been, shall we say, especially well attuned to the yearnings of non-white folk. (See, e.g., Mario Cuomo's placement of the Staten Island secession referendum on the ballot of the 1993 NYC mayoral race, Andrew Cuomo's failed bid against Carl McCall, etc.)
And this could be a political problem for Gov. Andrew Cuomo if he has national ambitions:
We are in a dramatic and graphic retreat on black and Latino inclusion in state government,” Mr. [Al] Sharpton said, adding of Mr. Cuomo, “If any of the statements about him having ambition for national politics is true, how does he go to the country having presided over the retreat of inclusion in his own Legislature? How does he do that?”How indeed.