An incident between New York Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, during a closed-door meeting earlier this week in Cuomo’s Midtown office, when nearly two dozen Democrat senators gathered to strategize how to deal with eight breakaway Party members who have formed an alliance with Republicans, could signal that the leftists are losing their grip.
This is especially telling since hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, 55, a major donor to Cuomo, made some unfortunate comments in a Facebook post after reacting badly to a New York Times article which detailed the scene, in which Stewart-Cousins accused Cuomo of not recognizing her political abilities because she’s “a woman” and has “black skin,” sources told the New York Post.
Cuomo had reportedly suggested that Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, had a better grasp of how to attract suburban voters when Stewart-Cousins flipped out.
“You look at me, Mr. Governor, but you don’t see me,” she told Cuomo. “You see my black skin and a woman, but you don’t realize I am a suburban legislator. Jeff Klein doesn’t represent the suburbs. I do.”
Cuomo reportedly responded to the accusation with silence.
Loeb decided to post the article on Facebook and added his own opinions, slamming Stewart-Cousins for supposedly paying “fealty to powerful union thugs and bosses” while doing “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.”
A fierce advocate of charter schools and chairman of the Success Academy Charter School’s network board of directors, Loeb’s claim that Stewart-Cousins was damaging black people was probably because of her past opposition to charter school initiatives.
In his statement, Loeb also praised Bronx state senator Jeff Klein and others who “stand for educational choice and support Charter funding that leads to economic mobility and opportunity for poor knack (sp.) kids.”
Loeb removed the Facebook post soon after posting it and issued a formal apology for his remarks.
“In 2017, it is outrageous and offensive that this type of language is used by someone with such wide political influence,” Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy told the Daily News. “Daniel Loeb should be utterly ashamed of his disgusting statements. This whole episode speaks volumes about the state of our politics right here in New York.”
Cuomo has been taking heat from the left wing of the Democratic Party for not doing enough to unify the fractured Senate Democrats and could face a primary as he seeks reelection next year.
The Dems have 32 members in the Senate, which is enough for a majority, but it doesn’t control the chamber, thanks to those eight breakaway Dems, known as the Independent Democratic Conference, led by Klein.
The group is aligned in a leadership coalition with Republicans and Brooklyn Senator Simcha Felder, a Democrat who actually caucuses with the GOP.
Loeb and his wife have donated more than $170,000 to Cuomo, according to state records, and has also pledged $500,000 to a super PAC backing Jeb Bush in 2015 and $700,000 to another PAC that bolstered House Republicans last year.
“We have no connection with these comments, whatsoever, and, in our opinion, they are entirely inappropriate and have no place in the public discourse,” Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said.
After removing the offensive post from Facebook, Loeb stated, “I regret the language I used in expressing my passion for educational choice. I apologize to Senator Stewart-Cousins and anyone I offended.”
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