Guests at Minority Caucus Include Paterson, Smith and Sharpton. Not Diaz.

ALBANY—Al Sharpton was in town today for budget negotiations, and met with members of the Black, Puerto Rican Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus in a fourth-floor conference room of the legislative office building. Both David Paterson and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith stopped by. (Yes, that’s where he was.)

“It was nice–we had a caucus meeting and Malcolm and the governor dropped in,” said Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, who was there.

Also in attendance were State Senators Kevin Parker, Ruth Hassell-Thompson and assembly members Jose Peralta and Michele Titus.

State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. said he was not invited.

“The caucus only uses us when they want us,” he said.

Espaillat insisted that “no race card was played.”

Notions of Hispanic empowerment have come up in the past in the State Senate as Malcolm Smith tried to cobble together the votes to become majority leader.

Guests at Minority Caucus Include Paterson, Smith and Sharpton. Not Diaz.