A blind quote from a top Cuomo aide who referenced “tribal politics” is drawing criticism from a City Councilman from West Harlem.
“Considering his well-known close relationship with the reporter who wrote this article, the Governor has a special obligation to disavow these racially-tinged comments,” said Councilman Robert Jackson, in a public statement, referring to the article’s author, Fred Dicker.
Jackson also wants Cuomo to identify the person who made the remarks.
The New York Post today reported deeply troubling comments from a senior Cuomo administration official. The Post quoted the unidentified official making an attack on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for his efforts to amend the Executive budget proposal by adding funding for education and health care.
The “administration insider” said Silver was trying to “satisfy” a group of members within his majority conference. This effort was characterized by the administration official as “tribal politics.”
This is an extremely offensive reference.
Given the length and specificity of the quotes and the context in which the comments were made is it hard not to construe this as an attack on black and brown members of the Assembly Majority Conference.
Furthermore, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should not be criticized for speaking up for the more than 8 million New Yorkers he represents. Instead, he should be applauded for his leadership in attempting to pass a budget that takes into consideration the needs of the many working families in New York State that are currently ignored in the Governor’s proposed budget.
Considering his well-known close relationship with the reporter who wrote this article, the Governor has a special obligation to disavow these racially-tinged comments. In addition, he must disclose the identity of the top official who made the offensive remark and instill corrective action. He must do so immediately.