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Cuomo Donor Makes Racist Remark About Black State Senator

Cuomo with Andrea Stewart-Cousins, right, in 2015
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Cuomo with Andrea Stewart-Cousins, right, in 2015 Getty

A prominent Cuomo donor is in hot water after proclaiming that the State's Senate Democratic Conference Leader—a black woman—did "more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood."

The Times reports that Daniel S. Loeb, a hedge fund manager and major Cuomo benefactor, posted the above statement on Facebook regarding Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who last month told the governor at a private meeting with other Democrats, "You look at me, Mr. Governor, but you don’t see me... You see my black skin and a woman, but you don’t realize I am a suburban legislator."

The confrontation between Stewart-Cousins and Cuomo was sparked by Cuomo's assertion that Senator Jeff Klein of the IDC knew more about winning suburban elections, even though Stewart-Cousins represents the suburbs and Klein's constituency is skewed towards the city. Loeb, a charter school proponent, reportedly posted his comment about Stewart-Cousins along with a Times link reporting on the showdown.

"Thank God for Jeff Klein and those who stand for educational choice and support Charter funding that leads to economic mobility and opportunity for poor knack [sic] kids," Loeb wrote ("knack" is likely a typo for "black"). "Meanwhile hypocrites like Stewart-Cousins who pay fealty to powerful union thugs and bosses do more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood," he wrote.

His comments were followed by an uproar, and State Senate Democratic spokesperson Mike Murphy said in a statement: "In 2017 it is outrageous and offensive that this type of language is used by someone with such wide political influence. There is no place in our discourse, political or otherwise, for these dangerous words. 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."

Loeb has since taken the post down from Facebook. "I regret the language I used in expressing my passion for educational choice," he said in a statement. "I apologize to Senator Stewart-Cousins and anyone I offended."

The governor's office told the Times in a statement, "We have no connection with these comments whatsoever, and in our opinion they are entirely inappropriate and have no place in the public discourse."

In addition to donating over $170K to Cuomo, Loeb has supported Republicans like Jeb Bush, John Boehner, and Marco Rubio.

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