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Archive for January 13th, 2012


Common Cause NY Protecting Citizen’s In Re-Districting Process (Finger Lakes Daily News)

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Common Cause New York Executive Director Susan Lerner continues to keep a close eye on New York’s once a decade re-districting process. She wants the effort to be as transparent as possible, drawing up districts that benefit citizens and not politicans.

Read More: http://www.fingerlakesdailynews.com/news/details.cfm?clientid=16&id=18779

New York redistricting called ‘farce’ (Newsday)

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Angry that state Senate Republicans acted quietly and unilaterally to add a seat in the chamber, a Democratic member of the state task force charged with drawing new political lines called its process “a farce and a waste of time and money.”

Sen. Martin Malave Dilan, D-Brooklyn, asked from the start of the New York State Legislature’s Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment public hearings in July how many Senate districts would be created. He got no answer, and many good-government groups — including Common Cause, which submitted its own complete set of district lines — assumed the Senate would remain at 62 members.

Read More: http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york-redistricting-called-farce-1.3451367

Asian-Americans Push for District of Their Own (The Brooklyn Ink)

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Asian-American civic groups are pushing for redistricting in Brooklyn that would give growing Asian ethnic groups a district and representation of their own.

Claiming that the Asian vote is too diluted across many districts, the groups are hoping to splice together sections of Sunset Park, Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights in a new district that would have a majority population of Chinese immigrants and their descendants.

Read More: http://thebrooklynink.com/2012/01/13/40176-asian-americans-push-for-district-of-their-own/

CRREO: New models for local districts (Newsday)

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You don’t need to look to Albany for intense, litigious battles over legislative redistricting. In Nassau, a partisan, racially charged fight in the legislature and the courts over district line-drawing has preoccupied the county for months.

For local governments, the decennial redrawing of district lines must meet the same national constitutional and statutory standards as the state’s, and the process awakens the same core problem that makes redistricting a massive and recurring issue in Albany. Elected officials put their personal or partisan interests ahead of fairness, competitiveness and accountability to the electorate — that is, ahead of the public interest.

Read More: http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/crreo-new-models-for-local-districts-1.3448547

Group discusses re-districting (WIVB)

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New York State stands to lose two seats in Congress when district lines are re-drawn.

How can you make sure your voice is heard? That was one of the topics of a gathering Thursday night at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society led in part by the non-partisan group “Common Cause New York.”

“Unfortunately in the past, the legislature has put its own self-interest first and drawn political district lines that lets legislatures choose their voters instead of voters choosing their legislators,” said Common Cause New York executive director Susan Lerner.

Read More: http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/buffalo/group-discusses-re-districting

New Senate seat plan is GOP power play that will cost taxpayers (Democrat & Chronicle)

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Many of the same Republican state lawmakers who hoodwinked New Yorkers into thinking they supported independent redistricting now insist that adding one more seat in the state Senate is good government. Unlikely.

This time around New Yorkers need to let GOP lawmakers know that their ploy for power is as transparent as plastic wrap. Call them and tell them so.

Read More: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/A2/20120113/OPINION04/201130325/New-Senate-seat-plan-GOP-power-play-will-cost-taxpayers?odyssey=nav|head

Hevesi: Forest Hills is Gerrymandering Poster Child (Patch Forest Hills)

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The march toward redistricting in New York state is in full force now, with Democrats and Republicans in Albany fighting over a series of plans to draw new lines for the 2012 elections.

According to Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, Forest Hills has been one of the big battlegrounds in that war of words so far.

Read More: http://foresthills.patch.com/articles/hevesi-forest-hills-is-gerrymandering-poster-child

Area lawmakers say prison population changes are ‘political power grab’ (The Daily News Online)

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A change in rules removing prison inmates from population estimates will affect most area lawmakers.

Inmates have traditionally been included in county population totals when political districts are determined. But state Senate and Republican leaders reached a deal in December to count 46,043 prisoners in their home neighborhoods instead.

Most local political districts will lose up to several thousand people in the process when redistricting occurs. The exact amount will depend on the inmates’ hometowns.

Read More: http://thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_864b8b1e-36a1-50ec-ac2f-f50ba818b649.html

Early politician’s checkered career influences nation (LoHud)

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As New York prepares to submit a redistricting plan that will alter the political map for the next 10 years, the ugly specter of the undemocratic and unconstitutional process of gerrymandering is once again showing its resilience.

Gerrymandering manifests itself in three forms, all designed for partisan advantage: “excess vote,” where the power of your opponent is put into a few districts, so as to dilute their overall power; “wasted vote,” where your opponents’ strongholds are spread over many districts to dilute their advantage in any one district; and “stacked vote,” where bizarrely configured boundaries are set to link favorable voters. We should take a moment to understand from whence it came.

Read More: http://www.lohud.com/article/20120113/OPINION/301130017/1076/OPINION01/Early%20politician+%27s%20checkered%20career%20influences%20nation

New seat is a gimmick to hold on to power (Watertown Daily Times)

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It is game time again in Albany as the decennial legislative realignment is under way. As a starter, the Republican Senate has found it necessary to add a 63rd Senate seat to respond to population changes. Previously in 2002, the Republican Senate added two Senate seats to protect their political majority in the face of larger Democratic and fewer Republican voters.

Currently, Democratic enrolled voters in New York have a 2-to-1 advantage over Republican ones. By reducing the number of eligible voters in each Senate district, the Republican majority hopes to maintain their majority in the Senate, which they have controlled for over 40 years by this political gerrymandering. The additional Republican Senate seats would protect Republican districts in rural and Northern New York constituencies.

Read More: http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20120113/OPINION02/701139969