Unlike the three previous redistrictings, in which legislators compromised on their own maps at the last possible moment and forestalled implementation of the courts’ drawings, there appears to be little chance to untangle this year’s outlandish partisanship. The federal courts stepped into the process after it was clear the State Legislature’s task force, charged with drawing congressional districts based on the 2010 Census, could not produce maps both the Republican-led Senate and Democratic-led Assembly could agree on.
Archive for March 2nd, 2012
New York must reduce the size of its congressional delegation to 27 from 29 seats because of population shifts identified in the 2010 census, and the issue has taken on increasing urgency because a federal judge in an unrelated case has ordered the state to hold its congressional primary, normally scheduled in September, on June 26.
“I’m very disgusted that the people in my district are being so disenfranchised. We need to continue to fight,” said panelist Scottie Coads, the civic engagement chairwoman for the state NAACP. Joined by representatives from Common Cause New York, La Fuente and the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, the panel urged the crowd to voice their disapproval of LATFOR’s maps.
The details of the three-way negotiations between the Assembly, Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were laid out by Assemblyman Jack McEneny, D-Albany, at a Wednesday evening meeting of the chamber’s Democratic conference.
“A possible constitutional change to New York’s redistricting process would create a 10-member independent panel to draw the state’s political lines beginning in 2021, but would allow the Legislature to make final tweaks to the plan if the Assembly and Senate fail to pass it after two tries,” Seiler writes.
“I think there are likely to be a number of nationally watched, hot congressional races in New York,” said Steven Greenberg, a Siena College pollster.
However, the maps everyone is reacting to are not likely to relate at all to where the ultimate lines will fall.
The state Assembly and Senate’s haggling over forming new districts based on 2010 census data has left potential Congressional candidates and those in office without a clear picture of the districts and the areas they may represent after the fall.
The Assembly plan would make it much tougher for Republican Reps. Nan Hayworth of Bedford and Ann Marie Buerkle of Onondaga Hill to win re-election, giving them new areas that lean Democratic and taking away communities that lean Republican.
“These lines are drawn by legislators to select you the voter before you ever get to select them,” said Barbara Bartoletti, the legislative director for the N.Y. League of Women Voters.
Many– including Gov. Andrew Cuomo– feared the lines may have been drawn with political motivation. And some political experts say there is some evidence to suggest that.
The group of experts from across the country, all of whom have studied redistricting in New York, spoke one day after a panel of judges in Brooklyn federal court began taking control of drawing the Congressional lines —which legislators have failed to do as they were supposed to.