New York State Redistricting is a Mess

Last month the New York State Assembly and Senate released their proposed redistricting maps. (The New York Times has the picture, which looks like a weird jigsaw puzzle.) Basically, it’s all about keeping the Senate in the hands of the Republicans and the Assembly in the hands of the Democrats.

On a state level, New York pretty much has one party. If you think it’s bad in Washington, DC, you aren’t familiar with New York politics. It’s three men in a room making decisions – at least one of those men is a Republican who goes along to get along. New York Republican politicians are frightened to go against Governor Cuomo. They make noises now and again, but there’s no real opposition or differentiation between his policies and theirs. The Republicans we do have in office often run unopposed. So GOP voters never have much of a choice.

That’s not to say that locally there aren’t inter-party squabbles. Mostly it’s just RINO on RINO. We even see some Democrat on Democrat skirmishes. But you don’t often hear New York Republicans drawing any real distinctions between themselves and the Democrats. It’s so depressing. Especially when your Republican County Executive not only endorsed, but held fundraisers for, the Democrat governor, even while whining about state mandates he hasn’t done anything about. Gee, could she be more concerned with her political future than the people she represents?

So is it any surprise that New York has a problem when it comes to Congressional redistricting? Moe Lane lays out the problems.

  • New York Democrats want to mess over New York Republicans. The New York GOP is defending several federal Congressional seats (six of the seven GOP-held seats are effectively freshmen) and its Senate majority; and New York Democrats are eager to try to winnow those numbers down. If they can figure out how to do it without eliminating a downstate district. Or two, frankly.
  • New York Republicans, on the other hand, are digging in their heels until they get at least their state Senate majority preserved (note that there is precious little loyalty, on either side, between the state and national parties).
  • And then there’s Governor Andrew Cuomo. He’s a Democrat… which means that he’s usually at war slightly more often with the Republican-controlled Senate than he is with the Democratic-controlled Assembly. He’s also currently stuck with a veto threat that, if not followed, will hurt his chances for later higher office. But if Cuomo does veto whatever devil’s bargain the New York legislature comes up with, then… Bad Things Happen.

Read the whole thing, now the courts are involved. It’s also worth noting once again what’s in parenthesis above: “there is precious little loyalty, on either side, between the state and national parties.” That’s why it’s important to support candidates like Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle. She’s not beholden to them.

It’s well known, but not talked about too much, that Governor Cuomo has ambitions for higher office. That’s why he’s making it look like he’s going after the public employee unions, and trying to appear to be a centrist at the same time. Unfortunately, he could also hold the key to the congressional redistricting process.Who knows what it will look like when they’re done?

Isn’t it ironic that progressive tax and spend policies have pushed New Yorkers to flee the state, (and probably go on to vote and ruin other states) and the progressives could be awarded with redistricting that will help elect the same people that brought about those misguided policies?