Today is the Last Day for Comment on New York Redistricting

The other day I told you about the proposed redistricting plans for New York that would drastically alter the district represented by Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle, and make it nearly impossible for a Republican to ever win this seat again. Today is the last day for interested parties to submit comments to the court.

Rep. Buerkle sent a letter earlier.

I urge the court to reject the proposed Congressional redistricting plans put forward by both the New York State Assembly and the State Senate.

Both legislative bodies have failed in their duty to agree on any kind of commonsense reapportionment in a timely manner. Redistricting, when conducted by elected officials, will always have an element of politics as each political party seeks to gain advantage: that’s unavoidable. New York’s redistricting has become a hyper-political process with incumbent Congressman employing lobbyists and neither party seemingly working towards the common good.

These proposed districts were not drawn based on compactness, geography, or commonality of interests, but for purely partisan reasons. In respect to the district I currently represent, these lines were produced with the intention of determining a winner of the election before the race has even begun.

The product of over-politicized redistricting is anathema to most New Yorkers. In the political process of redistricting, Assembly and Senate members have abandoned good governance in the interest of self-preservation, political advantage and personal ambition. They appear to have been swayed by special interests and Albany lobbyists.

The redistricting plans submitted to this court by non-partisan organizations and citizens are uniformly more compact, reasonable and, frankly, set up more competitive seats in Congress, which is surely in the best interests of the people of New York and the United States. The House of Representatives is supposed to reflect the will of the people because Congressmen are required to face re-election every two years. Drawing totally safe Democrat and Republican Congressional districts has the effect of making the House a rest home for career politicians who never face a competitive election.

Again, I ask this court to turn down the Assembly and Senate redistricting plans in favor of a more common sense approach.

She’s right. The maps submitted by both parties (Republicans control the Senate and Democrats control the Assembly) look like a joke, except that they’re actually serious.

Click here if you want to submit a comment. You only have until midnight.