Issues: Elections

Inkblot districts are visible proof of Albany’s gerrymandering

The New York Daily News editorial investigates the oddly shaped districts in the Senate GOP's redistricting proposal and how they represent the unjustified approach Republicans used to draw district lines.

Do not mistake the nearby shapes for Rorschach inkblots.

They are visible proof of how flagrantly state Senate Republicans distorted the process of redrawing election districts.

The weird outlines also document why Gov. Cuomo must veto the maps.

January 30, 2012
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Gov. Cuomo must veto ridiculous new Senate and Assembly districts

An editorial by the New York Daily News talks about the Senate Republican's draft for new Senate and Assembly districts and how they have used redistricting to increase their power while abandoning the interests of voters.

Nothing less than the future of representative democracy in New York is on the line as the Legislature establishes new district lines based on the latest census.

By long-standing practice, lawmakers have drawn maps to protect incumbents while shutting out challengers. Democrats load up Assembly districts with Democrats; Republicans stock Senate districts with Republicans.

January 30, 2012
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A Veto for the Voters

The New York Times wrote an editorial discussing the Senate Republican's proposed legislative district maps, which are so blatantly partisan that Governor Cuomo's office has called them "simply unacceptable."

This week, New York State lawmakers unveiled proposed legislative district maps, based on the 2010 census and required in time for this year’s elections. The maps, as expected, are entirely designed to protect party interests for Republicans who control the State Senate districts and Democrats who run the Assembly.

January 30, 2012
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Two Senators Caught In The Crosshairs Of Redistricting Speak Out

NY1 posted a video of Senator Gianaris' interview on Inside City Hall where he talks about the need to get fair district maps drawn.

Watch the video here.

January 30, 2012
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Sen. Gianaris on Redistricting and the Primary Date

Capital Tonight had an interview with Senator Gianaris discussing the egregiously drawn district maps and the new primary date.

Watch the interview here.

January 30, 2012
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New lines draw veto threat

Times Union wrote an editorial that talks about the release of the new state legislative districts, which have drawn heavy criticism from Senate Democrats and could potentially be vetoed by Governor Cuomo.

New state legislative districts were unveiled Thursday amid a fusillade of criticism — including an unprecedented veto threat by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo's verdict came in a terse statement a few hours after the lines, which must be redrawn every 10 years to conform to the new federal Census, arrived at 2 p.m.

"At first glance, these lines are simply unacceptable and would be vetoed by the governor," said spokesman Josh Vlasto. "We need a better process and product."

[...]

January 30, 2012
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A senator, just for us?

An editorial by Times Union discusses the state Senate Republican's redistricting proposal and calls them out for being glaringly politically self-interested rather than serving the public's interest.

First came the pitch that the 63rd state Senate district the Republicans want to create in order to protect their tiny majority would be upstate. How nice of them, looking after a region that tends to get shortchanged politically and economically.

January 30, 2012
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The Capitol Pressroom for January 27, 2012

The Capitol Pressroom's Susan Arbetter did an interview with Senator Gianaris discussing the redistricting maps. 

Listen to the interview here

January 30, 2012
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LATFOR React-o-Mat: outraged Senate Dems edition

Capitol Confidential posted an article that highlights the many issues resulting from the state Senate Republican's redistricting proposal, which Senator Gianaris feels should not be tolerated by the people of New York.

Because we’re expecting several of them, we’re posting a separate React-o-Mat to corral statements from Senate Democrats ticked off by the release of LATFOR’s maps.

From Sen. Mike Gianaris, in a phone interview with Jimmy:

“I spent over five years making the case for an independent redistricting, and in five years I did not accomplish as much for the cause as Senate Republican’s did today. It’s about as bad — partisan, political — as you could imagine.”

January 30, 2012
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Gianaris Compares Senate GOP To Tom DeLay

Capital Tonight posted a video that features Senator Gianaris speaking about the blatant politicized process by which the Senate Republicans have drawn new district maps.

Watch the video here

January 30, 2012
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State Senate GOP majority wants to merge four Queens districts currently held by Dems into two

The New York Daily News article discusses the state Senate Republican's proposal for new districting lines that combines four Queens districts into two. Senator Gianaris believes that the Senate Republican's ploy further demonstrates why the redistricing process needs improvement.

The state Senate GOP majority wants to merge four Queens districts currently held by Democrats into two — and one is held by the chair of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

Michael Gianaris, whose position makes him a main architect of Democratic campaign strategy in the Senate, would face a reelection dogfight against a Latino incumbent, Jose Peralta, in a heavily Latino district, sources said.

January 30, 2012
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As goo-goos despair, a reform legislator says court-drawn lines are still the 'most likely outcome'

An editorial written by Capital discusses the looming release of LATFOR's redistricing lines and the possibility that Governor Cuomo will veto the redistricting proposal. According to Senator Gianaris, LATFOR's inability to propose district lines that are fair will likely necessitate court involvement.

This week, the lawmakers running the redistricting process are expected to reveal the lines they came up with. (A lawmaker told me they may release Assembly and Senate lines as soon as today, but not congressional ones.)

January 30, 2012
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SHADOW PLAY

City and State wrote an editorial that talks about the upcoming release of New York state's new lines for election districts. Senator Gianaris believes that LATFOR's redistricitng process is nothing more than a political power play.

It was one of the last of the group’s dozens of public hearings before drafting new lines for election districts. Dilan, representing the Senate Democratic Conference on the task force, was upset about a memo from a Senate Republican lawyer that advocated for a 63rd Senate seat. The memo had been placed on the LATFOR website late on a Friday, with no Democratic input.

[...]

January 30, 2012
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Griffo Statement on Proposed State Senate Disitrict 47

Griffo: Redistricting Plan Largely Keeps Current 47th District Intact

January 26, 2012
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Statement from Senator Squadron on Republican Proposed District Lines

 

NEW YORK -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron released the following statement in response to the proposed district lines just released by the Senate Republicans:

Even though the worst of the Republican political shenanigans aren't impacting the district I represent as they are some of my colleagues' districts, the conclusion is undeniable: partisan redistricting is a poisonous process.  

Before the 2010 election, every member of the Senate majority pledged to create an independent redistricting process. Now they are breaking the pledge they made to the people and putting politics before their promise. It's no surprise that these politically motivated maps represent the same arrogance as their broken pledge: politicians choosing their constituents, so that constituents lose the power to choose their representatives.

As the Governor has said, any lines drawn in this process must not stand. Voters must make their voices heard now so that their votes can make a difference in November.

January 26, 2012
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Bipartisan Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment Release New State Senate District Lines

The bipartisan Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment --co-chaired by Senator Michael F. Nozzolio and Assemblyman John J. McEneny  --  today released new Senate district lines, based on population shifts which occurred over the last ten years. 

January 26, 2012
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Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

@Senator Dilan is the Democratic Minority Member sitting on LATFOR. He has been fighting to keep the process open, fair and free of partisan gerrymandering. Keep up to date with the Task Force and the Senator’s latest efforts.

 

January 24, 2012
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Legislature prepares for session with elections looming

The Ithaca Journal wrote an article that highlights the Senate Republicans rejection of the formation of an independent redistricting task force, which was proposed by Senate Democrats. Senator Gianaris believes that redistricting reform is an urgent matter and that Senate Republicans have abandoned their promise to fix it.

Lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have spent recent months touting their legislative accomplishments in 2011: an on-time budget, a 2 percent property tax cap, a revamped income tax code and a sense of renewed collegiality in a Capitol long known for its partisanship.

That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't plenty on the table for 2012.

[...]

January 18, 2012
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New Senate seat plan is GOP power play that will cost taxpayers

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle wrote an editorial calling Senate Republicans out on their reneged campaign promises of redistricting reform. Senator Gianaris believes this kind of political power play is intolerable. 

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.

January 13, 2012
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Senator Oppenheimer Announces Her Retirement in 2012

State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) announced today that she will not seek re-election this November.  The Senator made her decision upon recently learning that she will have to undergo major shoulder replacement surgery in 2012.

Said Oppenheimer:

“It had always been my plan to seek re-election in November and continue to serve the people of this district.  When considering my responsibilities as Senator, the extensive effort that will go into rehabilitation and physical therapy following my surgery, and the added work of the hard fought campaigns I always wage, it became clear to me that I could do only two of those three important tasks.

January 12, 2012
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