Our view: State Senate GOP should keep promise

Michael Gianaris

April 13, 2011

Utica Observer-Dispatch editorialized on redistricting reform and calls on constituents of Senate Republicans to remind them of their promise of reform. Redistricting reform should be passed without delay.

One would suppose that by now we should be used to politicians talking out of both sides of their mouth. Just once it’d be nice to see them actually keep a promise — especially when it’s good for the people.

But alas, redistricting in New York state by independent commission no longer is in the best interest of state Senate Republicans. Ergo, the promise made last year to create an impartial, independent panel on redistricting seems to be kaput.

While it’s not exactly surprising, it’s shameful nonetheless. Write or email local Republican senators — Joseph Griffo, R-Rome, and James Seward, R-Milford — and tell them so. In fact, tell them that it’s still not too late to do the right and honorable thing. Tell them that it’s not just rigged district lines that get them re-elected. Doing the right and honorable thing can help, too. Or not.

While you’re at it, tell them that the majority of New Yorkers overwhelmingly support taking the politics out of drawing electoral lines, according to a Siena College poll released Monday.

The U.S. and state constitutions require that district lines be redrawn every 10 years. In the past, the lines have been drawn by deal-making legislators through a process known as “gerrymandering,” which discourages competitive elections because the lines are drawn to favor a particular party. That protects incumbents and stifles serious debate on issues, which ultimately results in lackluster government. You know, like what we have.

Read the full article here.