New York Post
NY Dems map out fall of GOP
Redistrict targets 3 Republican reps.
New York Democrats unveiled a proposed redistricting map on Wednesday, gerrymandering the state to make it harder for three House Republicans to win re-election.
The plan by Democratic members of the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission appears to target Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-SI/ Brooklyn), Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-Binghamton) and Rep. John Katko (R-Auburn) by increasing the number of registered Democrats among each of their constituencies.
If successful, the proposal could cut the number of GOP House members from the Empire State in half — from eight to four — because it also eliminates the district now represented by Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning).
Reed announced in May that he wouldn’t seek reelection after he was accused of drunkenly molesting a 25-year-old female lobbyist in a Minneapolis bar in 2017.
New York is set to lose one of its 27 House seats following next year’s elections due to the results of the 2020 census, which also shrank the congressional delegations from six other states.
If the redistricting is successful, and the three targeted Republicans lose, New York could be represented in the House by four Republicans and 22 Democrats. That could also increase the Democratic caucus in the House by three.
New York State Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy immediately vowed to challenge the redistricting plan, saying that Democrats “are going to stonewall and drag this process out hoping New Yorkers aren’t paying attention so partisan legislators can draw their own maps.”
“We intend to employ every legal and political tool in our arsenal to stop them and ensure New Yorkers are fairly represented,” he said in a prepared statement.
State Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs called it “really rich” that Langworthy was “concerned with Democratic redistricting when the Republicans were chopping up districts in their favor” following the 2010 census.
One Republican who isn’t targeted in the new plan is Elise Stefanik (R-Glens Falls), the third-ranking Republican leader in the House. John Faso, a former GOP House member from upstate Kinderhook, said he suspected Democrats avoided her district because “she’s a very strong candidate.”
“She’s got a very high profile, she’s got high favorability among North Country constituents and she’s a terrific fundraiser. She’ll win the election,” he said.
But veteran Democratic political consultant Hank Sheinkopf suggested the move may transcend party politics.
“Should the Republicans win the House, which appears likely next year, she will become very, very important,” he said.
“She’s No. 3 in the Republican leadership, she will be close to the speaker, and New York may need financial and other help.”
Sheinkopf also noted that it’s “tough to challenge” Stefanik.
“Where do you get the Democrats from in that part of the state? Democrats are hard to find there,” he said.
Republican members of the IRC released their own proposed redistricting map on Wednesday after the commission failed to agree on a bipartisan plan.
But the issue will ultimately be decided by the Democratic-controlled state Legislature and sent to Democratic Gov. Hochul for approval.
Back in November 2014, New York voters approved an amendment to the state Constitution to set up an independent commission to handle the work of drawing new House and legislative districts. Tasked with ensuring that districts “not be drawn to discourage competition or to favor/disfavor candidates or parties,” the commission’s now reporting its proposal — while the Democrats who control state government are getting set to ignore it so they can gerrymander the GOP into oblivion.
Screw the public will — there’s political advantage to be had! And every added seat brings with it a host of jobs for Democratic hangers-on, among other patronage possibilities.
This, while Democrats in Washington are pushing a national reform bill that would, as Sen. Chuck Schumer puts it, ban “vicious gerrymandering, which further threatens to divide our politics.”
That’s not the law yet, apologists argue, and Republicans are gerrymandering the other way in states they control! But how, exactly, does that justify making a mockery of democracy in our state?
Mocking it two ways, in fact: by flipping off the voters’ desire for fair redistricting and by making more districts uncompetitive so Election Day doesn’t matter. This will even effectively disenfranchise Democrats in the handful of seats that have to be made super-Republican to allow for more safe Dem districts.
And “They do it too” certainly doesn’t excuse gerrymandering seats for the state Senate and Assembly, when Dems already have supermajorities in both chambers.
Make no mistake: This is all about the political “haves” sticking it to the have-nots. It also shows that the Democrats’ “election reforms” are all a farce.