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.

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 ??  ?? REDRAWING FIRE: New York redistrict­ing would endanger Republican Reps. (from left) John Katko, Nicole Malliotaki­s and Claudia Tenney.
REDRAWING FIRE: New York redistrict­ing would endanger Republican Reps. (from left) John Katko, Nicole Malliotaki­s and Claudia Tenney.

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