Call Your Albany Gerrymanderers

7 Jul

Last year, many state legislators running for office in New York made a big deal out of a pledge being pushed by former New York Mayor Ed Koch’s “New York Uprising“. The full text of the pledge is available here, and the signatories are pledging to push and vote for ethics reform, more transparency in financial disclosure, and independent redistricting. Signatories were touted as “heroes” of reform, while those who didn’t were labeled “enemies” of reform.

The redistricting piece is up for discussion now in Albany, and it’s not happening independently. It’s happening with as much self-righteous and entitled partisanship as the current, broken process in Erie County.

The Buffalo News’ Tom Precious wrote a story about it and a handful of Albany pols were quoted. For instance,

“Ed Koch is pretty irrelevant to the process, in my opinion,” said Assemblyman John J. McEneny, an Albany Democrat who is the other co-chairman of the redistricting task force.

Yes, he is technically irrelevant, but the good government group he leads pressed lawmakers throughout 2010 to sign the pledge for independent redistricting. Here’s McEneny’s page at NYUprising:

So, he signed the pledge and is now reneging on it. Regardless of what you think about Ed Koch or NY Uprising, that’s pretty despicable behavior.

And another:

“We’ve long since run out of time for that process,” said Sen. Michael F. Nozzolio, a Finger Lakes-area Republican and co-chairman of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment.

Here’s Nozzolio’s signed pledge. It appears that he was called an “enemy” due to his refusal to release information about his outside income.

Redistricting is important because it’s been used as a political tool through gerrymandering to guarantee incumbents’ re-election. The incumbency rate in Albany of over 90% is the net result of a politicized process. The despicable joke that is the redundant Erie County Legislature has placed on full display the perils of a hyperpoliticized redistricting process. This stuff is important – it happens once a decade and has much to do with how your government behaves, and what it does in the ensuing years.

Call your legislators in Albany – in both the Assembly and Senate – and demand independent redistricting. Tell them you’re paying attention and that you support Governor Cuomo’s threat to veto any redistricting that results from a politicized gerrymandering process.

10 Responses to “Call Your Albany Gerrymanderers”

  1. Keller July 7, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Visiting Buffalo now through Saturday…where should I go first?  Canalside District?  How is the shopping down there?  Is the Broadway Market as awesome as my great grandparents make it out to be?  I can’t wait to see what you have done with the waterfront!  How exciting!

  2. Chris Sasiadek July 7, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    California generally isn’t a good role model for this sort of thing, but their new Independent Redistricting Panel was fast and drew near universal praise from goo-goos.  The process to chose the panelists was kind of complex, but similar to jury selection, but with individuals volunteering to be in the pool.  I’ll bet a New York commission could be selected and have maps faster than any crooked deal could work its way through Albany.

  3. Brian Wood July 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Oh, come on!! The Albany whores actually want to do something for a change (protect their own brothels, pimps, and streetcorners, and we diss ’em for it.

  4. Brian Wood July 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm #


  5. Ray July 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Power is such a damned aphrodisiac, there probably isn’t any way to stop the entrenched incumbents. Even Florida- Hanging Freaking Chad FLORIDA!- passed a state constitutional amendment to require independent redistricting, and before the vote tally had even been certified, two Congressional incumbents (one from each party) were already filing court documents to overturn it as infringing on their federal constitutional right to have political hacks divide up their realm.

  6. little John July 7, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Mr. Grisanti signed the pledge but is on the enemy list because he went back on his word and no longer supports redistricting reform.

  7. Greg July 8, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    I’ve been roughly following Ed Koch’s work, and I’m on his mailing list and Facebook page. As I understood it, Skelos was the one who started the reneging process. He started spewing some bullshit about how there wasn’t enough time and we’d have to do things the old way, so, sorry, screw you for another 10 years. That was a few months ago.

    If he’s got his mind made up, what is my calling Ranzie going to do about it? The head honcho already made up his mind, and Ranz is going to do what he’s told. I just so much feel like there’s nothing I can personally do.

    I email Ranz often, and it’s always pointless. (Well, I do get a laugh out of the responses.) It’s not like he’s going to change his vote for me. In fact, I highly doubt my voice has any influence whatsoever — people believe what they believe, and an outside voice can almost never change that.

    Shorter me: democracy sucks.

  8. Jesse July 8, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I wrote mine, including Ms Corwin.

  9. Fat Tony July 8, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Independent redistricting = screwing of upstate. I can’t believe you are all so naive.

  10. Brian Wood July 10, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    New York City has a lot of people; Buffalo a few. Demanding more representation for upstate is unconstitutional and stupid. New York City also pays more in to New York State than it gets back, so quitcherbitchin’.

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