No one, with a straight face, can really say that the new State Senate districts drawn up by…the incumbents in the State Senate, represent a balanced prospect. Though many have, and it’s impossible not to laugh at them. The majority Republicans have done everything in their power to fashion a plan that allows them to hold on to the hair-breadth margin they have, including creating a brand new district, somewhere in New York. The Democrats in the Assembly have also put forth a plan that will comfortably maintain their sway, but they have a much larger margin of error to play with.
I mean, you can’t look at the district that will now include Shandaken and Olive without laughing.
Ulster County did it right, picked a citizens’ committee, drew the maps with the computers in a series of very public meetings and no one kicked about it. Well, a couple of legislators did, but the public, you and me, we were well served.
We are certainly not by the bald-faced power grab that our legislators are foisting on to us.
Governor Cuomo promised to veto any plan that stank, and this one surely does. It may be left to the courts to decide if his veto stands, as it likely would, at least as far as the State Senate is concerned. The courts may say that the state constitution gives the legislature the power to draw the lines. How does it feel to kick yourself in the butt?
And speaking of the state constitution…the governor and many leaders now want to legalize casino gambling in New York. It takes the vote of two consecutive state legislatures and then a referendum. Conceivably, state legislature one could vote this year, perhaps even after the November election, so as not to anger anyone opposed before voting time. Then, a new legislature will take over on January 1. So they could vote again soon after. Set a referendum some 90 days down the road after that and casinos could be legalized by spring. But certainly not before a donnybrook over who would get to build them and run them, who gets what and who gets bribed. It should be called the Full Employment for Lobbyists act. What has happened before in this case is that there’s actually too much money to be made, and everyone who is afraid that someone else might make it, ends up opposing their bids. Powerful interests collide, chaos ensues and the bid fails. That’s what happened in the late 1990s after one legislature had given approval. Should be vastly entertaining, in any case. ++