Against the Amendment
March 7th, 2012
Democratic legislators continue to hammer away at †possible compromise deal on redistricting that would include a constitutional amendment. A constitutional amendment wouldn’t permanently change the redistricting process until the next process 10 years from now and would require passage by two successive legislatures.
Assemblyman Micha Kellner slammed the deal in a statement.†ďThe proposed redistricting deal is unfortunately more politics as usual. This partisan pact, which would amend the state constitution to create a lawmaker-appointed 10-person panel to draw district lines, keeps in place the hyper-political process of allowing politicians to draw their own districts, choose their own voters and serve their own self-interests,” read Kellner’s statement.
Meanwhile , Common Cause/ NY is also out with a statement pushing for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto district lines rather than to come to a deal.
“As Common Cause/NY has repeatedly stated, reform in this redistricting cycle now lies with the Governor’s veto pen. It’s very simple: the Special Master has provided a legal and fair alternative to the Legislature’s political maneuvering, which would give New Yorkers the democracy they deserve now. A constitutional amendment is not interchangeable with reform in this cycle, and must meet certain standards in order to constitute real reform. Common Cause/NY won’t speculate on press reports about the proposed amendment. However, if and when a bill is introduced we will evaluate it against strict criteria to determine whether it is worthy of support.,” said Susan Lerner.
Meanwhile, Citizens Union continues to push for an agreement that would avoid a veto and “create permanent change”. Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union’s sister organization the Citizens Union Foundation. Kellner’s full statement is after the jump.
ďThe proposed redistricting deal is unfortunately more politics as usual. This partisan pact, which would amend the state constitution to create a lawmaker-appointed 10-person panel to draw district lines, keeps in place the hyper-political process of allowing politicians to draw their own districts, choose their own voters and serve their own self-interests,” read Kellner’s statement.
New Yorkers donít want backroom political deals. New Yorkers want honest and fair government, which can only start with honest and fair legislative districts. And any system that allows politicians to pick their voters fundamentally undermines our democracy.
Moreover, change for appearance sake is not real change. Itís bad enough that this proposal expressly allows the Legislature to outright reject new district lines. But to add insult to injury, this amendment would enshrine partisan politics into the constitution by requiring a supermajority of only one political party to approve the lines. This proposal clearly represents a step backwards. The whole purpose of a constitutional amendment should be to remove the Legislature completely from the redistricting process.
New Yorkers deserve better, and I urge Governor Cuomo to follow through with his pledge to veto any redistricting deal that allows legislators to continue choosing their own voters.ĒBy David King on March 7, 2012, 2:57 pm
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