The Other McCain

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NY GOP Set to Botch Re-Districting Plan?

Posted on | March 12, 2012 | 12 Comments

Last night I got a tip about shenanigans surrounding the congressional re-districting plan in New York State. The state legislature has been unable to reach agreement and a federal magistrate has become involved. A story from the Albany Times-Union has the background, but the bottom line is that they’re under deadline pressure, and there are rumors of “bipartisan” wheeling and dealing with Republicans in the state senate trying to strike a deal with Democrats.

Because of re-apportionment, New York will go from 29 seats in Congress to 27, so it’s like a game of musical chairs. Normally, the GOP could be expected to protect as many incumbents as possible in the re-districting process, but the New York Republican Party is run by a crew of inept insiders who look like they may be about to commit a blunder of Scozzafava-sized proportions.

According to my source, allies of GOP Rep. Tom Reed (NY-29) are angered by reports that some Republicans are trying to carve out a district for wealthy Buffalo businessman Chris Collins with an R+10 rating — i.e., 60% Republican. In order to do that, however, they would trim Republican votes away from neighboring districts, including those of Reed and freshman GOP Reps. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) and Richard Hanna (NY-24).

Collins is former county executive for Erie County, and there has been talk of him challenging Democrat Rep. Kathy Hochul, who won the 26th District seat in a special election last year after Republican Chris Lee resigned in a sex scandal. In that election, Hochul defeated the GOP candidate, Jane Corwin, with help from a third-party candidate, Jack Davis, who sought Tea Party support but whom many Republicans suspected of being a Democrat puppet.

Republicans want to create a large GOP majority in Hochul’s district in order to create a “safe” seat for Collins. Yet some conservatives say that nominating Collins, who is viewed as a moderate, would likely prompt a third-party challenger, perhaps on the Conservative Party line. This might replicate what happened in the NY-23 special election in 2009, when the GOP picked liberal Dede Scozzafava, and conservatives rallied behind Tea Party challenger Doug Hoffman. Scozzafava quit the race and endorsed the Democrat, Bill Owens, who was elected in the previously Republican district.

Conservative allies of Reed are said to be angry at the rumored negotations to trim Republican-leaning precincts from Reed’s district, currently rated R+6, reducing it to R+3, in order to help Collins. As Reed’s supporters see it, this could endanger Reed’s re-election for the sake of what could prove a doomed effort on Collins’s behalf, to say nothing of the impact on Buerkle and Hanna.

There are also rumors that GOP leaders in the state senate might accept a new district map that would endanger re-election prospects for Rep. Bob Turner (NY-9), the Republican who won last year’s special election to replace Democrat Anthony Weiner, who resigned amid a sex scandal.


12 Responses to “NY GOP Set to Botch Re-Districting Plan?”

  1. Bob Belvedere
    March 12th, 2012 @ 8:03 am

    Another brick in the Whig Wall.

  2. smitty
    March 12th, 2012 @ 8:47 am

    In my perfect world, we’ll automate districting, publish the mapping algorithm, and move the thumb wrestling to making sure the input data are sane.
    The current gerrymandering is antithetical to the spirit of the Constitution.

  3. Morning Bulletin (3/12/12) | AZPUNDIT
    March 12th, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    […] his actions in LibyaObama’s GE rejects Republicans’ ‘climate change’ doubtsNY GOP Set to Botch Re-Districting Plan?Leave A Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Email Address (not public) (required) […]

  4. AngelaTC
    March 12th, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    The fact that there’s only 435 representatives is also antithetical.  If we grew the House with the population, we’d have 10,000 people in there now.

  5. Bob Belvedere
    March 12th, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    Spot-on. That’s the way it should be. No human hand should be involved in the process.

  6. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 12th, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    They can’t fit them in the building and at probably millions per representative in salaries, perks, staff, etc…I just assume keep that 435 number.  

  7. richard mcenroe
    March 12th, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    This reminds me of when I was organizing the mutiny involved in trying to keep my Guard outfit in NYC.  Mario Cuomo was busy moving them upstate as party favors to keep his GOP supporters in Albany sweet.

    The single biggest standing indictment of the GOP is that it has not only effectively abandoned NY and CA, it is looking for short-term personal advantages there at the expense of the entire nation.

  8. richard mcenroe
    March 12th, 2012 @ 10:50 am

     We’re already got Democrats in the process.  That reduces the human hand count by 50% right there.

  9. Wombat_socho
    March 12th, 2012 @ 11:29 am

     I’m okay with them not fitting in the Capitol. RFK Stadium is just sitting there, and if we trimmed them back to 5000 and one secretary each, we could pack them in with plenty of elbow room. First Congressman to propose doming RFK gets shot.

  10. EBL
    March 12th, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    How about we put  them all on a chain gang (like Cool Hand Luke) a couple of times a week?  

  11. Nancy Pelosi is Sticking Her Nose in New York Redistricting | The Lonely Conservative
    March 12th, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    […] background on Ann Marie Buerkle’s district see my prior posts here, here and here.Update: The Other McCain has more on the redistricting in New York. It’s not just Ann Marie Buerkle getting hung out […]

  12. Adjoran
    March 12th, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    The New York State GOP are like the old saying about the Palestinians:  they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

    The courts have said there are limits to gerrymandering, but can’t seem to decide what they are, exactly.  But the messy process of redistricting is part of the price of politics in a free society.  There will be trade-offs and favors.  That’s one of the reasons the Founders chose to limit federal power:  so there is less at stake to corrupt the process.

    The idea of some Master Computer spitting out district lines is just a variation on the Progressives’ plea to Listen to The Experts.  Somebody has to write the program, and lots of people won’t like the results – including the Courts, because any objective data system will end up with less “minority voting power” than we currently have, and we know how that ends up.  Not to mention that Barrett Brown’s friend will be hacking the program from their Mom’s basements (most will get the ankle bracelet for house arrest, as if they ever went out anyway).