Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Senate and Assembly majorities agreed Wednesday to enact the Legislature’s redistricting proposal as part of a long-term reform effort. The Senate Republican and Assembly Democratic majorities planned to pass the plan Wednesday night, despite condemnation from some good-government groups that the district lines were gerrymandered to protect the majorities’ political power and perks for the next 10 years. A senior administration official said Wednesday night that Cuomo will sign the measure, withdrawing his promised veto of any “hyper-partisan lines.” Cuomo ultimately traded his veto for a long-term overhaul through a constitutional amendment promised by legislative leaders. The senior administration official spoke on condition of anonymity because although the deal is sealed, the officials hadn’t yet announced it. Critics denounced Cuomo’s decision. As candidates in 2010, Cuomo and lawmakers promised independent redistricting.
Doug Muzzio, a political science professor at Baruch College, called the agreement a “total cave. A huge flip … A man of his word? Koch was right.” Muzzio referred to former New York City Mayor Ed Koch who secured a promise from Cuomo during his 2010 campaign for governor that he would veto any lines not drawn by an independent commission or that continued to distort the process to protect the majorities’ power. During the campaign, most members of the Senate and Assembly majority also signed Koch’s New York Uprising pledge to enact independent redistricting.
“The governor said he is going to veto hyper-partisan lines, the lines remain hyper-partisan,” said Susan Lerner of Common Cause-NY. Cuomo was scheduled to sign the proposal before a federal judge takes up the issue Thursday. A judge can decide to order lines to be drawn by an independent court appointee. “These lines are in full compliance with the constitution,” said Sen. Michael Nozzolio, a Finger Lakes Republican and the GOP point person on redistricting. “We’re very hopeful the governor sees it as a good plan.”
Full Article: Cuomo to sign NY Legislature’s redistricting plan – WSJ.com.