Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gerrymandering in New York State

NY1 illustrates even more corruption in the New York State Legislature:

It almost goes without saying that in a functioning democracy, the voters choose their representatives. But some say it’s the other way around in New York where by drawing their own district lines, Albany lawmakers can pick and choose which voters they represent -- a longstanding phenomenon known as gerrymandering.

The article also shows that this is no coincidence:

By law, the lines must be redrawn every 10 years, with New York divided up into districts for each of its 62 state senators; 150 State Assembly members; and 29 members of the House of Representatives.  

So who exactly gets to draw the lines? It’s a process essentially controlled by the leaders of each house in Albany -- the Assembly speaker and the leader of the State Senate. And historically, they’ve drawn the lines to make sure their members get reelected, and that their party remains in power.  

Consider that statewide, Democrats outnumber Republicans almost two to one. Yet Republicans maintained control of the State Senate for more than 40 years. This time around, with Democrats having won a slim majority in the senate two years ago, Malcolm Smith told upstate Democrats earlier this year, "We are going to draw the lines so that Republicans will be in oblivion in the State of New York for the next 20 years."


Post a Comment