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GooGoo pans redistricting agreement

By Lombardo David
Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Government watchdog Common Cause New York is not looking forward to redistricting in 10 years with proposd commission.

This afternoon the state Senate is supposed to approve a constitutional amendment to the redistricting process, which was approved earlier in the year by the state Assembly. The plan, which would need to be approved by the voters in a referendum, is touted as an independent way of completing a usually partisan task.

"The public is quite clear that it expects redistricting to be a fair and objective process in which electoral lines are adjusted to reflect demographic changes in the census," said Common Cause NY Executive Director Susan Lerner in a statement.

"Today, we are no closer to that ideal; if anything we have taken a step away from it," she said. "The proposed constitutional amendment sets up a hyper-partisan, expensive and ineffective structure for redistricting. This is a system designed to fail, the safeguard for which, is control of the maps defaulting to the Legislature. Ultimately, this is not an independent process and the voters lose."

Lerner held up the Nassau county Temporary Districting Commission, which resembles the state's proposed plan, as an example of the potential consequences for the state. "That body was unable to hold joint meetings to develop a map or even to agree on a record to present to its County Legislature ... And it has cost the tax payers dearly: $500,000," she sadi. "Yet, since the bi-partisan Commission could not come up with a map, the Legislature will directly draw its own map, which is exactly what the elaborate structure was supposed to prevent ... Yet the state amendment sets up a partisan body largely similar to the failed Nassau County model."

Follow @Poozer87 on twitter for more from the Capitol.

 

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