Green Room

Andrew Cuomo Looking More Like Chris Christie Every Day

posted at 11:53 am on February 18, 2011 by

Plenty of attention has been paid to a number of new Republican state governors who have been bucking old trends, speaking uncomfortable truths and challenging the status quo to effect fiscal reform during hard times along with other, long overdue revisions. And increasingly, another name has been tacked on to that list… Andrew Cuomo of New York. Wait… what? Isn’t he a Democrat?

Cuomo announces plan for independent redistricting

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced legislation Thursday to establish an independent redistricting commission to overhaul how congressional and state legislative districts lines are drawn in New York.

Independent redistricting has been the top reform urged by good-government groups for decades because New York leaders have drawn districts that are advantageous for the parties in power, limiting competitive elections.

But Cuomo is vowing to make good on a campaign pledge last year to change the system and install an independent body to oversee the reshaping of district lines this year in advance of the 2012 elections.

Yes, I heard him say that on the campaign trail too, but honestly, none of us actually thought he would do it.

I spent most of the last year grappling with the results of the Empire State’s obscenely gerrymandered districting scheme. The one where our race took place looks like something out of a sketch done by M.C. Escher on a bad brown acid trip. The rest of the state isn’t much better, with both the congressional and state legislative districts carved up in impossible ways to give Democrats every chance of holding on to as much power as possible.

If a truly independent board is put in place, as has been previously suggested, and they actually do draw up regularly shaped, axis-contiguous districts based solely on population distribution, the upstate region could suddenly become a lot more competitive than it has been for the last two decades.

This comes on the heels of his previous stances in getting tougher on not only spending, but on the public sector unions. Once the current drama in Wisconsin finishes playing out, let’s see if he and Governor Christie decide to adopt a few new pages for their playbooks.

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If Andrew Cuomo actually does what he said he would, he’s a step above Chris Christie.

gryphon202 on February 18, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Let’s see how a Democrat defines independent.

Of course, he may see the handwriting on the wall. If the Blue State of New York reaches a tipping point, he’s rather it tip slowly than go over forever.

njcommuter on February 18, 2011 at 1:39 PM

I’m actually more surprised that Cuomo is tackling the redistricting plan than the budget, since New York State doesn’t have the advantage California does in having no other state’s major city within 200 miles of its major cities. L.A. to Las Vegas or Phoenix distance-wise is like New York City to New Hampshire or Virgina, so Cuomo knows if the state doesn’t change its ways while other neighboring states like Christie’s New Jersey are, he’ll lose people and businesses who want to avoid the taxes, but still stay in the area.

As for the redistricting, it may be that given the resurgence of the Republicans at the down ballot levels in NYS last year, less gerrymandered districts might end up being a wash in 2012, compared to what the party will get with the current arrangement (minus two congressional seats) versus what non-rigged districts would produce outside of the NYC region.

jon1979 on February 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM