Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemed to indicate today he was lining up with Citizens Union’s take on redistricting: Namely use the veto to wring the needed reforms such as a less political map this year and a constitutional amendment moving forward.
Which begs the question: Will this threat actually work?
“We’re going to see,” Cuomo said in an unusually concise answer this afternoon at a news conference.
Citizens Union has suggested that the governor use his veto threat in order to get concessions from the Legislature on redistricting, including “fairer” lines and an amendment for an independent panel. Common Cause, on the other hand, has split with the other good-governments and said it is best left up to the courts.
As Michael just reported, Democrats and Republicans both agree that retiring Rep. Maurice Hinchey’s seat is a goner.
Lawmakers are expected to release some redrawn political boundaries today in response to the involvement of a federal magistrate and special master now commandeering the House redistricting process.
“Most of this is going to be decided by a court anyway,” Cuomo said at the news conference.
The governor continues to beat the drum that a long-term solution is needed on redistricting in order to avoid gerrymandered lines every 10 years. The next round of redistricting is in 2022, based on the 2020 Census.
“The Constitution says they have the right to draw the lines, but the lines have to be legal and the court will determine if they’re legal,” Cuomo said. “I am saying to them, they shouldn’t be hyper political like the lines you have drawn, even if they are legal they shouldn’t be hyper political and we should change this once and for all.”
Early budget figures for Avoca Central School project a levy increase falling short of the district’s property tax cap.
Presenting tentative budget information to the board of education Tuesday night, treasurer Gay Fairbrother said the district is anticipating a 1.9 to 2 percent tax levy increase for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
With the state’s newly installed property tax cap, the district could have raised taxes 2.62 percent without exceeding the cap. Fairbrother said the district will not have to approve an override law for the tax cap.
The district’s maximum allowable levy under the cap is $2,543,143.53, but the figure is anticipated to come in at $2,525,349.
The school is continuing to not fill positions, including a teacher’s aid position that will open up in the next school year. Superintendent Richard Yochem said the district hasn’t filled approximately 10 positions over the past three years.
Yochem didn’t anticipate any cuts to personnel or programs in the upcoming year.
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The lengthy process to redraw election district lines in New York that will guide politics for the next decade is expected to get longer.
Two state officials say the Senate’s Republican majority and the Assembly’s Democratic majority likely won’t be able to submit their redistricting proposals by midnight Monday. That was the deadline to get a vote on the new election districts lines by March 1.
The officials are speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. They say disagreement threatens that timetable.
Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo promises to threaten the lines proposed this year. In public statement, he appears to have left little room for anything but substantial changes.
The Legislature’s majorities have traditionally used redistricting to protect their power.
Carvin, 57, joins a GOP field that already includes Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos and attorney Wendy Long.
“I have decided to run for the office of U.S. Senate because I believe that our representatives in Washington have provided us with an economic framework that severely undermines our competitive position in the world today,” said Carvin, an agricultural investor.
Carvin’s new campaign bio gives his claim to fame as “working to eliminate his own job in an effort to streamline local government and lower property taxes.”
A spokesperson for Gillibrand told our Alison Gendar, “Sen. Gillibrand looks forward to contrasting her vision for growing the economy and her strong record of fighting for New York values against whomever the Republicans ultimately choose to run against her.”
The majority parties in the Senate and Assembly have both proposed to eliminate the district of retiring Rep. Maurice Hinchey, but don’t agree on where to cut a second seat.
Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans will file separate plans today for carving the state into 27 congressional districts. The state will have two fewer congressional districts in 2013 than it currently has because its population is growing at a slower pace that other states.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Silver said the Assembly’s map will split up Hinchey’s district, distributing his constituents to neighboring districts. The district currently stretches from the Southern Tier to the Hudson Valley, including the cities of Ithaca, Poughkeepsie and Binghamton.
Hinchey, a Democrat from Hurley, Ulster County, earlier this year announced his plan to retire at the end of his term.
“It’s obvious the Hinchey district is one,” Silver said. “We’re not eliminating, but we obviously have to consolidate some districts.”
Senate Republicans, meanwhile, will propose to eliminate the seats of Hinchey and Rep. Gary Ackerman, Senate GOP officials said. Ackerman is a Democrat whose district includes parts of Queens and Nassau County. (Hinchey’s is the 22nd Congressional District in the map at left, which is of the current districts. Ackermans is the 5th Congressional District.)
The Senate GOP plan would keep 44 counties whole, according to the officials, who did not specify which counties were included.
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A spokesman for the Assembly Democratic majority said this morning that Senate Republicans are proposing to eliminate a pair of Congressional districts currently held by Democrats, which has become a major sticking point in negotiating new maps.
Michael Whyland, the spokesman, said the Senate GOP is trying to preserve Rep. Bob Turner’s Queens seat by sweeping conservative neighborhoods from neighboring districts, and are proposing to cut the Queens/Nassau County district currently held by Rep. Gary Ackerman, a Democrat. They’re also looking at eliminating the 22nd Congressional District, currently held by retiring Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, Ulster County, according to Whyland.
Ackerman represents the 5th Congressional District. (Click to enlarge the map.)
Turner, a Republican, pulled off a surprise win in a special election last year in his largely Democratic district. He replaced Rep. Anthony Wiener, who resigned amid scandal.
Assembly Democrats say the Senate GOP’s plan would hurt voters in the outer boroughs of New York City, Whyland said. The conference also isn’t in favor of eliminating two Democratic districts, for obvious reasons.
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Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler told The Daily Caller that he resigned his leadership position with the grassroots organization last week out of frustration with how money is being spent and how closely the group has aligned itself with Republicans.
Tea Party Patriots (TPP) officials say they’re a coalition of more than 3,400 local tea party groups made up of more than 15 million members.
In an interview, Meckler — a well-known figure in the movement — cited, as an example, how Tea Party Patriots spent $250,000 to sponsor the Southern Republican Leadership Conference presidential debate in South Carolina this year.
“That bothered me on a lot of levels,” he said.
In an email obtained by TheDC, Meckler told the group’s board of directors last week that the expenditure was “a colossal waste, which served to foster the narrative that TPP is a tool of the Republican Party, while providing minimal [public relations] value at best.”
Speaking by phone from California this week, Meckler said he fought against spending the money on the GOP debate during the conference in Charleston for several reasons, including a poll that says 40 percent of people who self-identify as part of the tea party movement do not consider themselves Republicans.
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