Liz pulled out a startling line from a recent Roll Call article (which we linked yesterday morning) about Malcolm Smith’s trip to Washington D.C., where he tried to drum up financial support to help Democrats retake the state Senate. In doing so, Smith downplayed a major initiative advocated by Eliot Spitzer: redistricting.
From her site:
According to Roll Call, Smith “hopes the governor can be persuaded to leave the map-making in the hands of the politicians.”
That’s startling. The perception for a while now has been that there’s little to no daylight between the two men, leading one of Smith’s critics to say he is “a wholly owned subsidiary of the governor.” Which seemed to be on display when Smith and the Senate Democrats supported a bill opposed by Spitzer–only briefly.
One explanation could be that the only way to shake money out of lawmakers in D.C. is to play down redistricting reform. Obviously, members of Congress get nervous when the little guys in the state legislatures start talking about redrawing their districts.
I emailed Spitzer and Smith’s offices to get some clarification on all this and will update you if any is forthcoming.
UPDATE: Citizens Union is concerned with Smith’s position on the issue.