Cuomo Continues Questionable Arguments Against Court-Drawn Map

new congressional map Cuomo Continues Questionable Arguments Against Court Drawn MapOn The Capitol Pressroom today, Governor Andrew Cuomo continued criticizing what he called “the quote unquote ‘judicial’ lines” the court presented for New York State’s new congressional map. Mr. Cuomo posited the court’s flaws in drawing the congressional map make a compromise with the Legislature over the State Assembly and State Senate maps a relatively welcome deal.

First, Mr. Cuomo argued again the judge’s map was “remarkably similar” to the competing plans the State Assembly and State Senate presented to the court.

However, a quick glance at the court’s map and the legislative proposals shows this not to be the case.

“It certainly doesn’t appear like the courts maps are … close to anything that exists or have been proposed,” Steven Romalewski, director of the mapping services at the City University of New York, told The Empire yesterday.

Secondly, Mr. Cuomo argued the judge worked to protect incumbent politicians, which would align the court with the interests of the Legislature.

“The magistrate clearly took incumbency into consideration,” he said, contradicting the sworn affidavit of the court’s redistricting expert. Representatives Bob Turner, Gary Ackerman, and Kathy Hochul, as well as retiring Rep. Maurice Hinchey, were drawn out of their districts and might also disagree.

“I don’t think the magistrate’s lines are going to be all that different than the assembly and senate lines. I think it’s a marginal difference,” he again contended later in the interview.

However, as Mr. Romalewski also noted to The Empire yesterday, the court map, if anything, represents something closer to the good government group Common Cause’s proposal than the Legislature’s. If the court were to intervene on the State Senate and Assembly maps as well, there might be even more substantive differences between their plan and Albany’s, as Common Cause’s maps for the State Senate and Assembly are very, very different from the legislative maps coming out of Albany.