“Incumbency protection was a dirty word 20 or 30 years ago,” said Carl Hum, executive director of the Districting Commission, not sounding the least bit concerned with letting legislators pick their voters instead of the other way around. “When it came to districting, we equated that with secret backroom deals. The evolution of case law in districting comes to embrace incumbency protection. Sometimes legislators create relationships with constituents.”
This isn’t good: “Commissioners who unanimously approved new City Council district lines last week were not provided with maps showing last-minute tweaks until an hour before voting for them.”
Crain’s New York slammed the concept of partisan defectors and breakaway conferences today, a not-so-subtle shot at the current Albany conundrum. “We’re not saying legislators should reflexively vote the party line,” the publication wrote. “But for state government to function, a certain degree of order must be kept in the Legislature. We can’t have 63 undisciplined senators dangling their allegiance on eBay whenever the mood strikes. With the chamber so closely divided, we can’t afford even one.”
Capital New York’s Blake Zeff said the latest Quinnipiac poll shows one of Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s policies is particular unpopularity in the Democratic electorate. “Dig deeper into the stop-and-frisk question, and the numbers are even more telling: Democrats oppose the practice by 62-33, black voters by 70-28, and Hispanic voters by 64-33,” he argued. “Don’t think this has escaped the attention of the candidates and their campaigns. If you’re a Democrat running for mayor in 2013, this is an issue you must address if you want to connect with the base of your party.”
Although the Long Island Power Authority is controlled by the state government, local elected officials are extremely reluctant to assign any blame to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has made blasting the agency one of his chief post-Sandy talking points.
Meanwhile, Congressman Charlie Rangel wishes a happy Thanksgiving to everyone who was caught in “Operation Sandy”: