Headline of the Day: “Intent on Being First, Cuomo Used All Means to Enact Gun Limits.”
Former Congressman Mike McMahon is considering a rematch against GOP Rep. Michael Grimm. His Staten Island-based district was one of only a couple in the entire country to switch from voting against President Obama in 2008 to for him in 2012, but 2014’s lower, non-presidential turnout would present new challenges for Democrats there. That is, unless the investigation into Mr. Grimm’s fundraising yields more bad headlines for the incumbent.
Yesterday evening, the State Senate passed a bill to change the redistricting process in the State Constitution, a change likely to go before New York voters in the near future. If in effect, redistricting would be more bipartisan rather than more nonpartisan, disappointing many good government advocates. GOP State Senator John DeFrancisco, making an argument he’s made before, contended that it’s impossible to take politics out of the redistricting process, or, as he phrased it, “politics out of politics.”
“The public is quite clear that it expects redistricting to be a fair and objective process in which electoral lines are adjusted to reflect demographic changes in the census,” Common Cause’s Susan Lerner countered. “Today, we are no closer to that ideal; if anything we have taken a step away from it. The proposed constitutional amendment sets up a hyper-partisan, expensive and ineffective structure for redistricting. This is a system designed to fail, the safeguard for which, is control of the maps defaulting to the Legislature. Ultimately, this is not an independent process and the voters lose.”
Temporary President and Republican Coalition Leader Dean Skelos threw some more cold water on public campaign financing on Capital Tonight last night. “Again, I think that public financing is not the way to go,” he argued. “I think when you explain to people, ‘Do you really … want to be paying for campaigns in New York City, primaries and general elections?’ I think many of them would say no….I think it’s an abuse. I think it is abused. We’ve seen in New York City where people have raised thousands and thousands of dollars when they have no race whatsoever.”
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis endorsed Councilman Jimmy Oddo‘s chief of staff, Steve Matteo, to replace his boss, naturally taking her out of contention for the seat. The district could be one of perhaps three in the entire city where both Democrats and Republicans will be in serious contention.
And Stephen Colbert addresses President Obama’s Watergate, declaring, “Mr. President, the American people demand answers. What did Beyoncé sing and when did she sing it?”