Jack McEneny: ‘Tradition’ Dictates Slow Congressional Redistricting

New York is one of the only states in the entire country to not even have its Congressional lines drafted, let alone passed. On Fred Dicker’s radio show this morning, the host asked Assemblyman Jack McEneny, one of the heads of the redistricting taskforce in Albany, why they have not presented congressional lines or held hearings on them like they’ve done for the state legislative lines.

“Because traditionally, we have always done the Senate and Assembly first. Didn’t do it the last couple times either,” Mr. McEneny responded.

Mr. Dicker then asked why Albany doesn’t just ignore tradition and draft a congressional map so that the public can comment. Mr. McEneny blamed Judge Sharpe for ordering the congressional primary sooner than its normal date to comply with a federal law aiming to provide military voters absentee ballots in time to actually vote.

“The difference is this year, even though we’re weeks ahead in terms of state redistricting, and months ahead in terms of congressional, because of a federal judge deciding that the 26th of June was a good time for a [congressional] primary … we’re not going to have that kind of time,” Mr. McEneny said. “Thank you Judge.”

Asked if this moving primary date could have been anticipated by acting sooner, Mr. McEneny took a completely different tack.

“I’d have been a lot happier if the Justice Department had come up with a court order to speed up the mail rather than changing the way a state does business,” he said. “One of my colleagues who represents a university town said, ‘I’d be better off campaigning in August in Adirondacks or Cape Cod.’ Judges can be very insensitive to the political process.” Jack McEneny: ‘Tradition’ Dictates Slow Congressional Redistricting