Gonna be some bare knuckle Democratic political fighting coming to the Empire State….
A court released final maps for New York’s 26 congressionaland 63 state Senate districts in the midnight hour on Saturday morning, setting in motion a flurry of campaign activity as candidates quickly jockeyed for position in critical seats.
The maps are not a drastic overhaul from drafts that threw the state’s elections into chaos on Monday and threatened Democrats’ hopes of picking up several House seats from Republicans in November….
A plan that Democrats enacted in February would have made them the favorites in 22 of the 26 seats, following the loss of a district due to population stagnation. Now, Democrats might have advantages on paper in 21 of the 26 districts, but their edge in several of the seats will be slim.
“Today is a good day for democracy. Democrats’ scheme to rig the election is finally dead beyond revival,” state GOP Chair Nick Langworthy said in a statement.
The election upheaval comes after the Democratic-drawn maps were tossed by the state’s highest court, and the mapmaking power went to a Republican judge in small, upstate Steuben County and special master Jonathan Cervas, a Carnegie Mellon University fellow.
Cervas notably did away with a Democratic map that included one safe Democratic seat and one safe Republican one in the parts of eastern Long Island, a critical battleground currently held by Republican Reps. Lee Zeldinand Andrew Garbarino….
NY Mag look at the NY redistricting screw up for Democrats….
The Road to Today’s Chaos Was Paved by Past Leaders
Ten years ago, a deal brokered by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the Assembly and State Senate pushed through an amendment to the state Constitution that specified that redistricting maps would be the responsibility of a ten-member Independent Redistricting Commission split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. But this year, the panel deadlocked, unable to agree on a single set of maps, and the Legislature moved forward with its own maps — which violated the Constitution.
“What we said at the time was that this is designed to fail,” Deputy Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris told me. “Of course, what we predicted came to fruition. They were deadlocked five against five. They were unable to function. It didn’t even matter what lines we drew. The court said we had no power to enact any lines of any kind.”
So a measure of blame for today’s chaos belongs to former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was later convicted of fraud, extortion, and money laundering (and recently died in prison); former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who also went to federal prison in an unrelated corruption scandal; and former governor Cuomo, who resigned last year amid allegations of misconduct…