Reformers target state redistricting
Those seeking change in Albany say independent group should draw lines
Jay Gallagher Albany bureau chief Democrat & Chronicle (May 8, 2006) — ALBANY — Advocates of reforming state government who plan to rally at the Capitol on Tuesday think they have hit on the key to changing the status quo: End the gerrymandering of legislative districts that all but guarantees most incumbents easy re-election.
They also think they have hit on a long-range strategy to make this happen: get all four candidates for governor to pledge to veto any redistricting bill that is drawn by lawmakers, who traditionally draw the lines. Instead, they say, it should be drawn by an independent commission.
One candidate, Democrat Thomas Suozzi, has embraced the idea and will address the reformers Tuesday. A bill to carry out the change has also been introduced in both houses of the Legislature. ...... more
Drawing the Line: Redistricting Reform
by Joshua Brustein May 8, 2006 Gotham Gazette
...Critics have long mocked New York's acceptance of partisan redistricting – or gerrymandering – as antidemocratic, saying it explicitly discourages competitive elections. To date, there has been little momentum in Albany to change the way redistricting is carried out, though, largely because state legislators benefit from the current system. That may be changing however. The four major party candidates for governor have all recently called for serious redistricting reform, and a bill that would create an independent commission has been introduced into the state assembly. .... more