1:18 pm Mar. 1, 2012
In his opinion piece today, former mayor Ed Koch urged Andrew Cuomo not to give any quarter to the legislature on redistricting reforms, warning that any structural changes lawmakers committed to making wouldn't "really take effect for another decade, if ever. That's why I strongly urge the governor not to compromise with the legislative leaders and to veto any redistricting bill because the Legislature's proposed lines were not independently drawn."
So, from Koch's view, which is shared by Democrats in the State Senate, the answer is clear: Veto the current lines, let the courts dictate the process this time around, and, separate from that, negotiate with the legislature on permanent changes to the redistricting process. Cuomo, appearing briefly on an Albany radio program this morning, laid out an alternate possible course of action.
"The question ... some other groups and individuals have raised is could you come up with a mechanism that has a constitutional amendment and statute attached so you wouldn't have to trust them, because you had a statute. And that's an alternative to what the mayor has suggested."
Cuomo is suggesting that there might be a way around having to rely on the legislature's word on future reforms, by getting them to make a legal commitment in exchange (presumably) for him signing off on some version of their lines. Also, by seeking a compromise with lawmakers rather than simply vetoing the lines as he previously promised to do, Cuomo is implicitly expressing a preference for partisan lines over a court-imposed solution. Which is to say that this is beginning to sound familiar.