11:25 am Aug. 28, 2012
Here's some video from a debate in Washington Heights on Friday night between Assemblyman Guillermo Linares and the incumbent state senator he's trying to unseat, Adriano Espaillat.
The two-and-a-half hour event was a shouting match for much of the time, with supporters of each Democrat giving loosely veiled speeches in the form of questions. It ended abruptly without closing remarks from either candidate, because the audience kept yelling at the candidates and each other.
Espaillat went on the offensive, criticizing Guillermo for voting for an Andrew Cuomo-approved redistricting plan that included Republican-gerrymandered lines for the State Senate. Espaillat referred to the plan as an "incumbency protection plan" and speculated Republicans would be able to hold onto the majority for the next ten years as a result of it.
In response, Guillermo, a former City Councilman who served one term in the Assembly, accused Espaillat--a legislator since 1996--of acting "as though he did not understand the rules and how things are decided in the legislature."
The redistricting plan was supported by the governor and the majorities in the Assembly and State Senate, along with Citizens Union, on the grounds that it included a promise to improve the process somewhat in time for the next round of redistricting in ten years. The final result fell far short of Cuomo's initial promises to create an independent redistricting process.