Random Thoughts on Rosarch Tests [UPDATED]
A few quick thoughts on the proposed reapportionment.
1) Reporters are so gullible. A lot is being made of potential primaries between Velmanette Montgomery and Eric Adams, and Mike Gianaris and Jose Peralta.
This is just stupid.
It’s a reapportionment year. Any member can run in any district containing any part of their home County.
The lion’s share of Eric Adam’s old district is still in District 20, which now has no incumbent. Why would he run against Montgomery in a district overwhelmingly composed of her own turf?
The lion’s share of Mike Gianaris’ old district is in the white plurality 12th, which now has no incumbent. Why would he against Peralta in an overwhelmingly Latino district primarily composed of Peralta’s old turf?
The Stavisky/Avella matchup is a bit different. While the new 16th is weighted towards Stavisky’s old district, and the 11th Avella, the composition of the 16th is such that a Stavisky/Avella race could actually happen.
2) The lack of regard the GOP holds for its 27th SD State Senate candidate is demonstrated by a map which puts his home into one represented by Democrat Diane Savino—that district is majority/minority and heavily Democratic.
The Russian community, recently trending Republican, is scattered to the four winds even worse than they were worse in the 2002 plan, and are likely to be up in arms against the GOP, even at the expense of a Russian candidate. Non-Russian whites in Sheepshead Bay, attached to John Sampson’s district by a corridor the size and shape of a straw, are likely to want to send a nasty message to the GOP about the way their community has been divided.
3) The contempt for the public is such that the map of Savino’s district (23) on the LATFOR website does not even contain the Brooklyn portion. [UPDATE: this is no longer true--complaining sometimes works]
4) Joe Addabbo’s district (15) looks like it was drawn by Eric Ulrich.
5) In Brooklyn, Sunset Park is split four ways. The lack of regard in the Senate map for Southwest Brooklyn’s Latinos and Asians is fairly stunning. Elsewhere (e.g., Long Island), different minorities are victimized by outrageous packing and cracking.
6) The best feature of the Senate Map is that it force feeds Kevin Parker Park Slope and vice versa. Kevin is going to have a lot of fun selling trying to sell himself to that sort of white constituency. He would much prefer to continue to represent Hasidim who vote against him in November but for him in September, than Yuppies, who will likely do the opposite.
7) Marty Dilan loses most of the Northside and a lot of Greenpoint, and keep most of his Hasids, so serving on LATFOR obviously has its benefits even when your party is getting fucked. Wilfredo Larancuent was obviously given a peak at these lines before he started having second thoughts about a challenge.
8) Dan Squadron loses Gatemouth. Was this a contract delivered through Bloomberg?
9) Heroic efforts were obviously undertaken to make the Manhattan Senate lines as fucked up as possible, simply for the sport of it.
10) Jeff Klein is sitting very pretty.
11) Someone obviously showed Suzi Oppenheimer her district’s new lines, which lose Scarsdale, half of White Plains and great portions of New Rochelle, hastening her departure.
12) In essence, though it doesn't look like it, Mark Grisanti and Tim Kennedy have exchanged districts. Both now have bigger problems in their primaries than their generals.
13) The Assembly maps cosmetically address minority concerns, but not really. Matt Titone’s north shore seat (61) on The Rock dilutes its potential minority population by keeping Port Richmond in the 63rd, ensuring Mike Cusick will not face a serious GOP challenge. In the same way, the Marlborough Houses are split from Coney Island to boost the endangered Steve Cymbrowitz. Two districts represented by whites in south eastern Brooklyn (41 &59) retain a heavy black minority or a small black majority, while VRA seats either held by whites (42) or in danger of being so (57—now 51% black) are kept with lower black populations than could be possible if the Assembly quit artificially maintaining the two southeastern white seats instead of just one.
14) Nearly as much of Bay Ridge as could possibly be in one AD, given other factors, now is. However, it is still yoked to Coney Island via one lane of the Belt.
15) Looks like no one from Bay Ridge Democrats will be challenging Dov Hikind.
16) Some good news for Debra Scotto in her pitifully uphill races for District Leader of the 52nd AD. Felix Ortiz is not, as rumored, picking up Wyckoff Gardens and Gowanus Houses. Scotto patron Vito Lopez (the Assembly Housing Chair) and Vito’s lapdog, Erik Dilan (the Council Housing Chair) hold a lot of sway in NYCHA projects. (This also means Ortiz's district is less Latino than it could be).
17) Vito himself lost some Yuppies and picks up the part of Lindsay Park he didn’t have. This is good for him.
18) Latinos might not be picking up much in Queens from Assembly lines changes, but they will eventually pick it up from attrition.
19) The much ballyhooed new Asian seat in Brooklyn will be so eventually, but between non-citizens not being able to vote, and organized labor support, Peter Abate is probably safe in the short run.
20) The much ballyhooed new Asian seat in Queens is only so if you think East Asians and South Asians (never mind the divisions among each of those groups) have some sort of cultural affinity for each other.
21) South Asians in Queens got screwed, possibly because creating a district for them might have have had to come at the cost of a black district, and possibly because the mapmakers tried to save both David Weprin and Rory Lancman in the short run, rather than creatng one solid south Asain district.
22) The Central Harlem based 70th AD is drawn to be barely over 51% black (Bill Perkins Senate district is at 46%). Discuss.
23) Shelly Silver’s district barely changes an iota, if at all. He obviously thinks his current mix works better for him than putting all of the Lower East Side’s minorities into one district. I think he is making a mistake.
24) These are not the final lines. There is Department of Justice pre-clearance and lawsuits to overcome. If history is a precedent, there will be dozens of side deals, some of them resulting in major alternations. There is the threat of a veto, which even if it does not change any lies, will surely be used be used as a legislative hammer by the Governor to accomplish the seemingly impossible.
25) Bottom Line:
The Assembly lines, which give Brooklyn and Queens each one more seat than they areentitled to by their populaton, and don’t go a long way to address the concerns of minorities, are politics as usual and mildly repugnant. The Senate lines, which come up with a new formula to create an extra seat, and rob the City and minorities blind while trying to enact Rosarch tests into law, are simply an outrage, even if they are found to be within the parameters of the applicable law. .