New York State Assembly
One immediate takeaway from the federal Court’s congressional redistricting plan and ruling is that incumbency protection (i.e., seniority and residence) should not be a factor when crafting a judicial plan (or any truly independent redistricting plan). The ruling, however, will have no influence on the bipartisan redistricting commission proposed in the recently passed legislation amending the state constitution.
Everyone recognizes that bid rigging of cement or traffic light contracts are the work of organized crime. However when elected officials rig our state and city elections to ensure that every incumbent gets reelected, no one calls their deliberate strategy criminal and organized.
Newspaper editorials and good government groups push for individual fixes to our crisis in local government – for example, public financing of state campaigns. But, no one says outright that our right to representative democracy has been hijacked. Local elections have become the “ins” verses the “outs” and the process has been rigged to block any of the “outs” from winning. Our local elections have become so noncompetitive, that, behind public view, most incumbents, regardless of party or reform beliefs, work together as the “ins” to keep the outs “out.”