Gov. Kathy Hochul appeared to throw Democratic state and federal lawmakers under the bus on Tuesday when asked if she regretted botched efforts to rig electoral districts that were thrown out by the courts after agreeing to them.
“I signed the cards that were presented to me, written and drafted by lawmakers in Washington and here,” Hochul said at a midday press conference.
Her comments also confirmed that federal lawmakers played a role in drawing the lines to benefit themselves, although they had no formal role in redistributing counties.
A spokeswoman later tried to dismiss Hochul’s comments, seemingly ignoring the notion that opting out means consent.
“The governor made a mistake; She said the maps were made for lawmakers in Washington and New York and that she had no role in making them, only signing them,” spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays said in an email.
Representatives for Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The governor’s attempt to distance herself from the eponymous Gerrymander contrasts with previous comments, in which she expressed support for using the redistribution process to the maximum benefit of the party.
“We’ve known all along that the cards that the Legislature passed and that the Governor signed were a collaboration between the Democrats of Washington and Albany, and it was a deliberate attempt to violate the state Constitution, and thankfully it was.” struck them down by the courts,” said John Faso, a former congressman who advised the lawsuit that invalidated Albany’s approved lines, told the Post Tuesday.
Albany Democrats leaned on their supermajorities in the Senate and Assembly to pass what they called a “high election” of congressional lines weeks ago.
The rigged card would have given them a big boost in defending their slim margin in the U.S. House of Representatives this fall by helping them flip seats held by Republican incumbents like Staten Island’s Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY). became.
But the state appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that declared the new congressional lines an illegal gerrymander under the state constitution.
A 2014 amendment to the state constitution had tasked an independent redistribution commission with overseeing the process — but its members couldn’t agree on a single set of cards for the state legislature and Congress.
“(Democrats) conspired to undermine the independent commission and they hoped it would collapse and burn, and then miraculously they emerged the next day with a full plan that had obviously been prepared well in advance ‘ Faso said.
This led to the appointment of district expert Jonathan Cervas as special master responsible for drawing new lines for the congress and state senate whose lines were declared invalid for procedural reasons.
A civil war has erupted among Democrats following the release of new lines over the weekend, pitting Democrats like Reps Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, both from Manhattan, against each other.
Despite the ongoing political turmoil, Hochul downplayed the consequences of the bombing verdict, which invalidated the legislation she had signed.
“It’s always a mess,” she said of the Empire State’s decade-long redistribution process.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/24/ny-gov-kathy-hochul-passes-buck-to-dem-lawmakers-in-albany-and-dc-amid-redistricting-mess/ NY Gov. Kathy Hochul is turning her back on Dem lawmakers in Albany and DC amid redistribution issues