A Good Vote for New York
by Anthony Stasi
Dec 09, 2014 | 5402 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of the big pluses for New York State this election year came from the results of the first ballot proposal setting up an independent commission to re-draw districts every ten years.

Although there is no way to make this process completely independent or free of politics, districts will be drawn according to a plan set up by a board of commissioners. The legislative leaders (both minority and majority) will appoint members of this board.

The final plan, once the board is finished designing it, goes to THE legislature for approval. The legislature cannot amend the plan, however, unless it is voted down twice.

As a way to keep the process from getting hung up in the courts, a problem New York has had in the past, the new system calls for an expedited court process should the plan wind up in front of a judge.

The proposal passed with a strong enough 43 percent to the 32 percent who voted against it. It will not be implemented until 2020 because the census is conducted every ten years, which gives the state time to prepare for the new process.

This is a testament to the work of former Mayor Ed Koch, former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, and many others who took on this fight to make the redistricting process more fair-minded.

It may not be the exact plan that Koch and company wanted, but it does lean in the right direction. These district lines are a very big deal in New York, given the almost even amount of Democratic and Republican state senators.

Not NYC’s 'Mane' Concern

Can there be a bigger non-issue than horse-drawn carriages in New York City?

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office is seeking ways to help drivers keep their jobs while getting these horses off the streets. The notion of horses in bumper-to-bumper traffic does seem a little out-dated. Isn’t there a gigantic park in the middle of Manhattan?

How about letting the horses trot along the newly proposed QueensWay Park? Or are horse-drawn carriages not “hipsterific” enough for that? The City Council will hold hearings on the issue in the coming weeks and hopefully come up with a solution that is both humane and pragmatic.

Jindal’s State Now

When Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu lost her run-off race against Republican challenger Bill Cassidy in Louisiana last Saturday, it put their young governor Bobby Jindal in the position of being the biggest catfish in the pond of Louisiana.

Whether Jindal runs for the presidency in 2016 or not, there is little question that he would be the most intelligent candidate the GOP could field, with the exception of another attempt by Mitt Romney.

Jindal and Texas governor Rick Perry are BFFs, and that means that Perry would likely have to choose not to run in order for Jindal to make a serious play. In other words, if Perry realizes that running for president means having to stay up past 9 p.m. (a fact that kind of got by him in 2012) and decides against another run, Jindal will get into the race.

Jindal being Indian-American does not mean he could deliver Indian-American votes, but it would be a way to de-fang a lot of criticism of the party. It would also put a nice focus on a growing, and important, segment of the population.

With Landrieu out, Louisiana is now Jindal’s state.

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