Crowley In For Weiner Under Gov Plan
By Howard Schwach
If Governor Pataki has his way, the western portion of Rockaway will soon be represented in Congress by Representative Joseph Crowley, rather than by Anthony Weiner, while Congressman Gregory Meeks would pick up sections of Nassau County to go with his Rockaway constituents.
An aide to the Governor distributed the new Congressional redistricting maps to selected New York City lawmakers. The maps were something of a shock to many of those who saw them.
While two New York State will lose two congressional districts in the coming redistricting, most local politicians thought that those seats would be cut in upstate New York, the area that has lost the most population.
Pataki’s plan, however, cuts the two districts in and around New York City.
Experts point out that Pataki does not have the final say.
"The primary responsibility for redrawing the maps lies with the legislatures, and they haven’t come up with their plan as yet," says one local politician. "It seems to me that Pataki is just floating a trial balloon, and one that is probably going to bust."
Under the Governor’s plan, Democrat Joseph Crowley would add Rockaway and parts of Forest Hills to his district. Anthony Weiner would retain his Brooklyn constituency while losing Rockaway. Gregory Meeks would retain the eastern end of the peninsula while picking up a "sliver" of Nassau County, probably in the Five Towns area.
Weiner, however, discounted the new lines.
"Legislative leaders have more to say about redistricting than the Governor," he says. "His is a pop gun in a war in which the big guns are still on the sidelines."
Weiner told The Wave that he really had an "embarrassment of riches" under Pataki’s plan.
"Having a district that included both Rockaway and Forest Hills looks like a sweet deal to me," He said with a laugh, adding that the lines were sure to change when the legislature gets involved sometime next week.