2011-06-17 / Top Stories

Rockaway District May Disappear

By Howard Schwach

Congressman Joseph Crowley could well wind up representing the west end of Rockaway if Anthony Weiner’s seat is done away with and carved up during reapportionment. Congressman Joseph Crowley could well wind up representing the west end of Rockaway if Anthony Weiner’s seat is done away with and carved up during reapportionment. Even if the embattled Congressman Anthony Weiner had not resigned on Thursday, local voters likely would not have had a chance to vote one more time for or against the politician.

State lawmakers are set to soon redraw congressional district lines, and with New York losing two seats due to declining population, Weiner’s embarrassing sexting scandal may have lent a death blow to our district’s survival, insiders say.

One powerful Democratic insider, who asked not to be identified because he has no permission to speak with the press, says Weiner’s behavior “could make it easy for everyone” to chop his district, which includes the west end of Rockaway, into little pieces.

“The guy was already not likable, and now he’s in the middle of a sex scandal,” the source said. “If you have no [political] friends to begin with, it becomes very easy to eliminate your district.”

GREGORY MEEKS GREGORY MEEKS “With [possibly] having to eliminate a district from the city ... this could be a self-sacrifice,” a top legislative aide told Albany reporter Kenneth Lovett, who writes a political column in the Daily News.

“There are areas in the district that can be split up to support other members like [Gary] Ackerman or [Joseph] Crowley, who have clean records and good names,” a source told Lovett.

Crowley has repeatedly told The Wave that he would “love to represent the west end of Rockaway,” and while it was said jokingly with Weiner solidly in office, his comments take on another hue now that Weiner has made himself and his district vulnerable to extinction.

Crowley now represents the 7th District of New York, covering parts of central and northern Queens and the Bronx.

Insiders say that Crowley could lose the Bronx part of his district and pick up Weiner’s portion of what is now the 9th District.

At the same time, the Democratic strategist says, the Brooklyn portion of Weiner’s district could be picked up by Michael Grimm, who now represents the residents of the 13th District, which includes a small part of southern Brooklyn and a large portion of Staten Island.

In an alternative scenario that is less likely, Gregory Meeks, who now represents the eastern end of Rockaway and large parts of the mainland, could lose his mainland district to pick up the remainder of Rockaway.

And although Meeks is a Rockaway person, it is hard to believe that he would give up JFK Airport, which has been his main focus in recent years.

New York State must lose two seats in the coming national reapportionment movement because of a declining population.

It is widely believed that an upstate Republican district will be cut, as well as a downstate Democratic district. With Weiner gone, that district could well be ours, insiders point out.

In fact, a political insider told The Wave on Thursday afternoon that the party was happy that Weiner’s resignation created a perfect situation where no sitting Congressperson would have to lose his or her seat because of the reapportionment process.

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