2011-08-26 / Letters

The Bosses Cut Deals

Dear Editor,

There is still more to “Speculation Grows As To Demise of NY’s 9th” (Howard Schwach – August 5). Past Republican Senate majority leaders Warren Anderson, Ralph Marino, and Joe Bruno cut deals with past Democratic Assembly Speakers Stanley Steingut, Stanley Fink, Mel Miller, Saul Weprin and Sheldon Silver. These political back room arrangements were a quid pro quo deal preserving the status quo. Each gave the other unlimited freedom to protect and expand their respective majorities in each legislative house they controlled.

In 1812, Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry signed a redistricting bill allowing his party to rig the drawing of district boundaries in their favor. This practice is commonly known as gerrymandering today.

After the census, New York will lose two Congressional districts. As a result, new district lines will be drawn by the State Legislature. Tradition has one downstate and one upstate district sacrificed. Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and GOP Senate leader Dean Skelos will cut the usual backroom deal. With a divided legislature, each party attempts to protect members of their respective Congressional delegations. As a result, after every reapportionment there is usually a bipartisan understanding. Republicans will lose one upstate Congressional seat. Democrats have to sacrifice one downstate seat. Members of Congress lobby their little brothers and sisters in Albany to protect their seats. This includes campaign contributions and offers of assistance to host fundraisers on their behalf. It is the one time every ten years when members of the State Assembly and State Senate have the upper hand over Congressmembers from their same political party.

Does anyone really believe that former NYC Council

Finance Committee Chairperson and current State Assemblymember David Weprin will have the seniority among fellow Democrats to protect the 9th Congressional District? With the loss in population, especially upstate – New York has to lose two seats. Republicans will agree to giving up one upstate district. Any honest and independent observer of state politics will tell you the Brooklyn/ Queens 9th CD is toast. It will disappear to be absorbed by other surrounding Democratic districts. Queens Democratic boss and Congressmember Joseph Crowley would love to trade in his Bronx constituents for more from Queens. Queens/Nassau Congressmember Gary Ackerman would love to trade some of his more Republican leaning Nassau constituents for more from Queens.

It is a safe bet that in 2012 when the 9th Congressional District disappears after reapportionment – David Weprin will not run in a primary against either fellow Democratic Congress members Joseph Crowley, Gary Ackerman or anyone else. As a loyal member of the Queens Democratic Party machine, he will agree to step aside and not to stand for reelection. This will not be the last we’ll see of Weprin. He will cash in his political chips, hoping to be rewarded in 2013 for his loyalty in 2012. Rumor has it that NYC Comptroller John Lui will run for Mayor in 2013. Guess who will go hat in hand to Queens County Democratic boss Crowley looking for his blessing to run for NYC Comptroller in 2013? “You guessed right” David Weprin.

Remember you read it here first only in The Wave.

LARRY PENNER

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