NY Democrats propose new House map similar to gerrymander struck down by courts

Albany Democrats are floating a new congressional map that looks remarkably similar to the so-called “Hochulmander” struck down by the state Court of Appeals last week.

Super-blue Park Slope would still become part of the Staten Island-based district currently represented by Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, according to maps submitted by Democrats over the weekend to a court-appointed special master now charged with redrawing the lines.

Swaths of upstate currently represented by Republicans would also lean more to the left compared to the current congressional map, under the Democrats’ redo. And they’d be better positioned to also flip a seat on Long Island though it would be the South Shore district currently held by GOP Rep. Andrew Garbarino, rather than the Suffolk-based district held by the outgoing Republican Lee Zeldin, that would now favor Democrats, according to a rendering of proposed districts from the CUNY Mapping Services.

When reached for comment, a spokesman for state Senate Democrats referred The Post to a memo submitted to state Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister, who first ruled against the congressional map in late March. 

The new map would still place Park Slope, Brooklyn in Rep. Nicole Malliotakis' Staten Island district.
The new map would still place Park Slope, Brooklyn in Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’ Staten Island district.
Stefan Jeremiah

“We hope you will agree that the Legislature’s proposed plan is neutral and fair, that it gives appropriate consideration to the maintenance of minority voting strength, and that it appropriately balances the goals of compactness and maintaining the cores of prior districts, pre-existing political subdivisions, and communities of interest,” reads the memo. 

The memo is the first time that New York Democrats have offered detailed explanations for the lines their Assembly and state Senate supermajorities approved weeks before the Court of Appeals upheld that they were an illegal gerrymander under a 2014 amendment to the state Constitution.

New lines for the state Senate were also struck down on procedural grounds. 

The latest map proposed by the Democrats.
The latest map proposed by the Democrats.

“They are not serious and have zero credibility after being caught brazenly trying to ram through illegal maps,” Republican Party state Chair Nick Langworthy — who has called the biased maps a Hochulmander, since they were sanctioned by the governor — said in a statement of the Democratic-backed proposal.  

Goldenberg defended the controversial redrawing of the congressional map proposed by Democrats by arguing they would better help minority groups like Asian Americans elect more representatives from their own community. 

“We recognize that District 11 in the enacted plan was the subject of considerable controversy. Its detractors claimed that its shape can be explained only by partisanship. We respectfully submit that those who were quick to criticize enacted District 11 failed to recognize that, as noted above, it accommodates the unification of a fast-growing Chinese-American community that had been cracked,” Goldenberg wrote in the memo about the district currently represented by Malliotakis. 

Republican Party state Chair Nick Langworthy said state Democrats have "zero credibility" after the previous maps were struck down.
Republican Party state Chair Nick Langworthy said state Democrats have “zero credibility” after the previous maps were struck down.
Dennis A. Clark

The proposed map is one of several submitted over the weekend, including by the Republican plaintiffs who challenged the Legislature-approved lines, to court-appointed special master Jonathan Cervas, a widely-respected expert on redistricting issues, who has until May 20 to submit new maps for Congress and the state Senate to McAllister for his approval. 

State lawmakers approved the now-voided congressional and state Senate maps after members of the Independent Redistricting Commission, established by the 2014 amendment, failed to agree on a single set of maps for the state Legislature and U.S. House.

source: nypost.com