Last night, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle posted 14 minutes of audio from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s interview with their editorial board, the same discussion where he outlined a clear alternative to vetoing the legislature’s redistricting proposal. Asked why he didn’t more publicly push Albany into adopting the independent redistricting reform he said he favors, Mr. Cuomo responded bluntly.
“I’ve done it, they said no. I just lost, is what happened,” he said. ”It’s not that they didn’t hear me, and not that I didn’t advocate, they just rejected my suggestion.”
When pressed as to what Mr. Cuomo may have done to twist the legislator’s arms, the famously assertive governor asserted he’s “not an arm-twister.”
“I’m a cajoler at best,” he tried to explain to the skeptical audience.
Good government groups maintain Mr. Cuomo could still “win” the battle for reform by vetoing the legislature’s redistricting proposal and letting the courts intervene in the absence of a signed agreement. However, during the interview, Mr. Cuomo placed a heavy emphasis on the legislature’s legal authority to draw the lines and stressed the need for a constitutional amendment that would likely not take effect until the next round of redistricting, in 2022.
“I’m old enough to have seen this movie a couple times. And we’re going to see it again in ten years. And I’m like, ‘Let’s stop the madness,’” he said. “You want to change it, then you have to change the constitution.”