friday news dumps
The Districting Commission tasked with redrawing City Council lines unveiled yesterday the latest, and likely last, version of those lines. After a process fraught with alleged backroom deals and heated public hearings, the lines are a City Council vote away from being final for another decade.
Some alterations were made to satisfy the demands of civic groups and minority advocacy organizations, but, at first glance, many were not.
At the end of December, the Journal News published a detailed map cataloging all of the handgun permit owners in Westchester and Rockland counties, a move that caused much controversy among both gun rights and privacy advocates who felt the map placed figurative targets on the highlighted households. This evening, the publication announced it was was pulling the map, but claimed it was due to New York State’s new gun control law, passed at the start of the week, rather than a response to criticism.
“Today The Journal News has removed the permit data from lohud.com. Our decision to do so is not a concession to critics that no value was served by the posting of the map in the first place,” Journal News publisher Janet Hasson explained. “On the contrary, we’ve heard from too many grateful community members to consider our decision to post information contained in the public record to have been a mistake. Nor is our decision made because we were intimidated by those who threatened the safety of our staffers. We know our business is a controversial one, and we do not cower.”
State Senator Greg Ball, hasn’t been quiet about his disagreement with the Journal News‘ decision to publish the names and addresses of handgun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties and he isn’t done with the publication just yet. Mr. Ball, who began his day by tweeting, “Woooohooooooo!!! Get up! Hook up! Shuffle to the door! One day closer to victory! One day closer to more! Get ‘em!” continued his energized performance in the opening moments of a K104 radio interview, declaring, “I’m motivated! How about you? Ready for a push-up contest?”
(“Glad he didn’t come into the studio,” one of the hosts remarked after Mr. Ball left.)
Due to this decade’s U.S. Census numbers, the New York City Council, like every legislative body the country, was Constitutionally required to adjust its boundaries to reflect population shifts within its jurisdiction. This afternoon, the city’s Districting Commission released its second, and likely final, proposal for the new lines.
Earlier this afternoon, Brooklyn elected officials and activists gathered to protest the court’s draft redistricting map for Congressional lines, and Councilman Charles Barron, as usual, was the most outspoken member of the crowd.
Mr. Barron, who’s running for Congress himself, made it clear his first issue was the term “Special Master” used to describe the court’s redistricting expert assisting int he drafting.
“I think the first thing we got to do is stop calling the judge ‘Master,’” he declared. “Trying to draw us back on the plantation. So I’m going to say ‘judge,’ because we have no master.”
Over at Daily Kos Elections, they’ve been analyzing what the new court-proposed congressional map would mean for the partisan makeup of each district and the incumbent it houses. Based on the percentages Barack Obama and John McCain scored in the 2008 presidential race, a number of swing districts have gotten either more or less competitive.
Notably in New York City, GOP Congressman Michael Grimm’s district is a touch more conservative, while the new district created in Queens, which both Assemblyman Rory Lancman and Congressman Gary Ackerman have their sights set for, looks solidly Democratic. More of Republican Rep. Bob Turner’s old territory is in this new district than anywhere else, but it would be a significantly uphill battle if he sought reelection there.
View the full breakdown below: