On Fred Dicker’s radio show this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo was asked about the Reproductive Health Act and punted.
“I don’t know if I have taken a public position on it, Fred,” Mr. Cuomo said of the bill. “I don’t know if I’ve taken a position on this bill, obviously I’m a long-term supporter of reproductive rights.”
However, in the past, Mr. Cuomo has directly stated his support for the legislation and indeed even raised the issue in his State of the State speech this year. His spokesman, Josh Vlasto, reiterated Mr. Cuomo’s support over Twitter and said Mr. Cuomo’s comments came purely in the context of what he would discuss with Cardinal Timothy Dolan in a meeting today.
Last night, the State Legislature released a new batch of gerrymandered legislative lines and a constitutional amendment to reform the process in the future, and, further revealing his intentions this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo trashed the alternative to him signing the Legislature’s proposal, the courts intervening and drawing their own map.
(Mr. Cuomo had previously vowed to send the maps to the courts unless an independent commission drew them.)
“I’ll tell you this, for those people who are arguing, ‘Well, the best thing we can do is let the courts draw the lines.’ We saw what happened when the court draws the lines, we have the congressional lines,” he said on Fred Dicker’s radio show today, referring to the court releasing its first draft of the congressional map.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has so heavily hedged on whether or not he will veto the Legislature’s redistricting proposal that even ardent experts in Kremlinology — the Soviet-era practice of grasping onto tidbits of information broadcasted from behind the Iron Curtain — would be soundly challenged.
Complicating the whole matter is the issue’s obscurity. Redistricting simply isn’t relevant to most New Yorkers. The average person on the street probably doesn’t know who most of his or her local representatives are, let alone where the boundaries lie. Yet editorial boards and good government groups believe the practice of letting legislators pick their voters, instead of the other way around, is at the core of many of the structural problems in Albany.
For that reason, Mr. Cuomo has vowed time and time again to veto the legislature’s maps and send the entire cartographic process to the courts, which the first five or so quotes from the slideshow will demonstrate. However, his rhetoric began hinting a move in another direction at the end of last year.