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New York’s Politics Are Getting Messier By The Day

Elections have consequences, something Republicans in the state Legislature have been reminded of often in the young days of the 2022 legislative session.

There are also consequences for what Democrats in Albany are doing right now — playing the political game ruthlessly.

So jaded have we become in New York state, so unable to see past the reds and the blues, that our highest-ranking legislators can’t fathom the idea of compromise.

“When you set up a commission with an equal number from both parties you’ll get deadlock,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris, D-Queens and Senate majority leader, on the Senate floor. “We’re just dealing with the process that you handed us when we succeeded you in taking over the majority.”

We’d beg to differ.

Equal membership means compromise and give and take. That’s how the Independent Redistricting Process was designed to work. Both sides get a little and both sides give a little — and eventually you have new legislative boundaries.

For us here in Chautauqua County, the maps aren’t too bad. But others are so obviously gerrymandered as to draw the scorn of the state chapters of the League of Women Voters and Common Cause. Brennan Center for Justice redistricting expert Michael Li called New York’s congressional maps a textbook example of an “aggressive gerrymander” biased toward Democrats.

If there ever comes a day when Republicans control one of the state legislative bodies – think, perhaps, the second Thursday of next week – then we hope they behave better than Democrats have during this latest round of legislative redistricting.

Democrats could have taken the high road. In fairness, Republicans could have taken the high road when they controlled the state Senate. Both sides have, when they have had political power, chosen to forsake the high road to make their own road — and it’s a pot-hole infested mess.

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