hanks to gerrymandering, legislators might as well be elected for life? And their permanence is matched only by their powerlessness. All the important decisions are made by three political bosses -- the governor and the leader of each legislative house. The budget is written in secret code. The lobbyists have free rein, even with government officials. . . Create a redistricting commission.
The first crack in New York's petrified Legislature requires a fundamental change in the way legislators map their own election districts. If there is one single thing that could relieve the gridlock in Albany, this is it. The Legislature does this remapping every 10 years, and last year legislators basically mapped themselves back into office.
To assure that it doesn't happen again, Gov. George Pataki and the Legislature should have the courage to act now, when the next changes are still a very distant 10 years away.
The redistricting process will not be reformed from within. No
politician has incentive to change a system by which he or she obtained
office and that dramatically enhances the prospect of remaining there.