Latimer Changes Position On Redistricting Amendment

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Last year, as a member of the Assembly majority, George Latimer voted in favor of an independent redistricting bill forwarded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

On Wednesday, as a member of the Senate minority, Latimer voted with most his Democratic colleagues in opposing the same bill.

The constitutional amendment to create an independent redistricting panel to draw new legislative lines in 2022 passed both houses of the Legislature this month — and it’ll be on the ballot for voters in November.

Latimer, a Democrat from Rye, said his position on the issue changed because he had made more time to review the issue — not because of his move from the majority conference to the minority conference.

“I had a chance to look at the legislation much more carefully,” Latimer said yesterday. “My sense at the time it was offered as an improvement over the existing system that we have, and I vote for it with that thought in mind.”

The redistricting bill was approved in the dead of night in March 2011 as part of an agreement for a new pension tier.

Latimer said he has concerns about whether the new redistricting panel would, in fact, be independent. He also questioned the need to address the issue now — when there’s nearly a decade until district lines would need to be redrawn.

“If we’re going to look at a better system, we have time to create a better system,” he explained, adding that he voted for the redistricting bill last year, but also voted against the lines that the panel ultimately adopted.

Latimer won election to the Senate last November against Republican Bob Cohen, despite attempts by Republicans to draw the Senate lines in lower Westchester to benefit Cohen, who narrowly lost in 2010 to incumbent Democratic Suzi Oppenheimer.

Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, has supported the redistrictingamendment, while some other good-government groups have been critical of it. He said too often lawmakers support legislation when it suits the needs of the parties in power.

“Legislators’ views on redistricting reform often depend upon not where they stand on the issue, so much as where they sit in which house –- whether they are in the majority or the minority,” Dadey said.

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9 Comments

  1. Let’s hope he doesn’t fiip-flop on his tax cutting positions that he campaigned on & that includes New Rochelle’s recent request to create new taxes & fees.

  2. the consultant on

    the westchester public got exactly what it deserved with his election…..you did not
    get what you thought you were getting ..that’s because whenever you vote lockstep
    with your party registration somehow it never works out

  3. So HAPPY that slum lord Bob Cohen is still out of our government picture with 2 expensive losses to his record. The NY Republican state committee waste millions on his horrible smear political campaign and they got shot down in flames. We accumulated a ton of hate mail from Cohen and the Republicans seemingly every day claiming this and that.
    So Happy that Bob Cohen Lost !

    Happy to say that again.

  4. Albany Observer on

    More of these clowns should re think their support for this lousy plan. Latimer did the right thing.

  5. You’re right Consultant…we got exactly what we wanted: a smart hard working George Latimer, not a GOP clone. The Republicans lost the Senate but bought off enuff selfish Dems to keep control. I heard every George-Bob debate. George was clearly superior. The only folk who loved Bob was hard core Republicans. And his never ending attacks? Nasty…and they didn’t work.

    Accept it. Latimer beat you guys fair and square, and by a bigger gap than anyone predicted.

  6. The mail that I received against Mr. Latimer was shameful – I don’t understand how Cohen really thought that sanding all that “junk mail” would work in his favor. The outcome was good for all of us – standing on issues and working with the people the way to go…

  7. George Latimer is the best Dem pol in Westchester, with Nita Lowey nearing the end of her career. It won’t happen, because he just got to the Senate, but if you want a Dem to beat Astorino, George is the guy.

  8. What’s so spectacular about the incumbant winning? With his name recognition, party enrollment advantage, support of the public unions & the aftermath of a natural disaster; I’d have been surprised if Latimer lost.

    But will he propose any reforms or are we going to get the same old same old out of Albany that’s made NY the highest taxed state in the nation? A state that’s losing millions of residents w/every census?

    So far the Democrats have failed to form a majority & Latimer sits as a minority member on the education committee. Don’t think that’s going to do much for our area.

  9. North of the Hutch on

    Wow, the lefties came out in full swing for George.

    But will George deliver? Any mandate reform? The tax cap isn’t going to get repealed so man up & give us some suggestions.