Since a federal judge proposed a map that’s sane, there hasn’t been much going on as far as the process of redistricting here in New York. But the plight of Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle is getting some national attention. The Daily Caller reported that Republicans in the New York Senate didn’t do Rep. Buerkle any favors when they drew up their own map, which wasn’t much better than what Assembly Democrats put out there.
The redistricting map submitted by the New York Republican state Senate would all but ensure that Buerkle doesn’t win reelection in New York’s 25th District, which she currently represents. The district drawn by the Democratic State Assembly would offer her no better chance. A third compromise map drawn by a judge suits Buerkle much better.
Sources near Buerkle’s campaign suggested that the arrangement of the map was political on the part of state Senate Republicans.
“It’s hardly surprising that Albany politicians and lobbyists have allowed cheap politics to dominate this process,” said a source close to her campaign who asked not to be named. “But the voters of New York have grown tired of shady backroom deals, and they will see right through this.”
The article goes on to quote Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos denying that politics had anything to do with it. If you look at the current map I posted not long ago, you’ll see that the city of Ithaca is currently carved out of the district represented by Rep. Richard Hanna (not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination). Ithaca is one of the most liberal cities in the United States. The carve out was done to keep the city in Rep. Maurice Hinchey’s district, which is being eliminated. There’s no logical reason for the Republicans to have included that in the redrawn map for Buerkle’s district, other than to punish Buerkle for not playing nice with the boys in Albany and toeing the party line.
The Post Standard reported today that Hanna donated $50,000 to senate Republicans, so make up your own mind.
Erick Erickson at Red State also weighed in.
Remember Dede Scozzafava? In 2009, the New York Republican Party tried to foist her on the people of New York. She was a liberal Republican who, with the backing of unions, almost got elected until conservatives stood up and said no. She wound up dropping out and endorsing the Democrat.
The same New York GOP that gave us her and spectacularly saw the next several of its preferred congressional picks go down in flames, is now ready to redistrict one of the most conservative women in Congress out of Congress because, well, she is willing to stand up to her own party on spending.
Technically, these aren’t the same rotten New York Republicans who gave us Dede Scozzafava in NY23 a few years ago. Those smarmy Republicans were the county chairmen in that district. The smarmy Republicans hanging Buerkle out to dry (the most conservative representative from New York, and one of the most conservative in the country) are the Senate GOP. They’re all cut from the same cloth.
Now, not all New York Republicans are toads who throw conservatives under the bus. There are a few decent ones. The Post Standard also reported that Onondaga County GOP Chairman Tom Dadey is standing behind Buerkle.
But Dadey said Buerkle’s uncompromising devotion to her principles is her greatest strength — and why he’s convinced she will win any balanced district.
“She’s not afraid to take a tough stance and vote her conscience,” Dadey said. “She believes she is doing the right thing for the future of our country. The rank-and-file conservatives love Ann Marie.”
Dadey said he’s ready to rally his own party on her behalf.
“First and foremost, I want to see Ann Marie Buerkle re-elected to Congress,” Dadey said. “And I want to see her elected to a district in Central New York that she can win. With her credentials and background and record, and her convictions, she is somebody that if she decided to run in a district like the North Country, she can unify the conservatives and she can unify the Republicans.”
Dadey said he has spoken with state Sens. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, and John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, about defending Buerkle. Nozzolio is the co-chairman of the state legislative task force that recommends how to redraw boundary lines for all of the state’s legislative and congressional districts based on the 2010 U.S. Census. (Read More)
I also spoke to Matthew Wells who chairs the GOP in my town of Dewitt, NY. He’s also standing by Buerkle, and will do what he can to help her. He told me “I’m a big supporter of Congresswoman Buerkle and agree with both her and Chairman Dadey that, to date, the redistricting plan that has been recommended by the Special Magistrate is by far the most fair and makes the most sense.” Wells went on to tell me ”The Senate and Assembly recommendations were terrible. They were hyper-political and lumped us into a district with very little continuity to our own. Oswego and Cayuga County have similarities to Onondaga County. Not sure that can be said of Tompkins. “
So it’s not all bad here in New York, just mostly bad. If you live in New York or this district, do whatever you can to help Ann Marie Buerkle with her reelection campaign – don’t let the Albany elites dictate who represents us and turn our district forever-blue. The plan they have for us would ensure that whatever Democrat wins the election will never have to be accountable to the voters. Do you remember how many town halls Dan Maffei held? It wasn’t many, and when he did it was a disaster – even before he wagged his finger at his constituents.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Congresswoman Buerkle on a number of occasions. Not only is she a woman who stands on principle and does the right thing rather than the politically expedient thing, she’s also a very kind and decent person. She doesn’t need to give me the time of day, I’m sure she’s aware that I’ll support one of the most conservative representatives in Congress either way. But whenever I see her she goes out of her way to say hello and give me a hug. I hear she’s like that with everyone, even people who protest her at the many town hall meetings she holds. It’s just the kind of person she is – thoughtful, caring and concerned about all of the people she represents.
Even if you don’t live in New York, I hope you realize we need to increase the number of conservatives in Congress, not subtract from them. Therefore, a donation to Buerkle’s campaign wouldn’t be a bad investment in the future of our republic, or what’s left of it.
Click here to see the proposed redistricting maps.
Cross posted from TLC