The Word Of The Day Is ‘Contorted’


LATFOR5.JPGCapital Tonight – The brilliant duo of Hunter Walker and Colin Campbell have a fantastic slideshow over at The New York Observer they’re calling “The 20 Ugliest Gerrymandered Districts.”

Alas, as I pointed out on the show last night, the district formally known as “Abe Lincoln Riding Vaccum” would be ex-nayed under the proposal.

But there are still more, wacky shapes all have New York thanks to this new round.

I’ve seen the word “contorted” used at least three times today to describe the new shapes: once from Sen. Mike Gianaris on Susan Arbertter’s Capitol Pressroom, another time in a The Wall Street Journal headline on an AP story and then from the Asian American Legal Defense Fund.

“We’re glad that LATFOR recognized the importance of creating a majority Asian American Senate district,” said AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung in a statement. “But the contorted district lines of SD 16 split the neighborhood of Flushing. A compact district in Flushing-Bayside should be drawn to keep Asian American communities of interest together in these neighborhoods, as we demonstrated in the Unity Map.”

The group, like Senate Democrats, are in a bit of a quandary over the Asian majority district Republicans drew in Queens. It crowds out two Democrats who live in the area, but it could help pave the way for the Senate to actually elect an Asian-American.

Senate Republicans, who need to keep these maps more or less intact in order to hold on to their 32-29 majority, point out in their spin that 15 out of 63 districts have more enrolled Republicans and Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ district becomes 2 percent more Democratic (granted, a whole 2 percent increase probably isn’t going to change much for a powerful lawmaker re-elected in a landslide last year).

Says a GOP source: “We create the first-ever Asian American majority Senate seat in Queens and strengthen every African American seat in NYC despite loss of 100,000 African Americans in the City.”

By Nick Reisman

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