Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R- Big Flats) is appalled at former New York City Mayor Ed Kochs shameless political attacks against lawmakers who refuse to support Sheldon Silvers politically-biased redistricting plan. Friend is a co-sponsor of legislation that would enact truly independent, non- partisan redistricting, while Koch is supporting a bill that would further solidify one-party rule.
I am surprised that Mayor Koch is taking political shots at upstate lawmakers who are trying to enact true reform, said Friend. Its hypocritical that Mr. Koch is characterizing the very people who are working hard to institute non-partisan redistricting as Enemies of Reform.
Speaker Silvers bill would give Majority leaders the power to appoint six out of eight members of the redistricting commission. That leaves only two members to be appointed by the Minority. Moreover, Silvers bill would deny the Southern Tier a public hearing on the matter.
To call this bill independent redistricting would be a farce, said Friend. Giving one party 75 percent control over the selection process would make redistricting more partisan than ever before. Furthermore, important regions of the state will not receive an opportunity for their voices to be heard. This legislation and the unfortunate actions of Mr. Koch are reprehensible and contrary to his goal of changing New York for the better.
Mr. Kochs robo-calls are politically motivated and represent the very worst of Albany politics, said Friend. It is this type of behavior that has destroyed the trust in our elected officials. When I signed the New York Uprising pledge, I thought we would be working together to make our state government more transparent, open and accountable to the people. Obviously, Mr. Koch had more self-serving plans. Mr. Koch fooled me into thinking that I signed his pledge to promote a change in the status quo, but all I did was give him and his Majority downstate bedfellows a political tool that he is using to brow beat reform-minded lawmakers.