Friday, January 20, 2012

Could the Bronx get chopped up even more?

Unfortunately, that's not a clever pun for a story about Fresh Direct, the Hunts Point produce market or any other food related issue in the Bronx. It's the thought of another New York State senator getting a small piece of the Bronx, while the majority of his district remains outside the borough, causing the Bronx to get the short end of the stick, again.

This, from City and State's daily 'Heard Around Town':
Meanwhile, controversial Councilman Dan Halloran apparently formed a state fundraising committee yesterday that could lay the groundwork for a long-rumored challenge to Democratic Sen. Tony Avella. There is talk about extending the district into more conservative Bronx neighborhoods, and Bronx Republican Chairman Jay Savino is said to be on board with the idea.
Could Tony Avella's Queens district enter the Bronx?
This is the first we've heard about it, but checking with some of our Bronx insiders, the possibility that Avella's district goes to the east Bronx is highly unlikely. The only area Queens Republicans could want of the Bronx would be places like Throggs Neck, Country Club and maybe places like Morris Park and Westchester.

However, this would mean they would have to start messing with Sen. Jeff Klein's district.

"Klein has lived in Morris Park his whole life and has had a very good working relationship with the Republicans this last year as he formed his Independent Democratic Conference," a source in the state Senate said. "I doubt very seriously that this is being seriously considered."

If this is being considered, it would be a slap in the face to Bronxites. Only two state senate districts are in the Bronx 100 percent: Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. and Gustavo Rivera. Four other districts go into another county at some point, which has angered constituents and even some elected officials. At the LATFOR (the government committee charged with redistricting) Bronx public hearing last year, some spoke about creating districts that better represent the Bronx and don't go off into other counties.

If Republicans did chip away at Klein's district, it would only make it more difficult for them to win there when/if Klein decides to run for Congress. The district was first gerrymandered for Guy Velella, a republican, and includes highly conservative areas of Westchester County. It's much more likely that if the Republicans would take away an area of Klein's district to better their chances of beating a Democrat, it would be in the north. This would give them a better shot at stealing a seat from the Democrats if they can win soon-to-be-retired Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer's Westchester seat.

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