New York Democrats win tremendous majorities, however Cuomo stays a robust stumbling block to ongoing reform
Democrats took part in the elections and had to secure two seats in the Senate to achieve the super-major status they have long enjoyed in the congregation. The return to election night, which included no absentee ballot, put Republicans ahead of the curve in many races, but when the Post's votes were counted, Democrats took the lead across the state.
With AP calls and candidate concessions (including two from Republicans on Tuesday, one in the 40th district and the other in the 46th), Democrats have secured 40 seats and wide leads in two more, 39th and 60th. Party leaders who celebrated the expected milestone on Monday were able to push their final record to 43 if the 50th district, where Republicans have a three point lead, breaks their way.
These legislative super-majorities would, at least in theory, allow democratic legislators to override or at least override vetoes of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who despite his election as Democrat has long stood in the way of progressive reform. Cuomo was predictably smug about developments, noting that he still has a huge impact on the all-important state budget.
However, lawmakers could use their newfound power to bypass Cuomo's wishes in other areas, particularly redistribution. With a two-thirds vote, the Democrats could bypass a 2014 amendment to the state constitution, under the pretext of establishing an independent commission – a judge literally ordered that the word "independent" be removed from the description of the change because there was nothing of the sort – was actually designed to ensure that Republicans have a say in redistribution, no matter how small their minority might be.
If they stay united, the Albany Democrats could pass new Congress and legislative cards all by themselves. That would allow them to produce anything from extremely partisan gerrymanders to districts that the incumbents are supposed to protect to really fair cards.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins recently suggested keeping both partisan and civic goals in mind, saying at a press conference on Monday: "We're going to do the right thing. I believe we will be able to To draw lines that are. " They are cohesive and rational and can still achieve a democratic majority. "However, given New York's strong blue leaning, almost any card that isn't Republican Gerrymander's style should consistently result in Democratic majorities.
The big question, of course, is whether the Democrats can actually stick together. One obvious problem is Brooklyn's Senator Simcha Felder, a Conservative Democrat who has met Republicans for years and was only reassigned to the Democratic group last year. But beyond Felder or other problematic members … the budget remains.
As Democratic MP Dick Gottfried, who has served in the Chamber for half a century, put it in a very informative article by Edward McKinley of the Albany Times Union: "Even if we don't keep to the budget, if people think about it give." Governor having a rough time, always need to remember what the governor can do in the household. "Given Cuomo's notorious penchant for vindictiveness, Democrats crossing him for redistribution – or some other matter – could pay a heavy price when it comes time for what McKinley calls a" sweepstakes that puts the state's annual spending by around 170 Billions of dollars underpinned ".
If the entire party is against the governor, Democrats could find security in numbers. But Cuomo's ability to repel his real and perceived enemies can never be underestimated, and lawmakers will never forget that.