Monday, June 29, 2009

Handwriting on the Capitol Wall?

The Times has an interesting analysis of demographic trends in NY State, trends that bode well for future Democratic control over the state senate: "Albany gridlock got you down? Well, worry no longer, the end is in sight — the State Senate should be back in business by 2013. An analysis of population shifts since this decade began suggests that Democrats are poised to gain as many as six seats when legislative districts are reapportioned after the 2010 census. That would give them an ample margin to untangle the 31-to-31 tie that has stalemated the Senate for three weeks."

Which certainly explains just why the Republicans made their move to grab a leadership position when they did-it was now or never. They need to have a shot at controlling the reapportionment process next year if they're gonna have any hope of maintaining a shot at relevance: "Redistricting is more abstract art than exact science, though, and Dr. Beveridge’s analysis is subject to several caveats — the most vital being which party controls the Senate after the 2010 election. After the 2000 census, the Republican majority was able to minimize the impact of population losses in its upstate base in two ways, both of which survived legal challenges."

In other words, creative carving is their last bastion of hope; and it might explain why our friend Pedro also decided to roll the Republican dice. In a senate where the Dems have a greater margin of seats, it's unlikely that his colleagues would be inclined to support his leadership ambitions. Perhaps he saw the current short term play as being in his best interests-with the inside straight possibility that, as King Gerrymander, he might ride the wave a while longer.

That, of course, doesn't change the current molasses metrics; and, as we have said elsewhere today, it probably doesn't bode well for NY's tax payers-unless a new sighted Democratic standard bearer rides into town on a centrist horse. So, in the long run, the Republican play isn't the way to bet; but for Espada and the Republican coup leaders, the insight of John Maynard Keynes was probably their underlying motivation. As the economist famously said: "In the long run, we're all dead.”