Albany Democrats seem afraid of democracy
Chris Churchill writes in the Times Union how Democrats in the Albany legislature are afraid of democracy. Lawmakers had already approved a new campaign finance system to begin with the 2024 elections. But now that courts ruled that their redistricting was illegal and is being redone, they are having second thoughts. The Democrats believed that in 2024, redistricting would have been four years old, with incumbents entrenched in their new districts. But the court ruled late, and the Assembly redistricting will take place, meaning all candidates will be facing new districts then. And so now Democrats are talking about delaying the public financing of campaigns that was planned to begin in 2024. "It's about the fear that democracy might break out in New York in a real way," said John Kaehny, executive director of the group Reinvent Albany, which advocates for transparency and accountability in state government. "What could be worse for an incumbent than a real election? I mean, my God." State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins would not give a straight answer on the issue. "There are obviously conversations that are being had.... Certainly the Assembly is going through redistricting. It's a part of the things that people are talking about." Read the full story in the Times Union.