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How the NY GOP responded to the four Senators who voted “Yes”

Timothy Kincaid

April 11th, 2012

Bill Keller has an excellent analysis in the New York Times of the consequences faced by the four Republican Senators who voted for marriage equality. The entire piece is worth reading and provides information that can be useful when talking to other legislators on the fence.

But, to me, the most fascinating response to the four defectors came from the New York State Republican Party:

Fortunately for Grisanti, black congregations will not have much of a chance to register their disapproval in November. The legislators who have designed a statewide redistricting plan took extraordinary pains to protect Grisanti by sculpturing him a friendlier district. The redrawn district cuts Grisanti’s black constituency to 5 percent from 37 percent and reduces the Democrat-to-Republican ratio to less than two to one. To accomplish this, the designers took two distant swatches of friendly territory and attached them by a long thin strand of Lake Erie shoreline where the only constituents are fish.

Indeed, Grisanti and the other three are in the improbable position of having grateful support both from the state G.O.P. leaders and from the Democratic governor. Cuomo, whose popularity is high, has lavished praise on the Republican Four for their courage. And Republican leaders are delighted that gay donors — who might, in the wake of a defeat, have mounted jihad against the state’s Republicans — are instead contributing generously to save these four Republican seats. Each raised between $400,000 and $540,000 in the 10 months after the vote, mighty war chests for State Senate races. Discreetly, because local party officials resent being leaned on, state Republican leaders have tried to wave off strong challengers from filing in the Republican primaries of the four defectors.

From the time of the vote I have believed that these four defectors were not flouting the Party and defying its will, but were instead playing a role that was exactly what the Party wanted and needed. I believe that the Republican Party wanted the marriage bill to pass, but also needed for most of its members to be on record voting no. That the party has since tried to protect the four who voted “yes” fits well with that analysis.

Comments

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MattNYC
April 12th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy,

I believe you attribute more cunning and principles in the NYS GOP than they deserve. NY is a “fusion ballot” state and the Conservative Party is on a hunt for these scalps. There is a high likelihood that one or two of these seats could either go to the Democrats or that the Conservative Party alternatives will do so much damage as to force the Republican out of the race (I can’t remember the name of the woman chased out of the race by Tea-Bagger Hoffman in a special election a few years back).

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of donating to a few of these guys’ campaigns after the ME vote and suddenly found myself on a “first name basis” for junk mail from Jim DeMint and Mitch McConnell. I must have vomited about three times from seeing those in my mailbox. I may have to form my own SuperPAC to be able to anonymously give to these guys without being targeted by God’s Offal Party.

Sam
April 12th, 2012 | LINK

I guess one positive can come from this. With redistricting done in a way to protect these four Republicans and giving them a better chance at holding their seats, NOM is going to have a harder time following through with their promise to get these state senators voted out of office in the next election. While I’m not a fan of gerrymandered redistricting, if it makes trouble for a hate group like NOM, it puts a smile to my face.

Snowman
April 12th, 2012 | LINK

It’s sad that they should have to go to such lengths to protect people’s positions just for having a differing belief or opinion and voting based on that.

I guess freedom of conscience ain’t what it used to be here in America.

andrew
April 12th, 2012 | LINK

oh, sweetie… it never was.

TampaZeke
April 12th, 2012 | LINK

It’s exactly that kind of cynical political maneuvering and posturing, by Republicans AND Democrats, that makes people hate politics and politicians.

Blake
April 12th, 2012 | LINK

I agree with your analysis, but I hate gerrymandering.

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