Editorial: Nassau maps are an incumbent-protection program

Nassau Republicans submitted their proposed redistricting map for Nassau Republicans submitted their proposed redistricting map for the county legislature, putting six incumbent lawmakers into three districts. (Feb. 6, 2013) Photo Credit: Nassau GOP

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On Monday the Nassau County Legislature takes its first official look at electoral redistricting maps, which seem to favor Republican incumbents and hurt Democratic ones. Four Democratic incumbents would be merged into two districts, while two Republican legislators would be merged into one district -- and one of those Republicans, Joseph Belesi of Farmingdale, is said to be retiring. The maps should neither favor incumbents nor target them. Instead, they should keep similar communities together and be compact and contiguous. The current process makes maintenance of power by the ruling party the highest priority. The Republicans, with a 10-9 edge in the legislature, can do what they want, barring a court decree. What's needed is nonpartisan redistricting. Without it, whichever party rules, the people will always be out of luck.

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