Over the course of New York’s history, our state has held seven constitutional conventions, one as recently as 1967. Calling another convention would be an extraordinary step, but it is a necessary and effective way to overcome the challenges we face.
Giuliani outlines seven reforms he'd like to see come out of a constitutional convention, whose work would be subject to a voter referendum. His wish list touches on the budget process, term limits, campaign finance and the drawing of state Legislative district boundaries.
Jim Dwyer of The Times has a really good column that traces New York's ills to the gerrymandering that goes on.
For decades, all the fiefs in Albany lived under a political truce that allowed the Democrats to have the Assembly and the Republicans to have the Senate, with the governorship up for grabs. They did this with maps.
Every 10 years, when the results of a new census came out, each party got to draw districts that suited its political needs. And governors, who could have campaigned to unseat legislators from the other party, generally sat back and did nothing to interfere with the power-sharing arrangement. (Mr. Spitzer, during his year as governor, had started to disrupt it, until he was caught paying for sexual services.)
This is how a cartel operates, not a democracy.
Instead of price-fixing, it was vote-fixing. Both sides retained their seats, with the rate of incumbent re-elections hovering around 98 percent.
Not content to let his potential rival for the GOP gubernatorial nod (Giuliani) corner the market on beating up the state Legislature and suggesting fix-Albany plans, Lazio today called for doing away with the Senate and Assembly altogether and replacing it with "a new legislative branch comprised of a single body."
What do you think, folks?