The Empire State version of the blame game was in full swing Tuesday as political leaders reacted to a Census tally that found the state 89 people short of keeping its current number of 27 congressional districts.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed the Trump administration.
“Census takers in New York faced unprecedented challenges last year in their efforts to get New Yorkers counted — from the pandemic’s effect on the mail system to the Trump Administration’s xenophobic, flagrant, and illegal efforts to hurt blue states by discouraging non-citizens and people of color from being counted,” Cuomo said in a statement, referring to former President Donald Trump’s unsuccessful 2019 effort to force the Census to add a question about citizenship.
“[W]e won’t allow Trump and his cronies to use one of our greatest attributes — our diversity — as an impediment. I’m calling on the Attorney General to review all legal options available to ensure the voice of every New Yorker is fairly and wholly represented in the halls of Congress,” he said.
But as Cuomo blamed Trump, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Cuomo has no one to blame but himself.
“For God’s sake, if the state had invested in the Census, could you have found 89 more people to count? Sure, easily,” de Blasio said, according to the New York Post.
“This was a lost opportunity by the state government to get the count right.”
“The state was simply M.I.A.,” said Julie Menin, who was the census director for New York City, according to The New York Times. “The governor and the state simply did not want to prioritize the census.”
Nick Langworthy, the chairman of the state’s Republican Party, said tax-and-spend Democrats led to the out-migration that ultimately cost the state its seat. “To have one less member of Congress, to have one less electoral vote, that makes our voice that much smaller.”
Cuomo said he would fight the Census.
“Do I think it was accurate to within 89? No, and we’re looking at legal options,” Cuomo said at a press conference Tuesday, according to The Hill.
NY Gov. Cuomo says state looking at legal options after losing House seat in 2020 Censushttps://t.co/FXUutZHNY2
— Jesse Bechtold (@jesse_bechtold) April 27, 2021
Cuomo said the result could be due to “a minor mistake in counting.”
But above all, it was Trump’s fault, he said.
“You had people who were nervous to come forward … you had undocumented people who were nervous to come forward,” he said. “I do believe the federal government had a chilling effect.”
New York, California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will each lose one seat. Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon and Montana will gain one seat. Texas will pick up two seats.
New York’s redistricting process starts with an independent commission, but if the panel — evenly divided among Republicans and Democrats — fails to reach a decision, the new lines will be drawn by the state Legislature, which is solidly in the hands of Democrats.
That could alter the balance of power within the state, which currently sends 19 Democrats and eight Republicans to Congress based on 2010 district lines drawn when the top still had control of the state Senate.
To all the Dems on here who are outraged about rich NYers leaving/not filling out their census & costing a congressional seat…
I’d like to introduce you to Claudia Tenney, the GOP Rep who will most likely be losing her seat bc the actual population loss is in rural upstate NY
— Galen Druke (@galendruke) April 26, 2021
Langworthy said seats held by the GOP will be targeted.
“They’re going to try to gut these districts across the state,” he said, according to The Times. “Mapmakers can be very vicious.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.