As I write this, party power-brokers are meeting to horse trade with each other on the final version of the Congressional lines. According to my source, who has always been reliable when it comes to Congressional news, the latest controversy surrounds possible Congressional seats that would split Erie County between two different Congressional districts - one strongly Republican, one Democratic - at the expense of three incumbent Republican members of Congress.
The new seat's intended beneficiary? Chris Collins, the former Erie County Executive who was once a rising star in the party and once considered a notable name for the 2010 Gubernatorial nomination before he compared Shelly Silver to Adolf Hitler and thereafter lost his own seat.
As this scenario goes, this new seat will take strong parts of the current districts represented by Republican Reps. Richard Hanna, Ann Marie Buerkle and Tom Reed to create an R+10 seat (based on the Cook Political Report scale) for Collins. Reed's seat would be particularly weakened from R+6 to R+3, possibly putting the popular up-and-coming legislator's seat at risk. For those who don't remember, Congressman Tom Reed, a freshman Congressman whom Politico labeled as "Most Likely To Succeed", won an open seat in 2010 to replace Eric Massa.
Why is this Brooklyn news, you might ask?
Well, this may be only one man's opinion, but instead of looking to create a seat for a former upstate executive with a past record of losing it on bigger stages at the expense of incumbent Republican members of Congress, maybe the powers-that-be should be spending more time trying to... I don't know, just spitballin' here... safeguarding the seat of Congressman Bob Turner, who rocked the nation with his upset victory over the New York City Democratic machine and became a national symbol for Republicans and gave a new blueprint of how to defeat not only President Obama but down-ballot Dems who can be tied to his failed policies? How 'bout that, people?
Let's take the Brooklyn "spin" off of this and look at the bigger state-wide picture:
Why weaken three sitting Republicans - and one popular freshman legislator at that - to help a defeated, polarizing personality like Collins? Granted, Chris Collins lost his County Executive seat as a result of the strength of the Democrats in Buffalo and won virtually everywhere else in the county, but if it ain't broke, what's to fix?
Hopefully, a "real" reporter can take my source's information and run it up the flag pole - I'd be very interested to see who salutes it. But we'll keep on top of matters as they progress.