North Hempstead GOP Sues Dems over "Lurvey-Mander"
by Nolan Cleary
The North Hempstead Republicans filed suit in federal court on Friday to overturn the heavily Gerrymandered town council district map passed by the Democrats this past summer on a party-line vote. The Democrat's map violates equal protection by delaying Republican areas' votes, while giving Democratic areas a double vote, according to the lawsuit.
The Democrat's map - that did not receive even one Republican vote - has been dubbed the "Lurvey-mander" after Democratic Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey (D-Great Neck).
The Democrats' gerrymander is particularly insidious, because it "swaps" district numbers between Lurvey's current Great Neck based district, and Republican David Adhami's more Lake Success centered district.
By "swapping" the district numbers, the Lurvey Great Neck district - which has been trending increasingly Republican - will be prevented from voting for six years, while a modified version of the Lake Success district - modified to become more Democrat - will get to vote twice in two years.
"North Hempstead residents deserve better than partisan politics when it comes to the redistricting process,” stated Supervisor Jennifer DeSena (R-Manhasset).
Several Democrats on the Town Board have also claimed that the Lurvey-mander "cuts-short" Adhami's elected term from four years to two years, while it expands Lurvey's elected term from four years to six years.
Adhami is joined as a co-Plaintiff by Councilman Dennis Walsh (R-Mineola) and the Village of Mineola, which is sub-divided by the Democrats' gerrymander.
"This manipulation has served to retroactively invalidate the votes of innumerable town residents that cast their votes with the understanding and expectation of the term of office of their chosen representative,” states the lawsuit. "This violates equal protection in the most glaring fashion and flies in the face of state law barring such blatantly partisan gerrymandering.”
The proposed district 4 contains 70% of the existing district 5, and the new district 5 would contain 75% of the core of the current district 4 - essentially "swapping" numbers - and election years - while keeping their core of voters.