House Sitting

Our congressional district is in flux; our Congressman is in stasis

By Ann Reichlin

New York’s congressional district lines are in flux yet again. Although the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission tweaked them, Tompkins County remained in NY-19. Then the New York State Legislature tweaked the lines again—again leaving Tompkins County in NY-19—for now.

It’s still possible that things will change. But for the moment, Tompkins County is inside one of the very few tossup congressional districts in the country. The new Commission lines would make NY-19 a little harder for Democrats to win, and the NYS legislature map would keep it similar to the current one. Either way, our role in helping a Democrat win in our district will be hugely consequential.

The stakes are high. DonaldTrump’s terrifying agenda includes rounding up undocumented immigrants and forcing them into detention camps; restricting reproductive rights by limiting access to mifepristone in all states; rolling back policies that try to mitigate climate change and threatening to impose the military on cities that he detests. It is absolutely imperative that we prevent Donald Trump from returning to office. It is equally imperative to ensure that the House of Representatives is controlled by Democrats, because if Donald Trump were to win, a Democratic House would be one of the few checks on his power. This is why what we do here in Tompkins County is so important.

What did the GOP House and our representative Marc Molinaro accomplish in the month of February? Nothing. The House GOP does not care that the government is at risk of shutting down due to congressional inaction. Nor does it care that Ukraine has still not received the resources it needs to defend itself against Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. And they certainly don’t care about the border, as evidenced by the fact that the GOP refuses to negotiate or deliver funds to remedy the problem. The House GOP, egged on by Donald Trump, simply doesn’t want to govern. Instead of addressing issues that impact us here in NY-19, such as passing a budget that will help pay for Head Start, clean energy initiatives and infrastructure, they wasted time trying to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for no good reason.

Then they went on vacation—and who can blame them? Impeaching people, threatening not to pay their salaries and whining on social media is so much work. They need to rest—and also to fundraise, so they can get re-elected and continue enjoying their divisive, do-nothing dysfunction.

This brings us to what Congressman Molinaro did during his February vacation. He brought the MAGA-extremist Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, to Binghamton to raise money for him. But the voters of NY-19 were there to protest!

We have a chance to protest again in November, when we vote to make sure Mr. Molinaro is only a one-term congressman. Marc Molinaro: One and done!


As Democrats, we know how Congressman Molinaro has failed us. He is campaigning hard on a false narrative that he is a moderate who works across the aisle. It’s up to all of us to counter this phony message. Spread the word to your neighbors by writing a letter to the editor setting out some of the truths about him. There’s a lot of material in the “House Sitting” column. Submit your letter to one of these local publications:

Ithaca Voice:

Ithaca Times:

Tompkins Weekly:

Posted in Tompkins County.