Iva Deutchman, professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, was recently interviewed by a reporter for the Finger Lakes Times about the proposed referendum on splitting New York State in two. She agreed with other experts in the article that it will never happen, and says the measure is “misguided;” she cites the tax revenue and other benefits New York City brings to the state as a whole.
According to the article, “She said it seems to be a Republican attitude of ‘I’m angry with you, so I’m going to leave,’ and that grownups don’t handle difficulties that way.”
Deutchman points to other areas the state should focus on.
“Worry about health care, worry about New York corruption, worry about those things and stop going ahead with what I think are just trivial, impractical and bad ideas,” she is quoted.
Deutchman holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in political science and economics. She is a professor of 20 plus years who has worked on two continents (Australia and North America). She has a long list of publications in major journals, the latest of which are “Fundamentalist Christians, Raunch Culture and Post-industrial Capitalism,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Summer 2008, and “Five Factions, Two Parties: Caucus Membership in the House of Representatives, 1994- 2002,” Congress and the Presidency, 36:62-84, 2009 (with colleague DeWayne Lucas).
The full article follows.
Finger Lakes Times
51st state proposal met with logistical, financial doubt
Amanda Folts • January 17, 2010
Some local residents understand the sentiment behind a proposed referendum on splitting New York State in two, but even they don’t think it’s likely to happen.
Last week, state Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-54 of Fayette, wrote a column in support of legislation to set a referendum asking the question, “Do you support the division of New York into two separate states?”
James Bacalles, R-136 of Corning, sponsored the bill in the Assembly and said the question is about lifestyle.
Talk of a split began in the 1970s, he said, because people from New York City thought upstate was a drag on them and started federal legislation to cut off western New York. Six to eight months later, he said, New York City was close to bankruptcy, and the state had to bail it out.
Bacalles said the measure was also brought up by his predecessor, Don Davidsen, and Rep. Randy Kuhl.
But will it ever happen? Bacalles said probably not. When times are good, he said, New York City drives the rest of the state, and the separation would be tough for upstate – even though he believes upstate New Yorkers could govern the area better because they are used to dealing with rural issues.
State Sen. George Winner, R-53 of Elmira, said he recognizes what Nozzolio is getting at, with upstate under siege due to a one-party rule in New York and all the power coming out of New York City. But while Winner said he shares Nozzolio’s concern, he also understands that there is little to no chance of creating a separate state.
“I just don’t think that that’s going to be the productive way of going about achieving the changes that we need and focusing attention on upstate New York’s concerns,” Winner said.
Iva Deutchman, professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, said the idea is interesting because people usually talk about New York City seceding, not upstate.
But Deutchman thinks the measure is misguided because of how much New York City contributes to the tax base, to jobs and intellectually. She said it seems to be a Republican attitude of “I’m angry with you, so I’m going to leave,” and that grownups don’t handle difficulties that way.
She said the state should focus on other issues instead.
“Worry about health care, worry about New York corruption, worry about those things and stop going ahead with what I think are just trivial, impractical and bad ideas,” she said.
Joe Urban, former Geneva High School government teacher, called the legislation “silly.”
He said it’s impossible and is like saying that if you don’t get your way, you’ll just try something different. He said the interests of New York would probably be better served if the whole state got to work and tried to help with the health care plan or stabilizing the economy rather than attempting to blame New York City.
“It’s just political posturing: There’s no way it can happen. I don’t think there’s even any mechanism in the Constitution to make that happen,” he said.