A shrinking state

March 24, 2011 1:39:05 PM PDT
Thinking about my dad's oft-cited advice that "liars figure, but figures don't lie."

The new Census data from last year is out for New York State today, and it ain't a pretty picture.

New York City shows anemic growth (is that a bad thing?) - growing by 167,000 people to 8.2 million. Mayor Bloomberg says he believes many immigrants were missed by census takers and so the City was undercounted. Brooklyn Boro President Marty Markowitz is also upset - Brooklyn supposedly grew by just 1.6 percent.

But it's the upstate area that took a shellacking. Buffalo lost 10.7 percent of its population over the decade. Rochester lost 4.2 percent, and Syracuse dropped by 1.5 percent.

The fallout is a real problem for the state: New York's current Congressional delegation of 29 will drop once the seats are redistricted to 27 - the lowest level since 1823.

The campaign to make redistricting non-political (if that's even possible) is being led by former New York Mayor Ed Koch. He wants an independent commission to be in charge of the redistricting - rather than the smoke-filled politico rooms of decades past.

We're interviewing Koch on Eyewitness News Up Close this Sunday at 11 a.m., by the way. Click here if you have a question that you would like us to ask him.

We'll have the latest on the Census and its implications, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, we're following the political gyrations of next year's Presidential primaries. Today, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a Tea Partier whose performances on cable TV news shows make for fascinating entertainment, is exploring forming a Presidential exploratory committee - a weird way of saying she's pretty much running for President. As one Republican consultant put it today, "This is good news for the media and bad news for the GOP. The press will be delighted, with a new gaffe-prone carnival candidacy to snicker at. It is pure gold for the writers' room at Saturday Night Live."

If the Republicans believe that Barack Obama can be defeated, consultant Mike Murphy wrote today, it's hard to imagine that it can happen with the "tiny sliver of voters ? Bachmann would appeal to."

Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin - Mr. Obama's two secret weapons?

We're up in Westchester County tonight, where the police union has come out firing, verbally, against the District Attorney's decision not to bring charges against four Pace University students in the deadly police shooting of a Pace football student.

The D.A. says it made the decision in the interests of justice and putting this tragic and controversial case behind. But the police union has picked up the proverbial brick, blasting the students and criticizing prosecutors. Stay tuned.

And for everyone who has cut the cord to their landline phones - and there are plenty; about 30% of households no longer have them - tonight a look at why peeps are doing it, and some of the advantages and disadvantages. Tim Fleischer takes our closer look, at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, including NATO's announcement that it was going to take over enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.


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