ICYMI: Two members of New York’s Democratic congressional delegation – Reps. Brian Higgins and Paul Tonko – expressed disappointment in separate CapTon interviews last night with this year’s redistricting process, which put their respective fates – and those of their colleagues – into the hands of a court-appointed special master.

Both congressman spread the blame around, declining to put the onus solely on Gov. Andrew Cuomo for failing to intervene when the Senate and Assembly failed to get a deal on the House lines after redrawing their own districts.

There have been some reports (including here on SoP) of national Democrats predicting that Cuomo’s refusal to lobby on behalf of his delegation during redistricting will come back to bite him should he run for president in 2016 as is widely anticipated.

Here’s what Tonko had to say when I put that question to him:

“I would have liked to have seen the issue resolved by the Legislature and the governor.”

“I think that, you know, there’s a familiarity with the cultural differences and the dynamics that exist within the communities. And I think that building a map of commonality is, I think, understood by those forces.”

“If you weren’t going to have some sort of independent body that would have had the time to invest in that effort, to hand it over to the judicial branch with a little bit of time to absorb all the nuances was difficult.”

Higgins, who actually fared quite well at the hands of the special master, noted that he and his two WNY colleagues – Reps. Kathy Hochul and Louise Slaughter – had submitted their own plan that differed sharply from what Magistrate Judge Roann Mann came up with.

Both Hochul and Slaughter saw significant changes to their districts that have put them in a precarious position as they seek re-election this fall.

I asked Higgins if he regrets having spent at least $55,000 (as of late February – more than any other member of the delegation) on a lobbyist (Pat Lynch) to represent his interests in Albany during redistricting when, as it turns out, lobbying the Legislature was a moot point.

“I still feel as though I made the right decision with respect to that,” the congressman replied. “Again, this is a process that really has no method.”

“Here’s what I know: Everybody that speculated about this process, they were wrong…Everybody was wrong. All these assumptions about what seats are going to be eliminated, what seats are going to stay, everybody was wrong.”

“So, I looked at it this way: It was out of my control, and I liked my consultant, who was engaged in the process throughout, and the outcome wasn’t all that bad for me.”

“So, I think I did the best with what I had, and what I was able to do in influencing a process that really isn’t controlled by anybody other than the three leaders in Albany and – if they don’t come to an agreement – a special master.”

During a stop in Utica yesterday, Cuomo was asked to react to the disappointment in various corners with the way redistricting turned out.

“You know, when you draw a line in the sand, some people are on one side or the other,” Cuomo replied.

“We just went through a process called redistricting where they drew a lot of lines on a map. Some people are happy, some people are unhappy. That’s what happens when you draw lines.”

“But the law says you have to draw lines. Some people in my party are unhappy, some people are in my party. Some people in the other party are unhappy, some people in the other party are happy. It means it probably worked out fine.”