Home > General, Va Politics > VA Senate: While the cat’s away the mice become rats–Rat Bastards that is

VA Senate: While the cat’s away the mice become rats–Rat Bastards that is

January 22nd, 2013

rats4

This cat just happened to be Senator Henry Marsh, who attended the Inauguration in D.C.  The rats had been plotting this one for a long time, as you will see.  The mice didn’t take long to metamorphose into rats.

Washingtonpost.com

 

RICHMOND — Senate Republicans pushed a re-drawn state political map past flabbergasted Democrats on Monday, pulling off what would amount to a mid-decade redistricting of Senate lines if the plan gets approval from the House and governor and stands up to anticipated legal challenges.

The bill, approved 20 to 19, would revamp the Senate map to concentrate minority voters in a new Southside district and would change most, if not all, existing district lines. Democrats, still scrambling Monday night to figure out the impact, said they thought that the new map would make at least five districts held by Democrats heavily Republican. The map puts two sitting senators, R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) and Emmett W. Hanger Jr. (R-Augusta), into a single district.

Under the Virginia Constitution, the General Assembly draws new Senate and House districts once a decade, after the decennial census, in years ending in one. Legislators have tweaked the lines in off years, sometimes at the behest of registrars who discover problems such as split precincts. But this measure went far beyond the typical off-year tinkering.

The new map, which would take effect in 2015, caught Democrats and even Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) off guard. It was tacked onto a bill left over from last year that sought “technical adjustments” to House district boundaries, not a sweeping change in Senate lines. The measure was unveiled on the floor as a 36-page amendment. Debate was limited to 30 minutes.

The Virginia Senate is split 20-20. State Republicans don’t feel they can count on Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling as their tie breaker. As it turned out, the bill did draw harsh criticism from Lt. Gov. Bolling.   Senator Henry Marsh (D-Richmond) was out of town at the Inauguration. Today is also a state holiday. Why is the Senate conducting business, especially on a state and federal holiday that also is Inauguration Day. It would stand to reason that Democrats from Virginia might be attending the Inauguration.

Some say that the bill clearly violates the Virginia Constitution.

Article II, Section 6 of the Virginia Constitution

“Members of the House of Representatives of the United States and members
of the Senate and of the House of Delegates of the General Assembly
shall be elected from electoral districts established by the General
Assembly. Every electoral district shall be composed of contiguous and
compact territory and shall be so constituted as to give, as nearly as
is practicable, representation in proportion to the population of the
district. The General Assembly shall reapportion the Commonwealth into
electoral districts in accordance with this section in the year 2011 and
every ten years thereafter.”

I believe that this is 2013. The state Republicans have cheated to get their own way. Winning at any cost it seems. State Senator Democrats were outraged. Several uttered that McDonnell could forget his transportation bill. Understandably, the democrats feel back-stabbed.

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Democrats were shocked by the move, vowing to oppose the new plan in court as an unconstitutional redo of Senate district boundaries.

Even if McDonnell did  sign the bill, which is  by no means a  certainty, any change to Virginia’s district boundaries requires approval by a federal judge or the U.S. Justice Department because of the state’s history of racial discrimination.  How will state Republicans own up to just wanting to screw over the Democrats rather than racially throw an election?

Under the State Constitution, the legislature redraws boundary lines each 10 years after the national census is taken in the zero years. McDonnell signed a bill creating new legislative boundaries last back in  April 2011.

UPDATE:

Va. Republicans’ redistricting maneuver draws criticism:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/va-politics/va-republicans-move-on-redistricting-draws-criticism/2013/01/22/f7645ee8-64b9-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html

The story heats up!  Governor McDonnell:  “I certainly don’t think that’s a good way to do business,” said McDonnell, adding, “This was not an initiative that I advocated.”

 

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  1. Ivan
    January 22nd, 2013 at 10:24 | #1

    There could be more to this than meets the eye.

    • January 22nd, 2013 at 11:06 | #2

      Creigh Deeds will lose his seat for starters. It is carved up so Republicans can own Virginia. Northam vows to fight it. It messes with him also. He is running for Lt. Gov. though. thank goodness.

  2. punchak
    January 22nd, 2013 at 11:14 | #3

    What an extraordinary exhibit of underhandedness!!
    Yes, why were they in session?

  3. Lafayette
    January 22nd, 2013 at 11:22 | #4

    Why in the heck are they doing this not one, but two years after redistricting. Which was bad enough. This is just adding insult to injury. Two years ago redistricted into Marshall’s district was quite a slap in the face. This is now spitting in our faces. If they keep trying to pull this crap the Commonwealth will NEVER come out from under the DOJ approval of all changes in redistricting. Hello, GA, you are redistricting many people into districts that we did NOT vote for our representation, because we were NOT in that district. I hope the DOJ is all over this nonsense.

  4. Andyh
    January 22nd, 2013 at 11:48 | #5

    Glad to see they’re focused on transporation and budget issues.

    • January 22nd, 2013 at 11:54 | #6

      They just blew their transportation chances away, I fear.

      They will get right on it after they finish a few more ultra sound bills in their spare time.

  5. Pat.Herve
    January 22nd, 2013 at 15:31 | #8

    and they call themselves leaders – I wonder who thought this one up, and who were the followers. Is that what it has come down to – gerrymander districts in order to get what you want.

  6. Lafayette
    January 22nd, 2013 at 15:53 | #10

    Well according to Corey the districts look like they should and not gerrymandered. Yeah, right. What a joke.

    • January 22nd, 2013 at 17:40 | #11

      When he was talking I fully expected to actually see his nose moving…growing longer and longer.

  7. January 22nd, 2013 at 20:27 | #12

    I guess Corey jumped on the Rat bastard bandwagon.

    He would fit right in down there in Richmond. I doubt that is going to happen. Sen. Ralph NOrtham is going to be the next Lt. Governor.

  8. Scout
    January 22nd, 2013 at 21:23 | #13

    My party, at least in Virginia, but other places as well, has aligned itself with those who fear the voters. It is one thing for a Monarchist to think that the bane of good order is the populist mob. It is quite another for a political party in a free Republic to be doing somersaults to avoid the will of the people.

    I will be very enthusiastic about the leadership of RPV and GOP candidates for office when they start talking about how to increase voter participation, and then find programs and policy positions that attract the greater number of voters each election. As long as they are actively trying to discourage the largest possible participation by voters, they aren’t worth much as a political force.

    • January 22nd, 2013 at 21:38 | #14

      Your now party isn’t the party I used to vote with. I just can’t align myself any more. I have been gone for 25 years though.

  9. January 23rd, 2013 at 13:22 | #15

    Was there this much outrage when the Democrats gerrymandered the hell out of the districts?

    Yes..this is political revenge. And its stupid to do it. But, again…were you unhappy about it then?

    • January 23rd, 2013 at 13:34 | #16

      I don’t recall the Democrats ever making doing something this sleazy. Did they make major changes in years not ending in a 1? Did they do it on a federal and state holiday while a key voter was at an Inauguration?

      I don’t remember them doing that. Do you? If so, what year and what were the details?

  10. January 23rd, 2013 at 14:02 | #17

    @Moon-howler
    I’m talking about when they gerrymandered it all to hell when they had the power.

    I already said that I didn’t like how this happened. It was sneaky.

    I was going to give you dates..but Google is swamped with the current news and all you get is the current kerfuffle.

  11. Scout
    January 23rd, 2013 at 21:12 | #18

    The Governor will veto this and tell the kids to settle down. It was stupid. It was juvenile. It hurts the Republican Party at a time when we can’t afford to indulge those who would oppress us with self-inflicted wounds. But the Virginia GA is really Sandbox Land. This will change.

  12. Scout
    January 23rd, 2013 at 21:14 | #19

    AS childish and stupid as this was, it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as efforts by the Virginia GOP Senate faction to re-distribute electoral votes in the next presidential election.

  13. Elena
    January 23rd, 2013 at 21:31 | #20

    I called Ramadan and Anderson and expressed my hope that they will be moral and ethical, voting no on the redistricting. I threw in the “do not do unto thy neighbor what you would not do unto thyself” followed up with a ” and no less on Martin Luther King Memorial Day”!

    I love how the GOP loves to throw Jesus into the face of liberals, calling us G-dless, and yet they do immoral BS like this?

    I guess if you can’t win fairly, might as win by cheating. Are THESE the lessons they teach their children?

  14. Elena
    January 23rd, 2013 at 21:46 | #21

    Just answered a call from Delegate Anderson’s aid. I will have to say, he said all the right things. Kudos to Anderson who wanted to relay the message they they heard about the “shenanigans of senate republicans on the news” that day. He said they Senate members did not consult the House members. I shared the GOP’s reputation was complete mud and that our blog was showing no mercy. We’ll see what Anderson does in the House so pay close attention!

  15. January 24th, 2013 at 00:55 | #22

    @Cargosquid

    I don’t believe the Democrats ever pulled a stunt like this. Rather than saying “but he did it first,” lets look at what happened and the legalities.

    What is to keep any legislative body from changing the district boundaries willy nilly every time they discover there is something that they don’t like.

    For one group to shut another out, blindingsiding them to do it, is just wrong.

    Many Republicans around the state feel that fair play was simply not present.

    Interesting that one of the strongest Democrats in the State lost his seat, isn’t it. Do you think that is an accident?

    I thought that the Delegates were the sleaze bags. Apparently I overlooked the 4 year guys.

    Shame shame shame.

  16. January 24th, 2013 at 02:49 | #23

    The Rat Bastard Republican Senators got named asd Stephen Colbert’s Alpha Dog of the Week. It is not a compliment.He told the entire story much better than I.

    (pack of pure bred Republicans)

    Making Stephen Cobert is a dubious honor.

  17. January 24th, 2013 at 08:39 | #24

    @Moon-howler
    I ALREADY agreed that this was not a good thing.

    But I do remember that the Democrats, when in power, had gerrymandered the heck out of the state. Of course, back then, it was not reported as gerrymandered except by the out of power Republicans.

    I think that a computer should be used to mathematically determine the most efficient way of dividing up the districts. No gerrymandering. Of course, that means that such things a race, etc, cannot be used to determine boundaries, so the Fed’s need to get off of our backs.

  18. January 24th, 2013 at 11:09 | #25

    In his usual haphazard mannor, Corey Stewart praised the stealth, sneaky attack in Richmond on Monday.

    Washington Post:

    And on Wednesday, Prince William County Chairman Corey Stewart offered his wholehearted support.

    “In my opinion the Republican members of the Senate acted boldly and justifiably in re-adjusting the Senate districts,” Stewart said in a prepared statement.

    Has Corey ever thought anything through on his own?

  19. Peterson
    January 25th, 2013 at 08:37 | #27

    Elena :I love how the GOP loves to throw Jesus into the face of liberals, calling us G-dless, and yet they do immoral BS like this?I guess if you can’t win fairly, might as win by cheating. Are THESE the lessons they teach their children?

    Odd, I always thought that you were a republican, or at least claimed to be one… or am I just thinking of someone else?

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