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Tim Kaine, former VA Governor and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, (right) and Sen. Mark Warner held a town hall-style campaign event and took a tour of Norfolk-based Grow Interactive on Monday, September 17, 2012, morning. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot)
In light of the Virginia Senate GOP's plan to disenfranchise minority voters and rig the state election, Senators Mark Warner (D. VA) and Tim Kaine (D. VA) released this joint statement:

http://chantilly.patch.com/...

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, left, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., speak to reporters about  financial reform on Wall Street during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, April 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
"On a day when Americans celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and inaugurated Barack Obama as President, Virginia Senate Republicans took advantage of the absence of civil rights leader Sen. Henry Marsh to push through a hyper-partisan change to Virginia's already gerrymandered legislative district map," the two said in a joint statement.  
"This is not the way we should be conducting the people’s business in Virginia. We are encouraged by Governor McDonnell’s statements today expressing disapproval of the tactics that were used.  We urge legislative leaders and other elected officials to do the right thing to correct this disappointing and disruptive partisan action.” - Chantilly Patch, 1/22/13
For those of you who haven't been following this story, the Republicans in the Virginia State Senate pushed through a controversial redistricting plan that Democrats say will make it easier for Republicans to gain a majority.  The State Senate is evenly split, 20 Republicans and 20 Democrats.  The Republican State Senators were able to push through the redistricting plan when state Senator and Civil Rights leader, Henry Marsh (D), was in Washington, D.C. attending the second inauguration of President Obama:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

“I wanted to attend the historic second inauguration of President Obama in person,” Marsh said in a statement. “For Senate Republicans to use my absence to push through a partisan redistricting plan that hurts voters across the state is shameful.” - TPM, 1/22/13
The move not only angered state Senate Democrats, it also caused Republican Governor Bob McDonnell to condemn his own party:

http://news.fredericksburg.com/...

“I certainly don’t think that’s a good way to do business,” McDonnell told reporters this morning after speaking to a business group in Richmond.

He said his two legislative priorities this session are K-12 education and transportation funding reform (which Democrats say is “dead” now after the Republican redistricting maneuver).

“I would prefer nothing else get in the way of those significant reforms,” McDonnell said. - Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, 1/22/13

Virginia Senate Democrats blasted the Republican redistricting plan as a violation of the state constitution:

http://fairfaxcity.patch.com/...

Democrats pointed to Virginia’s Constitution, which says redistricting may only occur every 10 years, following the federal census. The last census was done in 2010, and redistricting occurred in 2011. Thus, Senate Democrats have a case to challenge the redistricting plan in state court, John Aughenbaugh, a political science professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, said in an email.

Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath would become the odd man out of the redistricting measure as his district would combine with that of Sen. Emmett Hanger Jr., R-Mount Solon. He said while he and Hanger Jr. will remain friends if the bill is signed into law, he anticipated a long road and lots of scrutiny before the proposal lives or dies.

Deeds told his followers on Twitter: “Everybody needs to take a deep breath. We’re a long way from this redistricting becoming law. We have a lot of fight still in us.”

To become law, the bill passed by the Senate still must be approved by the House of Delegates and then signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Moreover, it would need federal approval to take effect. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires states with a history of voter discrimination to have any major voting changes approved by the U.S. Justice Department or a federal judge. - Fairfax City Patch, 1/23/13

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe, urged Governor McDonnell to veto this redistricting plan:
"I join Governor McDonnell in urging the legislature to end this divisive partisan effort and instead focus on making Virginia the best place for business with mainstream solutions on transportation and education," he said in a statement. "We simply cannot afford to have the legislature spend more time on divisive partisan fights, especially as we have so many important issues to address."  - TPM, 1/22/13
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) is afraid that voting on this redistricting plan would harm Governor McDonnell's plans for his last year in office:
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican who holds a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, has “grave concerns about the adoption of a revised redistricting plan,” according to an email sent by an aide. The aide said the measure was “not something that (Bolling) supported.”

According to the aide, the lieutenant governor is afraid the measure will distract from issues such as transportation and education. Both are priorities for McDonnell in his last year in office. - 1/23/13

Around the country, Republican controlled state legislators are doing everything they can to hold onto their majorities and squeeze Democrats out of power.  It's the only way they can win these days because they've gone too far right.  Now someone like Mark Warner is popular enough to win his re-election but we need to win both the Governor's race and really campaign hard to win the majority in the Virginia state house.  Feel free to donate to either McAuliffe or Warner's campaigns:
https://secure.actblue.com/...
ST-MCAULIFF   02/10/2005  Robert A. Reeder TWP democratic national committee has a farewell party for terry mcauliffe at the building museum.  Bill Clinton talking to McAuliffe while Kerry was speaking.  StaffPhoto imported to Merlin on  Thu Feb 10 22:14:04 2005
https://secure.actblue.com/...

And if you are a Virginia resident, I urge you to get involved with the state Democratic Party so we can ensure a strong GOTV operation to battle the Virginia GOP's efforts to steal the majority and suppress the vote:

http://www.vademocrats.org/

Because the last thing Virginia needs is not only a GOP controlled state legislator but also having this clown as Governor:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:29 PM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great diary (11+ / 0-)

    I hope the people of Virginia get up and get active on this, it is frightening especially now that they are considering shaking up their electoral votes.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:37:11 PM PST

    •  DECLARE IT what it is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BusyinCA

      instead of every vote in a state counting equally

      Seat Voting means:

      Black Voters votes count less

      Hispanic Voters votes count less

      Asian Voters votes count less

      Working Womens Voters votes count less

      Young Voters votes count less

      White Voters votes count more

      in determining a state votes

      That's Racist, Immoral, UnDemocratic, Un-American

      Tired of hearing crazy voices? turn off FOX News. Single Payer: healthcare for all of God's living creatures in America.

      by ca democrat on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:51:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My prediction: this thing's going down (14+ / 0-)

    They went too far and the backlash is hitting them hard. If McDonnell is running from it like his ass was on fire and if Warner is openly condemning it, it's in bad shape.

    The GOP can only do this type of thing successfully if they keep it quiet and on the down-low. Expose it to daylight and it shrivels faster than Nosferatu.

  •  The Republicon Parties (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    concernedamerican, Gordon20024

    In state houses where they have control (along with Republicon Governors) are the most disgusting bunch of dictators this country has ever seen.  They can't win elections fairly so they decide to change rules that have been in effect for over 200 years!  This should be outlawed and all these Cons need to be defeated in 2014 so we can have revotes and go back to what we were doing for 200+ years.  If McDonnell signs this bill he'll be known for more than Governor Ultrasound.  Midterm elections matter, just as much as Presidential elections and hopefully everyone has learned and will get out there and vote in 2014 also.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:52:29 PM PST

  •  Call me crazy but... (8+ / 0-)

    I think this is all a stunt by McDonnell.  He'll trade a veto of both these measures for Dem support on his two key agenda items.  McDonnell wants to run for President in 2016 - if he signs either of these Senate stunts he's finished.  But if he vetoes both of them he can run in 2016 in part saying he's not an ideologue, vetoed these two hyper-partisan power grabs, and worked with Dems in state legislature to get his agenda through.  

    Because if he signs either - the Dems will revolt, give him nothing and fight everything tooth and nail.  This would put Bolling in the key spot of breaking the 20-20 tie in the state senate, the same Bolling who the Va GOP screwed over by choosing Cuccinelli to be their flag bearer in the next Gov election.  Bolling is threatening to run as an indie, saying it's 50-50 right now that he'll do it.  

    And for what?  The redistricting will be fought in the courts for years.  And it wouldn't happen until 2015, so he'll never get any benefit from it, hell the next Governor will have his first two years still under the current State Senate.  So he pisses off the Dems and gets nothing done, and it could all be for nothing, and kill his WH aspirations.  

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 06:52:39 PM PST

    •  He's doomed in running for President anyway (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xsonogall

      Governor Ultrasound cannot be elected.  The country is turning left and those voters are not going to allow a former Governor who squashed women's rights to run this country.

      Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

      by Rosalie907 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:01:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the frightening thing... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        semiot

        ...he might think he could still have a chance if he helps gerrymander the electoral votes along with the other governors of evil.

        "If these Republicans can't stand up to Rush, how can they stand up to the Iranians?" - Redmond Barry

        by xsonogall on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:03:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They seriously need to start spending less time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    with Vladimir Putin and cut back on the moonshine wodky.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:09:24 PM PST

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