Optics-wise, the state Senate GOP’s move could reverberate far beyond the Commonwealth: after using the absence of civil rights leader Marsh to push through the legislative changes, the Senate adjourned in honor of a well-known Confederate general.
So Virginia’s Senate Republicans just pushed through a new redistricting plan today while a Democratic Senator (active in the civil rights movement) was still out of the capital due to the inauguration.
This left the otherwise balanced chamber with 20R-19D, key because the Republican Lieutenant Governor who would otherwise decide tiebreakers is mulling a run as an independent for Governor this year, and is thus unreliable.
The bill, which is not yet available online due to the abruptness of it all, is purported to gerrymander out at least one Democratic Senator. Ironically, the Senator in question (Creigh Deeds) has been one of the most vocal proponents of a bipartisan/nonpartisan redistricting method over the past decade.
This would come into effect for the 2015 elections, the approximate midway point between traditional redistricting intervals, and when many weakly gerrymandered districts start to lose their potency against natural demographic changes.
Gotta love the Commonwealth.
Edit: While I have mixed feelings on Ben Tribbett, he’s likely going to be one of the first places to get news on what the new map looks like.
Really surprising. I’d love to see some localized exit polls, just to get a better sense of the whys that went into that breakdown. I still think Obama’s got it, but it’s gonna be close.
Probably gonna pick it up with even 3+ points.
Unless legislators develop a detailed plan for setting up a state-run health benefits exchange in the next two months, the federal government likely will step in to design and run one to ensure that Virginians get access to comprehensive, affordable and secure health insurance choices, according to a new report released Wednesday by The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.
The full report, No Time to Waste, is here.
Given the makeup of both chambers in Virginia at the moment, I think it is actually in our interest to continue stalling on this one.