As America watched President Obama’s second inauguration on Monday — and note that this is also Martin Luther King Day — the Virginia State Senate rushed a bill through which would redistrict the state’s senate seats. Even worse: the vote, 20-19, would have been a tie had Democratic Senator Henry Marsh been present. Marsh, a civil rights leader, was in Washington attending the inauguration.
So, with a civil rights leader attending the inauguration which is on MLK Day, they are rigging the next election. While Obama spoke of making voting easier, not more difficult, the state Senate in Virginia pushed this through.
Think Progress reports:
Had Marsh been present, however, the state’s Lieutenant Governor would likely have broken the tie. The bill was reportedly pushed through in a matter of hours.
According to Virginia politics blogger Ben Tribbett, the move could potentially eliminate at least one Democratic seat, the 25th district, which currently belongs to former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sen. Creigh Deeds (D).
This isn’t the first time that Virginia has attempted to redraw district lines conveniently for Republicans. Just last month, the state’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli lobbied to have the state exempt from the Voting Rights Act’s redistricting requirements because the state had “outgrown” racism. Largely, redistricting has disenfranchisedDemocratic votes.
The gerrymandering bill now goes to the heavily Republican House of Delegates for a vote, where it will likely face little opposition.
Republicans claim to be soul searching since they were defeated. They’d better keep searching for that soul because this isn’t it. This can’t be legal. It was curious that as the President left the Capitol, Congressional leaders were all smiles. I wondered if they were late to their ‘secret meeting’ but apparently other tactics were in the works. How much further can the bar be lowered? I thought it was on the damned floor. Just remember this during the next election just like you did during the Presidential election.