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Rachel Maddow: Sen. Donald McEachin Blasts Senate GOP Redistricting

by: Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus

Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:35:46 AM EST

( - promoted by lowkell)

Yesterday evening state Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) spoke on the Rachel Maddow Show about the Senate Republican's radical, overreaching redistricting plan.

Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus :: Rachel Maddow: Sen. Donald McEachin Blasts Senate GOP Redistricting
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National News !! (0.00 / 0)
I was pleased to see that AP picked this story up, it was only after the ultrasound debacle made the national news that VA GOP crazies started to back down, hopefully it will happen again in this instance. I like the way that Rachel tied this story to the GOP efforts to rig electoral vote apportionment.

Bungled response. (0.00 / 0)
It's good that Democrats are getting national attention to the story (such as it is), but complaining about gerrymandering is about the worst tactic Senate Democrats can take.

No one can honestly look at the lines the Democrats drew in 2010 and say it's anything but rigging the lines to favor Democrats. That's how districts got drawn from Arlington to Stafford, and from the Pentagon to Sterling. They're ridiculously gerrymandered.

On top of which, the substitute lines, while definitely more favorable to Republicans and hence why Republicans pushed it through, are more compact and much better at keeping together communities of interest. At least in NoVa.

Complaining about gerrymandering is rank hypocrisy, and it destroys the credibility of the rest of the justified outrage regarding HOW the bill was pushed through.

At Least in NoVa (0.00 / 0)
Thanks there, not like the rest of the state matters!

Yeah, a district from Campbell to Madison that excludes the bulk of the 29 corridor in between is fine, because, well, Northern Virginia is all that matters.

Splitting Roanoke County into three districts and making sure that Roanoke City not only excludes any large population in the county but wraps around 81 and Blacksburg to connect with Pulaski? Fine, who cares about Southwest?

Republican gerrymandering always take the same tactic, and we saw this in the House as well. Divide up Northern Virginia into so-called "compact" districts in order to keep Democrats on the defensive, while entirely carving up communities of interest in the rest of the state to silence Democratic communities in Central Virginia that could help beef up the party's statewide appeal.

[ Parent ]
I'm against all gerrymandering... (0.00 / 0)
...and strongly support it all being done away with. But there is a difference between constitutional (done every 10 years) and unconstitutional (whenever you can get away with it) procedure.  And the way this was done was nasty, underhanded and undemocratic -- as well.  

For a Sustainable Virginia. Now on Twitter.

[ Parent ]
Video: Sen. Donald McEachin Speaks on Senate GOP Redistricting (0.00 / 0)

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States write the rules (0.00 / 0)
on the "times, Places and Manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives... but the Congress may...alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators" (Art.I,Sec4); also, "each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress" (Art.II,Sec1).

As near as I can figure it out, any State legislature can do as it pleases (in this sort of change just passed by the Virginia Senate) as to how the Senate districts are drawn, as well as to how their members of the Electoral College are divided up---- unless that part of Art.I,Sec4, which says that Congress may alter such Regulations, which leads me to ask: cannot the national Congress, in dealing with the national elections, impose uniform regulations on all the States relative to how they manage their Electoral College vote for the national offices of President and Vice-President? That would also apply to imposing some national standards for national elections when it comes to voter ID, early voting, voting machines, etc., wouldn't it? There has got to be some way to tackle this whole unsavory Republican trickery in suppressing and rigging voting.

As Rachel Maddow pointed out, we are seeing a remarkably uniform attack on voting in those States where Republicans control the levers of power. It is not accidental coincidence, IMO; I suspect ALEC and the Koch boys set this up, providing guidance and money to their Republican legislaator flunkies, typical authoritarian power play, as we have previously seen in Wisconsin, Michigan, etc.

Thank-you Senator McEachin...(and check out Wisconsin) (0.00 / 0)
Controversial re-districting (check)
Proposed change of electoral college (check)

PR Watch carried a story on their blog dated 12/31/12:

"Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin were sharply criticized for developing the maps under a veil of secrecy and shutting the public out of the process, with a court that heard a redistricting challenge describing the process as "shameful," "sharply partisan," and "needlessly secret."

Those new maps have nonetheless taken effect, and the majority of Congressional districts are now out-of-step with statewide voting patterns."

And yes, there is even a shout out to ALEC.

The bigger question is ...Why does the VA GOP have such little faith in their own ideas and policies and hence the need to change the measure of their success. Passing a re-districting bill while Senator Marsh is attending the inauguration.(20-19) is not only underhanded but an act of legislative cowardliness.



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