Va. Senate districts redrawn. Dem. Senator: "It's an underhanded sneak attack." Gov. McDonnell condemns the move.


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Oh those wacky, zany Republicans and their laughable self-righteous, "we're the moral ones" 'tude... as they sneak around and redraw legislative districts while their fellow senators are at events like, you know, presidential inaugurations.

Via TPM, we see that even GOP Gov. Bob"Ultrasound" McDonnell "condemned his own party’s political gamesmanship," although he hasn't said yet if he would veto this plan:

Republicans took advantage of the absence of a Democratic state senator (and civil rights leader) to push their surprise legislative redistricting through what is usually an evenly divided state Senate. State Sen. Henry Marsh’s (D) trip to the inauguration of President Obama briefly made the Senate makeup 20-19 in favor of the GOP, letting Republicans launch their surprise attack.

Per, the changes, which wouldn't kick in until the 2015 Senate elections, also create a new black majority district in Southside Virginia:

The move blindsided Senate Democrats and reopened partisan wounds inflicted last year, when Republicans used Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's tie-breaking vote to seize working control of the evenly divided chamber.

Democrat John Edwards of Roanoke said, "It's an underhanded sneak attack."

Republicans rely on dirty tricks more and more because they have no other way to win elections or legislative votes. If only their ideas had merit, if only they weren't so consumed with power grabs, maybe something could actually be accomplished. And maybe they could even earn a little trust.


  • s e

    partisan machinations like these could be in preparation for changing to
    awarding Virginia's (and other Republican-controlled states which reliably vote
    Democratic) electoral votes by congressional district winner. These moves should add support for the National Popular
    Vote movement. If the party in control in each state is tempted every
    2, 4, or 10 years (post-census) to consider rewriting election laws and
    redistrict with an eye to the likely politically beneficial effects for
    their party in the next presidential election, then the National Popular
    Vote system, in which all voters across the country are guaranteed to
    be politically relevant and treated equally, looks better and better.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the
    candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral
    votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the
    electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the
    presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in the

    The presidential election system that we have today
    was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but,
    instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated
    by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of
    winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the

    The bill uses the power given to each state by
    the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their
    electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major
    changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the
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    48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state
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    A survey of Virginia voters showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    By age, support for a national popular vote was 82% among 18-29 year
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    By gender, support was 82% among women and 65% among men.

    By political affiliation, support was 79% for a national popular vote
    among liberal Democrats (representing 17% of respondents), 86% among
    moderate Democrats (representing 21% of respondents), 79% among
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    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of
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    MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA –
    78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes):
    AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH –
    69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT –
    75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,
    KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA –
    74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT –
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