Virginia GOP Jams Gerrymandering Bill Through Senate While Tie Vote Was in D.C.

In case you need further evidence that the only way the GOP can maintain power is to cheat and act like classless douchebags, check out what Republicans did in Virginia today:

While Henry Marsh (a black civil rights attorney turned Virginia politician) was in D.C. celebrating MLK Day and the inauguration of Blacky Obama, the Virginia GOP was jamming a gerrymandering bill through the legislature that would shift control of the Virginia Senate to the GOP and oust a Democratic state senator.

Had Marsh been present to vote, he would have cast the tie vote. As it is, the bill passed the Virginia Senate 20-19, and is expected to pass the House later this week.

Dicks.

[read full post at ABLC]






77 replies
  1. 1
    The Dangerman says:

    This would appear to be much ado about very little. True, the vote would have been a tie, but the Virginia Senate Rules include a tie-breaker and he (she?) would have voted affirmatively. Why they played games to do it today is a curiosity, but the end result would appear to be the same.

    ETA: Link appears to agree with me.

    ETA2: Now your link is updated and doesn’t support me.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    So where are those almighty independents who always seem to shriek whenever Democrats do anything “political”? They always seem to disappear when it comes to saying no to Republican antics.

  3. 3
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Unfortunately a bill like this will have a big impact on voter representation but no direct and immediate visible effect on the voters so these shenannies are unlikely to provoke popular outrage.

  4. 4
    Hill Dweller says:

    @The Dangerman: According to ThinkProgress, the Lt. Governor would have been the tie-breaking vote, and he’s said he wouldn’t do it.

  5. 5
    PeakVT says:

    Vile.

    Was there any reason for the VA Senate to meet today, other than to cheat? Oh, and other than to flip the bird at the concept of a day for MLK?

  6. 6
    MattR says:

    @The Dangerman: The Think Progress link says the Lt Gov would not have broken the tie in favor of redistricting.

    (EDIT: Nevermind. See your second edit)

  7. 7
    Hill Dweller says:

    The Village will claim it’s Dems fault for not being nicer to Republicans.

  8. 8
    dexwood says:

    classless douchebags

    Now there’s a Republican, controlling committee name if ever one existed.

  9. 9
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Dangerman:

    True, the vote would have been a tie, but the Virginia Senate Rules include a tie-breaker and he (she?) would have voted affirmatively.

    Apparently not. The article in question has a quote from the Lt. Governor’s spokesperson saying that he would not have voted to pass the bill because he “has grave concerns… it’s not something he supported”.

  10. 10
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I hate these people so hard.

  11. 11

    You do realize, don’t you, that the Republicans would not act that way if only the president would stop being black have them over to play cards, drink beer and celebrate fellowship.

  12. 12
    BD of MN says:

    Any chance McDonnell would be susceptible to public pressure for a veto?

  13. 13
    Roger Moore says:

    @James E. Powell:

    You do realize, don’t you, that the Republicans would not act that way if only the president would stop being black have them over to play cards, drink beer and celebrate fellowship enact all their policies while giving them the credit for all successes and taking the blame for all failures.

    Fixt.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    ALurkerHere says:

    The best part of it was how they chose to end the session –

    from TPM

    “…At the end of this wild day, the “Senate adjourned in memory or (sic) General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson,” according to the minutes of the session. Jan. 21 is the Confederate general’s birthday.”

  16. 16
    Zam says:

    @James E. Powell: I think you mean serve them drinks while they play cards.

  17. 17
    General Stuck says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    thanks, i was looking around for info on that. Boling is a republican, but this means, I suspect, Virginia clearly having an all republican run government. Wanna guess what they are up to in the gerrymandering department now? Its the new wingnut craze to steal power, I bet, by punking the electoral college. Virginia has to be considered a blue state now on national elections.

  18. 18
    f space that says:

    @ALurkerHere: Yes the rebel Confederacy is still with us.

  19. 19
    PeakVT says:

    @Thoughtcrime: Ah, interesting. Thanks for posting the link.

  20. 20
    Thoughtcrime says:

    Even some Virginia Republicans know this stinks:

    http://bearingdrift.com/2013/0.....his-reeks/

  21. 21
    Thoughtcrime says:

    This is going to bite the Virginia, and possibly national, Republicans in the ass.

    Way too fucking obvious what they are up to. And the shoutout to Stonewall Jackson really put the cherry on top.

  22. 22
    The Dangerman says:

    Upon further review, I don’t believe that the Lt. Governor would have shot it down; yes, he got cover the way they did it, but this bill was probably passing. I just don’t see the Lt. Governor going against the Party on this one if push came to shove.

    Not very nice and they go on to the Naughty List, but this bill was probably passing one way or another.

  23. 23
    A moocher says:

    There is clearly a conspiracy to subvert democracy operating across state lines involving the GOP, major corporations and certain news agencies. I think the President should start using his unlimited powers of surveillance and detention, and his control of civil and military justice systems, to arrest, charge, convict and imprison for life the perpetrators.

    The difference between this case and Nixon’s dirty tricks, is that Obama’s enemies are actually guity of serious crimes.

  24. 24
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Shame. Can this be put on the ballot in 2014? Virginian Dems shouldn’t take this lying down.

  25. 25
    Robin G. says:

    TPM quotes seem to indicate McConnell realizes this is a thorny one. I wonder if he won’t rubberstamp.

  26. 26
    danielx says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    The Village will claim it’s Dems fault for not being nicer to Republicans.

    Of course it is. After all, during the Cheney Regency over the presidency of He Who Does Not Exist And Never Did, it was considered next thing to treason not to plummet to one’s knees in awe to fellate the occupier of the Oval Office on demand. Which rule all too many Democrats were eager to comply with, by the way…

    After all, he was a (Republican) wartime Preznit!

  27. 27
    Tone in DC says:

    The sad part of this is, if these refugees from Pickett’s Charge had not shouted out to Jackson today, they would have (all too eagerly) gone to Option B. Guess whose birthday was two days ago.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E_Lee

    And the only reason I know this is… Virginia has not recognized MLK’s birthday as a holiday, the idjits in Richmond have been using Lee’s instead since President Carter first made King’s birthday a holiday.

  28. 28
    TR says:

    Christ, what assholes.

  29. 29
    Anya says:

    @ALurkerHere:

    “…At the end of this wild day, the “Senate adjourned in memory or (sic) General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson,” according to the minutes of the session. Jan. 21 is the Confederate general’s birthday.”

    This is the reason no one my age supports republicans. They are backwards. Strangers to today’s America. The only America they recognize is the America of the confederate. Fuck those bigots.

  30. 30
    butler says:

    I don’t think “dicks” or even “classless douchebags” is quite strong enough for what they did.

  31. 31
    👽 Martin says:

    @Tone in DC:

    since President Carter first made King’s birthday a holiday

    Actually, it was that hippy Reagan who made it a holiday in 1983. Jesse Helms filibustered it unsuccessfully, but it passed by veto-proof majorities in both houses, so Reagan really didn’t have a choice. He opposed it.

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @👽 Martin:

    You’re right, but the King-Carter connection is interesting. They are the only Georgians (AFAIK — someone please correct me if I’ve got this wrong) who received the Nobel Peace Prize.

  33. 33
    JoyfulA says:

    @The Dangerman: The Lt. Gov. is PO’ed at the party because he should have been in line for the governorship race next year, but the primary was replaced with a caucus to give the nomination to teabagger AG Cuccinelli. The Lt. Gov. been toying with an independent run.

  34. 34
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Herschel Walker. You left him out.

  35. 35
    dr. bloor says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    The Village will claim it’s Dems fault for not being nicer to Republicans.

    Right conclusion, wrong reason. The Republicans will do this every fucking time. If the Democrats haven’t learned this by now…

  36. 36
    Tone in DC says:

    @👽 Martin:

    My bad. Thanks for that.

    I didn’t think Ronaldus Maximus would do such a thing. Like raise taxes three or more times.

  37. 37
    RobertDSC-iMac G5 says:

    Fuck those bigots traitors.

    Fixed. Hang them all from trees as penalty against the United States of America.

  38. 38
    Mike in NC says:

    Having lived in NoVA for many years, I never did get used to driving on I-95 in the central part of the state where there’s a sign pointing to the farmhouse where Confederate General (and nut job traitor) Thomas Jackson died which proclaims it the “Stonewall Jackson Shrine“.

  39. 39
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Davis X. Machina: My bad.

  40. 40
    mk3872 says:

    So what. It’s their right to do it this way.

    Liberals scream and shout when Dems don’t pull out all the stops to further their agenda.

    If this were a left-leaning legislature, blogs like this one would be applauding the Dems for their courage to make such a move.

    The best thing to do is to instead get better Dem candidates and win the election.

  41. 41
    J R in W Va says:

    My experience is that there are no a–holes like Virginian Republican a–holes. Except that sometimes a–holeness can increase the further south you go. That leaves me with an internal contradiction.

    I knew some kids near Richmond that attended Lee-Davis High School. Just guess who that’s named for?

  42. 42
    scav says:

    That’s certainly an air of steely bright-eyed broad-shouldered confidence in their electoral appeal in this center-right nation, yeppo, fur shure.

  43. 43
    JWL says:

    Should read: “Dicks (cont’d)”.

  44. 44
    ruemara says:

    @ALurkerHere: Keeping it real. Real douchey.

  45. 45
    👽 Martin says:

    @mk3872:

    If this were a left-leaning legislature, blogs like this one would be applauding the Dems for their courage to make such a move.

    You sure? Dems in CA voted for a non-partisan commission to eliminate this bullshit. Fairer districting I’m all in favor of – more partisan, even favoring Dems – I’m not.

  46. 46
    West of the Cascades says:

    @mk3872: Martin — please provide one concrete example of this from the last two decades?

  47. 47
    gene108 says:

    Why did Marsh take the day off, when the Senate was still in session? At some level, Marsh screwed up by thinking he had the day off, when clearly the rest of the Senate was still in session.

    Republicans passed an a bad bill, which may see some voter backlash.

    It doesn’t excuse Marsh from being the only member of the VA Senate to not be there for the vote.

  48. 48
    RJB says:

    Why didn’t the Lt. Governor attend the vote? Did they schedule it without his knowing? Or did he have something more pressing to attend to than this? I can’t imagine what it would be.

  49. 49
    efgoldman says:

    @👽 Martin:

    You sure? Dems in CA voted for a non-partisan commission to eliminate this bullshit.

    Right. FSM help us, but we believe in the inherent fairness of the system and, eventually, the wisdom of the voters.
    OK, you can stop laughing now. For better or worse its true to some degree.
    Once upon a time the GOBP was the reform party, the Democrats were crooks. The GOBP was the civil rights party, [Southron] Dems were segregationists.
    Their d/evolution is now complete. The only thing left is to wear white hoods to the next session, then burn a cross on the State House lawn.

  50. 50
    Scotius says:

    Nice touch throwing in the Stonewall Jackson tribute. They really want to see if they can increase African American turnout to 100 percent. They don’t seem to have learned their lesson from 2012. Let’s see if Democrats learned their lesson from 2010.

  51. 51
    jrg75 says:

    I wonder if it would cost less than a few trillion to “spread some democracee” to Virginia. Freedumb!

  52. 52
    jrg says:

    I wonder if it would cost less than a few trillion to “spread some democracee” to Virginia. Freedumb!

  53. 53

    […] There is no honor amongst thieves. […]

  54. 54
    mk3872 says:

    @👽 Martin: The media and the entire political establishment are fully entrenched in their belief that “both side do it”.

    The only thing you accomplish by playing by a different set of (supposedly fairer) rules is lose.

    You lose elections and you lose the way of life & governance that you fight for.

    I’m all for winning and defeating conservative lunatics even if you wanna call it cheating or unfair.

  55. 55
    dave says:

    http://www.governor.virginia.g.....vernor.cfm
    You can tell the Gov that it would be a shame to dirty his name by signing this piece of sleazy legislation.

  56. 56
    El Caganer says:

    @J R in W Va: Spike Lee? Miles Davis? I give up.

  57. 57
    PsiFighter37 says:

    IOKIYAR. Good thing we have Terry MacAuliffe to use his powerful coattails to negate it in this year’s election, right?

    /sigh

  58. 58
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    This Henry Marsh sounds like a moron.

    If his job is in the Virginia senate, what the hell is he doing celebrating in Washington?

  59. 59
    furklempt says:

    In Virginia, this day is observed as Lee-Jackson-King Day. I shit you not. I went to undergrad there and the first time I saw it marked on a calendar as a Freshman my head nearly popped off.

  60. 60
    👽 Martin says:

    @mk3872:

    The only thing you accomplish by playing by a different set of (supposedly fairer) rules is lose.

    Except that Dems have been winning damn near everything in CA lately. We win because we opposed actions against minorities 3 decades ago, and lo and behold, those minorities are majorities now – and they haven’t forgotten who tried to fuck them over and who tried to help.

  61. 61
    👽 Martin says:

    @furklempt: They changed it in 2000. It’s now two separate holidays. However, the VA legislature appears to celebrate Jackson-Lee day as they apparently didn’t convene last Friday, but they don’t celebrate King day as they clearly convened today.

  62. 62
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    He’s Chairman of the MLK Jr. Memorial Commission of Virginia. That might be a significant part of it.

  63. 63
    kuvasz says:

    I blame Marsh. You don’t turn your back on cannibals.

  64. 64
    Marshall says:

    @BD of MN:

    Any chance McDonnell would be susceptible to public pressure for a veto?

    I think that there is a good chance of that, particularly if some of the pressure comes from the 20 pissed off members of the Virginia Senate.

  65. 65
    phillygirl says:

    I don’t get it. Isn’t there a statute or legislative rule requiring 24-hour notice or something before a vote? I think that’s the case in most states. Any VA people out there?

  66. 66
    Marshall says:

    @phillygirl:

    I suspect that there is a real backstory here – my guess is, the Republicans lied about the agenda, assured Marsh there was nothing crucial on Monday, or some such. It will come out. A 30 page bill was not prepared on the spur of the moment.

    These people clearly have no ability to think longer than the current moment, as I feel pretty sure there will be punishment for this. Good luck for McDonnell getting his transportation initiatives through (unless he vetoes).

  67. 67
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @Marshall:

    the Republicans lied about the agenda, assured Marsh there was nothing crucial on Monday

    Isn’t Richmond about 90 miles from DC? What’s that, about a two hour drive?

    If Marsh was surprised by the Va senate, he should still have been able to make it back in time.

    He still sounds like a clueless moron who doesn’t know what his day job consists of.

  68. 68
    brantl says:

    It’s too bad that he went, then.

  69. 69
    lou says:

    @Viva
    Evidently you have no concept of what D.C. was like on inauguration day. Pray tell, how the hell is he supposed to get out of the mobs of people and go south when the 14th Street bridge was closed and every route around the Capitol was closed. It’s a traffic jam going south on a normal holiday, but it would take a good four hours to get home that day. And I doubt they would have held up the vote for him, now would they?

    Talk about clueless moron.

  70. 70
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    @lou:

    Evidently you have no concept of what D.C. was like on inauguration day.

    Did you think he was going to have to walk it? Who knows, maybe he could have caught the fucking Amtrak. If you are trying to say that it was impossible to get from DC to Richmond before the vote, you are retarded.

    And I doubt they would have held up the vote for him, now would they?

    So none of the other Democratic senators could be bothered to clue Marsh in on what was going down in time for him to get back?

    That then makes for a whole party full of morons.

    Or did he have his phone turned off?

    Talk about clueless moron.

    You really want to defend some moron who missed a critical vote in order to be part of the celebrations? Go to it.

  71. 71
    wa says:

    According to the Washington Post:
    1. The redistricting was not previously scheduled but was a 36 page floor amendment to a minor bill.
    2. Only 30 minutes were allowed for debate.
    3. It passed on a straight party line vote 20-19.

  72. 72

    @The Dangerman:

    If the vote had tied, it would have been up to the leiutenant governor to cast the breaking vote. The leiutenant governor is a Republican, but he’s evidently kind of upset by this stunt, so I think it’s likely that he would have gone with the Democrats. That may indeed be why they waited until a Democrat was out of town to get this thing through.

    Also interesting is that attorney general Cuccinelli elbowed Bolling (the leiutenant governor) out of the way in this year’s governor’s race. Bolling didn’t take this all that well, which isn’t hard to understand, since we have the one-term-and-out rule here, so people running for governor as a rule try to work out who’s going to run well ahead of time, and line-jumping isn’t too well liked. Anyway, Bolling is mulling running as an independent. I don’t know how likely it is that Bolling in time might even end up pulling a Crist and switch parties altogether to Democratic–but it wouldn’t shock me if he did.

  73. 73
    Town says:

    The LT Gov is a Republican but he is pissed at the Republican establishment because they told him to sit his @$$ down and let McDonnell run for Governor and you’ll get your turn next time, only to be told to sit his @$$ down again and let Cuccinelli run.

    I doubt seriously Bolling would switch to be a Democrat. Ain’t gonna happen but he might torpedo Cuccinelli’s chances.

    What the VA Dems need to do is shine the light on this situation NATIONWIDE, do whatever stunt, play whatever cards but shine the light on these jokers NATIONWIDE and force McDonnell to slap this unconstitutional measure down or sue in court (because State Constitution says redistricting is only to happen in years that end with “1” and last time I checked this year ends in a “3”.)

  74. 74
    David in NY says:

    @Viva BrisVegas: FO

    I don’t think the “blame the victim” routine is gonna catch fire on this one. Republicans are slimy beyond belief.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Viva BrisVegas:

    Isn’t Richmond about 90 miles from DC? What’s that, about a two hour drive?

    The debate was allotted only 30 minutes before the vote was held. So, what, Marsh was supposed to drive a minimum of 90 minutes so he could arrive 60 minutes after the vote was over?

  76. 76
    Not Sure says:

    Enjoy your last few perfect days of sunshine, folks. Hope you enjoyed that feeling of righteous vindication over having stayed home in 2010 (you know who you are – if the shoe fits…). Now the unraveling is about to begin. It’ll take decades to undo the damage various state Republicans plan to do to our democracy between now and 2014.

  77. 77
    LanceThruster says:

    Oh *hell* no!

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