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Governor Wimpy Fibs Again

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Tue Feb 16, 2010 at 11:08:37 AM EST

When Bob McDonnell was running around Virginia last fall acting like "Mr. Moderate," he had this to say about legislative redistricting:

"I have followed the robust debate over redistricting for a long while...I do believe that we need to institute bipartisan redistricting to ensure greater citizen involvement, and the vigorous exercise of democracy that is the prerequisite for successful government."

He even had a specific proposal on the subject:

"[A] bipartisan commission, comprised of Virginia citizens who have not held any elected office for at least 10 years, will select its own non-partisan chair and will provide the citizens with access to the process through public meetings, proposed maps online, and a website that will allow public comment and interaction in this important process."

Now, the Washington Post is reporting that last week McDonnell had a golden opportunity to advance the cause of redistricting reform that he embraced as a candidate. He didn't.

Did he mean anything that he said about fair redistricting? Evidently not.

I won't dignify this latest news from Gov. Bob McDonnell by calling it a flip-flop. That's giving it too much credit. Let's just call his campaign promise what it was - a lie.  

Elaine in Roanoke :: Governor Wimpy Fibs Again
A bill that would have done what McDonnell proposed on the campaign trail - create a bipartisan commission to draft electoral maps transparently and with public comment - was killed in the House of Delegates. The governor said nothing to help its passage in a legislative body controlled by his party.

That bill was introduced by Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax). Plum has advocated the cause of bipartisan, independent redistricting in Richmond for more than 25 years. He reportedly called the governor's office and gave McDonnell a heads-up that the bill was coming up in subcommittee.

Plum hoped that McDonnell would somehow signal his support for a reform he had embraced so readily during the campaign. The governor did nothing, and the bill died in the subcommittee on a 3-5 vote, with all the Republicans opposing it.

The State Senate is expected to pass a similar bill, sponsored by Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath),  with bipartisan support and send it over to the House. However, without McDonnell's backing, that bill is sure to fail there.

The sorry history of redistricting in Virginia, as in most states, has resulted in legislative districts that are non-competitive. The Post reported that in the 100 races for the House of Delegates last fall, "the second-place finisher came within 10 percentage points of the winner in only 13 of the 100 contests."

Many times, it is impossible to even find someone to run against the incumbent in state legislative districts. The outcome is pretty much predetermined.

Our redistricting "system" right now actually should be called an incumbency preservation system. That's not just the case in state legislative races, either. Virginia districts of the House of Representatives have been  gerrymandered as well.

It's time that changed in the Commonwealth. It won't as long as McDonnell continues being the "do-nothing" governor he has been so far.

Budget amendments, a transportation plan, and now bipartisan redistricting, have all been set aside by McDonnell. I wonder what will be next?

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just found out that one of our esteemed legislators-Putney (?) has put forth a bill to borrow $1B from VRS. To pay it back? 20 years, make state workers pay their own contribution for their pensions (no match from the state).

Saddest of all? Some democrats have co sponsored the bill.

So I suppose we can't call him a do nothing guv. Seems he and his gang are doing plenty behind the scenes without bothering to mention it to the public.

So far we have the budget balanced on the backs of the mentally ill, state workers and kids.

This is worse than I had anticipated.


Anybody home?
You ask of the Virginia Democratic Party's elected members of the Senate and House, I assume. The answer, if I recall Democratic statements pre-inauguration of Governor McDonnell, was that they were going to show the Republicans how a loyal opposition acts when in the minority: they would help the Governor govern and not be obstructionist, unlike the Republicans when Kaine, a Democrat, was Governor.

In other words, they plan on being willing to compromise and assist rather than blindly and raucously opposing anything the Republicans propose. This is supposed to earn them brownie points with the Republicans and, presumably, with the voting public. They actually want to help Virginia solve its problems, as they were elected to do---- what a concept! Unfortunately, the public has no idea what is going, couldn't care less, and the Republicans are licking their chops. There are no brownie points after all.

[ Parent ]
speechless I think.

You are right. I cannot believe-and I must be stupid and naive-that a few of the 80K state workers can't open their mouths. Obviously there are no state unions here, VGEA is comatose, dems are capitulating as usual-so I guess there is really no one to speak up.

So I don't feel very sorry for state workers when they lose their pensions for lack of standing up or voting in the guv wimpy.

I say OH WELL.

[ Parent ]
Wimpy Keeping Hands Hidden
Gov. Wimpy is busy keeping his hands clean while his henchmen cut the programs serving those who need government help the most.

There have been conservatives salivating for decades over how they could weaken the VRS, and you are right. It is bipartisan.

As for the DPVA....a joke...a sad joke

[ Parent ]
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