Senate Republicans pulled a fast one this afternoon with a “technical corrections” bill in which they completely redrew the Senate districts. As this map shows (click to enlarge) the red lines represent the plan that was approved in 2011, after the redistricting. The green lines represent the districts approved by the Senate 20-19.
The power grab by Senate Republicans was well planned:
- Consideration of HB 259 was “passed by for the day” on every single day of session prior to today
- Today, one Democrat was missing from session. Senator Henry Marsh attended the inauguration.
- Why not bring up the bill before? Perhaps because Republicans weren’t sure they could count on Bolling.
- Seems even Gov. Bob McDonnell was caught by surprise.
- The new maps? Already loaded into the redistricting website, including the statistical data and the shape files. The images in this post came from there.
On this day, when we celebrated the birth of Dr. Martin Luther Kings, Jr., and when we celebrated the inauguration of our re-elected president, Sen. John Watkins stood and proclaimed that we need a sixth minority-majority district, invoking the words of the nation’s first black governor, Doug Wilder.
The maps seem to take out two white Democratic senators: Creigh Deeds in the 25th and George Barker in the 39th.
The irony isn’t lost on me.
This is no “technical corrections” bill. This is a coup.