I’m very glad to see Senate Democrats assert themselves forcefully on this crucially important matter. Also, congratulations to everyone elected to leadership, including super-strong progressive champion Donald McEachin; now, please make sure that Dick Black, “Sideshow Bob,” and the other other radical Republicans don’t impose their reactionary vision on Virginia!
Senate Democrats Oppose Republican Power Grab
Caucus Names Officers
(Fairfax, VA) – The Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus today announced their unanimous opposition to the Senate Republican attempt to claim a Senate majority even though 10 days ago Virginians elected 20 Democratic Senators and 20 Republican Senators.
The Senate Caucus believes that with a chamber evenly divided between political parties, power should be divided as well.
Senator Dick Saslaw, unanimously re-elected Majority Leader by his fellow Democratic Senators said, “Virginians elected 20 Senators of each party and it’s only right the power in the Senate is divided equally. The Republicans are wrong to try and grab power when half the state voted for Democrats. It’s a question of fairness. The Republicans are trying to overrule the will of the people and claim a majority they did not earn.”
P.S. Nice touch naming Dick Saslaw as “Majority Leader” – I’m sure Republicans will get a kick out of that one. 🙂
Meeting at the Mason Inn and Conference Center in Fairfax, Virginia during the first day of their caucus retreat, the Senators agreed that Lt. Governor Bill Bolling does not have the right to break a tie when it comes to Senate re-organization. Newly-elected Caucus Chair Donald McEachin (D-Henrico), who is replacing Mary Margaret Whipple who is retiring, said “the Constitution of the Virginia is very clear, the organization of the Senate is the prerogative of the elected members of the Senate and Lt. Governor Bolling is not a member of the Senate.”
The only time the Senate was tied at 20-20 the Republicans and Democrats shared power. “In 1996, the last time the Senate was dead-locked at 20-20 the precedent for power-sharing was set. We see no reason why it should be different now,” McEachin said. “As George Allen, who was Governor of Virginia at that time said of the power sharing pact, “This is reflective of the balance and equity that should be accorded the election results.”
The following officers of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus were announced:
Majority Leader – Richard “Dick” Saslaw (D-Fairfax)
Caucus Chair – Donald McEachin (D-Henrico)
Vice-Chair – Linda “Toddy” Puller (D-Fairfax)
Treasurer – Henry L. Marsh III (D-Richmond)
Secretary – Yvonne B. Miller (D-Norfolk)
Majority Whip – John Edwards (D-Roanoke)
Majority Whip – Janet Howell (D-Fairfax)