Home Virginia Politics Audio: Bobby Scott, Donald McEachin, Susan Swecker Blast Tommy Norment for “Jim...

Audio: Bobby Scott, Donald McEachin, Susan Swecker Blast Tommy Norment for “Jim Crow,” “Poll Tax”


See below for a press release (I’ve added a few more quotes as well) from the Democratic Party of Virginia on their conference call this morning regarding Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R)’s “cynical and mean-spirited attack against human dignity and democracy itself.” Just when you think Virginia Republicans can’t sink any lower, they do, as Rep. Bobby Scott, soon-to-be-Rep. Donald McEachin and DPVA Chair Susan Swecker explained a little earlier today.

Excerpts from Press Call on Republican Leaderships’ Latest Assaults on Restoration of Rights

Earlier today, The Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) hosted a call with Congressman Bobby Scott, Senator and candidate for Virginia’s 4th congressional district Donald McEachin, and Chairwoman Susan Swecker to discuss Virginia Republicans’ politically-driven motion against Governor McAuliffe and proposed constitutional amendment that would permanently marginalize an entire class of Virginians.

Please find audio and excerpts from call below:


Congressman Bobby Scott: 

“It’s been found that restoration of rights can actually reduce crime. When you bring people back into society they’re less likely to commit future crimes. If you demonize them, it’s just not helpful.”

“Under the proposal, people like Bernie Madoff could get their rights restored and on the other hand a college kid who got into a bar fight would never be able to get his rights restored, ever.”

Republicans have “essentially reinstated a poll tax, requiring somebody to pay a fee before they can vote.”

“This is a problem looking for a solution. People ought to be encouraging people to vote not denying them the right to vote, and I think the Republicans need to step up and acknowledge exactly what they’re doing. They are trying to win elections by denying people a vote…This would make Virginia the absolute worst [state with regard to access to voting].”

State Senator Donald McEachin: 

“Is it it just me or does anyone on the call feel like it’s Groundhog Day?”

“Virginia Republicans deliberately created a campaign of hysteria and misinformation because they’re afraid of this new voting group. It really says something about the Republican Party that they would rather fight to make democracy smaller rather than enlarge it…Why don’t you compete for their votes rather than try to keep them voting in the first instance?”

“This proposed constitutional amendment from Senator Norment would take away the hope of Virginians to ever participate in our democracy again — no matter how long ago the crime may have occurred, and no matter what they may have done after that crime. That’s unjust – and Republicans know it.”

“All the world religions talk about redemption and forgiveness, and the Republican Party prides itself on faith values, but time and time again we see instances like this which speak to the hypocrisy of their position.”

“It’s apparent that the Republicans will do whatever it takes to shut down Governor McAuliffe and to maintain one of the last vestiges of Jim Crow in Virginia.”

DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker:

“Virginia Republicans have assaulted Virginians’ right to vote again with their latest political stunt.”

“This lawsuit and the amendment is motivated by the desire to keep people from participating in our democracy. The lawsuit is being executed by a fancy right-wing law firm…one of the most deceitful political actions we’ve seen from Virginia Republicans.”

“This is the most cynical and mean-spirited attack against human dignity and democracy itself.”

“This fight to restore voting rights is about ending a dark chapter in our Commonwealth’s history, to which Republicans fight tooth and nail to preserve.”

“Virginia is one of only four states that still permanently disenfranchies felons unless a governor restores their right – that’s shameful.”

Could you imagine of Sen. Norment’s amendment passes, making Virginia the only state in the country that permanently disenfranchies a class of [citizens]. It’s a disgrace, it’s wrong, and it’s a blatant attempt on the right to vote.”

“These folks who’ve had their rights restored have been demonized by Virginia Republicans, they have been shut out, they have been made to feel as though they aren’t worthy to participate in our democracy.”

“Governor McAuliffe has been there every step of the way to refute their dangerous and divisive rhetoric – and he’s not going to stop fighting for them and their right to vote. That’s the Terry McAuliffe way, and quite frankly, it’s due time for it to become the Virginia way.”