Sen. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico/Richmond) blasts away at Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli on redistricting – including the news that McDonnell might form a redistricting commission – and on the voting rights act. Good for Sen. McEachin, I completely agree!
Unfortunately, the governor’s suggestion is a day late and a dollar short. He is belatedly attempting to appear as if he is keeping his campaign promise, but his actions have not supported his words. Last year, a bill to create a bipartisan commission passed the State Senate and died with his Republican colleagues in the House of Delegates. Repeatedly, community leaders and Democratic legislators solicited the governor’s support for this legislation and implored him to speak with his Republican colleagues. Instead he remained implacably silent and his lack of words or actions spoke volumes. As the leader of his Party, even a few encouraging words from him would have changed the outcome. Instead, at the last minute, now, as the census results are about to arrive, the governor makes a few casual comments.
“Moreover, the governor stands idly by as Attorney General Cuccinelli says Virginia has outgrown the Voting Rights Act. Again, the governor’s silence is deafening. In the lifetimes of many of us, minority voters had to pay a poll tax or pass a literacy test or even risk physical harm to register to vote. In recognition of these serious concerns that took a century to overcome, the Voting Rights Act was passed and recently renewed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“I would remind the governor that, as the leader of the Commonwealth and the head of his Party, his words and actions can and do carry a lot of weight. He missed his opportunity on bipartisan redistricting when the bill was before the legislature and now he is missing the opportunity to repudiate the Attorney General’s inappropriate, risky and reckless suggestion.”