Northern Virginians thought they gave several Republican Delegates the heave-ho last November, with Karrie Delaney (D-67) beating out Jim LeMunyon (R) by 16%, and Wendy Gooditis (D-10) ousting Randy Minchew (R) by 4%, and David Reid (D-32) clobbering Tag Greason (R) by 17%. Clearly, Northern Virginia is trending blue, and no longer will tolerate being represented by Republicans in the General Assembly.
But guess what, Northern Virginia? Speaker Kirk Cox and the rest of the Virginia GOP don’t care how you voted or whether you want Republicans to be your voice in matters of importance to you. Because like with the stacked Rules Committee, they’ve found another way to pretend they have a mandate. This time, instead of appointing Northern Virginia Delegates–people you actually voted into office–to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Speaker appointed the very Delegates that you voted OUT of office, the people you did NOT want to represent you! He just announced that he has appointed former Delegates Randy Minchew to the NVTA and Jim LeMunyon to the NVTC. AND, he’s also appointed Danny Vargas to the NVTC, who ran for Delegate in 2015 and lost by over 12% to Del. Boysko.
These are the organizations that plan and prioritize various transportation projects for Northern Virginia, develop transportation policies, manage congestion and pollution, conduct oversight, decide on funding priorities, and lobby the legislature. They are YOUR advocates as residents and commuters in Northern Virginia.
You might be mad right now. You might be thinking, “Hey, can he just DO that?” Well, it turns out, yes he can. Do you know why? Because during this year’s budget negotiations, knowing that there weren’t Republican legislators left in Northern Virginia to fill these commissions, Dave LaRock (R-33, who we all wish Tia Walbridge had defeated) wrote a little budget amendment that changed the wording of the appointee naming code from “members of the House of Delegates appointed by the Speaker of the House” to “members appointed by the Speaker of the House who may be members of the House of Delegates.”
So, looks like it’s too bad that you voted those people out of office and expressed a strong desire not to be represented by them. You’re being represented by them anyway. Screw you, I guess. A 15 seat pickup was great last year, but until we have a majority–in both chambers–the VA GOP will continue to act as if they have a mandate. So do not stop working to make this happen.