Great job by Arlington Democrat and progressive grassroots activist Cragg Hines, laying out the reasons why Virginia Democrats should all vote NOT this November on the proposed redistricting constitutional amendment. As Hines says (see video, below):
- “[T]his would be a terrible step into the abyss, especially if you…are really interested in independent and nonpartisan redistricting “
- “What’s at stake in the proposed constitutional amendment if it’s defeated: perhaps momentary disappointment for some advocates if it’s adopted; a very consequential, hard-to-change and political mistake for the entire Commonwealth.”
- Hines cited what Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn said: “We must be vigilant and adhere to an extraordinarily high standard when proceeding with permanently changing the Constitution. In my opinion, this amendment fails to meet that standard.”
- Hines noted that we have the appalling Marshall-Newman amendment in the constitution, and that Republicans have tried to put the horrible “right-to-work [for less]” amendment in there as well. And once an amendment’s in there, it’s VERY hard to ever get it out.
- Great line: “Should Virginia put some sausage in the Constitution? I think that is sort of like Thomas Jefferson meets Jimmy Dean.”
- “What Arlington and Virginia got and this proposed constitutional amendment is neither…independent nor nonpartisan…All commissioners will be members of the General Assembly or proposed by members of the General Assembly – all. Or to put it another way, commissioners whose appointment will be truly independent – none, zero, zip, nada.”
- All the Supreme Court justices who may be involved in the process have been installed by the Virginia General Assembly. And “there are no guardrails on their high road if it comes to the Republicans’ poison pill. There is no guidance with a Supreme Court which would then draw the districts – no enabling legislation, no criteria…zero zip, nada.”
- “The Republicans’…House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert said in May he was *amazed* that enough House Democrats had fallen for this proposed amendment
in two successive years. And read down to the boldface – “if we play our cards right, we could position ourselves to be back in charge of the House. I don’t know what the proponents of this amendment don’t understand about that. It’s very clear. Todd Gilbert wasn’t joking, he wasn’t laughing. He was amused that he had gotten enough Democrats to vote for it…Why would Democrats vote to do exactly what a Republican leader wants to try to do through a constitutional amendment that they probably cannot do at the ballot box?“
- The Democratic Party of Virginia has overwhelmingly voted for a resolution opposing this fatally flawed amendment. Del. Mark Levine noted that not a single Democratic committee in the state has expressed support for the amendment.
Great stuff. Also, thanks to the Arlington Democrats for putting this together.