Home Redistricting Virginia Senate Democrats Call Foul on GOP Special Master Nominees

Virginia Senate Democrats Call Foul on GOP Special Master Nominees

"All of the GOP’s nominees are currently on the payroll of Republican organizations; how can they be trusted to draw fair maps"

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The following statement is from the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus, which of course was largely responsible (along with Senate and House Republicans, plus a handful of House Democrats, plus 1VA2021 of course, plus lots of out-of-state money, etc.) for creating this disaster in the first place, by pushing the fatally flawed redistricting amendment and not killing it when they had a chance. So frustrating.

Virginia Senate Democrats Call Foul on GOP Special Master Nominees

RICHMOND, Va.: Today, Virginia Senate Democrats submitted a letter asking the Supreme Court of Virginia to disqualify the special master nominees submitted by Republicans Delegate Todd Gilbert and Senator Tommy Norment to assist the Court in the redistricting.

Majority Leader Dick Saslaw said: “Virginia Senate and House Democrats have set an example in submitting special master nominees who are leading respected academics in the fields of political science, demographics, and law. We hope Republicans will do the right thing for the Commonwealth and choose new nominees whose participation in this important process will ensure Virginians have fair representation in state and federal government.”

Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said: “Voters did not think they were asking maps to be drawn by partisan operatives when they approved the nonpartisan redistricting constitutional amendment in 2020. All of the GOP’s nominees are currently on the payroll of Republican organizations; how can they be trusted to draw fair maps in a transparent and inclusive way?”

Caucus Vice-Chair Scott Surovell said: “Courts are supposed to be free of politics—which is why we enacted conflict of interest provisions in the enabling legislation for the nonpartisan redistricting constitutional amendment, and the Republican caucuses have asked the Supreme Court of Virginia to effectively sanction partisan map drawing.”

BACKGROUND:

  • Thomas Bryan was paid $20,000 by Virginia Senate Republicans on 9/3/2021, a fact that the Senate Republican Caucus did not disclose to the Court in nominating him.
  • Adam Kincaid is the current Executive Director of the National Republican Redistricting Trust, and has previously worked for the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican Governors Association. A federal court found that he engaged in partisan gerrymandering in Ohio in 2010.
  • Adam Foltz is a long-time Republican operative who worked on the map-drawing in Wisconsin in 2010, where a federal court found that he engaged in partisan gerrymandering. He has also been retained this year in Texas as they draw their legislative and congressional maps.
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