So, is it worse for a sitting party leader to blow up a potential coup because of incompetence or simply to send out bad information?
Well, contrary to the filleting of Del. Jeff Frederick (who, for different reasons, will announce his retirement from the General Assembly tomorrow), his “premature tweet” did not cause Republicans to lose the Senate two days ago. It turns out Sen. Ralph Northam never intended to switch parties; he was only using “power sharing” as leverage against his own party over issues in the budget, such as Medicaid.
“Our Caucus put forward the Committee reports and would not done so had they not had some confidence they would be successful.” wrote Tom Cosgrove of the Senate GOP. “The inaccurate Twitter posting did not help the success of the Committee reports, but I cannot say to what extent they led to the reports being unsuccessful.”
But what Cosgrove didn’t write is what the Virginian-Pilot is reporting…
The issue that Northam, a physician, said caused him to consider supporting the GOP effort was the proposed Medicaid budget cuts that would strongly affect Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. He also was concerned about budget cuts to Old Dominion University.
“We had a disagreement today,” Northam said late Tuesday. “We talked through it and we resolved the issue.”
According to one source, Northam never wanted to switch parties and the first most caucus members knew about the issue was when Sen. Norment introduced the power sharing resolution.
I asked Sen. Northam about what conversations he has had with Republicans, but his office did not respond to my email.
It would appear that Del. Frederick’s information was from Senate sources and Majority Leader Griffith. The worst he can be accused of is sending out information before it was confirmed.
According to one Democratic Senator, this issue really is a “tempest in a teapot.”
The Tweet had no impact on blowing up the GOP dream of a divided Senate. It would be wise for Republicans to stop seeking a fantasy, which invite “mistweets”, but propose real bipartisan solutions to redistricting.