Senate Dems to VA Beach: “When You Smoke Crack, Hold It In…”

Senate Democrats in Richmond took this gentleman’s advice and doubled down.  Apparently aware that the lawsuits are coming, the Senate Democrats are trying again… and no, they didn’t get the message.

...crack is one hell of a drug!

In Senate Plan #3, not much changed.  Just a few highlights, from the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus:

It’s “Redistricting Eve.” Late today, Senate Democrats unveiled the third incarnation of their redistricting plan, sponsored by Senator Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax). The second version, Howell Plan 2 was released late last week It made only one change from Howell Plan 1: placing Republican Senators McWaters and Wagner in the same district (the first version “erroneously” placed Republican Senators Blevins and Wagner in the same District).

Not exactly “new and improved,” Howell Plan 3 is different from previous versions in the following ways:

  • The borders of Districts 1 [J. Miller (D) – Newport News], 3 [Norment (R) – James City], 4 [McDougle (R) – Hanover], 28 [Stuart (R) – Stafford], 38 [Puckett (D) – Russell], and 40 [Wampler (R) – Bristol] have been changed. [Howell Plan 2 only changed the borders of Districts 7 and 14.]
  • The number of split counties has increased by 1, going from 33 to 34.
  • The number of split towns has decreased by 1, going from 19 to 18. [NOTE: This is the primary change in the borders of Districts 38 and 40, and it’s a little interesting. Under Howell Plans 1 and 2, there were more split towns just in Senator Puckett’s District than there were in the entire Watkins-Vogel (Senate Republican) Plan. Under Howell Plan 3, there are as many split towns just in Senator Puckett’s District as there are in the entire Watkins-Vogel Plan. What an improvement!]

Without a program, it can be hard to keep up. Well, to ensure you have the most up-to-date information on how the plans compare, we’ve attached an updated version of our Comparison Guide. And, to ensure you understand where the changes have occurred, we’ve also attached maps of Howell Plan 3.

If a Howell Plan 4 surfaces later, we’ll be sure to provide you updates on that one as well.

You can get your sneak preview of the third installment of the Senator Janet “Because I Said So” Howell’s Gerrymandering Sweepstakes here.

The comparison against the Watkins-Vogel plan is available as well.

I gotta say… this is getting out of hand and out of control.  Instead of making things better, the Senate Democrats have gone out of their way to make matters worse.  Is it so hard — seriously — for the Senate Democrats to concede that there is no way they will hold on to a majority under any conditions that approximate common sense?

At some point, ethics trump partisanship.  Let’s hope this happens on the Senate Democrats own volition before it comes down to a court gavel… because the court challenges are indeed coming should Howell’s unethical redistricting plan see daylight.

  • The Senate Dems appear as if they have no idea what they really want. If they really hope to gain some public support, they need to start over, or at least hold all their modifications for one more substantial release.

    If they push any of these plans with only minor modifications there is no way they are avoiding a court battle.

  • The fly in the ointment? McDonnell could veto the redistricting bill… in which case, we run in the old districts for 2011 and wait for the new Senate to redraw the lines in 2012…..

  • Steve Vaughan

    If Senate Dems are dumb enough to let McDonnell get a bill that only has their plan in it, they’ll deserve that fate.

    What’s more likely is that the governor will get one bill with both the House and the Senate plans and one bill with the Congressional plan.

    He’s not likely to veto a redistricting bill that contains the House plan drawn by Republicans.

    He can try to amend the bill, but a simple majority of either house can reject his amendments.

    I actually don’t expect McDonnell to kibitz much in re-districting. The last two governors who had the chance to play the redistricting game tried to use their amendments to settle old scores with folks in their OWN parties. My sense of Bob McDonnell is that he doesn’t have those kind of grudges.

  • Maybe McDonnell can arbitrate the two and remove some of the silliness. Beyond party, somebody needs to protect Hampton Roads. This will be a good opportunity to see if McDonnell remembers where he spent his legislative career.

  • charles

    I don’t see why McDonnell has to protect the house plan. It’s not like the republicans would lose the house without gerrymandering.

    It’s the democrats that have to keep that in mind — they could well lose the majority in 2011, so they aught not to be so brazen with their attempts to draw an all-democrat plan.

    If the democrats were smart, they would tweak the bipartisan commision plan to guarantee them 22 seats. It would be impossible for McDonnell to object to a good, compactly-drawn map which simply helps the democrats some.

    Their convoluted, spaghetti map is like handing McDonnell the game on a silver platter. Nobody would disagree with rejecting that mess.

  • Steve Vaughan

    Charles, you’ve got to do more than “tweak” the commission plan to give Dems a good shot at 22 seats. Even their plan would only result in 24 seats.

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