Analysis: Virginia Redistricting Draws Ire Of Warner, Kaine | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Analysis: Virginia Redistricting Draws Ire Of Warner, Kaine

Play associated audio

Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are responding to an unexpected redistricting measure passed yesterday by the Virginia state senate. Virginia Senate Republicans pushed through the measure while one Democrat was absent — giving the GOP a 20 to 19 majority. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has criticized the move, and as The Hill's Alex Bolton explain, now the commonwealth's U.S. Senators are doing the same.

What are you hearing from Virginia's U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine?

"Kaine and Warner are very upset. It's unusual on U.S. senators to weigh in on state political battles, but that's exactly what is happening here. Kaine and Warner put out a joint statement today urging legislative leaders and other elected officials to do the right thing. To correct what they are calling a disappointing and disruptive partisan action. They say the redistricting move was completely out of step with the inauguration — a day when Americans were celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and the inauguration of the nation's first black President. Of course, this move happened when Senator Henry Marsh, a black state senator from Northern Virginia and a long-time civil rights leader, was celebrating in Washington.  Democrats say this is a dirty trick and Kaine and Warner are upset enough to get involved, but they say they want Gov. McDonnell to do something about this."

How unusual is it for U.S. Senators to weigh in on statehouse politics?

"It's quite unusual. It's something you rarely hear mentioned in the U.S. Capitol, where the emphasis is usually on deficit reduction or tax reform or spending bills. The fact that Kaine and Warner, two Democratic Senators who aren't very partisan, are getting involved in a messy partisan battle on the state level shows how unusual this redistricting move was."

How significant would the changes in this bill be for Virginia?

"Quite significant. There are five senate districts which are now represented by Democrats which would be made heavily Republican as a result of the redistricting. Also, Creigh Deeds, a Democratic Senator from Bath would be put in the same district as Emmett Hanger Jr. a Republican. Deeds, as you may remember, had the Democratic gubernatorial nomination the last time, so what Republicans are trying to do is knock off a pretty important Democratic legislator."

NPR

Ann Meara, Half Of Husband-Wife Comedy Team, Dies At 85

Ann Meara died Saturday in New York. She had a long varied career in show business and was one half of the 1960s comedy duo, Stiller and Meara. She was marred to Jerry Stiller. Her son is Ben Stiller.
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Obama Administration Forced To Defend Strategy Against ISIS In Iraq

On this Memorial Day, the Obama administration finds itself defending its foreign policy strategy in Iraq where the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has captured the city of Ramadi.
NPR

For Aspiring Artists, Social Media Can Get Fans Too Close For Comfort

The power of social media is that aspiring artists can essentially invite fans into their living rooms, but fans can sometimes overstay their welcome.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.