Redistricting Effort Targets Virginia Democrats In Swing Districts | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Redistricting Effort Targets Virginia Democrats In Swing Districts

Play associated audio
The deadlocked Virginia state Senate voted 20-19 to redraw Senate districts with Sen. Henry Marsh absent, attenting the inauguration.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thruhike98/2047207259/
The deadlocked Virginia state Senate voted 20-19 to redraw Senate districts with Sen. Henry Marsh absent, attenting the inauguration.

Members of the Virginia General Assembly are considering a controversial proposal to re-draw the state Senate districts. With no public notice and no opportunity for bipartisan debate, Senate Republicans approved a bill Monday that draws new district boundaries for the state senate.

Sen. George Barker of Fairfax County currently represents parts of Prince William County and Alexandria city. He would lose those precincts under a plan now being considered to draw new Senate districts.

Barker says the reason is simple: "Political power."

The senator, a Democrat, says about 80 percent of his district would change, along with Democratic Fairfax County Senator Dave Marsen who would also lose about 80 percent of his current precincts. Fairfax County Senator Toddy Puller, also a Democrat, would lose about 70 percent of her current precincts.

"They are trying to target the Democratic senators who represent districts that are basically swing districts," Barker says.

The move outraged Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), who believes it violates the state constitution.

"Under the constitution, you can only redistrict every 10 years and we did it back in 2011, the ramifications of something like this are far-reaching, because it suggests that you can redistrict every single year, depending on who's in power," Toscano said.

The change would also likely cost Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County) his seat. Deeds and Toscano introduced a bill to make redistricting in Virginia a non-partisan affair.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell criticized the surprise move by fellow Republicans this week but did not say whether he would veto the measure if it's approved by the House. Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw is vowing to challenge the redistricting effort in court, if it's approved by Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.

NPR

Not My Job: Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Gets Quizzed On Downhill Cheese Races

If you think downhill ski racing is dangerous, then you've never seen the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Races, in which competitors hurl their bodies down a steep hill, chasing a wheel of cheese.
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
WAMU 88.5

Democrats Push To Overturn Hobby Lobby Ruling

Virginia's Tim Kaine and other Democrats are trying to overturn the ruling with legislation they say will protect female workers.
NPR

Tech Week: Google's World Cup Play, Amazon Sued And Kids Tracked

Also in this week's roundup, a tech company that may not exist, using sensors to keep your plants alive and what the debate over sandwich taxonomy teaches us about innovation.

Leave a Comment

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