Out of a total of 1,339,122 votes cast in the 2011 State Senate races, Democrats only received 40 percent of the vote – or 41.6% if you count Brandon Bell who ran as an independent with Democratic support.
This is a testament to the gerrymandering of the state senate districts by Democrats where only 40 percent of the vote will get you 50 percent of the seats. Redrawing the Senate map and respecting communities of common interest so the districts actually make sense from a constituent’s standpoint is not a “power grab” as some have complained (even though it will likely result in advantages to the GOP.) Too many counties (in fact, too many neighborhoods) are split between different senate districts under the Democrat-passed plan that is in effect today.
Speaker Bill Howell should rule that the Senate’s amendment was germane (as the underlying bill dealt with changes to House district lines and under the 2011 redistricting process each chamber drew their own lines) and House Republicans should proudly vote for this bill. Gov. Bob McDonnell should quickly sign this bill into law.
Democrat threats to withhold support for McDonnell’s transportation and education initiatives should not stop him. They were criticizing his proposals even before this bill was passed on Monday and this is but a convenient excuse for them to oppose his ideas on something other than the merits.
Don’t think for one minute that if the shoe was on the other foot that they wouldn’t do this to you. They would and then some. As for the argument that the GOP doesn’t stoop to the level the Democrats do on things like this, that’s fine if you want to keep losing to them. If you want to advance your policy, though, you have to win majorities first and you don’t do that by playing by Marquess of Queensberry Rules when your opponents are playing by Chicago “rules.”