When the NAACP joins with Corey Stewart in decrying the redistricting plan devised by Senator George Barker you really have to wonder how in the heck any democrats can possibly defend this violation of the civil rights of Virginians. Republicans hate it. The left-wing blogs hate it. The NAACP hates it. Nobody has stepped up to defend this mess Barker is trying to foist on the electorate where instead of constituents choosing their elected officials, elected officials choose their constituents.
“This plan effectively disenfranchises Prince William County, which is now a majority-minority community,” NAACP President Ralph Smith said. “We are concerned the minority voice will be lost in Richmond.”
The redistricting plan, which is headed to Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) for approval, splits Prince William into six senate districts. Stewart said the redistricting plan leaves only one senate seat in Prince William, while the rest are split with Loudoun, Fauquier, Fairfax and Westmoreland counties. The only senator Prince William would have, Stewart said, is Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William), one of four senators currently representing the county.
“I stand by Corey and this is a bipartisan issue,” Prince William Supervisor John D. Jenkins (D-Neabsco) said at Stewart’s press conference Tuesday. “We can’t afford to be split six ways.”
Senator George Barker represents a portion of Prince William County and across the political spectrum leaders are excoriating his attempt to weaken the voice of county residents in Richmond. You’d think someone facing election in November might want to ensure that the people he represents have an effective voice, but instead he slices and dices Prince William County apart in order to dilute it’s representation in the General Assembly and gives the constituents he currently is supposed to be serving the shaft. The political tone-deafness here is astounding.
Some might be under the impression that this is nothing other than political jockeying for power, and usually in redistricting there’s plenty of that to go around. One side gets what they want and screws over the other side to some degree. That’s not right at all, but you at least end up with one side of the aisle happy with the outcome. Not in this case, as from across the political spectrum leaders are saying this plan is an utter mess and that Barker and his Senate leadership should be ashamed of it. Opposition to this plan is bipartisan, uniting people that would nominally be political opponents, all of whom are raising their voices in unison saying this is a bad deal for Virginia and a bad deal for Prince William County. That’s pretty much unheard of during redistricting.
So far we haven’t even heard an apology from Senator Barker about what he has done here. Not a peep. No explanation to his constituents and the rest of Prince William County residents as to why he decided they needed to be screwed over like this. We could use some explanation here, your royal highness.
This is going to be a bad November for Senator Barker. It really should be.
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