Senate Democrats: Gov. McDonnell is Playing Politics with Redistricting
RICHMOND – Virginia Senate Democrats spoke out this afternoon against Gov. Bob McDonnell's veto of the redistricting bill passed April 7 by the General Assembly.
The governor said a letter that the Senate maps were not compact and didn't meet other legal requirements.
Senate Democrats said McDonnell's allegations were unfounded.
"Governor McDonnell is clearly playing politics by vetoing this bill. We followed the same criteria that Republicans used to draw maps 10 years ago," said Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw.
He said the Senate will adopt the same plan again.
"The only thing Governor will accept is absolute surrender on the part of the Democrats of the Senate of Virginia and he's not going to get it," said Saslaw.
Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mary Margaret Whipple said the redistricting plan passed last week by the Senate meets legal requirements.
"The redistricting plan we passed last week meets all federal and state legal requirements. It meets the criteria for redistricting as established by the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the U.S. Constitution and Virginia Constitutions. These criteria include but are not limited to, making sure districts are near the same size, do not dilute racial or ethnic minority voting strength, are compact and contiguous, and maintain communities of interest," said Whipple.