Virginia state Sen. Henry Marsh (D) — the civil rights veteran whose visit to the presidential Inauguration was used by state Senate Republicans to push through a controversial legislative redistriciting Monday — had harsh words for his GOP colleagues Tuesday.
“I wanted to attend the historic second inauguration of President Obama in person,” Marsh said in a statement. “For Senate Republicans to use my absence to push through a partisan redistricting plan that hurts voters across the state is shameful.”
Democrats and Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) have condemned the state Senate GOP’s actions. Former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe, the likely Democratic nominee for governor this fall, called on McDonnell to veto the new district lines should they cross his desk. McDonnell has so far not said what he would do if the bill lands in his hands.
Virginia’s two U.S. Senators, Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D), called for the legislators to shut down the new district lines in a joint statement Tuesday.
“This is not the way we should be conducting the people’s business in Virginia. We are encouraged by Governor McDonnell’s statements today expressing disapproval of the tactics that were used,” they said. “We urge legislative leaders and other elected officials to do the right thing to correct this disappointing and disruptive partisan action.”
Marsh said he was “outraged” and “saddened” by the state Senate GOP move. He said the bill was “unconstitutional,” a line being used by many Democrats in Virginia these days that could signal future legal action.