The following is a great email from Brian Cannon, executive director of FairMapsVA.com, which is supporting Amendment 1 to create a bi partisan redistricting commission in the State Constitution to draw General Assembly and U.S. House Districts. In my view, the main reason the State Dem Party is opposing Amendment 1 is for payback to the millions of dollars they got from fat cats like George Soros, Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg to flip the General Assembly to their control in 2019 – and they don’t want to lose control over gerrymandering when the new census comes out next year. Such duplicity…
You’re getting this email because you care about ending partisan gerrymandering in Virginia. However, you’re probably also getting other emails and messages that are a part of a massive disinformation campaign run by some politicians who’d like to gerrymander you but won’t say the quiet part out loud.
So we are here to help. What prompted us to write this was seeing an email from a Northern Virginia Delegate that encouraged folks to vote no on Amendment 1 and keep the power to redistrict in the hands of the General Assembly (we know what that gets us!). Then she actually wrote: “The General Assembly can and will do better.”
At best, this is a pinky promise from a politician who has never introduced a redistricting reform amendment. At worst, it’s an outright lie to convince you to vote no and let the legislature draw their own districts one more time. Either way, we aren’t buying it and neither should you.
If you’d like independent validation on this, please check out Ballotpedia’s page on Amendment 1. Or know that Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have already Voted YES on 1. The Washington Post has endorsed YES on 1 – twice! Congressman Don Beyer, who helped draft and patron HR1 – the best reform to ever get through the House of Representatives – is a YES on 1 advocate.
Why shouldn’t you trust pinky promises from politicians? Because the Democrats were in control of the legislature this year. Their alternative plans did not make it out of a House committee. HB1256 — a good bill, despite that it simply created an “advisory” commission — didn’t even make it out of subcommittee as an independent commission. The other good measure was an amendment: HJ143. House Democratic leadership killed that amendment in the Rules Committee on a voice vote! Lastly, a last-minute change to the constitutional amendment also failed, prompting two national redistricting experts to write an op-ed with the title “Something’s Rotten in Virginia.” Thank goodness it failed, because it would’ve guaranteed that the party in power could continue gerrymandering. They had no viable alternative plans.
So when a politician promises you that they’ll pass much better reform, please ask them where their plan is. Then ask them if they have the votes in the House and the Senate. They do not have a plan and they do not have the votes for it. Don’t fall for it.
Vote YES on 1 along with Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, Don Beyer, the Washington Post editorial board, Common Cause, The Brennan Center for Justice, Princeton Gerrymandering Project, Campaign Legal Center, AARP Virginia, the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters, and a long bipartisan list of redistricting reform experts. The consensus is clear: Amendment 1 ends partisan gerrymandering.
We need real reform, right now. Vote YES on 1.
An example of a disingenuous (lying) sign regarding Amendment Number one, another example is on the top of this post.