On my radio show this morning, Del. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia Beach), who is running to replace retiring GOP Rep. Scott Rigell in the 2nd Congressional District, indicated there is a deal afoot on Congressional redistricting.
According to Taylor, Virginia’s Republican delegation to Congress has agreed to drop its redistricting appeal at the Supreme Court if the General Assembly will adjust the lines of the 2nd District to include current 4th District Rep. Randy Forbes.
Our sources indicate that when Forbes visited the General Assembly two weeks ago, he met with lawmakers in both parties. Among those receptive to the deal, according to our source, is Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond), who when Forbes and the Republicans cede the 4th stands to gain virtually unimpeded entry into the U.S. Congress. Allegedly greasing the skids on the Republican side is former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Fairfax). [UPDATED to correct the implication that McEachin actually met with Forbes; Sen. McEachin denies this, and we did not mean to imply otherwise]
When approached for comment, the Governor’s spokesman Brian Coy indicated that the Governor does not “comment on private conversations with legislators” and that he “is not open to any deals on this issue.” Coy did not confirm or deny the conversation on the subject involving the Governor and Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomack) cited by Taylor.
Taylor’s remarks on this unprecedented and corrupt backroom deal can be heard below in the audio of my interview with him this morning.
The John Fredericks Radio Show and The Bull Elephant will continue to investigate, and we will keep you informed of any and all developments.
UPDATE: Scott Taylor’s campaign has published the following press release:
Forbes Campaign Rocked by Scandal
Attempted to cut a deal with Democrat Gov. McAuliffe to Draw Chesapeake into 2ndDistrict-
For Immediate Release
Richmond- Governor Terry McAuliffe yesterday confirmed to Delegate Scott Taylor that emissaries for Rep. Randy Forbes attempted to cut a deal with the governor. This, just days after Taylor heard from a senior official in the McAuliffe administration about the deal and from Republicans in the General Assembly. This was their offer:
Randy Forbes would drop his lawsuit arguing for the legality of the General Assembly-passed congressional district boundaries and give the Democrats the 4th Congressional District, if in exchange the Governor would agree to move Chesapeake into Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. Former congressman and Deloitte lobbyist and Director of US Government Affairs Tom Davis called the Governor’s office on behalf of Randy Forbes to float this deal.
The calls to the governor’s office were made prior to the Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to deny the request for a stay from the legal team representing the Virginia’s Republican members of Congress. Upon learning of this request made on Randy Forbes behalf, Scott Taylor issues the following statement:
This scandal reinforces just why Chesapeake Congressman Randy Forbes should not represent the Second Congressional District. He attempted to bargain away voters who have elected him to Congress 8 times, cut a deal to give his district to the Democrats and redraw the district lines just for his own personal benefit. His actions are a betrayal to those he has represented for 15 years. And what’s worse, his attempt to use the Governor and the General Assembly to save his own skin represents everything wrong with career politicians today and it reinforces the disgust and cynicism felt by so many Americans towards their elected officials.
Randy Forbes needs to come forward and explain this coordinated effort to pervert the redistricting lawsuit of which he was a plaintiff. If he doesn’t believe in the merits of this lawsuit, why is he a party to it?