McDonnell on redistricting bill: ‘Not the way we should do business’

Posted at 1:17 PM, Jan 31, 2013

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- Governor Bob McDonnell is sounding off about the Senate's redistricting plan.  Following his monthly "Ask the Governor" radio segment he said he was surprised and disappointed with how some Virginia lawmakers were trying to redraw voting districts on short notice.

Many communities at this time are waiting on pins and needles to see how the redistricting proposal pans out.  There is a sense of urgency because the outcome from the legislation could have a huge impact on upcoming races, including gubernatorial races.

With the redrawing of the district lines up for debate, in the end more than half-a-dozen minority communities could be turned into more heavily Republican jurisdictions. 

Democrats are crying foul play, saying the move is an attempt to weaken the minority vote.  But on the other side of the political aisle Republicans say this is not an effort to advance their parties own agenda. 

Until a vote is reached Governor McDonnell said he has a lot to consider and is uncertain how it will all play out.

"I generally look at bills on the merits. Is it legal? Is it constitutional? Is it good policy? Should I sign it?" Governor McDonnell asked.  "So if or when I get that bill we will go through that.  I've been very straight that the way that was done is not the way we should do business.  It's not the Virginia way."

Creating even more of a surprise is the recent announcement from two Black Democrats who said they may vote in favor of the redistricting plan.  That two delegates who told the Washington Post they might cross party lines are Onzlee Ware of Roanoke and Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg.

If the bill were to pass it still has several obstacles to overcome including a review by the Attorney General, before going to the governor for the final go-ahead.  And if approved it would take effect in 2015.