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December 7, 2018 · OPINION

Help make redistricting fairer after 2020 Census

Virginia’s 5th Congressional District runs from Paris in Northern Fauquier to the North Carolina border.
By Penny E. Perry
Warrenton

Virginia has among of the most “gerrymandered” state legislative and congressional district maps in the country.

Efforts to make the procedure nonpartisan all were killed in the 2017 General Assembly session.

Now, after the 2020 census, Virginia will have a chance to redraw the district lines more fairly.

A nonprofit, non-partisan group, One Virginia 2021, is trying a different approach — proposing an amendment to the Virginia Constitution to establish an independent, nonpartisan commission to redraw district lines. The amendment will be introduced into the 2019 General Assembly session next month.

I urge fellow Virginians to contact their state legislators now and urge them to support an independent redistricting commission amendment in the 2019 session.


Fauquier’s state legislators

• Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27th/Upperville).

• Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall).

• Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-31st/Woodbridge).

• Del. Mark Cole (R-88th/Fredericksburg).
Member comments
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Rover 530 · December 15, 2018 at 12:27 pm
Neither party, in any state, can be trusted to draw fair lines for congressional or state legislative districts. There are too many temptations to stack the deck one way or the other. Non-partisan commissions overseen by the courts should draw districts fairly. Let the voters decide since they should be voting for the best candidate for the job, right? Draw the lines fairly encompassing contiguous areas of common interest and let the people vote. The 5th Virginia Congressional District is a prime example of not how it should be done. What do the people of Fauquier have in common with the people along the border with North Carolina?
Melrose Carter · December 10, 2018 at 9:32 am
You know what they say about assuming martinwilliams81. Fare thee well stranger.
martinwilliams81 · December 9, 2018 at 9:24 pm
Melrose - Then you should be fine calling for Bill and Hillary to face the consequences for their illegal behavior. Let's hear you say it.

Again, you cannot point to anything specific I have said that is divisive. You make accusations without anything to back it up. Got it.

Sure, Trump needs admonishment, but I don't know how to contact him.

You compare people who disagree with you to nazis, you are the only bully I see here.

Goodbye.
Melrose Carter · December 9, 2018 at 9:06 pm
martinwilliams81 - EVERY comment you have made on here has been divisive, you just can't see past your tinted red glasses.
Melrose Carter · December 9, 2018 at 7:23 pm
martinwilliams81 - I have no love for either of the Clinton's, didn't vote for Hillary.

Mean-spirited? You call my statements mean and hypocritical. How much influence do I have compared to say, President Trump? Very little on my part, yet his pot shots aimed at people are heard around the world.

Don't you think that Trump is the one that needs admonishment? Keep on defending him and attacking me, it takes a bully to know a bully.
martinwilliams81 · December 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm
Melrose - You propose that people should be civil and admonish them for not being so. But your repeated mean spirited statements about your political opponents show your hypocrisy.

And if you are not going to give a criminal a pass, I hope you are willing to stand up and demand that Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton be prosecuted for their crimes.
Melrose Carter · December 9, 2018 at 1:15 pm
Reflection on such insight may be the only contribution left to be made in this profoundly divisive moral battle.
Melrose Carter · December 9, 2018 at 11:39 am
I am not going to give a pass to a criminal. Saying that Trump isn't involved in criminal activity is like saying Charles Manson was just misunderstood.
Melrose Carter · December 9, 2018 at 11:30 am
martinwilliams81 - True statements every one, and I challenge YOU to prove otherwise. To all a good night......
martinwilliams81 · December 9, 2018 at 10:12 am
Melrose - I have not made any divisive statements and challenge you to prove otherwise. You, on the other hand have said plenty of rude and divisive things. But, I guess, when you say divisive things it is okay, it is only when other people say things that are divisive that you get upset. Typical hypocrisy.

"Trump is a traitor and needs to be charged with treason." - Melrose Carter

"I'd vote for my dog (if she was running for political office) before I'd vote for another Republican. She knows how to behave and is honest in her actions." - Melrose Carter

"LOL, if you mean by traditional U.S. values you mean: lying, cheating, and taking advantage of the less than rich, you would be correct." - - Melrose Carter

"Bigotry and hatred are alive and unwell in Fauquier County as evidence of the strong Republican turnout or a least they support a racist bigot for a POTUS. I've met, unfortunately, more racists in this state then any other, and I'm originally from the Mid-West which is saying a lot as most, not all, are afraid of anyone that isn't white, Christian and Heterosexual." - - Melrose Carter

"I only person I hate is Donald J. Trump, plain and simply because he is a lying crook, and has been one most of his life. We'll see how this all plays out under your Fuhrer Herr Trump." - - Melrose Carter

"I say we go back to duels at sunrise. The end justifies the means in this present political climate, cull out the cowards (and we know who took 5 military deferments)." - - Melrose Carter


Melrose Carter · December 9, 2018 at 9:57 am
Jim Griffin - I attempted to stay away yet it's like that carton of Butter Pecan ice cream in the freezer, keeps calling my name, even though I know it's bad for me.

I really would rather not be thought of as divisive, or called obscene names, and I do understand some of the anger, yet what do we accomplish by being negative toward one another. I fall into that trip too, and apologize to anyone I may have offended. What is happening to this country is so sad because I love this country, and served her in the Army during the first Persian Gulf War. My ancestors have served in the military, with the exception of the Spanish American war, to defend this country and everything she stands for since the American Revolution.

It is time to take a break from the anger, I'm tired, and Christmas is a time of good will towards men (and women) around the world. New start, new year!

Best wishes to all!
Melrose Carter · December 9, 2018 at 9:38 am
martinwilliams81 - What I think is that perhaps you need to take a look in the mirror about who is making divisive statements, your anger is very apparent and much of what you write is the pot calling the kettle black.

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us."

Alexander Graham Bell
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 9:59 pm
No, I do not think it completely inappropriate. It is fair comment to compare one leader in history to other leaders in history, especially so when nationalism is at issue and positioned against globalism as an alternative.

Likewise when the current president is a demonstrable liar who plays deceitfully on the world stage, even when nuclear weapons are at play as they are in North Korea and elsewhere.

The comparison is frankly inevitable and not at all surprising. It would be more surprising if it did not arise in comment. Some of the comparisons drawn of Obama to, say, apes were worse, but somehow not unexpected either.

That you think this tells you all you "need to know about the type of person you are" tells us lots about you, too. Thanks for letting us get to know you, Martin. I applaud your willingness to stand behind your words with your name.
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 9:48 pm
Melrose Carter is a leader here and very civil, especially when you take into account the vile attacks on her from pseudonymous commenters. By all rights she should've followed up on her threat to disappear from the comment section, but we are graced by her kind comments for which I for one am thankful.
martinwilliams81 · December 8, 2018 at 9:47 pm
Jim, you don't think that comparing the President of the United States to Adolf HItler, a man who exterminated over 8 million people, as uncivil or bad behavior?

That tells me everything I need to know about the type of person you are.
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 9:44 pm
I've never met any of the people whose on-line IDs you mentioned, but I find none of those remarks uncivil or bad behavior. Those are simply their opinions and appropriate as comment.

OTOH, the mud slung here by many of our pseudonyms is personal, unconscionable and unacceptable. It is one thing to criticize or satirize POTUS and quite another to tar a neighbor with a broad brush or call someone a word that cannot be spoken over a regulated broadcast channel.

Demosthenes is an example of someone who engages in appropriate discourse, like Rover530, BJ and Martinkus. I've learned lots from them, and I'd be delighted to share a meal or drink with anyone here, an offer I've made before, and that is my point: We denigrate out of ignorance. We are all neighbors to some degree. Dismissing any of us with a label is a mistake.
martinwilliams81 · December 8, 2018 at 9:27 pm
Melrose - If you want citizens to stop fighting, maybe you should show some leadership and quit making divisive remarks, don't you think?
Melrose Carter · December 8, 2018 at 9:05 pm
Dear Santa Claus,

All I want for Christmas is for the citizens in this country to stop fighting against each other, and start fighting for each other and the good fortune we have to be Americans.

Melrose Carter

P.S. Enough money for our dog to have leg surgery would be nice too!
martinwilliams81 · December 8, 2018 at 8:53 pm
Jim -

You mean Rover530, who said that Trump was a "cornered rat in the White House." How civil, right Jim?

And Martinkus, who refers to the president as "Herr Trump," comparing him to Hitler. I have no doubt that you consider that good behavior.

Or how about Demosthenes, who said "I'm totally shocked to find people in my community like martinwilliams81." Yes, no one in this community should disagree with Demosthenes or they are bad. Demosthenes then suggests that I am anti-democracy for wanting to keep the current redistricting system.

Then there is BJ, who is so civil when he states that, "the current POTUS and the limp Republicans ARE A THREAT to our democracy." and said about another commenter, who disagreed with him, "I believe he is possibly mentally ill, and needs help." That is very good behavior, right Jim...

The friends you keep say a lot about you.
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 8:33 pm
MW:

I do not oppose all use of psuedonyms -- where appropriately managed, it is fine, as I previously wrote. When used to provide cover for inappropriate behavior it is akin to Klansman in hoods or burglars in hoodies. I never wrote that pseudonymity equates with Klan membership.

In some ways, this is like the use of guns in certain heinous crimes. Appropriate on its own, the exercise of Second Amendment rights can and does add charges to bad behavior.

I wrote with a pseudonym here for years, but stopped when the Publisher asked us to stop in the rules. I did not use it as cover and when someone would ask or observe it I would contact them directly and satisfy them as to my identity. So I get it just like I understand anonymity for, as an example, patriots like Tom Paine.

Your last claim is demonstrably false on its face: "... but you immediately attack anyone who uses a pseudonym and call their words "hate speech."

I often rise to speak against those who use a pseudonym and hate speech, but I do not presume that all or even most who use a pseudonym engage in hate speech. They do not. Hate speech is unlikely in this fine community.

Plenty of names come to mind that I associate with both pseudonymous speech and good behavior (and that applies regardless of whether we agree or disagree). Rover530, Demosthenes, BJ, Martinkus and too many others to remember.
Melrose Carter · December 8, 2018 at 7:56 pm
Do away with the Electoral college, it's antiquated. In any other situation of voting for who you what to represent you, the one with the most votes wins.
martinwilliams81 · December 8, 2018 at 6:21 pm
Jim - I never called you a name and I never made an assumption about your knowledge.

Following your logic of pseudonyms being like Klan hoods, giving people cover for all manner of incivility, you would have to agree that people like Benjamin Franklin, Robert Yates, George Clinton, Noah Webster, Roger Sherman, Richard Henry Lee, Benjamin Rush, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Adams are all KKK sympathizers.

And it is not just Americans, look at Jawaharlal Nehru, Charles Dickens & C.S. Lewis. Or how about Gore Vidal, Washington Irving.

All of these people, according to you, are using pseudonyms, giving themselves "cover for all manner of incivility." And worst of all is that jerk Theodor Geisel, who indoctrinated millions of kids under the name Dr. Seuss. Just evil.

You say that "some who comment with pseudonymous speech behave appropriately and I have no issue with them." but you immediately attack anyone who uses a pseudonym and call their words "hate speech." You are painting with a broad brush and that is unfair.

Goodbye.
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 4:48 pm
Agreed, why presume me ignorant of how the president is elected? You've never met me, and that is my complaint here: Why call each other names when we've never met?

Pseudonyms are like Klan hoods, giving people cover for all manner of incivility, which is why the publisher requests we use our real names, bringing accountability and responsibility to our remarks.

In the case of my comment, Charlottesville was IIRC the topic, which had real application to the Klan. I do not and did not see any equivalence with the crowd and those carrying torches, spraying lighter fluid and shouting "Jews Will Not Replace Us."

If you've been paying attention here, anonymous commenters have engaged in very real hate speech and foul language. Melrose Carter was recently the recipient of a vile attack no person should endure.

Some who comment with pseudonymous speech behave appropriately and I have no issue with them. But combine pseudonymous speech with hate speech and I will complain every time just as I did then. It is abhorrent.
martinwilliams81 · December 8, 2018 at 4:37 pm
Jim Griffin - What condescension? How am I to know if you understand how presidents are elected or not? I have never met you, so I don't know what you know or don't know.

I would argue that if Sanders had a level playing field with Hillary, he would have won the nomination, but the deck was stacked against him.

So it's okay to attack someone who chooses to use a pseudonym? How is that elevating civility in the public discourse?

The KKK is evil. So is comparing someone using a pseudonym to the KKK simply because they don't want their personal information on a website, saying that he uses a pseudonym because he is just like the klan. That is just sad.
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 4:15 pm
Martin Williams:

Your condescending tone continues. I understand the manner in which we choose the president and the candidates.

Likewise, delegates to the party conventions, and yet we tally the popular votes anyway and release them, in part because they affect the makeup of the Electoral College.

They are clear indicators of competition, which is why I mention them. JohnnyD alleges Sanders was not allowed to compete with HRC, and yet numbers tell a story of real competition between them.

Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 4:11 pm
I am definitely anti-KKK, as are all the good people I know.

I was correct and stand by the comment: When you have the White House and both houses of congress the future is on your shoulders. The quote did not as you falsely claim blame Republicans for a past they did not, could not create. It was prospective, but thanks for playing the game and falsely suggesting it was retrospective.

No, I take no position on the redistricting commission. I suspect a machine or formula could produce a fairer result.

Agreed, I oppose those who -- unlike you and me -- do not stand behind their comments as the editor/publisher of this news site requests when he asks them to use their real name.
martinwilliams81 · December 8, 2018 at 4:06 pm
Jim - you may not know this, but we do not elect the president of the United States by popular vote. We use the Electoral College, which was put into place by the Founding Fathers to protect small states.
martinwilliams81 · December 8, 2018 at 4:04 pm
Jim - If you want to know who JohnnyD was talking to, you will need to ask him. As for the facts, I am not "claiming" anything, I am researching the subject and presenting the facts. The fact that 14 of 16 board members financially support Democrats won't change if you look them up because the facts are the facts.

It seems to me, given your statements, means that research and facts are not necessary when a good narrative is at stake.

I just want to be clear, you are supporting a redistricting commission where ten people who were not elected by the people and have no accountability to the people will decide the legislative districts for Virginia, correct? Can you explain where the democracy is in that?

The Democrat Party basically admitted that their selection process of a presidential candidate was flawed, allowing Hillary to exploit the use of Super Delegates to secure her nomination before the process even started. That is why the Dems changes the system for the 2020 election.

And while you are now promoting a civil discourse, your past words suggest otherwise:

"Republicans own this nation and its troubles." - Jim Griffin, blaming the GOP for the woes of the nation, August 27, 2017

"Who names themselves after a mediocre car, especially when they do so to avoid vandalism of their own?" - Jim Griffin attacking someone who disagrees with him, August 27, 2017

"It is rich you cite the KKK wearing hoods to conceal their identity! Welcome to Traverse-land! Take off the hood, Traverse. You conceal your identity in public just like the Klan, and for the same reason. The shame. The stain." - Jim Griffin comparing someone who used a pseudonym to members of the KKK, August 27, 2017

"You argue with a pseudonym, a recklessly divisive one at that, possibly a Russian, definitely a coward unwilling to stand accountable." - Jim Griffin calling someone a coward, October 23, 2018

I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 4:00 pm
2016 Democratic Primary Campaign, final tally of primary votes:

Clinton totaled 15,805,136 votes, Sanders 12,029,699.

Clinton beat Sanders by 3,775,437 primary votes. She won the popular vote by 2,865,075 over Trump. Somehow, one of these votes was competitive but the other was not?
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm
You asserted that pre-Trump the standard was the nation coming together after an election. My experience differs and I offer as Exhibit A Obama's opponents continuing to doubt his eligibility for the office.

Indeed, the issue has been put to rest, but you seem to continue to doubt it in spite of expert analysis and the birth certificate release.

It is not difficult to find me in opposition to policies some call liberal. For example, I am opposed to using tax money to fund conservation easements, and think it the very definition of socialism to have this county government control land development rights that should be in private hands and subject to market forces.

Likewise I defend gun rights as did Justice Antonin Scalia, regularly quoting his views on the topic.

No, I do not declare people leftist liberals or right-wing fringe nuts. Not my thing. I prefer policies and issues. Nonetheless, I support many a Republican, just as I do Democrats. Our Sheriff Bob Mosier is a Republican worthy of support, as is Michael Webert or Holder Trumbo. Big fan of McCain, a true hero from any perspective.

JohnnyD · December 8, 2018 at 3:41 pm
Ho hum, back to the same discussions with you...

Not sure why the Obama birther thing was brought up. If Obama unseals all his college records and other stuff he had the courts seal, the whole birther thing could easily be put to rest. My comment referred to the fact people were not protesting in the streets, cheered for carrying fake decapitations of him, and publicly threatening to blow up the White House like they are now.

If Congress had not allowed lobbyists to write the ACA, and actually read it before passing, we would not have the problems we now have.

You appear on here supporting martinkus (who proudly made the Herr statement and declared the Republican Party dead) against a republican. Sorry for the guilt by association I made.

None of those other good candidates had a chance or received any support from the DNC.

From CNN : -In excerpts from "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House," published in Politico, Brazile writes the DNC was rigged in Clinton's favor because her campaign was largely financing the party early on in the presidential election.If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity," Brazile added. The Democratic strategist said the agreement "was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical."

https://www-m.cnn.com/2017/11/02/politics/donna-brazile-dnc-book/index.html

Here is yet another CNN article that pretty much confirms problems and lends credence to a cover-up. Hopefully it is being fixed.

https://www-m.cnn.com/2017/11/07/politics/donna-brazile-2016-primary/index.html

You say you don't favor either party, but I must have missed the conversations when you took a leftist liberal to task, like you have me and many others. I'm done, Have a Merry Christmas!



Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 1:17 pm
It is also absurd to claim the standard was "get back together after an election" when Obama was treated the way that he was, his "birther" detractors -- some calling him Kenyan to this day -- continuing to claim he was ineligible to run for office in the first place!

Our Congress passed the health care changes and Republicans immediately sued to stop payments to insurance providers and then crowed when rates inevitably rose without taking responsibility for causing them to rise in the first place (by stopping payments to providers).

These are not examples of the nation coming together after making a decision. They represent the opposite.

I repeat: I have no dog in this hunt. I support neither of these parties. They are anachronisms.
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 1:02 pm
I am not a hypocrite. I called no one "Herr" anything nor did I declare a party dead. Your inaccurate ad hominem attack continues to disgrace your claimed cause.

Five candidates competed for the 2016 Democratic nomination: Bernie Sanders (not even a Democrat), Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, ex-Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, and ex-Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. Sanders -- again, not even a party member -- competed to the end.

Do I think the Democratic party leaned towards HRC? Yes, it appears they did lean towards Obama's (then the Democratic leader) choice, just as the RNC now leans towards Trump and his choices.

Do I defend this? No. I belong to neither party, supporting the best candidate regardless of party, thinking neither party attractive. In 2018 I think you can figure out who earns your support without a political party telling you what to do.

I thought Donna Brazile candid and a reminder of why I write checks to neither party, but she also says she did not believe the primaries were rigged:

http://wapo.st/2zzzJ67

In the final analysis, Clinton's 2,842 delegates were matched to Sanders' 1,865 convention delegates. Clinton won 34 contests, Sanders 23, a popular vote total of 16,914,722 versus Sanders' 13,206,428.

Pretty good for a non-Democrat running in Democratic party primaries and caucuses. Not evidence that supports the POV that none were "allowed to compete in (NC) primaries against Hillary."
JohnnyD · December 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm
Oh, and I was referring to all the leftist liberals that can't control their emotions because their candidate lost a media guaranteed sure thing in an election. We used to get back together after an election, but these leftists have set the new standard.
JohnnyD · December 8, 2018 at 12:38 pm
Okay JG, "it is pure ad hominem falsehood akin to claiming HRC had no competition". Please tell me who the DNC allowed to compete in their primaries against Hillary. Also please tell me your thoughts on Donna Brazile's story on what she found upon taking control of the DNC after the election.

And according to you: someone calling the sitting President "Herr" and declaring the Republican Party "dead" because a candidate beat many other candidates in their primaries, are steps towards healing our country? Your hypocrisy continues...
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 12:20 pm
MW: It's always just the facts, whomever claims them.

Anyone can read this thread and draw their own conclusions. So I ask you: To whom was "JohnnyD" referring when he wrote those words?

You repeat the error: "sorry you don't think people educating themselves is a good thing ..." -- really? I oppose people educating themselves? Why would you write such a thing, let alone think it?

I am fully aware that modern incivility has historic precedent, but I oppose it just the same, in spite of vastly improved communication.

Ex-president John Adams died at 90 years old in 1826. He was buried after a service before his son John Quincy Adams — then president — even knew about his death.

Proof we get faster communication but not better communication over time.

P.S. I am neither Democrat nor Republican. I support a better process with whatever results that brings.
martinwilliams81 · December 8, 2018 at 12:07 pm
Jim - No one is pinning the tail on the Democrat Donkey, just supplying the facts. The fact is that 14 of the 16 board members on ONEVIRGINIA2021 give campaign cash to Democrats , while only two are Republican donors. The founder of the group is a major Democrat supporter as is the Executive Director. Why is that? Because the Democrats cannot get their way through the current Virginia Constitution, so they want to change it, so they have a better chance to consolidate their power in Virginia.

I think telling people to do their research and finding out the facts is a good thing, sorry you don't think that people educating themselves is a good thing, but it sure makes them easier to rule, right?

Again, please read what was written, no one called Martinkus a Democrat or a leftist liberal. That is a lie.

Finally, if you think the current civil discourse is poor, you have not done your research. Look at the Jefferson/Adams election where the President of Yale, a John Adams supporter stated that, were Jefferson to become the president, “we would see our wives and daughters the victims of legal prostitution.” A Connecticut newspaper wrote that electing Jefferson would create a nation where “murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest will openly be taught and practiced.” Or look at the infamous Daisy ad run by Johnson against Goldwater, which was was a gross exaggeration of Goldwater’s foreign policy position. But hey - its okay when Dems do it, right?
Jim Griffin · December 8, 2018 at 11:31 am
Pin the tail on the Democratic Donkey is a silly game, but it proves the author's point: For some the discussion is purely partisan, a game of finger-pointing, party over country, results over process: If it produces Republican winners it is good, otherwise it is bad.

Calling people "leftist liberals," telling them they need to research (inferring you know more than they do), declaring Hillary their "queen" -- it is pure ad hominem falsehood akin to claiming HRC had no competition, and fails to account for the lop-sided support Trump will receive from the RNC should he stand for re-election (and is already receiving as he fights to keep his job).

Yes, there is a wave, a breath of fresh air from Republicans and Democrats alike who rise not to party politics but to civil discourse. McCain, Bush, Simpson, Warner and many others have had enough, speaking out and taking action to pull our nation back from this mistaken turn it has taken.

Anyone who has taken the time to follow Martinkus' commentary here knows he is neither a Democrat nor a leftist liberal. This is purely inaccurate name calling and inappropriate for this local news outlet. It is precisely this behavior and rhetoric that is leading good people towards healing this country, so remarkable is the current incivility.
JohnnyD · December 8, 2018 at 11:09 am
martinwilliams you don't want to upset leftist liberals with facts. They just want to enjoy their emotional outbursts against the sitting President with no factual interference.

Like martinkus's statement that Trump "hijacked" the Republican Party. He needs to do some research and discover that Trump beat out 16 other candidates in the Republican primaries, as our election process is supposed to be. Unlike his queen Hillary who used her Foundation's money to buy out and corrupt the DNC, so no other good democrat candidates were allowed to compete against her in their primaries.
martinwilliams81 · December 7, 2018 at 11:01 pm
Slaughter in the House? If you did your research, you would find that the incumbent president's party always loses seats in the Congress during the midterm elections. Bill Clinton lost 54 seats in in the House and 10 in the Senate in 1994, giving control to the Republicans. Obama lost 63 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate in 2010. So, compared to those numbers, Trump did well. Especially when you consider the Blue Wave that was supposed to sweep across the U.S.

Also consider the fact that in eight years Obama's Democrats lost over 1,000 legislative seats at the state level. How about that for a slaughter?

If you think Demosthenes has it right, that an appointed committee with no accountability is a good idea for redistricting, then you are already lost.
martinkus · December 7, 2018 at 10:43 pm
martinwilliams81:

Didn't you forget to mention the "slaughter" in the House? I believe the Democrats (which I am NOT, picked up FORTY seats at the expense of the Republicans. I believe that says it all. The Republicans had very little to lose in the Senate as the Democrats had considerably more seats to defend than the Republicans did.

Demosthenes has it right!
martinwilliams81 · December 7, 2018 at 10:37 pm
Martinkus - funny, if the Republican Party died in 2016, who picked up additional seats in the U.S. Senate in 2018? I don't know if you were a proud Republican or not, but you obviously don't support the idea of representative democracy. You also love putting words into other people's mouths, instead of arguing the facts, which is a tried and true liberal tactic.

Demosthenes - Totally shocked? I doubt it. I never said I am in favor of skewed districts and I challenge you to show me where I said I was. That is another liberal tactic, divert from a valid argument by lying about the other side. I said that we should follow the current constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia and you say that is "anti-democracy." How rich.

I want to get this right, you think that 136 of the 140 elected leaders in the General Assembly and the Governor should be cut out of the redistricting process, in favor of an unelected "nonpartisan" commission that is appointed by five retired Virginia Circuit Court judges (who were never elected by the people) who will oversee a process to select the ten member committee who will direct the redistricting process. The problem is, these ten people have never been elected by the people, they are not accountable to the people, and they never will be. How exactly is that democracy? Please, please explain that to me.

Additionally, the amendment states that "The candidates shall be chosen with consideration of Virginia's diversity." What the heck does that mean? Can people sue if they don't think the commission is diverse enough?

I suppose that Leigh Middleditch, the founder of ONEVIRGINIA2012, who has given $4,600 to Democrats for their election, but nothing to Republicans, only cares about what is fair and doesn't have any hidden agenda. Or Executive Director Brian R. Cannon, who has given $2,400 to Dems. Or Board member Linda Perriello who has given over $8,500 to Dems. Or Board memeber Eric Anderson, friend of Terry McAuliffe. Or board member Greg Lucyk, who gave money to Baliles, the liberal candidate for Richmond mayor. Board member John Stone give 1/6th of his money to Republicans. Then there is Anne Sterling from the League of Women Voters. And of course there is Susan Platt, former Dem candidate for Lt. Governor sho has given $17,000 to Democrats. At least they have Charles McPhillips on the board, he has given 1/3 of his $37,000 in campaign cash to Republicans. In fact, out of the 16 board and foundation board members there are only two that give to or support Republican causes. I wonder why that is...


Demosthenes · December 7, 2018 at 8:47 pm
Wow. Wow.

We know that the redistricting game goes on.

I'm totally shocked to find people in my community like martinwilliams81, who very boldly claims to be in favor of skewed districts as long as his side wins.

That is anti-democracy.

Isn't democracy one of our highest ideals, martinwilliams81?

I am in favor of districts being redone in a way that reflects the will of the people, even if it means that candidates I support end up losing. That is democracy, and anything less than that is a disservice to our highest ideals.
martinkus · December 7, 2018 at 6:31 pm
martinwilliams81:

There is no "Republican Party." It "died" in 2016 when the tyrant/demagogue Trump "hijacked" it. I once was a very proud Republican; however, with the rise of Herr Trump, no longer. The Republican party is "dead" and won't be resurrected until that "thing" leaves the White House (hopefully in 2020).

Also, you obviously "love" the gerrymandered 5th Congressional district. As the tyrant-in-chief would say: "sad"!


martinwilliams81 · December 7, 2018 at 4:11 pm
Martinkus - I never said I wasn't partisan. I want Republicans to win and believe that the best opportunity for that is to leave the Virginia constitution the way it is.

The U.S. Supreme Court has regularly sided with Republicans on redistricting, just look at their decisions in Texas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin this year, stating that the Supreme Court has "invalidated state electoral maps due to racial discrimination but has been reluctant to intervene over district boundaries drawn purely for partisan advantage." Why? Because they are not doing anything unconstitutional.

Ikpranke - Yes, numerous Republicans support this "nonpartisan commission" scheme. I think they are wrong. Republicans have also supported mail in ballots, extensions of early voting, and same day voter registration, all of which has lead to more Democrat voters and fewer elected Republicans.
lkpranke · December 7, 2018 at 3:46 pm
According to The Washington Post's report on the proposed amendment, "The 10-member group calling for the amendment includes former state attorney general Ken Cuccinelli II(R), former House minority leader Ward Armstrong (D) and A.E. Dick Howard, the University of Virginia Law School professor who led the commission that wrote the current version of the state constitution in 1971." Hardly a bunch of wild-eyed liberals, I'd say!
martinkus · December 7, 2018 at 3:21 pm
martinwilliams81:

"These commissions lead to Republican defeat on Election Day..."

Clearly, you are "non-partisan," right?!

The 5th Congressional District in Virginia is unbelievably "rigged" in favor a Republicans, period. Re-districting is needed.
martinwilliams81 · December 7, 2018 at 2:28 pm
Ms. Perry,

I have seen these commissions set up in other states and it is my opinion that there are none that are truly "independent" or "nonpartisan". The appointees represent the interest of those who appoint them. Democrats appoint Democrats and Republicans appoint Republicans. And any "independent" members who tell you that they are nonpartisan are lying.

Every marginal state (states that are not heavily Democrat or Republican) that has established commissions like this have become more and more liberal over time. Just look at Arizona, Colorado, and Pennsylvania as examples.

These commissions lead to Republican defeat on Election Day and Virginia should steer clear.
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