Following last week’s exchange in the press between former Loudoun County Democratic Committee chair Mike Turner and former Democratic nominee for the house of delegates, Liz Miller, state senator Chap Petersen weighs in with a letter of his own. Petersen also corrects Turner, who neglected to look up what a senate committee was actually voting on before condemning the vote.
Petersen succinctly confirms that the house vote sent a vanity, do-nothing bill to the senate, where it was properly voted down. The house Democratic minority had its hand forced when the Republican majority passed an in-name-only “anti-trafficking” bill (literally, that’s all it did, was change the name of an existing law). That set a trap for the house Democrats, since no one wants it on their record that they, in any way, voted against an anti-trafficking measure (even one that does nothing whatsoever except, maybe, give its patron a campaign point in her bid to replace Frank Wolf). The house Dems didn’t fall into that trap, and the whole bit of political fakery would have failed, except that Turner fell for it himself, just in a bigger way.
Anyone who ever wonders if there is an up side to having a bicameral legislature can look at this for an example. A grand-stand play–made purely for political gain–that was forced on one party in one half of the legislature got shut down, as it should have, in the other half. As Petersen puts it, “That’s not party politics. It’s just how this business works.”