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A net gain of 3 Senate seats for GOP will turn Virginia laws significantly to the right

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Galraedia Donating Member (322 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-17-11 12:05 PM
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A net gain of 3 Senate seats for GOP will turn Virginia laws significantly to the right
-The Virginia Senate has been a cemetery for the General Assemblys most conservative legislation for more than a decade.

But if Republicans gain three or more Senate seats in next months decisive legislative elections, conservatives would consolidate their hold on Virginia government and turn state policy hard to the right.

The stakes have never been higher, said Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax County, who would lose her chairmanship of the Privileges and Elections Committee should the Republicans win their first majority since 2007.

That is evident from the intensity and tenor of fiercely contested races across the state. Its also clear from the 86 checks for $10,000 or more that were written during the first two weeks of October that together put more than $3 million into play for the stretch run of the Nov. 8 election, according to data compiled by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.

Democrats hold 22 of the Senates 40 seats. Should they lose two seats to the GOP, it would force power sharing in an evenly divided chamber with the committees gatekeepers that determine which bills reach the Senate floor apportioned equally between senators of both parties headed by Republican and Democratic co-chairmen.

Republicans could prevail once a bill reaches the floor because Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling casts the deciding vote in case of a tie.

With a three-seat gain, however, Republicans would have unchallenged control of the Senate, and the GOP would take total control of both the executive and legislative branches of government for the first time since 2001.

In the marquee races where targeted Democrats are in the fights of their political careers, the Republican challengers are avowed conservatives, particularly in rural areas where an unpopular president burdens Democrats.

This time, if we take a majority, it would be a much more conservative group of individuals than the Republicans who were there before, and people would just have to realize that, said Del. Charles W. Bill Carrico, a Republican seeking the seat of retiring Sen. William Wampler, R-Bristol.

A Senate takeover is a political imperative for Gov. Bob McDonnell, who knows its his chance to enact his socially and fiscally conservative goals during the single, non-renewable four-year term Virginia uniquely allows its governors.

His priorities include financing highway construction and repair without taxes, making the underfunded public employee pension fund less generous, reforming education and privatizing state-owned liquor stores.

A Republican Senate could green-light other bills that emerge perennially from the conservative, Republican-ruled House of Delegates and die in the Senate

Carrico, a retired state trooper from Grayson County, has carried his conservative bills for 10 years to Senate committees and watched them die. The bills advanced gun rights, restrictions on undocumented immigrants and state sovereignty.

One bill he hopes to bring back to a more accommodating Senate would allow the manufacture of firearms not regulated by federal law if they are constructed solely in Virginia and are never sold or moved outside the state.-

Continue at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-net-gain-of-3-sen...
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-17-11 12:05 PM
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1. GOTV, Virginia. n/t
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