Trust broke down further on the bipartisan Virginia Redistricting Commission on Monday after one member revealed the National Republican Redistricting Trust had been working behind the scenes to help a former Virginia congressman submit his own congressional map proposal — one that now closely resembles the map that the commission is debating.
The discovery by Del. Marcus B. Simon (D-Fairfax) sent the meeting into a tailspin as Democratic members feared the GOP grouphad managed to push through what Simon called a “Republican dream map,” while Republicans accused Democrats of bias as well. Simon wanted the map scrapped.
“I’m sure the National Republican Redistricting Trust was just popping champagne when they saw this map go out,” Simon said.
The commission was meeting Monday to debate the proposed congressional map that combined facets of both the Republican and Democratic proposed maps. The commission must meet an Oct. 25 deadline to submit a congressional map to the General Assembly for approval, with the possibility of an extension,or else the redrawing of districts will be left to the state’s Supreme Court. But disagreement about even a starting point puts a swift resolution in doubt, as some Democrats did not want to even tinker with a map partly mirroring one drawn by the NRRT.