News this morning from Hans Bader over at Bacon’s Rebellion outlining how Governor Ralph Northam intends to leave the seat vacated upon the death of State Senator Bill Chafin empty for the foreseeable future:
Keeping the seat vacant will make it easier to pass progressive bills even when not all Democrats vote for them — such as when a relatively moderate Democratic senator votes against a bill to release criminals earlier. That occasionally happened in 2020, such as when a Democratic senator voted against lowering the age of geriatric release for some criminals to age 50.
Bader notes that the Code of Virginia requires the governor to call a special election and does not leave it to his mere discretion.
Of course, challenging this would require someone to care in the Office of the Attorney General, currently piloted by progressive darling (and blackface co-conspirator) Mark Herring.
Bader notes further that by leaving the seat empty, progressive Democrats are manufacturing a mandate that a more narrow 21-19 majority would not permit:
Filling Chafin’s seat would not enable Republicans to block most progressive bills from passing the legislature in some form because Democrats still would control the legislature, and they usually vote in unison. But some progressive bills might have to be amended to remove some ideologically extreme provisions, in order to pass the closely divided state senate (the way legislation allowing much earlier release for inmates who behave in prison was amended in 2020 to exclude some violent offenders, because one moderate-liberal Democrat on the Rehabilitation Committee wanted the bill amended).
Such are the times.