|4th District Congressman Randy Forbes who seeks to be a carpetbagger in Virginia Beach|
My former law school classmate Randy Forbes continues to show the extent to which some elected officials will go to put their personal interests ahead the interests and well being of their constituents. Two stories looks at Forbes' self-centered agenda. First, WAVY- looks at Forbes' plan to rent an apartment in Virginia Beach in lieu of purchasing a home in the 2nd Congressional District (can we say cheap?) so that he can claim with at least a somewhat straight face that he lives in the District even though 100% of his past ties are in Chesapeake/.the 4th District. The second piece is an editorial from the Daily Press which basically rips Forbes a new one. Here are highlights from the WAVY TV piece:
10 On Your Side has confirmed Congressman Randy Forbes (R) 4th District is now in the process of renting an apartment in Virginia Beach.
His Campaign office told WAVY Forbes and his wife “have put down a security deposit and look forward to spending a great deal of time there.”
Forbes’ Communiction Director Hailey Sadler did not say where the apartment is. Three sources confirm Forbes is getting an apartment at the Mayflower Apartments on 34th Street. Mayflower would neither confirm nor deny the Forbes application to rent an apartment.
Hailey Sadler also says, “Randy and Shirley intend to retain their generational home nine miles outside of Virginia Beach.”
That house is located in Chesapeake in Forbes current district.
Congressman Forbes is switching districts from the 4th where he lives in his Chesapeake home to the 2nd which represents mostly Virginia Beach.
He is running against Delegate Scott Taylor/(R) 85th. Taylor responded to our story “His first political plan of abandoning his people for a better district while living in Chesapeake has failed. Now he wants to try to deceive everyone by renting an apartment? Everyone knows Randy Forbes lives in a big house in Chesapeake, not a small apartment in Virginia Beach.”
It is unsure whether Forbes can and will move his voting precinct to Virginia Beach.Del. Taylor has repeatedly said, “How can you vote for Randy Forbes who can’t even vote for himself?”
While I generally shun Republicans, it should be noted that Forbes's opponent for the GOP nomination, Del. Scott Taylor, is one of the few Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly who is NOT a homophobe. Meanwhile. an editorial in the Daily Press slammed Forbes for his shameless opportunism and desire to stay in offence at the cost of the best interests of his constituents. Here are excerpts:
Instead of a district that resembles a squashed salamander and purports to say bits and pieces of Newport News, Norfolk and Richmond connected by strips of mud along the James River shore make up a community, we will get something different from redistricting.It's a basic question when lawyers look into something: Who gains?
Lawyers, being lawyers, have to ask it in Latin — they say "Cui bono" — but the point can't be obscured by a dead language. And the point was clear as Fourth grade English when the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the court-ordered redrawing of the 3rd Congressional District last week.
Who benefits if the Supreme Court eventually throws out the redistricting?
Members of Congress. The one name that kept coming up in last week's arguments before the Supreme Court was Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Chesapeake.
The lawyer for the Virginia members of Congress who challenged the lower court's redistricting argued several times that redrawing the map injured Rep. Forbes.
"Every time your district is changed and you believe it hurts you, you have a right to go to court and say what?" Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked at one point.
"He suffered injury-in-fact to what?" asked Justice Anthony Kennedy, referring to Rep. Forbes.
"To his ability to be re-elected," the delegation's lawyer said. Huh?
So members of Congress are special. Their rights to that $174,000-a-year gig, and to districts carefully crafted to ensure re-election, are different than yours. Your right, that is, to a vote that matters to our Capitol Hill solons, most of whom romped home to re-election in 2014 with a 20-percentage-point margin from their carefully gerrymandered districts.
Here's the dirty little secret about congressional redistricting in Virginia: The General Assembly enacts it, but it does so with the wishes of members of Congress uppermost in its mind.
And now there's this: Risking an election loss is an injury — an injury! — to our professional politicians. Nonsense.
The real injury lies in an environment where politicians don't risk losing elections. The injured parties here are Virginia voters. We're injured when elected officials no longer have to listen to us because they are so secure in their seats.
Ouch! But the truth is that the editorial is 100% on point. Forbes has no right to be assured of re-election. For years he has had a handcrafted safe seat which has allowed him to be re-elected while doing little or nothing for his constituents and pandering to the most lunatic fringes of the Christofascists in the GOP base. It is far past time that Forbes be forced to participate in a competitive nomination and election process. If the voters don't want the theocratic crap that he is peddling, then he deserves to be defeated and forced from office.