Do you know?  In Virginia we have Webb or Warner. But they are U.S. Senators.  I mean your state Senators.  I’m sad to say that I live in Fairfax County, Virginia and didn’t even know who my state Senator is and I’m a political junky.

Sadly, like most folks, we don’t focus on our state Senators.  In Virginia they’re elected every four years, versus our Representatives (technically Delegates) that are elected every two years.  Some don’t even pay attention whatsoever to either.  We focus on those who represents us in Washington.  Perhaps we should find out.

Virginia’s General Assembly, our own version of the Congress, is made up of two bodies: the House of Delegates and the Senate.  There are more than twice as many Representatives as Senators; 90 to 100 Delegates and 33 to 40 Senators.  Because of the differences, you cannot compare Senate districts to House districts.  A Senate district is an odd carve out of from numerous House districts, the process of which is a closed-door mystery in itself.  However, if you live in Arlington, and since I’m the Arlington Political Buzz Examiner, I’m going to inform you that your state Senator is either Patricia S. Ticer or Mary Margaret Whipple.  Both of which are Democrats.

With some research, I found that I’m located in Senate District 37, and my state Senator is David W. Marsden; also a Democrat.  Help, I’m surrounded!  With all due respect to the Honorable Mr. Marsden, I don’t ever remember hearing his name.  It’s both embarrassing and interesting at the same time.  Interesting in that Mr. Marsden slipped right through without me even noticing him.  I guess that’s sad as well.  I will make it a point to pay more attention in the future.

So, why all the sudden interest in state Senators?  Simple.  All you need to do is take a look at what’s going on in Wisconsin.  14 state Senators in Wisconsin have high-tailed it to Illinois to prevent the state Senate from having a sufficient quorum to do business.  The law in Wisconsin, as in all states and the federal legislature, require that a certain percentage of the voting members be present to conduct business.  The 14 AWOL state Senators in Wisconsin happens to be the exact number needed to ensure an insufficient quorum to vote on the Governors public employee benefits and collective bargaining restrictions.  No, I’m not arguing the merits of what the Governor or the majority is attempting to do here.  That would be another article.  I’m simply stating the facts.  And all the while they’re in hiding they are drawing their state paychecks.  So the people of Wisconsin are paying them to be in hiding.

Sometimes, when you don’t have the numbers, you’re going to lose the war.  The Republicans in Congress saw that last year on Obamacare and the Democrats in Congress saw it this year in the repeal.  It’s the nature of our democracy.  Laws are passed by the majority, though procedural efforts can also influence whether a vote can even be taken.  But is fleeing from your responsibilities an acceptable course of action?   If Ms. Ticer or Ms. Whipple headed off to Baltimore to avoid voting on a matter in Richmond, would you find that acceptable?  Even if you’re dead set against the passage of a bill, don’t you believe your elected state officials have a responsibility to stand up and be counted?  Or is disappearing to prevent a sufficient quorum an acceptable move?

Today a new effort has begun to sweep the state of Wisconsin.  Some folks in senatorial districts are beginning recall efforts.  An effort to recall state Sen. Dave Hansen kicked off Saturday with hundreds of supporters and opponents gathering on the far northwest side of Green Bay.  Those in favor of recall outnumbered supporters of Senator Hansen more than 3 to 1.

Sometimes you win.  Sometimes you lose.  That’s the name of the game when it comes to politics.  When Governor Walker ran, he made it clear exactly what his plans were to bring the state budget under control.  He now may be faced with having to lay off a significant number of teachers and other employees.  Rather than shirking their responsibilities and hiding away, win, lose or draw, you have to be in the battle or you’re forfeiting the rights of your constituents.   And when the 1200 or so pink slips go out, while the 14 Democrats sip Margaritas by a pool in Chicago, who is looking out for their interests?  Recall them all.  Sometimes the effects of a loss can be mitigated, however hiding from a crisis only demonstrates the worst of politics and that is cowardice.

[widgets_on_pages id=”Underpost”]