House Majority Leader M. Kirkland Cox (R-Colonial Heights) hardly thinks his chamber, which kept the state budget process alive while the evenly divided Senate was deadlocked in a power struggle, has done anything to encourage disrespect.
“I think the House really shone this year,” he said. “When everyone else was coming off the reservation, when everyone else was bickering, when everyone else was screaming about the budget, we were the consistent body that kept sitting down and were willing to negotiate.”
Deservedly or not, plenty of lawmakers think they’ve been kicked around. Sen. Stephen H. Martin (R-Chesterfield) was not personally bothered by the Redskins deal, which McDonnell said would keep the team’s corporate headquarters and jobs in Virginia. But he called the health board’s decision “a direct affront” and described the judicial appointment as “an affront to the legislature.”
Of course, one person’s affront is another’s reprieve.
Del. Robert H. Brink (D-Arlington) was upset by the Redskins deal but welcomed the reversals that put Thorne-Begland on the bench and spared existing abortion clinics from having to meet hospital-style architectural standards.
“In both of these cases, what you had was something that the General Assembly did, in my mind, unwisely and ideologically that was reversed . . . by other reviewing bodies,” Brink said.
Albo was put off by all three upsets, even though he had strongly supported Thorne-Begland’s nomination.
“I love the guy. I think he’s going to make a great judge,” Albo said. “But the process is important.”
Albo said he fears that there will be a backlash against Thorne-Begland when the General Assembly considers reappointing him next session.
“Some people might say, ‘I voted for him before, but I can’t encourage that kind of behavior’ by the Circuit Court,” Albo said. “Things can come back and haunt people.”