Virginia Democrats in Disarray

Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn

by Kerry Dougherty

Whoa. That was quick. Unprecedented in recent years, too.

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, the much ballyhooed first female Speaker of Virginia’s House of Delegates, as well as the commonwealth’s first Jewish speaker, was tossed overboard Wednesday from her leadership role in the Democratic caucus by fellow party members.

Five months after Republicans regained the majority in the House of Delegates and swept the top three jobs in the commonwealth, Democratic delegates gave an unceremonious boot to the woman who had headed the party for the past two years.

Filler-Corn is expected to be replaced by a man.

Of course.

The mutiny was reportedly orchestrated by two-term Delegate Don Scott Jr., D-Portsmouth. He gained notoriety two weeks into the 2022 session by attacking Gov. Glenn Youngkin, saying, “So far what I’ve seen from his Day 1 activities he is not someone who is a man of faith, not a Christian.”

Low, even for a Democrat.

Not Scott’s finest hour, but no doubt a peek at the kind of repugnant politics Democrats intend to employ heading into the fall elections.

Scott tossed his own name out there to replace Filler-Corn, but the caucus decided to remain leaderless for a while.

The meeting was held behind closed doors, but The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that the vote was 25-22 to yank the leadership away from the Fairfax County Democrat who was first elected in 2010.

Should Scott be successful in replacing Filler-Corn, it would concentrate the power of Virginia’s Democratic Party in Portsmouth. The senate’s President Pro Tempore is Louise Lucas.

Odd, because Portsmouth could be the poster child for a poorly run Democratic city. In the past few decades, residents fled the city dropping the population from a high of 114,773 in 1960 to just 97,915 now. The median household income is $46,340, far below the commonwealth’s average of $74,222,

Beyond that, Portsmouth schools chronically underperform and, in January, the mayor expressed alarm over reports that showed violent crime was already up 56% over the year before.

So what do Portsmouth politicians do when they get to Richmond? Do they fight for better schools — charter opportunities for kids trapped in poor schools — or do they push to beef up policing to make the city safer? Nah. Portsmouth’s Democrats go to Richmond to bring home casinos and weed.

News reports say Scott is considered even more “progressive” than Filler-Corn.

Is that why Democrats did so poorly last November? Was the party’s platform too conservative?

Looks like disgruntled Democrats are eating each other. Pass the popcorn.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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17 responses to “Virginia Democrats in Disarray”

  1. DJRippert Avatar

    Louise Lucas ranks right down there with Dick Saslaw and Tommy Norment in my book.

    All three need to go.

  2. DJRippert Avatar

    They will be in further disarray if the 1.4% drop in GDP for the 1st quarter continues (which it may or may not).

    Someone needs to tell Sleepy Joe, “It’s the economy, stupid”.

    1. Lefty665 Avatar

      Buckle your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. There’s not much comment about the $120B a month elimination of Quantitative Easing that the Fed was pumping into the economy.

      That itself could explain most of the negative swing in the quarter. In addition the Fed is preparing to shrink its balance sheet by selling bonds and thus suck close to another $100B a month out of the economy (and push bond yields up in competition with Treasury issues to finance the deficit. It will increase mortgage rates too as they are part of both QE and bal sht transactions). Altogether that’s about $1/3T a month reduction in stimulus, getting into the realm of “real money” as Everett Dirkson used to say.

      Add that it takes interest rate changes about 6 months to work their way through the economy and we’ve got the opportunity to screw the pooch royally. The April modest rate hike will not be fully felt until September. The chances that the Fed will wait to see what that does before ratcheting rates up further are slim and none. Think predicted .5% increases in May, June & July.

      Add the proximate effect of short term stimulus elimination to the delayed cumulative effect of multiple rapid interest rate hikes. What could go wrong?

  3. DJRippert Avatar

    Filler-Corn presided over a reversal of fortune for her party at the ballot box. The vote by the Democrats was basically a vote of “no confidence”.

    I never saw much from Filler-Corn during her tenure as speaker. I’m not surprised that the Dems want to move on. But move on to where? Do the Dems have a moderate in the House? Somebody like Joe Manchin in the US Senate or Chap Petersen in the state Senate?

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      One could also ask if the Republicans have a moderate in the House.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        That is a good question.

    2. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Yes, the next choice will be illuminating. A leadership change after the majority is lost is pretty common. Whether or not it really was her fault, holding on was her job, and it didn’t happen. An aspect of this which is missed in many stories is she apparently had a difficult relationship with the Senate Democratic leadership, although that is also common. The mechanics of the House didn’t run that well for the past two years, either, but that is inside baseball. She was foolish two years ago not to take Clerk Paul Nardo up on his offer to help with the transition.

      1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
        Dick Hall-Sizemore

        I think you are right–a lot of this is inside baseball. It seemed that she was feuding with Saslaw continuously during the last two sessions. They could not even agree on a schedule for the sessions. Staff members I have talked to describe an inability to manage the House calendar and agendas. Having almost a $1 million in her personal and PAC campaign accounts after the fall elections probably left a bitter taste in many members’ mouths.

        Scott does not have enough experience to become Speaker. Usually, Speakers have had to wait many years before ascending the dais. Filler-Corn, with only eight years’ seniorty, was a relatively newcomer when she became minority leader. I think they should elect Lamont Bagby. Seeing that huge guy up on the Speaker’s platform should be enough to intimidate any Delegate who had the gall to question him.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    Virginia GOP politics is always more exciting than the Dems. Hand-to-hand combat is the preferred process for the GOP when deciding their candidates! I love the way they ‘do” primaries!

    The Dems have their own issues now and are on the defensive ono the economy and public schools and most don’t seem to have much of a response.

  5. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    Longest serving Speaker of the House of Delegates? Linn Banks of Graves Mill in Madison County. 20 years! Drowned fording the Conway River in the middle of January.

  6. Ken Reid Avatar

    For the immediate need to pass a budget and gain bi partisan consensus to help Glenn Youngkin’s agenda, and keep Virginia from becoming New Jersey, this may not mean much. Had it happeend in the Dem-controlled State Senate, well, that may have helped us. But the main reason Eileen was booted is because she and the Dem Caucus for some reason, withheld $900,000 in the 2021 election that was designed to help elect Democrats VPAP reports much less was avaialable as of Dec, 31, about $123,000 But she’s as much a victim of the firebreathing socialists in their ranks. And, that is the direct result of the Marxist takeover of the universities and K-12 education. Folks who are pragmatists in the Dem party need to wake up and join with Republicans and get this infestation out of our education system or the nation’s future is bleak

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      The GOP needs to go back to pragmatism too.

    2. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Always a bad idea to have cash in the bank after a loss. 🙂

      Agreed, the House D’s are on the sideline in the budget fight. It is the Senate D’s (plus one R conferee) standing in the breach against any real level of tax reform, wanting to spend it all.

  7. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Saw something today that reminded me of politics in the Old Dominion. While mowing the grass just an hour ago, I spotted something brilliant cobalt blue in the grass ahead of the mower. I stopped and looked at pieces of the most beautiful butterfly wings. Started the mower, continued on my line, and not 10 feet past was a pile of red and gray feathers and bird pieces.

    1. Wait. You ran over a butterfly and a bird with your lawn mower?!

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Nah, bird got the butterfly, and a lobbyist got the bird…

        1. I’ve been known to give a lobbyist the bird…

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