Update: Virginia Centrist says “Bob McDonnell adds ‘Please vote YES’ to Amendment language.”
Attorney General Bob McDonnell is above the law.
That’s the only conclusion we can reach in light of his editing activities. As we reported earlier, Virginia law requires that an explanation of any constitutional amendment be disseminated to the voters. This explanation is required to be neutral and is to be prepared by the Division of Legislative Services, not by a public official who has openly and aggressively lobbied for the amendment. Virginia code explicitly states:
The explanation shall be presented in plain English, shall be limited to a neutral explanation, which may include a brief statement on the effect of a “yes” and “no” vote on the question but shall not include arguments submitted by either proponents or opponents of the proposal.
Attorney General McDonnell’s intervention to determine what voters will be told about the Marshall-Newman amendment is a flagrant violation of the law. Our suggestion is that if he wishes to advance his personal agenda through his office, he first obtain a change in the law he is sworn to uphold. He simply needs to eliminate “neutrality” as the criterion. Perhaps he could manage to insert this change into Virginia’s Bill of Rights so that “the next generation” won’t be able to decide their own referendum process, either.
The House has approved this biased “explanation.” Please tell the Senate that you expect a neutral explanation as required by law.