A Virginia Republican may have learned the hard way that being in the minority means you’ve got to watch what you tweet.
Del. Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach, could only sit by Monday as the Democratic majority in the House of Delegates voted down four of his bills ahead of a critical legislative deadline.
In an interview, he said he was told the series of votes against his bills were a response to a tweet posted Sunday in which he attempted to call out Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax, over a point of parliamentary procedure.
— Team Davis (@TeamDavisVA) February 9, 2020
Davis said he wasn’t particularly hurt by his bills’ demise, but it “hurt all of the people that would’ve been impacted by these bills.”
“It’s like someone getting pissed at their boss and kicking the dog when they get home,” Davis said.
One of the bills would have allowed charitable organizations to host Texas Hold’em poker events as fundraisers. Another would have instructed courts to prioritize “frequent and continuing contact with each parent” during child custody cases. A third was a mostly technical bill amending state laws dealing with timeshares.
The final bill — which dealt with mental health services for children — was more contentious due to the sensitive subject matter.
“If you guys are trying to make a point, teach him a lesson, send him a message, if that’s your goal, don’t use this bill,” Del. Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, said in a floor speech addressing Democrats.
The bill would have instructed the Board of Medical Assistance Services to revisit its regulations for therapeutic day treatment to close gaps in services. Democrats said that goal can still be achieved through language inserted in the budget or more informal communications on the topic.
All four bills had passed in Democratic-controlled committees before getting to the House floor.
Under Republican control, it wasn’t uncommon for previously trouble-free Democratic bills to encounter difficulties when GOP leaders decided Democrats had stepped out of line.
Simon, a veteran legislator who serves as his caucus’ parliamentary expert, said the fate of Davis’ bills — which are most likely dead for the year — was a matter of quality, or lack thereof.
“If he wants to protect his bills and keep them from dying, he should do a better job whipping them,” Simon said. “And introduce better bills.”
When asked if the votes were connected to the tweet, Jake Rubenstein, a spokesman for House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, said: “What tweet?”