Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency after white supremacists threatened to come to the state capitol in Richmond, Virginia, with weapons to protest new gun laws. Northam gave a “mandatory” order for every staffer in the executive branch and General Assembly to telework for safety.
The problem, according to Virginia-based political strategist Ben Tribbett, elected officials are still planning to go to the Capitol to attend committee hearings, putting other Capitol staff in danger.
“Yet the legislative leadership is refusing to cancel committee meetings against the advice they are getting from public safety officials,” said Tribbett on Twitter. “It’s a bravado move that endangers the janitors, food service workers, and other state employees who have to be there when leg (sic) is meeting.”
“I spoke with 7 legislators yesterday and asked if it would be safe to come cover tomorrow,” he wrote. “They all said I should not. So why are they refusing to cancel? Keep in mind the State Police are in the Executive Branch so the Gov’s office has the best and most up to date information. But separation of powers and confusion among legislators (along with some leaders wanting to win a d*ck measuring contest) has made a bad situation worse.”
He said that legislators have made it clear it’s not safe for Army advocates to be at the Capitol, but they’ll pass bills out of committee anyway, while janitors risk their lives to empty their trash.
“It’s incredible arrogance to make advocates choose here,” he said.