Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Va. Assembly Sees Drama

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Va. Assembly Sees Drama

Article excerpt

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia lawmakers wrapped up the strangest General Assembly session in anyone's memory Sunday, plowing through blackface and sex-assault scandals to reach a bipartisan deal on taxes and position all 140 legislators for fall elections that could determine partisan control for years to come.

The drama continued through the final moments of the session as Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax vigorously defended himself against sexual assault allegations from the Senate dais. The lieutenant governor was seen by many as comparing himself to Jim Crow-era lynching victims.

"I've heard much about anti-lynching on the floor of this very Senate, where people were not given any due process whatsoever, and we rue that," Mr. Fairfax said.

"And we talk about hundreds, at least 100 terror lynchings that have happened in the commonwealth of Virginia under those very same auspices. …

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