Democratic control of the state legislature in Virginia has led a delegate from Republican ranks to go as far as to call for returning Arlington and Alexandria to D.C. The shocking idea has fallen short of gaining political traction but had people discussing pros and cons of the change.
Dave Alfred LaRock, who represents District 33, went on the record with what he called “squaring the box” for the first time in a January 18th interview and doubled down on his proposal later.
In a January 25th Facebook post, the pro-gun representative threw a long list of accusations at his political opponents.
“Offload the liberal swamp of Arlington and Alexandria! Disgusted with liberals rushing to rob you of your ability to defend your family as they seek to release violent convicted criminals into our neighborhoods. To raise taxes and squander the monies to pay for late term abortion and gender mutilation surgery. To ban free speech and religious expression? The list just gets worse. SQUARE THE BOX and let Virginia heal,” he wrote.
The Virginia General Assembly is the bicameral legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Democrats took control of both its houses in the November 5th elections last year. Currently, they have a 21 to 19 lead in the Senate of Virginia. And they have a 55 to 45 lead in the House of Delegates.
No Political Appetite
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who supports the change of the nation’s capital into a state with full political representation, doesn’t seem to be moved by LaRock’s plan at all. During United States Conference of Mayors’ 88th Winter Meeting, she declined to take a relevant question. She then went on to voice demands for statehood once again.
“I represent 700,000 taxpaying Americans who are just like every one of your citizens. Except our Congresswoman doesn’t vote, and we don’t have two Senators,” she said.
None of LaRock’s fellow Republican representatives offered open support for the idea either. The conservative delegate represents parts of Frederick, Loudoun, and Clarke counties.
Arlington and Alexandria were part of D.C. until 1846 when they chose to join the Commonwealth. Historians maintain that the main reason why they left the District was lack of representation at the federal level.
Those areas that LaRock wants to return to D.C. are major economic hubs whose value will only grow when Amazon brings in 25,000 high-paying jobs to the area inside its second North American headquarters by 2025. That, however, won’t stop LaRock from going after the idea.
“Yes, Northern Virginia generates a lot of revenue, but they’re also going to control where it’s spent,” he said in a January 21st interview. “It’s one thing to have a partner who’s wealthy, but if that wealth, or in this case tax revenue, isn’t being distributed throughout the state, then that’s a reason to terminate the partnership.”