RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Virginia lawmaker held up an image of a hammer and sickle behind a freshman Democratic legislator affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America during a finance committee session.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Del. Mark Keam, D-Fairfax, apologized on the House floor for displaying the Communist symbol on a tablet behind Del. Lee Carter, D-Prince William, earlier that day, while the latter criticized the philosophy behind legislation offering tax breaks to corporations creating jobs in economically depressed areas. Carter’s ideology has often been a target of Virginia Republicans, but Keam’s display highlights the tensions between mainstream Democrats and the left. Carter defeated an incumbent Republican delegate last year, despite no major support from the Democratic caucus.
Carter later pointed out on Twitter that communism, socialism and democratic socialism are separate ideologies.