Herald Praised, Sen. Garrett Criticized

Published 2:59 pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Editor, The Herald:

I was so proud of The Farmville Herald for its original coverage of the redistricting vote and its unapologetic grilling of senator Garrett. It was so refreshing to see any news organization refuse to play the 'I'll swallow anything you say' political news game. I was equally disappointed in Wednesday's coverage.

The redistricting vote was an obvious and blatant effort on the part of the Republican party to maintain a majority in the Virginia General Assembly. Senator Garrett's efforts to redefine the plan as a compacting consolidation process is laughable. As was his refusal to take responsibility for the plan by pointing out repeatedly that he had only been in the Senate for a year and a month. Of course how could he possibly know anything about anything in such a short amount of time? Perhaps he should only vote on bills that he is 'at the forefront of the planning process'.

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My favorite statement was the following: 'He pointed out that while 20.4 percent of Virginians are African-American, only five of the 40 Virginia State Senators are African-American, or 12.5 percent'. Of course the implication is that this redistricting is beneficial to the African-American community. Interesting that Mr. Garrett was so interested in seeing the African-American community fairly represented that he waited until an African-American senator was absent from the Senate to ensure he would not vote against it. Because of course you couldn't expect Senator Henry Marsh to know what is best for the African-American community. And wow – really – to hold the vote on Martin Luther King day and the day of the inauguration of Barack Obama – who by the way – in case you didn't know -is African-American – how could you doubt Senator Garrett's sincerity?

Fortunately the House has killed this bill, but only because of the disgust generated by national and local exposure. Our television news organizations are a joke. Fox news skews to the right, MSNBC skew to the left and CNN is only concerned with how many people friend them on Facebook. It truly is up to local news organizations like The Farmville Herald to keep us accurately informed. And on the whole they do an excellent job.

Susan Estes


(Editor's note: Thank you very much for reading, and for writing. Please stay tuned)