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Garrett stands up for transparency

During this year’s session of the Virginia General Assembly, the press has gained another strong advocate, one who’s not afraid to stand up to the powers of his party to do what’s right — shedding light and bringing transparency to the operations of state government.

Tom Garrett, R-Buckingham, recently stood up to Sen. Tommy Norment, the omnipotent Senate majority leader, who banned reporters from theSenate floor in mid-January, getting rid of the reporters’ tables and moving members of the media to the gallery, making it much harder for them to do their jobs.

Garrett saw that was wrong, and did something about it. He was the senator who stood up and proposed the idea of allowing reporters back on the Senate floor where they belong.

For Garrett’s leadership on working to bring transparency back to the Senate, every reporter and publication in the commonwealth should be thankful to him.

We certainly are.

We’re also thankful that he bucked his Republican comrades and Norment in a recent Senate subcommittee vote, which advanced a Senate bill that would hurt newspapers and citizens by removing full foreclosure notices and, instead, allow property foreclosure sales to be advertised at county courthouses and on the website of the court.

Garrett was the only Republican to vote against moving the bill — sponsored by Norment — from the subcommittee to the full Senate. The bill has since died.

“I will continue to fight, even when the fight is hard, to ensure transparency and appropriate access for the press corps,” Garrett said in a release.

Thank you, Sen. Garrett, for fighting for transparency, not only for the media, but for all Virginians.