I read with disappointment George Goodwin’s Letter to the Editor in last week’s The Central Virginian. Mr. Goodwin, legislative aide to Senator Mark Peake, attacks a private citizen and demands a correction and apology after she merely noted that his boss did not show up to vote in the General Assembly’s reconvened session on April 3.
In my reading, the author of the letter in question only referred to Senator Peake in passing and specifically focused on Senator Bryce Reeves and Delegate John McGuire’s votes against a budget amendment that ends the suspension of driver’s licenses for failure to pay court fines and fees.
Clearly, the author was not aware why Senator Peake missed the budget amendment vote. Nor was that fact included in The Central Virginian’s front page story about the vote, published a week after it took place.
Mr. Goodwin says that he worked diligently to inform colleagues in Richmond why Mr. Peake missed the reconvened session. Apparently, he failed to successfully convey that message to media and many other folks here in Louisa County.
Further, the letter’s author did not claim to offer an exhaustive history of Sen. Peake’s position on the matter at hand. Again, her letter wasn’t even about Mark Peake.
Instead of attacking a private citizen, Mr. Goodwin would have better served his boss by simply stating that Sen. Peake wasn’t in Richmond for the reconvened session because of a death in his family and noting that he supports the budget amendment—that his colleagues Sen. Reeves and Del. McGuire refused to support—because he understands that the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid court debt unfairly penalizes financially-struggling Virginians.
Instead, Mr. Goodwin took the low road. He accused someone of spreading falsehoods, questioned her character, and wrote dismissively and condescendingly about a private citizen who cares enough about what’s going on in Richmond to speak up. Sen. Peake should expect more from his employee.
Editor’s Note: this originally appeared in the April 25th edition of the Central Virginian, and has been re-posted here with the author’s permission.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.