LETTER- Sabato jabs unwarranted

LETTER- Sabato jabs unwarranted
Ken Stroupe

July 23, 2009


Congratulations to the Hook– in your "Week in Review" article published June 25 you managed to cram more errors into a single paragraph than we had previously thought possible. To correct just some of them:

• In 2008 not a single credible rating service called the election for Tom Perriello— and it turned out to be the closest race in the nation of 435. It was a dramatic upset, and Sabato's call had nothing whatsoever to do with federal money for the Center for Politics' Youth Leadership Initiative.

• Sabato and Goode are not "buddies," as you termed it. They never met at UVA, either, as you inaccurately reported. Sabato knows Goode from Goode's long service in the state Senate and in Congress, just like he knows hundreds and hundreds of politicians around the nation. You may have noticed he has a job that requires that.

• The Youth Leadership Initiative was funded because it is thoroughly deserving. It was developed in large measure by local teachers here in Charlottesville. It is, by far, the best civics education program of its kind in the country, providing teaching resources and civic activities to grade school children nationwide. Last year alone, more than 1 million students and teachers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and scores of American schools abroad participated in the Youth Leadership Initiative.

• You attribute the $7.7 million in federal funding to Goode. The United States Congress is a bicameral legislature. It takes both the House and the Senate to pass a piece of legislation. In order to allocate funding, both the House and the Senate must pass an appropriations bill. Goode was a Congressman, not a king.

• Cordel Faulk is not Sabato's "spokesman," as you claimed. Cordel Faulk is the communications director for the Center for Politics. Sabato speaks for himself, and attaches his name to his comments, unlike some cowardly individuals posting anonymously on blogs.

Tom Perriello and Larry Sabato agree that this entire non-story is a media creation. It will collapse of its own weight because there's no "there" there.

Kenneth S. Stroupe, Jr.
Chief of Staff, UVA Center for Politics