April 5, 2013

Regarding The Post’s attempt to contrast two Virginia communities in the March 27 front-page headline, “2 Va. districts miles apart on budget fight; Sequester shakes a military town, while rural neighbors believe it’s just lies and hype”:

Nice try, folks, but this is ridiculous. In no rational way are Hanover County and the city of Portsmouth “neighbors.” Hanover is a rural area that is being transformed into a suburb of Richmond; Portsmouth is an old, struggling urban area near Norfolk.

That Hanover and Portsmouth are in adjacent congressional districts is an artifact of a racial gerrymandering scheme that tied Richmond and the Norfolk/Portsmouth area to ensure the election of an African American member of Congress and to pack as many minority citizens as possible into a single district. Of course the residents have different views on the sequester: They have little in common. They are fellow-citizens of Virginia and undoubtedly people of good will, but they are not neighbors.

Richard L. Lobb, Fairfax