Sen. Madison E. Marye, the farmer from southwest Virginia who sponsored the unsuccessful "bottle bill" this year, has been the object of continuing criticism in The Richmond News Leader, one of the nation's most conservative newspapers, even though his bill to ban throwaway bottles and cans was buried in the Senate on Monday.
The editorials against him prompted Marye to launch into one of the rambling, down home stories he is famous for, this time about the "rasslin' " matches in Roanoke he used to attend as a boy.
Marye said he particularly remembered a wrestler known as the Masked Marvel, who used to pin his opponents to the ground and then, when they were soundly defeated, deliver "three swift kicks to the ribs, while everyone would boo."
"I'm happy to report, Mr. President, the Masked Marvel is alive and well," Marye said, "and he's writing editorials for The Richmond News Leader."
Lt. Gov. Richard Davis, a Democrat whose unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate last year was marked by frequent attacks from The News Leader, responded with some advice.
"Should you think you have not gotten sufficient publicity from that newspaper," Davis said, "run for statewide office."