The Oct. 18 editorial "Hollywood on the Potomac" commented on the Oct. 16 front-page story "How a Lobbyist Stacked the Deck," saying that even David H. Safavian, a former colleague of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, "makes a guest appearance" in the story "proclaiming -- gotta love this one -- the triumph of policy over politics."
No, I do not "gotta love this one."
When my client, Mr. Safavian, was indicted Oct. 5, I remarked that this was an attempt to prove guilt by association. The Post seems equally willing to engage in such guilt by association -- in this case for the sake of glibness.
As the editorial suggested, I read all 4,245 words in Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi's story. When quoting my client, the reporters were careful to note that Mr. Safavian was not working for eLottery Inc. -- the subject of the story -- but for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FTSA). The editorial did not mention this important distinction.
The FTSA was opposed to the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act because the legislation was drafted in a manner that could have criminalized fantasy football and fantasy baseball. The association maintained that the bill was bad policy because it was poorly drafted, and that problem was acknowledged indirectly in subsequent versions of the legislation that included a carve-out for fantasy sports. So, from the point of view of Mr. Safavian and the FTSA, good policy did trump politics when the bill died.
BARBARA VAN GELDER
The writer is counsel for David H. Safavian.