I know, there are a lot of things I'll never understand. Like why my 250 pound neighbor mows his yard in speedos and flip-flops. There are many imponderables on my list but that one will always outrank the rest.
Lately I'm having trouble understanding the circumstances surrounding an FOIA request that was filed in Hillsville the other day.
It seems a gentleman from Texas wished to find all he could about Jeff Evans, Board of Supervisors member from the Piper's Gap district in Carroll County. What Mr.Eric "Rick" Svatora, a partner in the firm of S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX did not count on was the fact that FOIA works both ways. Sure, you get all the information you want, but you have to provide your name and address in return. Oh, and the purpose for and on whose behalf the information is needed. Pesky little details like that.
Now to what possible use could an investment firm put Carroll County BOS meeting minutes? Or Supervisor's emails? Or receipts from Office Max? Apparently none. You see, S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX is not an investment firm. No, the previous references to S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX. were neither misspellings nor typos. It really is Capitol, not Capital.
It seems that S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX, and by extension Mr.Eric "Rick" Svatora, has been hired by Roscoe Reynolds to perform opposition research on Mr. Evans. Opposition research that will reveal nothing of substance and for which Mr.Reynolds has just blown a couple grand needlessly.
That brings me back to my point of confusion. Just what made Roscoe Reynolds decide to blow that two grand needlessly? Let me explain.
The 20th Senate District is large. Very large. It covers all of Henry, Patrick, Floyd, and Carroll Counties, about 90% of Wythe County, and at least a third of Grayson County. But in many ways it's very small. It is comprised of mostly small communities that can't even approach being called a town. Roscoe Reynolds grew up in this district, and has lived his entire adult life here. He is an attorney whose practice takes him to all of the County courts. Just last week he defended a gentleman in Carroll County who had the entrepreneurial spirit to refine and sell bio-diesel fuel, but without paying the required taxes.
I'm sure Roscoe is well known in the Carroll County courthouse, and I'll bet he's even been by the Administration building a time or two. In small town Virginia that is worth much more than an FOIA request. Sources within the County Administration tell me that if Roscoe had stopped in and asked, any records he wanted would have been made available to him. No questions asked.
They even tell me that after years of his neglect, they would have been thrilled to think that Roscoe had finally taken an interest in the issues the County has been facing. But no, that was not Roscoe's purpose in obtaining those records, so apparently he felt he must do it surreptitiously, through the auspices of Eric Svatora and S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX.
My thoughts? I just believe that if Roscoe really felt he needed to go to such lengths to get information that would have been freely given to him, he should have hired a Virginia firm. I'm sure they exist.