Roanoke's State Senator, Ralph Smith, has never been known as the sharpest pencil in the box, nor has he ever claimed that status. He talks about being a "plain" man and that's about the size of it. As mayor of Roanoke, he was an undisputed disaster, but he moved to Botetourt County where sharp pencils don't seem to be a requirement and won his Senate seat away from one of the few Republicans in our region who was doing a good job.
Today Smith has defined the Republican Party in Virginia for us by using some of his "plain English." When a bill introduced addressing college students' voting rights went down 6-0 in a House of Delegates committee (where all good things go to die), he said (this from The Roanoke Times): "Since college students tend to vote more on the other side of the aisle than they do on my side of the aisle, I think politics probably did play a part" in the vote.
OK, there it is. No more BS about the "good of the Commonwealth," "philosophical differences," "the people of Virginia." It's about party politics pure and simple. We'll keep that in mind, Ralph. Thank you for your plain speaking.