I really had to think long and hard about responding to your editorial "Politics appears to rule over performance". I clearly understand the selection of a U.S. District Judge can be very controversial and in this case mean spirited. One often wonders where people are coming from; either in the position they take as well as the methodology they use to accomplish what they perceive as right and just.
In the very beginning of your editorial, I am immediately identified with Innovative Communications Corporation and Jeffrey Prosser as though I work for the evil empire: quote "who is the mouthpiece for another man who has proven to have far too much power in the Virgin Islands is calling the shots." I guess if a man in the Virgin Islands has the courage to invest in the Virgin Islands economy, employ hundreds of Virgin Islanders, as well as contributing to hundreds of charities over the years, he is too powerful. What a tragedy! Shame on the Source! The editorial goes onto Mr. Prosser's private life and the Ann Abramson situation. The Source has redefined yellow journalism and just pulls out of the sky whatever conclusions it wants to make as long as it soils Mr. Prosser's name. The Source down played my role as National Committeeman and Chairman for the Bush Committee Team. The implication is that Mr. Prosser is instructing me what to do, implying that he has a personal vendetta against Judge Moore.
After 20 years of public service nothing surprises me. I have earned my reputation by making my own decisions, dancing to nobody's tune. I tell it how it is and my decisions are transparent. Unfortunately, I cannot say that for the St. Thomas Source. Historically, there has been a vendetta directed towards Mr. Prosser. Ethical Journalism will only serve the public good when it is completely transparent, projecting fairness and honesty.
It is a known fact that Penny Feuerzeig who writes for the Source, has a personal interest in the Source, takes editorial positions and has a serious conflict when it comes to Jeffrey Prosser and Innovative Communications Corporation. Ms. Feuerzeig is presently suing Mr. Prosser and his companies. I am caught up in the crossfire; the real target is Mr. Prosser because Ms. Feuerzeig may be influenced by her personal dislike for Prosser and his companies. What kind of journalism is this? The Source owes it to its readers to make a full disclosure of this information to its readers when writing stories or editorials about Jeffrey Prosser. This would be truly refreshing. Story after story with negative implications are written in an attempt to destroy the company I work for. What is more tragic, is that the Source's articles about Innovative Communications Corporation lack facts and balance. These stories draw their own conclusions. Where is the responsibility? Where is the objectivity? Where is the fairness? In point of fact, I have not been called regarding my position or given a chance to answer any questions on the judgeship.
So here it goes for what it is worth. Unfortunately, fact is sometimes overruled by perception which you unfairly cast me in a negative light, in your constant zeal to discredit Mr. Prosser. Yes, The White House has confidence in me. I earned this privilege over many years as a loyal Republican. I supported Bush from the inception of his candidacy, and was selected by him in Austin, Texas to be his campaign manager in the territory. I delivered 26 precious delegate votes after the Michigan primary from Guam, America Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, which assisted in turning around his hotly contested campaign on the mainland.
There are presently five (5) names under review in The White House for the Judgeship, one of which is the Honorable Judge Moore. One individual withdrew their name, three (3) more are under consideration. Let me add, it will be inappropriate to mention their names as confidentially in this process must be maintained.
The President of the United States and he alone, selects his judges. Your article implies that I make the selection. You question why there are not a whole lot of people involved in this process. That is the call of The White House, not mine. However rest assured, there are many more individuals that have a direct input on the selection of a judge both locally and nationally. These are done in the strictest of confidence to protect the anonymity of the applicants. One must appreciate the career change an applicant must make in accepting a Judgeship. The process is grueling from beginning to end. One's life is put under a microscope while going thru the process. If they are in the private sector, their very livelihood can be affected by their considering an application for Judgeship. Unfortunately, in the last 2 decades, I have witnessed several individuals whose lives have been negatively impacted.
It is my experience that the President does not make a decision on a Judgeship until all security checks, background checks and political considerations have been made. The White House indicated to me that Judge Moore was interviewed as a sitting judge. Further, The White House will make a determination weighing and measuring the qualifications of all five of the candidates. Any one of these individuals could withdraw their names or be eliminated for reasons The White House may determine. However, let me make it clear, who's ever name is the final choice of the President, I will support wholeheartedly.
Holland L. Redfield II
Vice President for Corporate Affairs
Editor's note: Penny Feuerzeig is a member of the advisory board for the V.I. Source newspapers. As such, she does not report or write articles for the Source, nor does she take editorial positions on or influence editorial stands of the Source, nor does she have any financial interest in V.I. Source Inc. She occasionally acts as a volunteer editor; however, due to her acknowledged conflict of interest relative to Jeffrey Prosser, she has always refused to edit any stories involving Mr. Prosser or his interests. She did not see the editorial cited by Mr. Redfield until it was published. The views expressed in Source editorials are those of the publisher.
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