Roanoke Times on Goode/MZM.

In their lead editorial today, the Roanoke Times writes:

U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Rocky Mount, has received more than $80,000 in campaign donations from MZM employees in the last two election cycles. According to The Washington Post, Goode was the principal sponsor of a provision in defense legislation that created a military center in his district to check on the ownership of foreign companies that receive defense work. MZM got the contract to run the center.

In pushing for the center, which the Pentagon had not requested, Goode was working on MZM’s behalf, The Post reported in June.

No one has accused Goode of wrongdoing, but — as with nearly every member of Congress who must raise millions of dollars to run expensive political campaigns — Goode’s constituents should wonder whether Goode is looking out for the best interests of his district and the nation, or the best interests of huge donors.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

9 replies on “Roanoke Times on Goode/MZM.”

  1. Virgil Goode brought jobs to the 5th District. That’s the real story here. If you want to accuse him of something I suggest you go ahead and do it. Otherwise, I suggest you look to your own party who received 1.3 million dollars in undiclosed money late in the election cycle.

  2. If Virgil Goode ate the still-beating heart out of an infant, you’d still only be able to declare that the real story is that he brought jobs to the Fifth.

    Time to stop chewing on that old rag.

  3. Still would like to know how Goode benefitted personally, other than getting campaign contributions. If that’s all there is, then it’s time hand down indictments on 535 members of Congress.

    This is a center that the intelligence community wanted and needed. The Pentagon never requests anything that the Pentagon won’t be running in-house.

    A center like this always had (and still has) the potential to be a boon to Martinsville, which is good for Goode’s constituents. How can anyone suggest otherwise? It would be nice if the Times put some substance to the insinuation. Instead, they just put forth a weak sound bite.

  4. Publius, you are quite right. Instead we should talk about the information from the State Board of Elections, the whee the Democrats’ own Victory 2005 organization — which helped the entire Democratic ticket — took in $1.3 million from national organizations in the waning days of the campaign, and didn’t disclose it until Nov. 22 — after the election.

  5. Waldo,
    I must say you are keeping us all quite up to date on this.
    As anyone who has read my blog lately knows, I have been rather busy and thus posting only one or two short items per day. Short posts do not do this subject justice. However, I have not had my head in the sand regarding this matter. From the beginning I knew it did not look good for Cunningham, and I hope his sentence fits the crime. But, to be quite honest with you, your posts do seem to have Virgil virtually convicted as well.

    As you have stated, Virgil has always enjoyed a reputaion for honesty and integrity. I personally feel (and hope) that he was simply doing his job and bringing much needed industry to Henry County. But. I say again, but, if circumstances turn out that he has enriched himself (other than campaign donations, which have been returned, BTW) then his punshment should also be compatable with the crime.


  6. But, to be quite honest with you, your posts do seem to have Virgil virtually convicted as well.

    I hope not — I’ve definitely tried not to take that tone. I’m cautious about couching everything in the hypothetical, and try to give him the benefit of the doubt. That said, I tend to (altogether wrongly) assume that everybody’s written everything that I’ve written on the topic, and that everybody reads the links back to previous blog entries that I tend to scatter through each blog entry about Goode/MZM. If people did that, they’d see bits like this:

    There is an alternate explanation for Goode’s $101,000 in contributions from MZM employees that, in the interest of fairness, I should explore. MZM was Goode’s #1 contributor, and Goode received more from MZM than anybody else. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, on the other hand, received both a bundle of money and the house, the boat, etc. from MZM. One way to read this is that Goode may well be getting a whole lot of money from MZM under the table through similar deals. Another way to read this is that Goode refused to take money illegally (save for MZM’s coerced employees), and would only take good old-fashioned graft: contributions. Hence the huge amount of money that MZM gave him.

    I don’t know which is true. But if newspapers continue to look into this, we may find out.

    But you’re right that such things bear repeating, particularly for the majority of people who lack context, and read a one-off blog entry.

    other than campaign donations, which have been returned, BTW

    Did he return all of the contributions from MZM? That would be great news. I know that he’s returned two contributions to MZM employees, but that’s all that I know about. MZM employees would be unwise to ask for refunds.

  7. I obviously have not been able to follow this as closely as you have Waldo, but I seem to remember reading in the Roanoke Times that all contributions to employess were returned. The Corporate contributions were not. I could be wrong, but that is my recollection.

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