Goode in Time.

Time Magazine weighs in on Rep. Virgil Goode:

Goode could not be reached for comment–but seems to acknowledge he’d been tight with Wade by calling him “Mitch” in the statement, which appears to be on official House letterhead instead of the campaign stationery that’s normally used for fundraising matters.

There is no indication that Harris or Goode are targets in the investigation, but when asked whether it was safe to presume that Goode’s statement confirms that he’s one of the unnamed congressmen mentioned in the Wade charges, a Goode aide who furnished the statement said, “I don’t feel comfortable answering that.” Neither, it appears to federal prosecutors, is the House ethics committee.

Nobody ever heard of Rep. Virgil Goode before he got involved in this bribery scandal. I suspect he liked it better before.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

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

16 replies on “Goode in Time.”

  1. Finally. I have been pimping this story since August of 2004. Great article, by the way, in the Danville paper about Virgil’s challengers.

  2. Not good for virgil, again…you know i have an interest in the 5th district, but unfortunatly goode would probably have to be indicted in order for this issue to cost him politically. and even that is questionable..sad

    I was deep in the woods of the 5th district a few weeks ago, and a virgil goode supporter/apologist stated to me that, yes goode’s behavior is troubleling, but weed is too much a “Cville Liberal” and woldn’t be capable of properly representing the district…even more sad

    al weed, a soldier, farmer, and an all around nice guy (had a chance to meet him once too) so, i guess having someone with integrity is too much to ask? ok, i’m starting to tear up, i’ve got to stop!!!!!!

  3. Impeccable logic on this one — anyone whoever called him “Mitch” must be a bribe taker, or otherwise implicated in Wade’s crimes. Tough to argue with that.

  4. Will…. your conversation with the guy in downstate that refered to Al Weed as “too much of a cville liberal” got me thinking about why there is this perception that people down there hate us. Everything from college fans (Tech v. UVA) to the decision to send 64 through Charlottesville rather than Lynchburg is mentioned in this entertaining read about the possible causes of the resentment that may be partly responsible for the southern portion of the 5tn being reluctant to support a candidate from the Charlottesville area. Funniest part is when they said that sometimes people lump Charlottesville with NOVA…. anyway here is the link the story is Bypass or no Bypass

  5. Pretty funny. As a double Hoo in Pittsylvania, I always find these sorts of commentaries amusing about the southern end of the district not supporting a “C’ville liberal.”

    Here’s a realistic answer to the question: When are “C’ville liberals” even known down here?

    I am not kidding when I say that I could have talked to ten voters in Campbell, Pittsylvania, Halifax, etc. on Election Day in 2000, 2002, or 2004 and asked who the Democratic candidate for Congress was….and I’ll bet you that seven or eight would not know.

    The Democratic congressional candidates have had absolutely NO presence here. My mother and father are both college graduates who vote in every election and involved in a couple of civic groups. I’ll never forget talking to some people in C’ville who were hyped up about Weed in 2004 and then asking my parents who was running against Virgil. My mother finally said, “I think his name is Weed?” This was one week before the election with two educated fairly politically aware citizens in the southern end of the district. If your campaign is so anonymous that informed civic minded citizens don’t know you’re running, then you can forget actually winning an election which would require name recognition and an actual vote among those who don’t follow politics closely (the mill workers, unemployed, etc.).

    If the Democrats want to win this seat, they need somebody with a name in this end of the district. Otherwise, it will continue to be: Al Who? John Who? Meredith Who? Bern Who?

  6. Yeah, nobody’d heard of Virgil yesterday, not even the progressive base of the Democratic party. Now it’s on the frontpage at mydd. They’re talking about Al and Bern in comments.

  7. Apparently the Daily Progress has never heard of Virgil Goode either. They haven’t covered Mitchell Wade’s plea yet. Both the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Roanoke Times ran stories about it. On the other hand, the Lynchburg News and Advance didn’t. (All this based on checking I suppose it is mere coincidence that the C’ville and Lynchburg papers share ownership by Media General…

    Southside Independent: not long ago, there was a Democrat with huge name recognition in your neck of the woods. His name was Virgil Goode. When he left the party and then joined the Republican caucus, it wrought havoc on Democratic organization in the Southside. Some conservative Dems made the switch with Virgil; others stayed within the party, but either withdrew from 5th District activity or remained but haven’t been what you’d call very supportive of district-wide effort. The party organization has been recovering from the fissure, but slowly. Do you imagine for a moment that if there were a credible well-known Democrat from, say, Martinsville he or she wouldn’t have been in the race in 2004?

    For what it’s worth, Al Weed has committed himself to a “southern strategy” for the 2006 campaign. He has been living in Danville (or at least was earlier this year) and concentrating on meeting and talking to people in that part of the district. So (assuming he wins the Democratic nomination in May), if your parents haven’t heard of him by November it won’t be for his lack of effort.

  8. If the Democrats want to win this seat, they need somebody with a name in this end of the district. Otherwise, it will continue to be: Al Who? John Who? Meredith Who? Bern Who?

    You’re absolutely right. People have attempted to chalk up past losses to any number of reasons, and they’re all a waste of time compared to the #1 reason: nobody ever heard of the candidates or their positions.

  9. David,

    I suppose it is coincidence about those papers, because the Saturday Danville Register-Bee had the story front-page above the fold. As you know, they are also owned by MG.

    I agree with what you said about Al. I visited him while he was in Danville, and he is really reaching out to the citizens there. While I was visiting, he visited with a university president, made a call on a radio station where the owner was out of the office, unfortunately, and he knows the area well.

    It doesn’t help that Al’s opponent in the convention has decided to use a Fifth District committee member to do some dirty work for him. On Saturday at the candidate forum in Danville, someone got up and asked if Bern would be switching parties like Virgil, since he has donated to a suspect Republican candidate in the past, and also admitted to wanting to run for congress in 1987 as a Republican. After the forum, Bern practically attacked this person, asking her if she works for the Al Weed campaign. It was a great example of the reported bad temper of Bern to do this, and proved to me he does not have the temperment to be our congressman.

  10. It should be kept in mind, however, when discussing the relative obscurity of Democratic candidates in the 5th that the district is the size of New Jersey. No other VA Congressman, other than Rick Boucher (an incumbent) has to deal with such an incredibly large district. The district is covered by three different media markets, two of which – Roanoke and Richmond – fall on the expensive side of tv ad buys. Local news media are often loath to cover any congressional challenger, Democratic or Republican, because they don’t think it draws in the media like the omnipresent crime stories. Absolutely Democratic challengers need to devote more time and energy to Southside and increasing their name recognition in that area, but it should also be recognized that there are large hurdles in the achievement of that task.

    On a slightly different note, Al Weed actually won more votes in the district in 2004 than Kaine did in 2005 and Kaine carried the district. Obviously this is a function of voter turnout, but Al also won more votes in 2004 than Virgil did in 2002. While its a very tough district to win, the votes ARE there.

  11. Al also won more votes in 2004 than Virgil did in 2002.

    Well, yes, but Goode got nearly twice as many votes in 2004 than he did in 2002. :) And, in the process, the percentages were unaltered — 63% to 36% (to be specific, there was a drop of 0.2% for the Democrat in ’04).

    The votes are there, but it seems to me that, all other things being equal, it would take a massive voter-suppression effort for Republicans and a truly ginormous GOTV effort for Democrats.

  12. In a lot of Republican-held districts, I’d say that if Bush’s ratings continue to decline then congressional seats are at risk if the November election is seen as a referendum on the Bush administration. But Virgil has been willing enough to vocally oppose Bush (on immigration, initially on the tobacco buyout, currently on the ports, etc.) that a negative referendum on Bush won’t necessarily hurt him a lot.

    He’s in a safe district. Like 90% or so of Congressional reps these days. Which is in the long run probably more of a threat to democratic government than the occasional congressman who is corrupt enough to take old-fashioned bribes a la Duke Cunningham.

  13. Virgil isn’t going anywhere. He’s going to continue to strike deals that bring jobs to Southside and make sure that his constituents requests are dealt with in a timely manner. He has done these things well, and as long as his constituent services remain strong, so will Virgil. Anyone who thinks that Al Weed can defeat Virgil either lives in Charlottesville or is smoking crack.

  14. UVA08: thanks for the link!

    Ben M.: You’re right, Virgil is unbeatable, even if he’s caught smoking crack! Sad, sad, sad, the Virgil Goode elected a few years is much different from the one we know today (and I’m not just talking about D vs. R either..)

  15. There are possibly 2 Democrats with enough gravitas and name ID who would appear to be credible Democratic alternatives to Virgil should he be damaged enough (or if the GOP put up another candidate). Those two are Sen. Roscoe Reynolds, who took his Senate seat, and former DOT Secretary Whitt Clement. They both look the part, sound the part, have the cultural affinity for and the resumes to represent the southern tier of the 5th.

    I doubt that either man would take Virgil on directly, esp. Reynolds, who is a good friend of his. But, if Virgil is ever off the ballot, Reynolds can win that district. But, the GOP has a good bench with Frank Ruff, Clarke Hogan and Tommy Wright, to name a few.

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