Brian McNeill has a lengthy narrative of the state of the Perriello/Goode race here in the Fifth District in Friday’s issue, highlighting yesterday’s revelation that “Eden’s Curve” was promoted using Goode’s fax number. Goode says he will be interviewing his staffers in order to investigate how that happened, showing that he agrees that it’s tough for people not to connect the dots at this point.
Honestly, none of this makes much sense to me right now—I can’t know what’s going on in Goode’s office, or what his connection is to this film. But it’s no longer possible to escape the conclusion that Goode’s office—and quite likely Goode—were involved in the making of the movie. But I can’t see how the existing information forms an overall picture. Either this is the tip of an iceberg, or we’re simply missing some central element that would allow these data to be tied together.
I’m reminded of when Bob McDonnell, running for AG, took in $2M in secret contributions, funneled through a federal Republican leadership committee. My guess was that he was taking in money from gambling interests, cigarette makers, drug companies, and oil companies, but didn’t want that to be public knowledge. McDonnell attacked me for saying that there was anything inappropriate about the arrangement, telling a radio audience that I was part of a “grand conspiracy,” and, as a blogger, inherently useless and unreliable. When those contributions were made public, a month after McDonnell was sworn in as AG, it turned out that he had, in fact, gotten his money from gambling interests, cigarette makers, drug companies, and oil companies. It was during that year’s General Assembly session that Chris Jones’ HB291 passed, specifically to prohibit any further behavior like McDonnell’s. If memory serves, McDonnell supported the bill, thus implicitly rebuking himself.
The point is that sometimes the simplest reason that a politician is doing something sneaky is, in fact, why they’re doing it. Sure, I could have come up with a theory involving “Chinese organ thieves, a child-sex ring, and prostitution,” but the truth was a bit more obvious, in retrospect.
What’s Goode’s deal? The explanation that strikes me as the most likely one, which inherently involves some assumptions, is that Goode was involved in the making of the film, maybe for all of the right reasons. The film industry has an intoxicating effect on people. It’s such a part of the American mythos that even seasoned politicians can find themselves swept off their feet, basking in the proximity to and possibility of fame and fortune. With a significant film being made in his town by friends, it would be quite an internal struggle to avoid visiting the set, meeting some actors, and catching a bit of the glitz. So he did it, he got involved, he liked it…but a few years later, the shine has worn off, the perceived possibility of embarrassment has set in. Perhaps he thinks his base will reject him if they think he had anything to do with a film that acknowledges the existence of homosexuality, or perhaps he finds it personally distasteful, in retrospect. He’s ashamed.
That’s my guess. Goode’s “investigating,” so maybe he has some guesses of his own. What’s yours?