Looking back on Goode.

A couple of Fifth District papers are taking a look back at former congressman Virgil Goode’s history as a career politician.

In the Roanoke Times, Janelle Rucker finds that Goode isn’t saying what he’ll be doing next. I can’t imagine he’d do real well as a lobbyist; he was so ineffective in Washington, and was proud that he spent so little time there, that he couldn’t be in much demand. His chief defender, Tucker Watkins, bizarrely declares it to be “unfair” for Rucker to ask what Goode will be doing next.

And in the Franklin News-Post, Joel Turner sees this as the end of a seventy-year political dynasty, stretching to 1940, when Virgil H. Goode Sr. was first elected. Goode Jr. was elected to the state senate at the age of 27, fresh out of law school, the youngest-ever member at the time. (Has anybody younger been a member since? I suspect not.) Turner writes about demand from Goode’s supporters that he run for something else. Just tell me where to send the check. I want him to run for a statewide office, preferably against Sen. Webb. That’d be a hoot.

I’m told that Virgil Goode has refused to pass along his district office numbers to Tom Perriello, as has been tradition since Dan Daniels. If that’s true, I think that says a lot. It’s not exactly salting the earth and poisoning the wells, but it shows that he doesn’t have the best interest of the district at heart. Goode was the lone Republican to represent the Fifth in the past 120 years; I think we can see now that he was an anomaly.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

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

4 replies on “Looking back on Goode.”

  1. Little known fact:

    Virgil Goode was the last Congressman to keep his constituent records on index cards, like a library card catalog. So it doesn’t surprise me that he is not willing to share anything. He did very little while he was there, the local paper sings a song about how his ‘constituent services’ were great. Well, that was his staff, even when it was a true sentiment.

    Speaking of staff, someone should really try to interview Linwood Duncan.

    Tucker Watkins knows also that his relevancy has gone with Virgil’s office. Not a moment too soon.

  2. I’m so glad he’s gone, on the other hand I will miss his very entertaining response letters. . I expect our new Representative’s responses will be boringly sensible and relevant and intelligent, what a drag…

  3. It’s no secret I’m no fan of Goode, but I must admit that his office appeared to perform constituent services very well.

    Several years ago, a pregnant friend of mine was getting the run-around from a nearby-county Medicaid case worker (one who had zero understanding of even the basics of business accounting; my friend’s spouse was self-employed), and she was at wits’ end.

    I helped her write a letter to Goode. His office must’ve cracked heads somewhere, because the problem was solved within a week or two–head-spinningly fast, by my reckoning. Top marks to his staff on that one…

  4. I guess I was thinking of more than one constituent at a time. I absolutely appreciate former Congressman Goode’s efforts to help his constituents in this way.

    However, as the Danville Register-Bee is reporting, the earmarked money that Mr. Goode had been passing out on a goodbye tour these last few weeks may not be there for the people whom he stood with and took pictures with.

    The Omnibus Spending bill this money was earmarked on was not passed and not signed by the President:


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