Monday, February 27, 2006

Questions for the Candidates--Part 1 (my email of 2/27/2006)

Today’s questions involve your opening segments from Saturday and your responses about tobacco and jobs. I have separate questions for each of you regarding this:


As a former agriculture teacher in Cumberland County, I found your biofuel/switch grass proposal interesting as an alternative to tobacco. It appears to be well thought out. My questions:

  1. Please briefly outline what Federal and/or state agriculture, policy, and tax changes would be necessary in order to make that plan more likely to achieve successful implementation in Southside Virginia.
  2. Knowing that there is a 3-year timeline for crops to reach maturity, how many acres of switch grass would be needed and how long do you estimate it would take for such a plant to be fully operational?
  3. In addition, what Federal and/or state funds are currently available for farmers looking to make the change from tobacco to crops supporting this proposition?


I can understand your opening emphasis on jobs while speaking to an audience in Danville. I can also see why you would continually emphasis your “work” in civil rights, given the physical make-up of the group. Therefore, I have two questions for you in this area:

  1. You cited the fact on Saturday that African Americans and divorced women were not in management positions in Charlottesville when you arrived there in 1971. At the risk of you possibly being accused of pandering to the crowd with your comments and being a divorced woman myself, I would like to know: How many African Americans and divorced women were in management positions when you left Charlottesville?
  2. You continually push regional economic development as a way to bring jobs to the Danville and Southside Virginia area. Personally, I see this as just another layer of bureaucracy in an area that needs answers now. Many of the localities already possess the information that such a council/committee would be charged with obtaining. What makes your proposal not just a repetition of work already done in this area? I also find the whole idea as presented very vague, hence my question: Briefly outline the regional economic development entity you have in mind. Please include:

· a demographic/geographic description of the localities/groups/individuals that should be included;

· a tentative timeline for: the creation of the group, the amount of time for them to gather data, and the tentative date that 5th district constituents could expect new businesses/jobs to locate and/or be created in the area; and

· an outline not only of what the group will be doing, but their basic budgetary needs as well.

Thank you both for your time. I’ll be posting this email (and your responses when I receive them) on my blog Honesty Counts.


At 12:39 PM, Blogger Michael Snook said...

Bern seems to want to hire lobbyists to work corporations like they work the government. Lobbyists have enough power already in this country; we don't need government-sponsored reverse-lobbyists like Bern has in mind.


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