Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bern Ewert throws his support behind Al Weed

The 5th Congressional District Democratic Convention was held today in Buckingham County at the high school. Christine Senger-Bryan (Buckingham’s county chairman) and her committee had the task of preparing the site for our meeting. They should be commended by everyone on a job well done. I told several of them personally, but thanks again for the hard work put into this event!

In all, 187 delegates were seated for the convention with many alternates and guests also in attendance. Both Bern Ewert and Al Weed had satisfied district requirements for running and were nominated for the 5th District’s Democratic candidate for Congress. After voting by secret ballot (and while awaiting the results), those in attendance had a chance to listen to both Senate candidates speak: Harris Miller and Jim Webb. Having heard Harris Miller speak previously, I was more interested in hearing what Jim Webb had to say today. He did not disappoint me.

Finally, the moment came for the important announcement. Would there be a candidate or would we need a second ballot? As many of us thought would happen, there was a candidate. Al Weed won the election by a 114-73 vote. Given the chance to speak first, Bern said he fully supported Al and would work to help him beat Virgil Goode in the November election. He was given a standing ovation as he left the podium. I’m so glad that he is working to unite the 5th district. After all, working together can make all the difference.

Then it was time for Al to accept the nomination. I think he was touched by the welcome he received as our elected candidate. His acceptance speech (which I should’ve taken better notes on) brought out something to keep in mind as we go through the next 5-6 months:

We all think we know Virgil Goode. He comes to our communities and our events. He shakes our hands, listens to our concerns and asks how things are going. But do we really know him?

Do we really know the Mr. Goode who has voted with President Bush 97% of the time? Do we really know the Mr. Goode that supports deporting 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants and building a wall between the United States and Mexico? Do we really know the Mr. Goode who accepted over $90,000 in illegal campaign funds from Mitchell Wade and made over $9 million dollars in earmarks for his company MZM?

Virgil has been in office for 10 years. What has he done to help us? Southside Virginia suffers from double digit unemployment in some areas. What jobs has Virgil really brought to the area? Even MZM (now Athena) may be taken over by a new company in the not so distant future. How has he improved education in the 5th CD? Let’s check his voting record on No Child Left Behind and other pieces of education legislation. Besides giving his illegal contributions to fire departments and rescue squads in the district, what else has Virgil done for them? I’m not talking about photo-ops, festivals or celebrations, or showing up when grant checks or awards are being presented (like in the pictures on his campaign website or government webpage). I’m talking about something Virgil introduced, worked for and supported that benefited this district. There really won’t be many things that will come to mind.

Therefore, it’s time to send Virgil Goode back to Rocky Mount. Let’s all rally behind Al Weed and do our part to make that happen.


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