Posts will be slow, but they will be coming.
The scattered reports that have come in so far on the conference have been overwhelmingly positive. While the people who put this together--primarily Alton, Anne, and Mary--deserve all the kudos coming their way, they were fortunate to have what might be the first ever direct corporate sponsor of a blog conference.Several people have remarked on what a value this conference was for the $50 registration fee. Our final accounting is incomplete at this time, but I can truthfully say that this would never have been possible without the support of Smith River Community Bank. In order to provide the same level of accommodations, our registration fee would have easily doubled without their involvement.
Smith River Community Bank sponsored the Blogs United in Martinsville for Free Speech Blog Conference. The sponsorship came with absolutely no strings attached.
It's hard to underestimate the good that community-based banks do in predominantly rural areas of Virginia. Smith River Community Bank obviously saw the blog conference as a wonderful way to showcase the area they serve to an audience that otherwise might not see the opportunities that abound in Southside.
Thanks to a forward-looking corporate citizen, this blog conference venue benefited the attendees and the host communities, Martinsville-Henry County.
Weed said he asked Day to be part of the prize in the contest because Day is known for his entertaining writing style. The former delegate, he said, was not enthusiastic about the proposal.In a press release dated noon today, after quoting the Goode release that broke the news of the Letters for Lunch Contest, Weed said;
"His response was not very positive," Weed said.
Weed said that after talking with others about the plan, he scrapped the idea.
He said his campaign comes up with many ideas and not all of them are used. When asked if he regrets making the proposal, he said he regrets not knowing that Day, who is "supposedly a Democrat," supports Goode.
"That was pretty stupid of me," said Weed, a Democrat.
"It's time to be upfront and honest with the voters. They deserve to see the candidates side by side. They deserve to hear our ideas and vision for the future. To rob them of that is wrong."Weed's remark about Barnie Day supporting Virgil Goode can only be assumed to be a snarky, smart ass remark. While I, like everyone in this end of the 5th, know that Barnie and Virgil are longtime friends, no one believes that Barnie Day is officially supporting Virgil in the 5th District. I will, however, fully endorse Mr. Weed's estimation of his own relative intelligence.
Rocky Mount, VA - August 14, 2006 - Statement by Barnie Day on an Al Weed proposal to "plant" derogatory letters against Virgil Goode in the opinion pages of Virginia's newspapers:I had lunch with Barnie last Thursday, and I did not have to write any nasty letters to earn the priviledge. Apparently Al Weed thinks so little of Barnie that asking him to prostitute himself for the Weed campaign does not set off any ethical alarms. Or is it that Weed thinks so highly of himself that he really thought Barnie would do so? Either one is totally unacceptable to 5th District voters of either party. I am a Republican, Barnie Day is, as noted above, a Democrat. Call us the Felix and Oscar of Stuart, but I am proud to consider him a friend, his statement above is just one indication of why I am.
"I am disgusted by a recent Al Weed proposal to encourage the surreptitious "planting" of derogatory letters to the editor against Virgil Goode in a "contest" among his supporters that would "award" a Charlottesville lunch with me to the author of the nastiest planted letter to make it past the gatekeepers of Virginia's opinion pages. This insidious proposal - made to me by Mr. Weed - insults fairness and integrity and demeans press freedom. It does not represent values I hold dear as a Democrat. It does not represent values I hold indivisible as a Virginian. It does not represent values I hold sacred as an American. I will have no part of it."
Virgil Goode was "surprised and disappointed" in hearing about the contest. "I hope this campaign will be about the issues facing Central and Southside Virginia, not personal attacks," said Goode.
Barnie Day is a former Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates and an author and commentator, and serves as an officer of the Smith River Community Bank in Stuart in Patrick County
Mr. Goode is again running from his record. He's trying to create news that distracts from his unethical and possibly illegal behavior. I absolutely encourage Mr. Goode's constituents to write letters concerning his poor record in Washington. He has represented them by taking illegal money and rewarding contributors with earmarks for useless contracts. People are ashamed, and want ethical representation.Unfortunately, Mr. Weed's statement does not address the question, did he propose the Lunch for Letters campaign? Instead he personally attacks Mr. Goode, politics for a while on the war on Terrorism, and then disingenuously asks for a pledge against personal attacks.
Mr. Goode is playing politics when he should be working as our representative. It is time for the games to stop. Events in England last week have reminded us of the severity of potential terrorism. It's unfortunate that Mr. Goode is spending time talking about letters to editors and not the cost of our involvement in Iraq. In his release Mr. Goode says, "I hope this campaign will be about the issues facing Central and Southside Virginia, not personal attacks." I couldn't agree more. This election is too important and the issues are all too real to distract voters. Mr. Goode, will you join me and pledge from this moment on to not engage in personal attacks?