Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reclaiming the Blairs Event

I normally don't blog on Letters to the Editor, but I wanted to make a quick exception. Today the Danville Register & Bee ran three Letters to the Editor by people closely involved in the organization of the visit by Secretaries Chu and Vilsack in the region. While the tea party incident has dominated the news coverage, reclaiming the importance and specialness of the event is necessary.

Buddy Mayhew, the farmer and host of the town hall meeting, wrote on how the event highlighted the potential of the Southside. Money quote:
But most of all, I want to thank Rep. Tom Perriello for bringing the focus on energy and agriculture to Southside Virginia. Although I have been a longtime Republican, I can still recognize when a Democrat is working hard on our behalf. I encourage everyone to step back and take a good long look at the job our new congressman is doing.

It was an honor and a privilege to host this event on my farm, and to meet and hear three of the leaders of our country in person. It made me proud all over again to be an American.
Todd Haymore is the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In his letter he states that he is proud of the Southside area, its past and its future:
Pittsylvania County always has been considered a top agriculture county in the state. For generations, this has been a traditional agricultural area, and no doubt that strong base will live well into the future. But recently the area has embraced cutting-edge agricultural enterprises that I believe will serve it well in the new ag economy.
Again, I’m proud to be a product of the community — a community with a “can-do” attitude — that understands that overcoming challenges and adversity represents new opportunities for success and prosperity. Just as important, I’m very pleased that the nation is paying attention to what is happening in Pittsylvania County and the greater Danville region.
Finally, Ken Moss offered a tour to the Secretaries at his business, Piedmont Bioproducts. Like Mayhew and Haymore, Moss believes the visit highlighted this area's potential:
The tour was completed and summarized with the fact that our region has all of the necessary components needed to see this new green industry develop and prosper, from natural resources to people to technical expertise and research support. Secretary Chu later commented that what he saw in Gretna represented the future and it is something real.

This event was as tremendous positive reflection on our region, and we all should be proud of that fact and do our part to continue to convey this message to our political leaders inside and outside of the immediate areas.
While the incident with the tea partiers has captured the news cycle, we must remember that it was an honor to host the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture in the Southside.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nigel Coleman put out a notice to the media today that quotes DEM BONES...

Fri., July 24, 2009

CONTACT: Nigel Coleman 434-549-2853

Perriello press secretary giving the media false information, Coleman charges

TEA Party leader will hand-deliver request for meeting with Perriello

DANVILLE, Va. -- Rep. Tom Perriello's press secretary is falsely telling the news media that local TEA Party leaders have not requested a meeting with the congressman to discuss questions we wanted to ask at the town hall event and to let the congressman know we aren’t a threat, Danville TEA Party chairman Nigel Coleman said Wednesday.

In response, Coleman said he will hand-deliver a written request to Perriello's Danville office at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 27th, and be available for comment to the news media at that time.

"What Congressman Perriello's office is telling the news media is false," Coleman said. "I don't know if that's a failure to communicate within his own staff, or if they're purposely not telling the truth. But by hand-delivering a written request and inviting the media to watch me do it, we hope to remove all doubt that local TEA Party leaders want to meet with and tell our congressman face-to-face to vote against Nancy Pelosi's trillion-dollar health care scam and join us in telling the state police to stop harassing law-abiding citizens who oppose it."

Coleman said he personally called Perriello's Danville office this past Monday morning, spoke directly to staff member Ebony Guy, and requested a meeting with Perriello in which TEA Party leaders intend to (1) urge the freshman Democrat to vote against socialized medicine and (2) protest the use of state and local police this past week to harass Coleman and other TEA Party group members who've publicly criticized such legislation. The request was refused, Coleman said.

Tuesday, however, a Democratic blogger in Martinsville reported that he had interviewed Perriello's congressional press secretary Jessica Barba. The blog Dem Bones reported:

"According to Barba, to her knowledge and to the knowledge of Perriello's scheduler, there has been no request for tea partiers in Danville to meet with Perriello - Barba and the scheduler will double check to be sure. She also said that Perriello would be happy to meet with the tea partiers in Danville in the future."

Coleman said if the Martinsville blogger's report of Barba's comments is accurate, "local TEA Party leaders plan to hold Congressman Perriello to that promise, and we look forward to having a spirited conversation."

"No state or local police will be necessary," Coleman said, referring to multiple police actions this past week involving TEA Party activists in both Charlottesville and Danville who were attempting to press Perriello on the healthcare reform vote.