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21 December 2006

Macaca 2: more of the Republican spirit in Virginia

U.S. Representative Virgil H. Goode Jr., Republican from Virginia's 5th Congressional District, in a recent appearance at the Boones Mill Apple Festival. (From Rep. Goode's official website.)

The Associated Press
pickup in Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Washington state USA)
Wednesday 20 December 2006

Congressman criticized
for Muslim letter

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON -- A Republican congressman has told constituents that unless immigration is tightened, "many more Muslims" will be elected and follow the lead of a recently elected lawmaker who plans to use the Quran at his ceremonial swearing-in.

Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va., made the comments in a letter sent earlier this month to hundreds of constituents who had written to him about Rep.-elect Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat and the first Muslim elected to Congress. Goode's letter triggered angry responses from a New Jersey congressman and an Islamic civil rights group.

In the letter, Goode wrote, "The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran." [Entire text of Goode's letter below.]

Goode said the U.S. needs to stop illegal immigration "totally" and reduce legal immigration.

Goode added: "I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped."

Ellison was born in Detroit and converted to Islam in college. He did not return telephone messages left Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., wrote to Goode on Wednesday saying that he was "greatly disappointed and in fact startled" by Goode's letter.

"I take your remarks as personally offensive to the large community of Muslim-Americans I represent in the Eighth District of New Jersey," Pascrell wrote.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Goode to apologize.

"Representative Goode's Islamophobic remarks send a message of intolerance that is unworthy of anyone elected to public office," CAIR's national legislative director, Corey Saylor, said Tuesday night. "There can be no reasonable defense for such bigotry."

Goode spokesman Linwood Duncan said Wednesday that no apology was forthcoming.

"The only statement the congressman has is that he stands by the letter," Duncan said.

The letter was made public by John Cruickshank, the chairman of the Piedmont group of the Sierra Club in central Virginia, who had received it after writing to Goode about environmental issues. Duncan said that Goode's office had sent the letter to Cruickshank by mistake.

- 30 -

The Star-Tribune
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota USA

Text of Rep. Virgil Goode's letter

This letter was sent to hundreds of constituents by the office of Republican Rep. Virgil Goode Jr. of Virginia:

Thank you for your recent communication. When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way. The Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran. We need to stop illegal immigration totally and reduce legal immigration and end the diversity visas policy pushed hard by President Clinton and allowing many persons from the Middle East to come to this country. I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped.

The Ten Commandments and "In God We Trust" are on the wall in my office. A Muslim student came by the office and asked why I did not have anything on my wall about the Koran. My response was clear, "As long as I have the honor of representing the citizens of the 5th District of Virginia in the United States House of Representatives, The Koran is not going to be on the wall of my office." Thank you again for your email and thoughts.

Sincerely yours,

[U.S. Representative]
Virgil H. Goode, Jr.

70 E. Court St., Suite 215
Rocky Mount, Va. 24151


Anonymous said...

What a disgusting racist this man is, I would be ashamed if he represented my community. The only reason America is a great county is that it is a free country, freedom of religion is a critical element of our freedom.

What if this bigot said the same thing about Jews? He would be getting slammed by the global community, Isreal, President bush and all others.

Racism, and Bigotry are apparently just fine with conservative American's as long it is directed to Muslims.

Jim Olson said...

The United States has two sacred documents. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights. End of subject. The members of Congress, when sworn in, do not have a requirement that they swear on a Christian bible and only have one if they bring it to the ceremony themselves.

He is a disgrace.

Bob Merkin said...

Any single individual can be a disgrace. It's unimaginable that a year can go by in American politics without churning out 3 or 4 or more disgraces.

The question I'm wondering about Goode is: When he stands for re-election in 2008, what will the voters of Virginia's 5th Congressional think about him, and what will they do about him?

If enough of them are in enough of a hurry, they don't even have to wait until 2008; they can start petitioning now for a recall election to get rid of him.

But will they?

What's the Democratic Party doing in the 5th Congressional District? Are they in a coma? Goode began his Congressional career in 1996 as a Democrat, and later switched to the Republican Party. So do the Democrats in his district field strong candidates against this screaming bigot?

We already know what Goode stands for. After November 2008, we'll know what his neighbors stand for, or are willing to tolerate. Or won't stand for and won't tolerate. That's the real story.

Bob Merkin said...

from Wikipedia:

Congressional career

When Congressman Lewis F. Payne Jr. retired in 1996, Goode won the Democratic nomination. He won election easily, as his state senate district was virtually coextensive with the southern portion of the congressional district. During his first term, Goode compiled a very conservative voting record, even by Southern Democratic standards. Like many Southern Democrats, Goode was strongly opposed to abortion and gun control and vigorously supported the tobacco industry. However, he was also more willing to support tax cuts than other conservative Democrats. Unlike many House Democrats, Goode had been a long-time opponent of same-sex marriage and gay civil unions.

Goode came under considerable fire shortly after being unopposed for a second term in 1998, when he voted for three of the four articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton. In January 2000, he declared himself an independent, yet caucused with Republicans, who gave him a seat on the Appropriations Committee. He was handily reelected that November, touting himself as a congressman who was "as independent as the people he serves." He officially became a Republican in August 2002 just in time for the primary, making him the first Republican to represent this district since Reconstruction. Republicans had been lobbying him to switch parties since 1998, and reportedly promised him a seat on the Appropriations Committee. For the 2001 redistricting, Goode allied with Republican Bob Goodlatte and Democrat Rick Boucher to ensure that none of them would be put in the same district. Goode's residence in Franklin County is only about 32 km (20 miles) south of Goodlatte's residence in Roanoke. The counties to the west of Franklin County are in Boucher's 9th district, which had to expand geographically due to lack of population growth. He won his first full term as a Republican in November with 63.47% of the vote [1], and was elected to a fifth term, and his second full term as a Republican, with 63.68% in 2004 [2]. In 2006 Goode won 59% of the vote, with challenger Al Weed garnering 40% of the vote.

The vast majority of Goode's legislative accomplishments come via his seat on the Appropriations Committee, essentially as local initiatives in the Fifth District. Goode does not enjoy spending time in Washington, preferring instead to focus on the "retail" politics at which he excels. His office has few staff members relative to others on Capitol Hill, and Goode is known to answer the phone himself if no staffer is available. His pet policy initiatives are anti-amnesty immigration reform, redirecting billions of dollars from foreign aid to veterans' healthcare, and the enactment in 2004 of a $9.6 billion buyout for tobacco farmers following the termination of Depression-era federal price supports for tobacco growers. Goode has sponsored legislation to permit deployment of the U.S. Armed Forces to help secure the borders. He voted in 2002 to authorize the Iraq War and in support of an $87 billion Iraq War supplemental spending bill.


In 2005, Goode again faced controversy when a major corporate campaign donor, defense contractor MZM, Inc., was implicated in a bribery scandal that resulted in the criminal conviction and resignation of California congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham [3]. Although Goode insisted that his relations with MZM were motivated solely by his interest in bringing high-paying skilled jobs to his district, in December of that year he donated the $88,000 received in MZM contributions to regional charities.

On July 21, 2006 Richard Berglund a former supervisor of the Martinsville, Va. office of MZM Inc., pleaded guilty to making illegal donations to Goode's campaign. Court papers indicated that he and MZM owner Mitchell Wade (who previously pleaded guilty) engaged in a scheme to reimburse MZM employees for campaign donations. [4]. There was no allegation of wrong-doing on the part of Rep. Goode's campaign.

Libby Spencer said...

Disgrace hardly covers it, but since this is family blog I won't mention what other descriptions come to mind.

A cool yule to you and yours Bob and to end on a brighter note, today is National Orgasm Day. Don't forget to celebrate.

Bob Merkin said...

Thanks! I'll have a Big One today!


Here's a comment from LIBBY, who's an AUTHENTIC REAL HIGH-CLASS BLOGGER (blogeusse?)! Click on her link! Read some whomp-ass SERIOUS Blogging about national and world politics and events!

And when Vleeptron was trying to be born, but Bob hadn't a clue how to make that happen (at the time, I thought a blog was a small marsupial from Mauritania), LIBBY showed us the way!

Libby, the happiest Orgasm Day and the happiest multi-festivals to you and the grandkid and everybody!