To be fair, he gave it a good run. It was so close to call that he got a recount. In the end, challenger Tom Perriello beat Virgil Goode by 727 votes, though, and it’s time for us to say good-bye.
Well, we can’t say we’ll miss him.
During the 2008 election, Immigration08.com tracked 22 competitive races where immigration was shaping up to be a major issue. While the Virginia congressional race that pitted Tom Perriello (D-VA) against Virgil Goode (R-VA), didn’t make the cut at that time, it ended up being one of themost competitive races this cycle.
And one of the ugliest, in terms of anti-immigrant rhetoric. Just watch this gem from the campaign trail:
This came as little surprise, as Goodehad been raising eyebrows for some time. As the Associated Press reported:
Goode has stirred controversy in recent years for his strong anti-immigration stances, including a 2006 letter he wrote to constituents criticizing a decision by Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota to use the Quran when he was sworn in. Goode warned that unless immigration was tightened, “many more Muslims will be elected.”
Back when pundits were searching fora scapegoat to blame for this whole financial mess, Virgil Goode was sure he’d found the answer: undocumented immigrants.
In a Sept. 28th story in the Martinsville Bulletin, Goode said that undocumented immigrants who can’tpay back loans are the root cause of the nation’s financial problems.
With that, he joined the lonelychorus of restrictionist-turned-“conservative pundit” Mark Krikorian and rightwing loudmouth Michelle Malkin, who’ve been blaming immigrants, and Latinos in general, for the financial crisis. Because clearly it had nothing to do with CEOs and federal regulators.
But Goode’s challenger for hisCongressional seat, Democrat Tom Perriello, cried foul. His communications director, Jessica Barba, wrote:
“It’s outrageous that while the working families of Southside and Central Virginia are watching their investments plummet and their jobs disappear, Congressman Goode is trying to blame illegal immigrants for a problem he helped create. The truth is that the crisis has been caused by the pervasive lobbying of Congress by Wall Street looking to make a quick buck. If Rep. Goode was more focused on helping the people of the 5th District, and less on Wall Street lobbyists, he wouldn’t have voted against cracking down on predatory lenders and protecting working families here in Virginia.”
Rep. Goode’s immigration gaffe inSeptember didn’t come as much of a surprise. He had already built a firmrecord of trying to pin problems on undocumented immigrants — and usinginflammatory language in the process. He has long railed against the Constitution, which holds that all babies born in America are U.S.citizens. Borrowing a line from the Minutemen’s playbook, he calls thesechildren “anchor babies,” not Americans, and seeks to get their citizenship-alongwith the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution-revoked.
But trying to anchor an election inbashing undocumented immigrants? That’s one boat that didn’t float thiselection.
For immigrant advocates, the long, Goode goodbye this election was particularly sweet.