Southwest Virginia Population decline 2010-2018.

Congressman Rick Boucher Defeated in the VA 9th District

by Lewis Loflin

Updated November 6, 2010

Shockwaves are still rocking the region as Congressman Rick Boucher, who was ahead of his Republican challenger by 14 points in September, has now fallen to defeat. This came at a time when the left-scream local newspaper the Bristol Herald Courier gave him their endorsement, and he has brought in tens of millions of pork dollars in a bid to buy the election.

Morgan Griffith ousted 14 term incumbent Rick Boucher by 9,000 votes. Boucher was very well known, had the Bristol Herald Courier according to many working for him, and Mr. Griffith is not even from the 9th District. Mr. Boucher lost his home county of Washington by double digits. Mr. Boucher whined about $3 million in attack ads and that he had never seen so "much negativity in a race on his side of the commonwealth." He calls them, "shadowy out-of-district corporate interests."

Was it really just attack ads? If press reports are correct, only 47% of the voters in the 9th District turned out November 2nd where Mr. Griffith won by a 5% margin. While the press attributes his loss to the Cap and Trade Tax he helped to write (he claims to benefit the coal industry), he still won Buchanan, Dickinson, Russell Counties and most of the union coal vote anyway.

Yet the experts still got it wrong. Analysts such as Larry Sabato, who called Southwest Virginia the most "corrupt" part of the State, gave the election to Mr. Boucher.

Of the district's 27 localities, Griffith won 17, including Boucher's home base of Washington County and the neighboring city of Bristol, both of which he took by a 15-point margin. Griffith handily won Alleghany, Bland, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Grayson, Henry, Patrick, Pulaski, Roanoke, Smyth, Tazewell (a coal county) and Wythe counties. The greatest margin was in Roanoke County, where he led Boucher by 28 percentage points.

Griffith also won only two (other) coal counties of Lee and Wise by about 1 percentage point.

Boucher won Buchanan and Dickenson counties and the city of Norton by double-digit margins, and also carried Russell and Scott counties. On Griffith's end of the district, Boucher won Montgomery County, the largest in the 9th District, as well as the cities of Radford, Covington and Galax, and Giles County, where Griffith was raised.

Yet Mr. Griffith didn't do very well in the coal counties after all, so why does the press keep insisting that his problem was Cap and Trade or outside attack ads? The Bristol Herald Courier is simply hostile to many grass roots groups lumped under the term Tea Party and God forbid they get any credit for anything.

On September 22, 2010 we note the following from Cathy Turner and associates:

After a nothing-short-of-amazing, energy-charged Tea Party Patriots meeting last night when more than 30 of us gathered to discuss our challenges that we face both as a community and a country, the meeting that a few of us attended today with Bristol Herald Courier Publisher Carl Esposito and Opinion Editor Suzanne Tate fell, shall we say ... flat.

Tenth Amendment Foundation CEO Strother Smith, National Treasurer and all-around guy Rich Macbeth, fellow 10AF/Tea Partier William Gibson and myself were invited to attend a round-table discussion with BHC that mainly happened because of our chronic complaint regarding the inaccessibility of our Congressman, Rick Boucher and the failure of their newspaper to record our complaint in our letters to the editor.

If there is one thing that I take away from our Tea Party meeting last night, it is this: We The People are done with being mis-portrayed as racist, bigoted, dumb, unenlightened, misinformed, uneducated and ... racist.

Mr. Foster the Bristol Herald Courier's editor disparages the region as too "white" and "Christian." My letters were also blocked and have been on number of issues for some time. The Bristol Herald Courier continues to whine about citizen journalists, but proves every day why they are needed.

As of November Mr. Foster has announced he is going to a Nashville newspaper, Suzanne Tate is fleeing to a P.B.S station, and Mr. Esposito is also leaving the paper. Their circulation is down by as much as 15% since this they took over the paper, so no wonder the newspaper rats are jumping ship.

If we take a look at where Mr. Boucher lost the most votes such as Roanoke, Washington, Wythe, etc. in many cases by double-digits, most had active Tea Party and other grass roots organizations in the communities. Morgan Griffith also met with them, something Mr. Boucher refused to do.

In fact not only was Mr. Boucher inaccessible to the people, he really didn't seem to even campaign until the end. In Washington County where I live Griffith signs outnumbered Boucher signs I'd guess 10 to 1. No Democrats even showed up at several polling places or even tried to call voters from what I found out. I did get a live call from a real person on election day from the Griffith camp.

In my view it wasn't just any one thing that cost Mr. Boucher the election, in fact according to the press he should have won right by 5 points. They reported Griffith moved one point ahead a few days before the election. Then the Herald Courier it seems had to report the Griffith surge because it was already in the Roanoke Times.

Back to History, Causes of Poverty in Southwest Virginia

To quote Lenowisco Broadband Study Warned against Call Centers (PDF file):

"The region has been replacing traditional (better paying) manufacturing jobs with (low paying subsidized) call center jobs, which provide limited advancement and work opportunities. Call centers represent the factory floor of the Knowledge Economy; they are an important part of a diversified economic development strategy, but the region must be careful not to rely too heavily on them, as the work is easily moved to other regions and/or other countries."

Lenowisco Broadband Study Warned against Call Centers (PDF file)

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