It was standing room only Tuesday at the Danville Public Library as teachers and other interested constituents turned out to see a world-renowned author and hear his views on the Democratic congressional candidate for the 5th District.
Virginia native John Grisham, author of numerous best-selling books, made three campaign stops for Tom Perriello in Danville.
“It’s time for a new congressman,” said Grisham, who himself had served as a lawmaker in Mississippi.
“Washington is rotten; it’s been consumed and taken over by special interest groups,” he said. “We have a crucial need for a new Congress … not taking money from banks, lobbying firms and oil and drug companies.”
Economics and bailouts were on everyone’s minds, and both Perriello and Grisham had strong words about the current crisis.
Perriello said the $700 billion plan proposed by the Bush administration “absolutely failed the basic test of accountability,” and lacked any provisions for regulating the people who actually caused the problems.
“We cannot ask Main Street to bail out Wall Street without feeling some of the pains the middle class has been feeling for years,” he said, adding that incumbent Congressman Virgil Goode has taken a hefty amount of campaign contributions from banking companies lobbying for the bailout.
Goode on Friday said lobbying was intensifying in Washington and he had no comment on any legislation. On Tuesday, a representative from the Rocky Mount Republican’s office said he still had no statement.
Teachers and educators were extended special invitations to the event at the library and many were pleased to be there.
“‘I try to tell my students that government is only as good as they can make it,” Tunstall Middle School teacher Laurel Kyles said.
Problems, like the bailout we’re facing now, she said, “happen when people become complacent. …We need some people in Washington working for the people.”
Just before the signing event at the library, Perriello and Grisham participated in a voter registration rally (and book signing) at Danville Community College.