the politicians speak out (sort of)

Brent Finnegan -- October 22nd, 2006

As was pointed out in the previous post’s comments section, Cargill has local political power, making the issue of the Padilla firing more complicated for a lot of people (which is why local politics can sometimes be more complex than national politcs).

It seems the local politicians don’t know exactly what to say, but they’re speaking out anyway. In yesterday’s DNR, Harrisonburg’s senator, Mark Obenshain joined Dean Welty in criticizing Cargill’s decision to fire Padilla. Obenshain sent a letter to Cargill, calling their actions “outrageous,” and asking them to essentially un-fire the man. But House Rep. Matt Lohr made a much more subdued statement (the Timberville plant is in his district).

The response for the local GOP hasn’t exactly been unified. The marriage amendment was co-sponsored/voted onto the ballot by Republicans like Landes and Saxman in order to get conservative voters to the polls in November, but on the other hand, Cargill employs a fair number of constituents, too (still searching the web for campaign contribution records). Bob Marshall, a Republican delgate from Manassas is calling for a boycott of Cargill. It seems like those Republicans further removed from Cargill’s realm of influence are willing to support a boycott of Cargill products (which is easy if you’re a vegetarian). Emmett Hanger is one of the only Valley Republicans speaking out against the boycott, but it sounds like Lohr and Obenshain aren’t crazy about it either.

We’ll see how it all unfolds. I expect this story is far from over, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the national media catches wind of it soon.

Meanwhile, many local rank-and-file Democrats are having to choose between a free-speech stance and an anti-amendment stance on the issue. Personally, I don’t see why you can’t be both (for Padilla’s freedom to express his opinions and against the amendment). It would be interesting to see who would speak out if someone got fired for sporting a sign against the amendment. I’m guessing Lohr and Obenshain wouldn’t say much.

Just because it’s local doesn’t mean it’s simple.

-finnegan

5 Responses to “the politicians speak out (sort of)”

  1. finnegan says:

    Cargill says it never recieved Obenshain’s letter. What’s going on here?

    Also, are there two Luis Padillas from Honduras in the area, or did the DNR run this story about him in May?

  2. Gxeremio says:

    Good work, Sherlock. That’s the same guy. I realized some time after I started reading all these news reports that I actually know the guy and his family. Not that it has helped me get information from him, though. I sent an email to Valley Family Forum and obtained the following facts: it was a personal truck, the wording on the truck has been consistently the same (“Please, vote for marriage on November 7”), and the VFF doesn’t want to give out copies of Cargill’s response to their letter.

  3. finnegan says:

    Who you calling Sherlock, Sherlock?

    I wonder why the VFF doesn’t want to release the letter? It may have something to do with where the truck was parked. Padilla says he parked it off Cargill property. Cargill says it was still on their property. Is there proof in the letter?

    According to that TV3 story (liked above) Cargill is taking no further action to rehire/unfire him.

  4. Barnabas says:

    From what it sounded like the spot he had it parked was along the road. So if you do indeed on the sidewalk or the curb at your house then Cargill does own that property. If the curb or sidewalk belongs to the city/county than from what i could tell it’s not really theres but it is att he front of their property. It’s one of those grey areas.
    Go Cardinals!

  5. Josh says:

    A fun “Boston Legal” excerpt related to religion in the workplace:

    http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2006/10/freedom_from_re_1.html

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