Warner at Traditions

Brent Finnegan -- January 11th, 2008

Former Governor Mark Warner was at Traditions Family Restaurant this morning, speaking at a free event sponsored by Bill Helsley. Warner, who is campaigning for U.S. Senate, spoke about everything ranging from illegal immigration and global competitiveness, to the “fair tax” and the mercenary army in Iraq.

I shot some video. It’s shaky and not the best quality, but it’s the most I could do with a little digital still camera from halfway across the room. Here’s Bill Helsley introducing Warner, and Warner’s remarks about Harrisonburg, SRI, as well as jokes about lawyers, politicians, and Hannah Montana.

His speech turned to energy policy. He said continuing to buy oil from OPEC is a round-about way of funding Islamic militants in the Middle East. Warner said the way to get comprehensive energy reform from Congress is to expose the link between oil and terrorism, and use that perception to bring about clean energy reform.

And that’s about all I could shoot.

After the speech, Warner took questions from the audience. The topic of illegal immigration came up immediately. Warner seemed to dance around the issue a bit without taking a strong stance toward amnesty or mass deportation, although he did say he probably would have voted for the McCain-Kennedy Bill. Warner supports a crackdown on employers who hire unauthorized immigrants, as well as some sort of “uncounterfeitable” national ID card.

Today’s stop is part of Warner’s Hometown Days tour. He paid visits to Luray, Page, JMU/SRI, and the Valley Builder’s Association yesterday. Today he’s on to RMH, Bridgewater College, and the Poultry Grower’s Co-Op in Hinton.

Bill Helsley was recently endorsed by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham bar association for circuit court judge.

18 Responses to “Warner at Traditions”

  1. Bubby says:

    Warner is a pragmatist and that is what I heard. As he said:
    “When workers in Mexico get paid $2/day, and they can make $10/hour in Manassas…I don’t know how high a fence you would have to build to keep them out.”

    My opinion on this matter has evolved as a result of your documentary – there are desperate people in Central America, and a land bridge to the US. I would climb that fence too. Despite many Americans efforts to make this about us, it is really about them too.

    So until I see some national consensus that we owe our southern neighborhood the same level of democracy that we are trying to deliver on the other side of the globe, in Iraq, I’m inclined to say to America, “you can’t handle the truth”.

    Let’s spend $10 billion a month lifting up Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatamala…with a competent chief executive.

  2. finnegan says:

    I agree, Bubby. I just wish that Warner, as well as Obama, Edwards, Clinton, etc would make their stance on that particular issue more clear. They tend to speak in generalities and make vague statements about immigration. I’d like to know exactly what their plan is.

    Good to see you there, by the way.

  3. David Miller says:

    Thanks for video taping the meeting, I slept through it. I too wish that our politicians would be more informative about their ideas. Then again, that would provide fodder for the O’Reilys of the world. Maybe ignorance is bliss until Bush gets on the helicopter for the last time.

  4. Lowell Fulk says:

    Point well taken David. Been there….

  5. MAW says:

    I wish these politicians would tell their followers to not put the forks they are eating off of back into the fruit bowl to retrieve more fruit!

  6. Lowell Fulk says:


    I wish you would have introduced yourself, I’d like to meet you.
    What did you think of Candidate Warner’s ideas regarding energy?

  7. David Troyer says:


    I think at this point in the game democrats don’t need specific immigration policy as part of their platform like the GOP does to get through primaries. Maybe once someone is up against the GOP they will need to spell it out a little more clearly.

  8. Draegn88 says:

    Bubby, how about we spend 10 billion a month to ensure that no American child goes to bed hungry, that no American is homeless, that all Americans are functionally literate, etc..

    Why must America always be the charitable police man of the world? We have ZERO obligations to other countries. Letting them take care of themselves rather than being dependent on foreign aid is the only way for them to solve their problems.

  9. MAW says:

    Mr. Fulk,

    I was going to introduce myself, but I believe you had already left by the time I got back to where you had been standing.

    We arrived late, so I missed the majority of his energy ideas.

  10. Bubby says:

    Oh, I think we should do all those things Draegn. Just like we send somewhere on the order of $10 billion/year to Isreael, Egypt, etc. we do it for national security reasons. If those folks in Central America have working economies, good government, and safe homes…they won’t need to leave.

    The United Kingdom has a good model – a commonwealth. They create a framework for government, finance, law, etc. and they extend support to member nations. With a capable President, and a visionary Congress, America could leverage stability well south of our border. Instead we have half-baked border fences – monuments to failed leadership.

  11. Draegn88 says:


    I would prefer that not a single penny be sent overseas until such a time as all of the problems within the US are solved.

    Israel has nuclear weapons, they do not need US aid for defense.

    The UK did have a good model, however, it is now drowning in the poison that is multiculturalism and diversity.

  12. David Troyer says:


    U.S. aid to Israel is more along the lines of $30 billion a year, according to Olmert

  13. Draegn88 says:

    Don’t you just love it. 30 billion for the jews, why? Do you have to wonder why the Arab world hates us?

  14. Lowell Fulk says:

    Golly MAW, I find myself embarrassed that I didn’t greet you coming in or thank you for being there when you left. I really try hard to make folks welcome and let them know we appreciate their being there, especially on a drizzly morning at 8:00am… I’m sure you had to take off time from your job and that is no small effort. I was there for several hours of meetings after Governor Warner departed so we must simply have somehow missed each other.
    But, thank you so very much for taking the time, and for possessing the interest enough to attend and listen to Candidate Warner.
    I know you mentioned above that you were not there in time to hear his ideas on the economy, so please let me know what you came away with, and what you thought of the discussion of which you were able to witness. He will be very interested to know your thoughts and impressions and I will make sure your opinions reach him.
    Thank you again MAW, for caring enough to attend and participate.

  15. Kyle says:

    And now Bush wants to sell Saudi Arabi $20 Billion dollars of weaponry. Why not fuel both sides of the fire? Then Israel can claim they need more aid to offset the arabian “build up.” Good gimmick! Who wins? Let’s see..the American military industrial complex? The investors in Blackwater, Halliburton, GE, Martin Marietta, Raytheon and General Dynamic? How about the Saudi terrorists who will ultimately end of with many “unaccounted for” american weapons from this sale?

  16. Lowell Fulk says:

    Hey c’mon Bubby, this very same course of policy action worked really well with the Shah of Iran. Oops, never mind.

  17. Lowell Fulk says:

    I meant to write Kyle, sorry.

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