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Monday, December 31, 2007

A Nominee For Your Consideration

You may recall a few weeks ago the news about state Senator William Wampler (R-Bristol) having an interest in that open seat on the State Corporation Commission. That news was released just before the news came out that Wampler was, in fact, not interested in pursuing the vacancy.

Well, here's today's bigger news: A popular - and very well-qualified - local Democrat has been recommended for the position. Former Delegate Barnie Day, from Meadows of Dan, will have his name put in nomination when the legislature takes up the issue in coming months.

What many people who read the papers remember about Barnie is that he lost his job in the General Assembly, not by the vote of the people, but by redistricting. After the 2000 census, as these things always play out, a new district was created by the Republican majority that threw three incumbent Democrats and their districts into one - Tom Jackson of Hillsville, Barnie Day of Patrick County, and Ward Armstrong of Henry County - to vie against one another in the then-upcoming contest. Mr. Day chose not to compete against Armstrong and withdrew.

An honorable man.

For those in Richmond who will be making the decision regarding the open seat on the SCC, here's some information to consider about Barnie Day and his qualifications:

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mr. Day has an MBA from Duke. That in itself qualifies him for the position and offers a fresh perspective since most SCC members traditionally have been lawyers.

Beyond that, he sits - or has sat - on the following boards and commissions:

Board of directors of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, the board of directors of Virginia Advanced Study Strategies, a National Math and Science Initiative, board of Directors of the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation, and the board of directors of the Martinsville-Henry County chapter of the American Red Cross. Not counting a number of local boards and commissions.

Barnie is at present Vice President - Administration, River Community Bank, and, in past lives, held positions with the following: President, Vesta Supply, 1992-2001; Vice President for Operations, Aerial Machine and Tool Corporation, 1988-1992; County Administrator, Patrick County 1984-1988; Director, Tri-Area Health Clinic, 1980-1984.

They don't come more qualified for the position.

And here's the part that is most refreshing - the perspective he brings to this critical position. A quote from Barnie Day on the SCC, his potential role on the commission, and how the people of Virginia benefit from his unique worldview:
Generally, in the abstract, I believe that an unfettered marketplace is the best arbiter of private transactions between willing individuals. Over the past hundred years or so we, as a society, have collectively decided that our interests are best served by giving some businesses and institutions special status in the marketplace, and, in return, we have empowered the SCC to watch on our behalf these businesses and institutions, largely through the restraint of regulations. I do not have a law degree and do not look at things through a lawyer's set of filters, but rather a consumer's perspective, tempered with appreciation for the vital role stock holders and employees play in our overall well-being. The General Assembly membership may deem that an all-lawyer commission remains the best composition of this agency. I have no qualm if they do. It is a prerogative entrusted to them by our constitution.
To those legislators who will be making the decision, consider his words carefully, then look at the man and his résumé. You'll not find a more qualified - or more honorable - or more trusted by the people - candidate for the seat on the State Corporation Commission than Barnie Day.