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A Quarter Century Milestone Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Posted by R Garfield in Local, People, Political.
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Willie Mae Kilgore, mother of state delegate Terry Kilgore and former Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore, has formally announced her retirement as Registrar of Scott County, Virginia effective December 2008.

The letter tendered to the Scott County Electoral Board cites a desire to spend more time with her family.

Ms. Kilgore has served in this capacity for 25 years.

In addition to sons Terry and Jerry, many of Ms. Kilgore’s family is engaged in some form of public service; her husband has served numerous terms as chair of the Scott County Republican Party. Her third son, John Junior, served on the board of the Economic Development Authority, before becoming director of that body.

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Anybody’s content… parva componere magnis Saturday, 6 October 2007

Posted by R Garfield in Bemused, People.
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This is a return to a favorite topic of mine to bore people with: the way-too-level playing field that the Internet offers people.

Don’t get me wrong … I like the fact that everyone has a voice. I do think – there go my left-wing leanings again – that everyone has a right to have their voice heard. I really like sites like wordpress.com, for instance, which let a fair number of people access the mike, and croon away. Or Wikipedia, which lets even someone like myself edit and correct information. I try to limit myself to topics I actually know about, so I’m not a prolific editor.

My problem tonight isn’t with people having their voices heard. Instead, it’s with sites like Associated Content, or more specifically, the use some people make of them. Associated Content is billed as “The people’s media company.” Essentially, it allows someone to put their content online, in multiple formats, and potentially monetize it.

Fine by me. Have your voice heard and earn a buck or two. It’s all good, right?

Not so, young grasshopper.

My problem is with the fact that AC is billed as a ‘media’ outlet, and yet, some people use it as they would a personal blog. ‘Media,’ to me, brings to mind television, newspaper and radio – and Internet sites like WikiNews. You know, like ‘mainstream media,’ ‘left wing media,’ and some blogs. News, or at the least, well-thought-out reviews, not personal rants.

In researching a store credit card, on Blogger or wordpress.com, the title “Why not to apply for the (store name) credit card” would clue me in that it might just be a personal rant. However, on a media site, I expect a bit more of a fair and balanced report … or what I was looking for in the first place, a review.

I don’t expect someone old enough to apply for credit crying because she maxed out her (store name) credit card, didn’t read the notices the card company sent her, got charged a large late fee, and calling everyone that doesn’t agree with her that (store name) is inherently evil for treating her this way “ignorant.”

That’s fine … on a blog. As media, it sucketh mightily. Far too level a playing field.

Actually, it reminds me of a quote that sums up the Internet’s free speech dichotomy far more succinctly than I will ever be capable of doing:

“Just because your voice reaches across the world does not mean that you are any wiser than when it reached the end of the bar.”

-Edward R. Murrow

28 Days Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Local, People, Political, Views On News.
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28 Days. $1,500.

That’s the price one pays for being convicted of voter fraud. A Scott County jury returned guilty verdicts in 13 charges brought against Charles “J.R.” Dougherty, Jr. for his role in the overturned election in a small Virginia town of approximately 2,000 residents. The case marked the first time in the Commonwealth’s history that the mayor’s and all town council races were voided by the courts. The jury also returned 2 not guilty verdicts.

Dougherty was previously found guilty on 18 counts 16 counts of voter fraud stemming from the same election. Sentencing for both trials is set for 1 p.m. December 13 has been deferred by Judge Birg Sergent until January 9th at the Scott County courthouse.

Before delivering the sentencing recommendations, jurors submitted written questions to the judge. Two of the questions had to do with how time would be served – concurrently or consecutively. The judge’s response to the jurors in essence was that they should impose the sentence they saw fit for each offense, without considering how the sentence would be carried out.

This jury set the penalty for voter fraud lower than the previous Dougherty jury. The previous convictions earned Dougherty 32 days and $2,000 apiece.

Update: Apparently, the jurors sentenced the way they did because they didn’t want Dougherty to face prison time (as opposed to jail time)

I can comprehend this. Dougherty is not an evil man. I feel for him, and his family.

They also allegedly thought he was shouldering the entire blame for a larger group of people, which they seem to have thought was unfair.

2nd Day: 2 Days Jail, $2,000 … Each. Friday, 21 July 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Local, People, Political, Views On News.
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Former mayor Charles ‘JR’ Dougherty received 2 days in jail and a $2,000 fine for each of the 16 guilty verdicts he received in his second trial for alleged voter fraud. Thats a total of 32,000 in fines and 32 days jail time.

People I’ve spoken with claim that both Dougherty and his attorney, Carl McAfee, appeared devastated by the verdicts. In the first trial, Dougherty received two not guilty verdicts, which may have possibly raised expactations of a similar win in this trial.

Many media reports in the first trial had headlines stating such claims as ‘Former Mayor Found Not Guilty Of Buying Votes’ – in all truth, the not guilty verdicts meant that Dougherty was not found guilty of conspiracy to buy votes, which is not the same thing. He was acquited because there was no proof of conspiracy, not because there was insufficient proof regarding the buying and selling of votes.

This trial was not about conspiracy, but about acts that the one-time mayor allegedly committed, or aided and abetted others in committing. It was not about whether he conspired with anyone else to do these things.

One damaging event occured when Betty Pendleton, former clerk at the Scott County Registrar’s office, and sister to registrar Willie Mae Kilgore, pled the fifth. By asserting her fifth amendment right not to incriminate herself, Pendleton raised the possibility that there was something to be incriminated about to a near certainty. When Pendleton later testified that she and her sister did nothing wrong, that left only one possible person guilty of that something: Charles Doughtery.

Combined with testimony from people who said that Dougherty either filled out their paperwork for them, or instructed others to do so, that was enough to find him guilty of the charges lodged against him.

Although supoenaed yesterday by the court, Willie Mae Kilgore was not on hand and was not called upon to testify by McAfee.

Special Prosecutor Joel Branscombe left room to possibly level other felony charges in this case, against person other than Dougherty.