Letter to the Editor: Good has a bad record

Published 6:33 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

Dear Editor,

An Oct. 6 Cardinal News article by Dwayne Yancey referred to Virginia’s 5th District Congressman Bob Good as “one of the most influential members in Congress” because he and seven other Republican legislators ousted Speaker McCarthy for cooperating with Democrats to prevent a government shutdown. I’m not sure Good sees the irony in the fact that he and his cronies needed the cooperation of Democrats to bring down McCarthy, but it’s easy for the rest of us to see that his poor record as a legislator is now even worse. Being influential isn’t always a good thing. 

Good doesn’t understand the basic premise of a democracy: it requires compromise. He tweeted, “The American people need a Speaker who will fight to keep the promises Republicans made to get the majority, not someone who cuts fiscally irresponsible deals that get more Democrat votes than Republican votes.” In the article, Yancey noted that “those Republican promises, as Good sees them, are never going to pass a Democratic Senate or get signed into law by a Democratic president.” Good is more interested in creating chaos and making headlines than in passing legislation or serving Virginians. 

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Good has an abysmal record as a lawmaker. According to GovTrack.us, not one of the 40 bills he introduced has become law. Even worse, he has not supported a single piece of successful legislation — including the infrastructure bill that is a boon to rural Virginia. Everything he voted for failed, and everything he voted against passed. Good also failed to deliver any earmarks for Virginia’s 5th District. Any funding for us has come from the efforts of Senators Warner and Kaine, not Good. 

Good clearly has no idea what his job entails. Between January 2021 and July 2023, Good missed 41 of 1,380 roll call votes, skipping almost double the congressional median. He was the fourth most absent House freshman in his first term. He has not served in a leadership capacity on either a House committee or subcommittee. 

The Legislative Effectiveness Scores (LES) from The Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at UVA analyze how successful representatives of the 117th Congress are. Good had a LES score of .330, meaning he was one-third as effective as the average (1.0) lawmaker. Good rated on the boundary of “Below expectations.” 

When will Bob Good realize that his job is not to groom his media image as a “bad boy,” as one commentator called him? While representatives have other responsibilities, like constituent services and oversight, their constitutional function is developing laws designed to improve the state of the union. Good clearly doesn’t give a rip about the state of the union — or us in the 5th District. 

I hear people complain that government doesn’t do anything for them. How can it when we keep electing representatives who are more interested in petty fights and media attention than in working for us?

Robin Smith