Virginia Politicians Waste Another $10,000 on Failed Movie

by Lewis Loflin

The box office flop Big Stone Gap The Movie got about $1 million in public pork touted as helping tourism in the economically depressed community of Big Stone Gap. I've been there several times since the movie was filmed and asked residents if they noticed anything has changed.

The answer was no, but it was fun to see the movie stars on parade. The movie debuted last November at the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville and if one hasn't really heard of it you are not alone.

Now in another effort to see some return from the earlier debacle they want to spend more public dollars to market the same old box office flop. The movie was based on a fictional book by the same name whose author lived there a few years, moved to New York and never came back - nor has she done anything for the town.

Now the Virginia Tourism Corporation under a scam called "Marketing Leverage Program" is wasting another $10,000 to "to develop TV campaigns, offer initiatives to host travel writers, increase visitation to Big Stone Gap and its attractions and to cross promote the movie and film in Southwest Virginia counties and towns."

None other than Virginia Delegate Terry Kilgore (R) who appeared in the movie is behind this. According to Mr. Kilgore:

"This is yet another example of regional cooperation resulting in economic development opportunities for the citizens of Southwest Virginia. I applaud the success of the Big Stone Gap The Movie campaign due to the leadership and vision of participating partners."

Really Mr. Kilgore? It's a success yet you are spending another $10,000 of our tax dollars to promote a movie that was so successful? Perhaps they could have spent this on something real for the community like say a health clinic or something other than pad the bank accounts of their friends running more non-profits. Mr. Kilgore by the way runs the Virginia Tobacco Commission and has faced a storm of controversy in the past.

Their 2011 Blue Ribbon audit revealed 89 percent of their grants have never been accounted for. Millions wasted on a wholesale plant nursery in Gretna VA to make bio-fuels.