- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 30, 2002

RICHMOND (AP) Gov. Mark R. Warner told former Delegate Barnie K. Day he had to give up either his online political column or his seat as chairman of a state board that oversees funding for various city and county officials.
Mr. Day, a Patrick County banker, had no trouble making a decision. When the state Compensation Board met Tuesday in Richmond, he was nowhere to be found.
Mr. Day refused to give up a column he recently began writing for roanoke.com, the Roanoke Times' Web site. He surrendered his board seat Monday, the day before he was to be sworn in as chairman.
"It's the principle," Mr. Day told the newspaper. "The principle for me is the right to express an unfettered opinion."
Mr. Warner's spokeswoman, Ellen Qualls, said the Democratic governor was uncomfortable having an appointee writing partisan columns about issues such as the sexual-harassment case involving former House Speaker S. Vance Wilkins Jr.
"The governor said, 'I don't want him writing columns taking a partisan position if he's going to be representing me in a paid position,'" Miss Qualls said.
Mr. Day's first column appeared June 10, six days after Mr. Warner appointed him to head the Compensation Board. The part-time position pays $18,000 annually.
The board approves the budgets of city and county constitutional officers such as sheriffs, commonwealth's attorneys, commissioners of the revenue and treasurers. It also reimburses localities for the state's share of salaries and expenses in those offices.
No one has been chosen yet to replace Mr. Day.
Mr. Day, a vocal Warner supporter in the campaign last year, served in the House of Delegates from 1997 to 2001 and represented parts of Carroll, Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties as a Democrat.


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