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GOLDMAN: Mayor’s Shockoe Stadium proposal could give City Hall allies $200 million

Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) –  Ask yourself, why you are learning about this situation right here for the first time? Whatever you may think of Mayor Wilder, the public didn’t have to worry at some $200 million sweetheart deal on a Shockoe Stadium.

Mayor Wilder knew what to do when they tried this curve ball.

He picked up the telephone, dialed and when a voice came on the line, he said simply:

“Paul, come over to my office, I need someone to give me an honest opinion on this Shockoe deal some folks are pushing on the city.”

Doug knew one thing, he would get my honest opinion. I might be wrong. I might be an idiot. I might be a pain in the rear, my hair might not be combed all the time, but he knew I would give him my honest idiot, pain-in-the-butt opinion, hair and all.

I told him the truth.

Mayor Wilder took about five seconds to kill it.

For weeks now, I have tried to do the same thing for YOU, the readers.

I don’t claim perfection. But it is my honest opinion knowing how things go after helping Governors and Mayors run stuff.

On Monday, Mayor Jones introduced his latest version of the Jones Shockoe Bottom Sweetheart deal. Now I know why so many people looked the other way when he called white Richmonders “racist.”

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE GREEN.

They were afraid to say anything for fear the Mayor would make sure they got NOTHING. Two hundred million dollars buys a lot of silence apparently.

The Mayor submitted his revised Shockoe Stadium proposal to City Council on Monday night. It has been revised to by-pass the public AND those city charter procedures intended to allow the people to prevent these kinds of sweet heart deals.

But that isn’t all.

This new plan allows him and his City Hall posse to effectively pick not only the top line contractors for the development projects, but the specific subcontractors, “consultants” and the like, all getting a guaranteed piece of the top line contractors “action.”

How much must the top line contractor give them to get City Hall’s approval? 40 percent at least. The 40 percent number is hidden way down in Resolution 2014-R 29 submitted by the Mayor.

It appears in clause 1 (g) (5) (ii) in the resolution submitted by the Mayor.

Since the top line contractor is also effectively picked by the City Hall posse in back-room discussion with the Economic Development Authority being used by the Mayor this deal, who do you think will be the subcontractors, consultants and like for the company getting the top line contract?

You got it, those with City Hall’s seal of approval.

The Economic Development Authority and his Administration, legally and behind-the-scenes, creates all the rules and picks all the winners, by-passing the process to stop this sort of thing in state law and the city charter!

It is all legal if City Council goes along.

The Mayor’s proposal cleverly doesn’t say whether the 40 percent rule is only limited to Shockoe Stadium related stuff or will also apply for the hundreds and hundreds of additional contracts for the Boulevard Development. This will apparently be revealed AFTER the City Council approves the whole deal, Shockoe and the Boulevard!

Why would the 40 percent rule not be the same since the same people are making up the rules?

While the Mayor’s statistics and promises keep changing, I think it is fair to say at least $500 million is a fair, conservative number to use in determining the total development over time.

You do the math,  40 percent of $500 million is $200 million in subcontracts, “consulting” gigs, and the like. I am not passing judgment on competence, since I don’t know who they might be. But their 40 percent “cut” is guaranteed.

Two hundred million dollars buys you a lot of friends, and a lot of silence apparently.

Paul Goldman is in no way affiliated with WTVR. His comments are his own, and do not reflect the views of WTVR or any related entity. Neither WTVR nor any of its employees or agents participated in any way with the preparation of Mr. Goldman’s comments.

12 comments

  • manalishi

    As with all areas of us politics, you will never get any better that cronyism from democrats. But yet there are still a few petulant partisan punks that would compare Mcdonnells questionable scraps to this $200 million dollar scam just for one disgraceful city.

  • Phil Wilayto

    Paul, it would be helpful if you explained what you mean by the 40% issue. I assume you mean the mayor’s stated goal that 40% of contracts would go to “minority” companies. If so, you should point out that, under Virginia law,”minority” does not mean African-American or any other community of color. It simply means any business that employs less than 500 workers. It can mean a small business owned by white women. It can mean a so-called “disadvantaged” business. It can mean the law office you run with Joe Morrissey. So while the Metropolitan Business League says it endorsed the mayor’s proposal because of his 40% goal of “minority” participation, there’s nothing to say that all the contracts couldn’t go to businesses that are not Black-owned and the mayor could still claim he met his goal.

    • Glen Allen

      Good point Phil, but Richmond has its own definition that states – Minority, in the context of construction contracts, means a minority that has been subjected to legally mandated racial segregation in Richmond. You can find this definition on every Request for Proposal, and Invitation to Bid that the City advertises. (look on the City websise under procurement services, construction bids)

      • Rodney Thomas

        Minority, as stated by SBA, Virginia Procurement Rules and any other “legitimate” recognition, is any of non-white male-owned business; thus women, Asian, Haitian, Native American, women, white women.

  • Glen Allen

    manalishi – This really has nothing at all to do with political party affiliation, and all to do with greed (just as is the case with Mcdonnell and his wife).

    At the very, very least, City Council owes the local, State and Federal tax payers (we all have money in this regardless where we live) the respect and assurance that the procurement for all of this effort will be totally transparent and free from the Mayor (or his executive staff’s) involvement.

    Further, if City Council wishes to obtain, or maintain the support from their constituents, they will Just Say No, to the entire deal and tell the Mayor to resubmit a plan that opens the development opportunity to everyone, and keeps baseball where the citizens want it.

    If Mr. Samuels really wants to one day become a Judge, now would be a good opportunity to show he is honest and impartial. Just Say No Mr. Samuels. If Mr. Hilbert would really like to be a future Richmond City Mayor, now would be a good opportunity to show the people he would truly represent them, and not be sold out to wealthy developers. Just Say No Mr. Hilbert.

    • Me

      Mayor Dwight “Clinton” Jones is President of Venture Richmond’s Board.
      NO Conflict of Interest there.
      Charles Samuels and Ellen Robertson both SERVE Venture’s Board. . JJ Minor SERVES in Mayor’s Administration, Democratic Party Chair,
      and Promotional Advertising for Venture Richmond and Loving RVA. His mother, Richmond Delegate Delores McQuinn, SERVES Jones.
      …Venture’s Board includes Lawyers skilled at Advising Jones & Council
      how to manipulate the Bonds, Refuse Public Referendums, Take Votes
      Away from the People, and Extort the Taxes to their Special Interests.

      • Me

        This was all pre-planned, orchestrated, manipulated, contrived, and
        Set Up in the 10 year’s staging of Gaming for the Bottom Ball Park
        with All the Players being the Positively Richmond Who’s Who
        Power Brokers:
        Lawyers, Bankers, Developers, Real Estate Firms, Big Corporations, Big Businesses and Donor’s to Dwight “Clinton” Jones Party/Political Election Campaigns.
        All conducted behind closed doors, in back rooms of Our Hidden Government “DEALS” for their BENEFITS.

  • Me

    So just WHO DO we report this Corruption, Collusion, Graft and Donors sponsoring/BUYING Government Officials for Government PAY OFFS
    of it Donors’, Contributors’, Special Interests for Enrichment SCAMS?
    …The Mayor’s Task Force on Waste, Fraud and Abuse through his IG?
    …The State Democratic Party Senate’s “Ethics” Committee that REFUSES the Transparency of the Democratic Governor, AG, and
    their own Financing of More Special Democratic Interest Groups Donors?
    …. How about the Infamous DOInjustice for Party ONLY enabling…
    The entire system has been deliberately set up to suit, enable, and facilitate just exactly what is INYOFACE Democratic Party
    “Pol-“I-Licking”.
    Any Advice, Goldman, for TAX PAYERS being SCREWED by
    their All echelons of Democratic Governments: Local, State and
    Federal?????.

  • Peter Carmines

    Going to go out on a limb here and say that they will choose Historic Housing LLC, run by a man who plead guilty on conspiracy to commit extortion charges back in 2003.

  • Me

    YOU’VE been CONNED, again, by your own Government,
    that “Feels” that is Perfectly Correct; it’s kind, loving, caring, inclusive, and oh, so beautifully benevolent to Welfare Corporate, engorging and
    enriching themselves on the backs of the Resident/Tax Payers.
    ****You do remember the same Party Rhetoric, Campaigns, Occupations, Outrage and Rage
    AGAINST the RICH, AGAINST Big Corporate?
    Come to find out the own, operate, manage, a RUN Government.

  • Farid Alan Schintzius

    Just wait until they announce THEIR PLAN as to creating a new non-profit that will handle all the $$$’s being committed by the city and state for the historical project. Think Delores and some of the expired term cillegal slave trail commission.

    Oh Yeah, they will let us know when they have it all ready… and for sure that can’t be cherry picked either

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