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GOLDMAN: Mayor Jones confident ‘Judge’ Samuels will switch stadium vote

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. – When you come before Judge Samuels, make sure you bring your baseball stadium stubs; he might cut you some slack.

But you say, “City Council President Charles Samuels isn’t a judge.” To paraphrase Bill Clinton, it all depends on what the meaning of “isn’t” is.

Last year, citizens awoke to this headline and story in the Richmond Times Dispatch:

“Council president wants referendum on ballpark site”

“Council President Charles R. Samuels said Monday night he will introduce legislation at next week’s council meeting to call for a November referendum on the best site for a replacement for The Diamond.”

Later in the story, Mr. Samuels said:

“This just allows the voters to have a real say in where it should go.”

The Mayor ‘s offer didn’t oppose a referendum.

“We welcome the opportunity to make our case directly to the public if that is what council prefers.”

Last night Mr. Samuels, as reported in today’s RTD, said there is growing support for a referendum for the very reason he suggested, giving people a real say in the matter.

Mr. Samuels admitted it.

But now, Mr. Samuels has suddenly switched his position.

“Here come da Judge!” is what the Mayor’s older aides joke or sometimes it’s “ Here comes Pigmeat” when they see City Council President Charles Samuels come by to check with The Boss.

They refer to Dewey “Pigmeat” Markham, the famed comedian known for using this line on the Rowan and Martin TV comedy show. The Mayor’s young aides mistakenly call Charles “Geraldine” for the character made famous by comedian Flip Wilson before he also became known for saying “Here come da Judge!”

Everyone in the know in Richmond politics knows Charles is angling to be a Judge. Being a Beatles fan, Charles knows Ringo Starr had it right, some things can only be done “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

Friends like Mayor Jones, his pal Senator Henry Marsh, Governor McAuliffe, the Richmond City Democratic delegation to the General Assembly, you get my drift.

You and I, as my mom used to say, are chopped liver.

I get it. A man has to eat, he has to provide for the family, he has to, as famed “honest graft” wheeler and dealer George Washington Plunkitt used to say about this kind of thing, “I saw my opportunities and took’em.”

Bottom line, Samuels is key to the Mayor being able to jam a boondoggle Shockoe Stadium proposal down the throats of the people of Richmond.

Last night, instead of welcoming people to his side of the case, “Judge” Samuels scolded them for not backing him up last year.

I ask you, when have you ever heard of a politician not welcoming the “I told you” so glow when the public finally comes to his side?

That’s right, only when you have cut a better deal for yourself at the people’s expense.

Can I prove it? I don’t have to, it will prove itself soon enough.

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.