RICHMOND, Va. -- Did my analysis during a live WTVR-TV interview last night convince the Mayor? I detailed why the current process relating to the proposed Shockoe Stadium deal is fatally tainted by among other things secret, behind-the-scenes influence peddling to benefit those politically connected to City Hall and City Council.
Mayor Jones surely knew that eventually I would write this column and reveal the Shockoe Shocker discussed below. I surely gave him and his posse plenty of time to reveal it themselves.
Mr. Jones knows the truth: what I have been saying is self-evident, and should be likewise to the City Council, the RTD editorial Board and others.
At this point, only a referendum process can avoid the inevitable damage to the city if our leaders insist on deciding the Shockoe Stadium issue by fundamentally compromised process THAT THE MAYOR HAS LONG KNOWN IS FUNDAMENTALLY COMPROMISED.
His PR person Ms. Hawley, his top government aide Mr. Marshall, his top political aide Mr. Hicks, City Council President Charles Samuels, and others will of course say: “Paul, no way the Mayor agrees with you.”
BUT LIKE DR. KING SAID:
“Truth crushed to earth will rise.”
Below are key excerpts from legislation introduced in the General Assembly of Virginia by none other than Delegate Dwight Clinton Jones himself. That’s right: Mr. Jones, believing this legislation absolutely necessary to protect the integrity of the governing processes here in Richmond, introduced this bill in 2000.
I would urge the RTD editorial board, and all those who refuse to admit the obvious to listen to Mayor Jones: that is, Delegate Jones.
The Mayor spoke the truth. But no one knew the citizen-referendum process existed in Richmond back then, it remained in an unnoticed City Charter clause until discovered by the executive director for the Wilder-Bliley Commission.
HOUSE BILL NO. 1448
Offered January 24, 2000
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia…relating to local lobbying regulation and disclosure provisions.
Patrons-- Jones, D.C…
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
§ 2.1-794.1. Local lobbying regulation and disclosure law.
A. This section shall provide for the regulation of lobbying and the disclosure of information.
B. The provisions of this chapter shall apply mutatis mutandis to every county and city..:
1. “Lobbying” means:
a. Influencing or attempting to influence official local action through oral or written communication with a local official; or
b. Solicitation of others to influence a local official.
2. “Local official” means a member of the county or city governing body, school board, planning commission, or board of zoning appeals or county or city chief executive officer.
3. The clerk of the governing body shall provide… perform the functions of the Secretary of the Commonwealth in administering the provisions of this section and chapter, .
4. Penalties collected…shall be payable to the treasurer of the county or city…
Click here to read the whole bill
Come on Ms. Hawley, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Hicks, Mr. Samuels, the RTD and everyone else:
The Mayor spoke the truth then: and he knows, everyone knows, it is truer today. He didn’t ask me about the referendum clause back then, or I could have helped him.
But as the saying goes: “If a Thing is right, then the time is always right.”
The time is right here in Richmond. The Mayor has long conceded was necessary for the good of the city.
But sadly, City Hall and City Council refuse to do the right thing for some reason.
This is why the City Charter gives citizens the right to put the needed referendum on the November ballot.
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.