How Mayor Jones expects to win Shockoe Stadium vote

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

RICHMOND, Va. – What is Mayor Jones’ political strategy to win the fifth vote necessary to build his Shockoe Stadium, despite overwhelming public opposition? A unique literary technique developed by legendary Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times columnist William Safire can help answer the question.

Safire once praised my OPED column for the New York Times, or so I was told, saying I had used a spin-off from his “reading the mind of” technique. Safire created this approach to let him present to readers a top office-holder’s possible reasoning on a hot issue. So here goes a try.


The scene: The Mayor is at a favorite restaurant, the meal finished, sitting back and enjoying the finest cigar, regularly flicking the ashes in an expensive ashtray.

“So David thinks I should toss in the towel on the Stadium, that I lost the political “spin” when the No-Bid sweetheart contract aspect gained traction. He’s got a point, my Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial page backers panicked once certain clauses were revealed. But like LBJ said about advisors who wanted to cut and run on the Vietnam War, they are just a bunch of “nervous nellies.”

Michelle Mosby went on radio the other night and said I could win a Stadium referendum if the Council put it on the ballot. She used to be a little shaky, like Ellen and Cynthia. But they are a solid threesome on Council now.

That’s been true since I played the race card against white council members claiming they were insensitive to the heritage and anti-poverty aspects of my Shockoe proposal.

Henry Marsh taught me how to play that game and keep folks in line.

Kathy Graziano tells me my Shockoe Stadium got overwhelming support at her 4th district meetings. She’s a staunch GOP conservative who is 100 percent sold on the financing. She and Ellen have been great in saying all that No-Bid, sweetheart deal criticism isn’t true, these are private contracts.

Of course, they are dead wrong here as Michael Martz’s and Graham Moomaw’s pieces in the RTD have made clear. That’s politics.

Truth is, the hard vote is 4-2 in my favor. My four ain’t budging, same for Reva and Parker in opposition.

The media and the public haven’t figured out the big secret here, if Baliles, Samuels and Hilbert had told the business community and me from jump street they couldn’t back a stadium in the Bottom, why would I risk my reputation, that of the business community, the RTD and my political allies on a hopeless deal?

Some of my people feel those three doubled crossed us. Anything is possible, but I don’t believe it.

Besides, it enabled me to use them to kill the referendum, the only thing I actually fear.

Baliles has raised some financial issues, Samuels some technical and informational ones and Hilbert has said he will not be the one to kill the heritage/anti-poverty piece.

Truth is, I dropped the ball and didn’t get them the answers they wanted.  That’s on me.

Kathy is my key here.  She’s been saying, Ellen too, that I got to repackage the Shockoe Stadium proposal, whether fair or not, in light of all the recent stuff on the Economic Development Authority, the lease requirements of Section 9 of the State Constitution, the No-Bid stuff, guaranteed secret pieces of deals, all that stuff.

They have a point. The Council liked what my new guy said on saving the Shockoe history last Tuesday.

So maybe they are right, maybe I need some new folks out front. Maybe I should pull back Byron and Berry and the others. Ellen and Kathy are well respected by Jon, Charles and Chris.

Get them more out front, the business folks too. They know it is a great deal for the city.

I need to surround myself with them. ”

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.


  • manalishi

    “”How Mayor Jones expects to win Shockoe Stadium vote”. Fraud, deceit, lies, payoffs & collusion. It’s all democrats know.

  • Becky

    Venture Richmond: Get to Recognize their Names and their Corporations, donors, partners.
    A Tax Exempt/Non Profit, REALLY SPECIAL, Special Interest Group
    Chairman and CEO Jacqueline McClenney,Pres, McClenney Wallace, LLC
    Jack Berry, Executive Director
    Mary Doswell, Sr VP, Alternative Energy Solutions, DOMINION
    Immediate past chairman and CEO Robert W. Woltz
    Secretary: Mark R. Merhige, President, The Shockoe Company
    Treasurer: Thomas Brown, Vice chairman, Rutherford
    General Counsel: John W. Bates III, Esq. Partner, MCQUIRE WOODS LLP

  • Becky

    Board members”
    Farhad Aghdami* Partner, WILLIAM MULLEN
    Ken Ampy* CEO, Astyra Corporation
    Robert Angle Partner, Troutman Sanders
    Ed Ayers* President, University of Richmond
    Stephen E. Baril Attorney, Sands Anderson
    William Beale* CEO, Union First Market Bank
    Peter Bernard* CEO, BON SECOURS
    Jean Boone Advertising director, Richmond Free Press
    Margaret Bowen, VP, HR, REYNOLDS Packaging Group
    Aisha Bullard Central Virginia Family Services
    Stacy Burrs* Owner/president, Capacity Development, LLC
    Tim Butturini* Regional president, WELLS FARGO
    James Carleton, Chairman, RRHA Board of Commissioners
    Peter Chapman** Deputy CAO, CITY OF RICHMOND
    Jonathan Coleman The New Y-Capp, Inc.
    Sharon Dabney-Wooldridge* President and CEO The Klean Kare Team
    Tim Davey,VP/President, TIMMONS GROUP
    Patrick Farrell* CEO, Henrico Doctors’ Hospital
    Candace Formacek* Vice president and treasurer, Universal Corporation
    Moses Foster* President and CEO, WEST CARY GROUP
    Jerry Fox Partner-In-Charge, Cherry, Bekaert and Holland
    B. Keith Fulton* VP, VERIZON
    Stephen Gannon, EVP and Deputy General Counsel, CAPITAL ONE
    Gary Gore* Managing Director of U.S. Trust/BofA Private Wealth Management/Richmond Market President, BANK OF AMERICBank of America
    Thomas E. Gottwald* President and CEO, NewMarket Corporation
    Robert J. Grey, Jr., Esq.Partner, HUNTON AND WILLIAMS
    Brenton S. Halsey Chairman emeritus, James River Corporation
    Adam Harrell* Co-managing partner, Harrell and Chambliss
    Monroe E. Harris, Jr., DMD Principal, Virginia Oral & Facial Surgery
    Bruce R. Hazelgrove, III, VP, Corp Resources, NEW MARKET ORP
    Devon Henry, CEO & Pres, and President, Team Henry Enterprises
    C.T. Hill**
    Brian K. Jackson* Partner, Hirschler Fleischer
    Darius Johnson* President, PREMIER BANK
    Kenneth S. Johnson* President, Johnson, Inc.
    Kenneth Jones President and CEO, Prestige Construction
    Rev. Michael J. Jones Senior pastor, Village of Faith Ministries
    Bruce Kay Vice president, Markel Corporation
    C. Burke King.Pres, Virginia market, ANTHEM BC/BS
    Jon King CEO, Exclusive Staffing
    Justin Knight President, Apple REIT
    Otto Konrad Partner, Kaufman and Canoles
    Jeffrey M. Lacker, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
    Richard Lambert, VP. Scott’s Funeral Home
    Michael Laming, Director, Human Resources, GENWORTH FINANCIAL
    Nico de Leon* President, NXL
    Charles Macfarlane* Managing member, MacFarlane Partners
    Sal Mancuso. VP,Treasurer, ALTRIA GROUP
    David Mills,SVP and corporate secretary, K-Line America, Inc.
    Rumy Mohta, CEO, Atlas Branding and Communications
    John Molster, Managing Dir, SCOTT & STRINGFELLOW
    Jay Moore,* Partner, HUNTON AND WILLIAMS
    Thomas Osgood EVP, CFO and CAO, Xenith Bank
    Harold Parker, Jr. Owner, Old Dominion Electrical Supply
    Angela Patton Founder, Camp Diva
    Claude Perkins* President, Virginia Union University
    Burt Pinnock Principal, BAM Architects
    Michael Rao* President, Virginia Commonwealth University
    Gary L. Rhodes* President, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
    John Rivers Manager, Regional Sales, Cisco Systems
    Dr. Pamela Royal, CEO, Royal Dermatology and Aesthetic
    Lisa Schaffner,Director of PR, United Network for Organ Sharing
    Linda Schreiner, SVP, HR, MEADWESTVACO
    Oliver Singleton, President/CEO, The Metropolitan Business League
    Dwight Snead, President, DwigMEht Snead Construction
    Ronald Stallings CEO, Walker Row Partnership
    James Theobald* Chairman, Hirschler Fleischer
    Andrew Thornton* President, LaDifference
    Dr. Eugene P. Trani, Pres Emeritus, VCU
    Albert W. Thweatt, Sr. CEO, Alrod Enterprises
    Mark Van Sumeren, Exec VP, OWENS AND MINOR
    Leonard Venter Managing partner, LAV and Associates
    Jason Vickers-Smith Principal, WVS Companies
    Marilyn West* President and CEO, M. H. West and Co.
    Brian White Principal, SWA Construction
    Matt Williams, CEO, THE MARTIN AGENCY
    Michael Zajur, Founder/CEO, Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

  • Becky

    Annual Contributors:
    Altria/Philip Morris USA, Anthem, Bank of America, Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Brandywine Realty Trust, Capital One, Cherry Bekaert LLP, The Community Foundation, Davenport & Co. LLC, Dominion, Ernst & Young LLP, Genworth Financial, HCA Richmond Hospitals, Hirschler Fleischer. Hunton & Williams LLP,
    J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, K-Line, KPMG LLP, Markel Corporation, The Martin Agency,
    McGuireWoods, Media General Inc., Mercer Marsh, Mutual Assurance Society of Virginia Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia, MeadWestvaco, NewMarket Corporation, NXL Construction Services, Owens & Minor Inc., The Rosenthal Foundation, Running With Scissors, Rutherfoord, Sands Anderson, S.B. Cox, Scott
    & Stringfellow, SunTrust Bank, Ukrop’s Endowment Fund of The
    Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia, Ukrop’s Super Markets Inc., Union First Market Bank, The Universal Leaf Foundation, Virginia Commonwealth University/VCU Health System, Verizon, Wells Fargo, Williams Mullen Foundation, The WVS Companies

  • Becky

    Richmond Times-Dispatch, Discover Richmond,, Style Weekly, Richmond Free Press, Richmond GRID, Richmond Magazine, RVA Magazine, RVANews, WRIC-TV8 (ABC), WWBT (NBC 12), WTVR-TV 6
    (CBS 6), WCVE (PBS).City of Richmond, Greater Richmond Chamber, Historic Richmond Foundation, Greater Richmond Partnership,Inc., Richmond Sports Backers, 17th Street Farmers’ Market, Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

  • Ed

    For get miner league richmond take a chants on the pros they have had miner league base ball for 100 years I think big leagues might work. Richmond likes base ball just saying do something great for the st of va buy a team move them to va richmond is in the middle of the state. Mabe people what more than the miners and I am shore you could get the out side traffic in. What a waste of money on a team that plays Podunk city’s

  • Becky

    Al Broaddus, Apple REIT/Richmond Marriott, Astyra Corporation, Baskerville, Margaret Bowen,
    The Capstone Contracting Company, Commonwealth Architects, Dominion Realty,
    DoubleTree Hotel, Elam & Funsten, Elisabeth Reed Carter Charitable Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia, Sue and Sandy Fitz-Hugh, Brent Halsey,
    Monroe E. Harris, Hilton Garden Inn, Tammy and Brian Jackson, James Center, La Difference
    Thomas and Marilyn Lippard, Mark Dunning Industries, Inc., M. H. West & Co. Inc., Main Street Realty, Mark Merhige, Old Dominion Electrical Supply, Premier Bank, Prestige Construction Group,
    Richmond Cold Storage Co. Inc., Robert Sledd, Royal Dermatology and Aesthetic, Scott’s Funeral Home, Timmons, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, Warren, Whitney, Sherwood & Co.

  • Becky

    According to US IRS Code, Tax Exempts are NOT to Engage in “POLITICS”,
    but of course, all these Lawyers and Richmond City Attorney, Richmond City Council and The Mayor would all know that.

  • Becky

    Of course, with the Mayor Serving as President, Samuels & Robertson serving the Ventures’ Board,
    Newbille serving Sports Backer, the racial vote and of course, Graciano serving anything Jones,
    He CAN win the Party Line Vote for the Party Way on the Richmond City Council.
    Of course, There will be a certain and sure life principal involved. When Council and Mayor have a Conflict of Interests and chose their Party Interests over Citizens and Our Taxes there will be a Backlash, for their own actions, decisions, life style choices of their Special Interests Government.

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