STYLE's look at mayoral candidates
Click here to read the five-part story.
Since 1985, in one format or another The SLANT -- an independent voice based in Richmond's Fan District -- has offered its readers original commentary on politics and popular culture, plus cartoons and selected sundries. All rights are reserved.
Everything that I feel about the world is based on my love of music. While other people look to religion for spiritual or moral guidance, I turn to my record collection. And it’s there that I always find the face of God.
I have no doubt that this might sound a little silly to some people. Music is merely an entertainment option to them, a means to enable a good time and nothing else. To me, that thinking belittles the redemptive power of sound. While I certainly enjoy musical a compliment in the shallow end of the pool, I seek out music the most for guidance in the deep end of life’s headier realms. And it works both ways. Sometimes AC/DC is the perfect antidote to cure existential angst; sometimes it’s Stravinsky or maybe Lee Perry. I’ve found that cranking MDC’s, “Millions of Dead Cops” cures a Sarah Palin-induced rage and that Nina Simone’s cover of the Ike & Tina Turner classic, “Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Tweeter” is the perfect theme song for John McCain. If I’m feeling down in the dumps, the soothing sounds of Perrey & Kingsley or the Beau Hunks always brings me back to the good life. Of all the creative expressions, music is the most malleable and immediate in its ability to affect either the individual or a group’s mood. It has the ability to convey true emotional impact though the arrangement of notes.
And at it’s best, music can affect social and political change.
Now I'm going to hear to what Bopst has to offer this week.
At 11 a.m. today, Sen. Jim Webb and eight additional Democratic Senators -- Harkin, (Bill) Nelson, (Ben) Nelson, Lincoln, Boxer, Feinstein, Salazar, and Klobuchar -- sent the attached letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid seeking assurances that any agreement being negotiated contain specific provisions to protect taxpayers and our financial system.
The provisions include: (1) a new regulatory structure to protect our financial system against further instability; (2) releasing of funds to the Treasury in installments to ensure proper implementation and accountability; (3) a clearly specified limit on executive compensation in rescued companies; (4) ensuring that taxpayers are protected against loss and share in any possible gains; and (5) a restriction on financial assistance to foreign banks and institutions.
Webb said this morning: “This issue transcends party politics, going to the concerns that every single American holds for a secure financial future. Those of us who have not been among the small group of negotiators have a duty to communicate clearly both our concerns and our expectations as the process moves forward. The markets should know that we want to reach a consensus expeditiously, but with a plan that protects the economy, gives a potential boost to the American taxpayer and brings accountability to those who got us in to this crisis.”-- Photo by F.T. Rea
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a McCain supporter, said the Republican made a "huge mistake" by even discussing canceling the debate.Click here to read the AP story.
"You can't just say, 'World, stop for a moment. I'm going to cancel everything,'" Huckabee told reporters Thursday night in Alabama before attending a benefit for the University of Mobile. He said it's more important for voters to hear from the presidential candidates than for them to huddle with fellow senators in Washington.
Both McCain and Obama had returned to Washington on Thursday at the urging of President Bush, who invited them to a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House. But a session aimed at showing unity in resolving the financial crisis broke up with conflicts in plain view.
McCain's campaign said the meeting "devolved into a contentious shouting match" and implied Obama was at fault — on a day when McCain said he was putting politics aside to focus on the nation's financial problems.
The five hopefuls stood behind podiums in a second floor ballroom that comfortably swallowed up the 300 to 350 people who came to see what the men running for mayor looked like under fire, and to hear what they had to say.Click here to read the entire piece.
The topic for the night’s talk-fest was billed as The Future of Downtown.
After opening statements, the candidates were questioned by a trio of rather mild mannered inquisitors, seated stage left: Ed Slipek (Style Weekly); Jimmy Barrett (1140 WRVA); Aaron Gilchrist (NBC12).
In his opening statement, Paul Goldman tossed off a couple of red meat campaign promises to the audience, “There will be no baseball stadium downtown. There will be no Echo Harbor project, either.”
Among the other important races on the ballot this time around are two that will determine who will follow a couple of Virginia’s superstar politicians, Sen. John Warner (who is retiring) and Mayor Doug Wilder (who will surely keep us guessing about what his next gig will be).Click here to read the entire article, written by yours truly.
The densely populated 7th District contains the most eastern parts of Richmond; it is bounded to the north, east and somewhat to the south by Henrico County. The district does not cross the James River, also to the south. Neighborhoods in the 7th include: Fairfield, Church Hill, Fulton Bottom, Fulton Hill, Montrose Heights and the eastern portion of Shockoe Bottom.
Within the 7th District are Jefferson Hill Park, Libby Hill Park, Chimborazo Park, Gillies Creek Park, Powhatan Hill Park, Tobacco Row, the Edgar Allen Poe Museum and St. John’s Church, where Patrick Henry gave his “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech in 1775.
The salamander-shaped 6th District stretches from Highland Park and Barton Heights in North Richmond, through parts of Downtown, including the Richmond Coliseum and Shockoe Slip.
Then it crosses the James River to Blackwell, and runs all the way down the Commerce Road industrial corridor to the southern-most part of Richmond. Both the VCU Medical Center (MCV) campus and Deepwater Terminal are within the district.
No other district is so far-flung. Yet, with all that geography there are only two schools in the 6th -- Overby-Sheppard Elementary and Martin Luther King Middle. At the City of Richmond’s web site the 6th is called the “Gateway.”
Evidence gathered by the 2000 census points at the most significant problem many residents in the 6th face every day -- poverty. To support that observation, the percentage of female householders, with no spouse and related children under the age of 18, is 31 percent. That’s the highest of any district and over twice the citywide average.
Click here to read the entire article.
Barbara Johns in bronze, at Capitol Square
Doug didn't see her, 'cause he won't there
Civil Rights heroes, the mayor don't care
Where was he then?
Carytown Monkey, in the blogosphere
Carytown Monkey, just ordered a beer
Carytown Monkey, now he's out of here
So where is he now?
As both a U.S. Attorney and Member of Congress, I defended drug prohibition. But it has become increasingly clear to me, after much study, that our current strategy has not worked and will not work. The other candidates for president prefer not to address this issue, but ignoring the failure of existing policy exhibits both a poverty of thought and an absence of political courage. The federal government must turn the decision on drug policy back to the states and the citizens themselves.
My change in perspective might shock some people, but leadership requires a willingness to assess evidence and recognize when a strategy is not working. We are paying far too high a price for today's failed policy to continue it simply because it has always been done that way.
Talk about seeing the light!
Click here to read this astonishing piece by the former Republican congressman from Georgia who is running for president on the Libertarian ticket.
-- H/T to Jackie
In a report about yesterday's mayoral candidates forum at the posh Bull & Bear Club downtown, Will Jones writes for the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Speaking to the Metropolitan Richmond Women's Bar Association, Paul Goldman had twice mentioned a recent poll purportedly conducted by the campaign of City Council President William J. Pantele. The poll was the subject of a recent blog post, with the author speculating whether it was a "push poll," a controversial tactic sometimes used to lead voters toward or away from a candidate or an issue.
Goldman, a lawyer and political consultant, challenged Pantele to release the questions and "show us that blog is not right." He added, "We shouldn't be asking personal questions about anybody up here."
Pantele did not respond. After the forum, however, his campaign manager, Craig Bieber, angrily accused Goldman of dirty politics.
At the time, Goldman was telling a Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter that he was not suggesting the poll was a push poll, just asking the question raised by the blog, Read Drink and Be Merry.
Click here to read the entire piece at inRich.
Click here to read Bookstore Piet's post about push-polling at Read, Drink, & Be Merry.
Click here to see a WWBT12 video report on the forum.
An interview with mayoral candidate Robert Grey is up at Richmond.com. The piece was penned by yours truly.
As it stands now, the two candidates that haven’t raised much money, Paul Goldman and Lawrence Williams, are battling the perception they simply can’t win. And, the three candidates who have amassed large war chests must overcome perceptions they are somehow tainted by their connections, however tenuous, to various longstanding squabbles.
Of the five, Robert Grey is seen by some observers as the most connected to Wilder. Whether it’s true or not, obviously, that’s a knife that could cut either way with voters.
Click here to read the rest of the introduction and the interview itself.
The last American president to get much mileage out of the word evil was probably Ronald Reagan, with his “evil empire” characterization of the USSR and its sphere of influence. Now, 20 years later, we have a president who sees “an axis of evil” — an alleged phenomenon that puzzles most of the world’s leaders, or so they say.George W. Bush apparently has little use for Franklin D. Roosevelt’s stalwart advice to a nation in need of a boost in confidence — “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Instead, Bush chooses to color-code fear rather than urge his people to rise above it.
The “rough beast” of dreadful evil “slouching towards” us is traveling on the back of technology of our own making. While we watch out for organized terrorists in the short run, with a handy color code to guide us, it’s time to think more seriously about how to get rid of a lot of very dangerous weapons in the long run.
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Click here to read the story.
After the game some of the former Braves players came onto the infield to unfurl a banner for the fans to see."Thanks for the memories," it said.
Many fans lingered as the shadows lengthened, clearly not wanting the day at the ballpark to end. Kids crowded up the fence just behind the Braves dugout, hoping to pick up souvenir bats or balls. A few of them were rewarded. Invited guests posed in groups on the field for pictures.
The Diamond’s giant sound system switched from its usual peppy pop music to "Auld Lang Syne."