GOLDMAN: McAuliffe secretly pressuring Richmond City Council to back Shockoe Stadium

Posted at 10:30 AM, Feb 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-11 10:58:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. - “I am going to make him an offer that he can’t refuse,” famously declared Godfather Don Corleone in The Godfather.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is no Brando and Mayor Jones no Al Pacino, but not for lack of trying.

Last night, what my sources had sworn me to secrecy finally got revealed.

The Governor is arm-twisting openly, albeit it deftly, to get Richmond City Council to pass the Mayor’s controversial Shockoe Stadium deal.

What, you didn’t see it in the paper this morning?

Of course, they take you and me for having just fallen off the banana boat from Tel Aviv, or if you prefer the turnip truck from Durham.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe at Richmond City Council (PHOTO: Richmond City Council)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe at Richmond City Council (PHOTO: Richmond City Council)

We are supposed to believe the Governor just happened to stop by for the first time at a City Council meeting last night, when Democratic Mayor Jones just happened to say how close the two men were and just happened to be introducing his latest revised proposal to build his controversial Shockoe Stadium to the three Democratic members of City Council, who just happen to be in their seats at this regular City Council meeting.

I concede, “stuff happens” all the time.

Let me give Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter Graham Moomaw praise for writing the story straight, letting the obvious speak for itself. It just happened the Governor came by to happen to say the following:

“I just want you to know that I want to be a partner with it,” said the Governor.

And what did he mean by IT?

According to Mr. Moomaw,  “He [the Governor] mentioned the development plan for Shockoe Bottom, though he didn’t tread too deeply into the contentious debate.”

That’s right, the Governor just happened to mention it because he wanted to make sure Council knew he didn’t want to get involved.

You got that right?

Earth to everyone reading this column:



Because everyone but the people want it.

Bottom line

The Shockoe Stadium proposal went full-on POLITICAL PARTISAN last night.

As I have been saying:

Three Democratic Councilmen – Baliles, Hilbert and Samuels – are the swing voters.

I know ace WTVR reporter “Smokin” Joe St. George interviewed Councilwoman Kathy Graziano in response to my WTVR column and she said I was wrong, she claimed to be undecided.

I repeat, my pro-stadium sources confirm Kathy is a sure 100 percent YES.

Thus the key remaining votes are these three allegedly undecided Democrats.

All have higher political ambitions that require the help of either a Democratic Governor, a Democratic Richmond General Assembly delegation, the Richmond City Democratic Committee, the Democratic Richmond Crusade for Voters, the Democratic Marsh/Jones machine, you get the drift.

They are all talented guys, and should be thinking of higher office.

Mr. Samuels is rumored to want a judgeship or the Democratic nomination for Commonwealth Attorney should Mr. Herring not run again. Mr. Hilbert is already a declared candidate for Mayor. Mr. Hilbert also works for the state.

Mr. Baliles is the son of former Democratic Governor Jerry Baliles and would have lost his 2012 Council race against Bruce Tyler but for the Richmond Democratic City Committee’s endorsement. He is being talked up in Democratic circles.

Who do you think controls the RCDC?

Not Mother Teresa.

“OUCH! You darn near broke my arm!” is the cry you might have heard last night.

Remember what Al Pacino told Diane Keaton in that great opening wedding scene? He said his father once needed to get someone to do something, in that case sign a contract.

So he met with the guy, had a gun to the guy’s head, and said either his brains or his signature would be on the contract in the next minute.

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.