GOLDMAN: Will Mayor Jones throw Kim Allen curve ball on Shockoe stadium?

Posted at 10:01 AM, Apr 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-03 12:09:03-04

RICHMOND, Va. – No, Kim Allen isn’t a famous baseball pitcher. She is the former head of the Richmond Branch of the NAACP who resigned last year.

She is considered a member in good standing on the Jones/Marsh political machine.

She also has a doctorate from University of North Carolina, along with working in high profile politically oriented efforts here in the Commonwealth.

In politics, we call her type of resume the perfect one for the “tough” political jobs often required in messy situations.

She had been taking a leadership position against the Shockoe baseball stadium.

Indeed she is one of the sponsors of tonight’s activity remembering an important historic event in African-American, the 149th anniversary of Liberation Day.

But in recent comments, it is not clear whether she has been shifting her position under pressure from Mayor Jones and his pro-stadium posse. I sense changes, strategy guys always are looking ahead. But am I right?

I am not picking on Kim, nor singling her right out except to highlight the following discussion in a real-time way. Why?

I was told Kim refused to allow one of my sources to circulate the stadium petitions of the citizen’s committee at her recent symposium regarding the Bottom’s history (another source contacted me after reading the column and said she, along with another person, did in fact circulate petitions).

This seemed very curious to me.

These petitions clearly are aimed at insuring the area’s historical preservation, so what is objectionable to her? The petitions are balanced. What gives?

This is especially true since the mayor, in apparent response to the petition’s success, suddenly revealed he is  putting together a new group to review the history, key players to be announced later.

This is a key political maneuver by the mayor.  So as a political strategy guy, I ask myself, ‘Who does the mayor intend to get for this group?’

Everyone in politics knows the political reality, that he will pick a group who will ultimately agree with his determination to build his Shockoe Stadium no matter what.

His aides have said for months now, “it is ‘all or nothing.'”

If he really wanted an independent historical review, he would back the petition being circulated since it does just that and insures the members aren’t hand-picked by pro-stadium forces or by anti-stadium forces.

Rather, it is a fair Commission, the only one proposed to be established under the City Charter, according to the powers given for creating such a city body on a permanent basis.

It will 100 percent guarantee an honest consensus decision, not one caused by financial pressure from those wanting a part of the hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts.

The petition then is the only one to be trusted and to give the people their true right to vote.

The mayor is fighting this petition and the Historic East End Shockoe Bottom Commission because it is set-up the right way for the right reasons to make the right decision for the people.

Which means, to me, the mayor wants  to camouflage the true intent of his “sweetheart” commission with the naming of the group’s leaders.

There aren’t that many in Richmond.  Someone like Dr. Allen has that resume. Is she interested?

She doesn’t really have a long or deep history dealing with the specific Shockoe Stadium story, but she has been a good political player for the Jones/Marsh machine. This type of resume is what Mayor Jones is looking for, in my opinion.

So it will be interesting to hear what Ms. Allen has to say tonight at the big event.

Believe me, the mayor and Senator Marsh and Delegate McQuinn – all who have put the history second to getting the stadium built at any cost – will be listening closely.

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.