GOLDMAN: Times-Dispatch editorial’s false attack on Richmonders demands correction

Posted at 12:10 PM, May 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-29 12:10:23-04

RICHMOND, Va. – As Joseph Welch famously asked of Senator Joe McCarthy: You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

In today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial, the newspaper claimed the following to be true:

“Passion reigns supreme. A lack of specificity hurt the drive for a stadium from the start. The opponents had an easy go of it, too. All they had to do was to say no. They have not come up with viable alternatives to revive an unsightly stretch in a historic neighborhood.”

So let’s not beat around the journalistic bush. I am sick of this kind of thing.

The RTD has used this kind of stuff for years, starting from when they were the leading intellectual supporters – or more perhaps more precisely the afternoon edition under a different name – for Southern racial politics.

The Richmond News Leader editor became famous for his legal and political defense of segregation with the most absurd reasoning since the Dred Scott case.

That’s right. So at long last, you would think the RTD would put a cork in it.

The opposition to the Jones/RTD No-Bid Shockoe backroom deal is based on facts and reason.

If the RTD doesn’t believe the opposition has a solid case, then let’s have a debate at one of their public forums.

The RTD editorial board backed the Shockoe Stadium boondoggle without even waiting to see the details.

Now, they have the gall to complain that somehow those of us who pointed out this self-evidential problem created the problem? Killing the messenger is the oldest political silliness in the book.

“Grow up conservatives,” Barry Goldwater advised at the 1960 GOP convention.

But then, how can the RTD editorial board be conservative fiscally if it backed Jones’ publicly-funded boondoggle and crony deals without waiting to see the facts?

I don’t ask the RTD editorial board for much. Just the right of any American to have their positions judged on merit, not race, not religion, not whether they are favored by the political establishment.

In 2005, I laid out the financial case against the Shockoe Stadium. Then Delegate Jones agreed with me, as did his pro-stadium posse!

In 1994, then Delegate Jones and his political allies introduced a measure into the General Assembly aimed at making sure something like his 2014 plan would never happen! You can read the measure here.

Contrary to claims by Mayor Jones, the RTD and the pro-stadium posse, folks long ago proposed a viable, futuristic vision for Shockoe Bottom which, if done right, can be consistent with keeping historical preservation as the top priority.

In 2009, a majority of City Council asked Mayor Jones to study my vision. Apparently the RTD and Mayor Jones said no. But then, that’s easy for naysayers right?

Five years later, I think my vision can be greatly improved, indeed others likely have a far better one. That’s known as progress.

The time has come for RTD editorial board to stop the ad hominem personal attacks on “naysayers.” The Jones No Bid scheme didn’t fail because it failed to provide enough details.  As my columns have helped expose, the more details that emerged, the more the plan lost support.

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.