You read the title of this post correctly. Yesterday my attorney and I (sans our briefcase full of pharmaceuticals and not in the midst of an ether binge), met with Robert Grey and his campaign manager Lisa Fulton. Lisa had reached out to me after hearing about my firing and then in a brilliant strategic move or a bonehead stunt with only 13 days til the election, invited me to campaign headquarters and then to drinks at Can Can. It should be noted that I didn't bring my attorney because I felt like I needed an attorney, he's just a good friend and was as interested as I was to meet Grey.
Strangely enough I actually had a lot of real, pertinent questions for Robert, although I didn't do an ounce of research prior to the meeting. I think it was because Sarvay over at Buttermilk gets orgasmic everytime a pen drops in this election and posts 7 things at a time, and for whatever reason, I read them all.
During the hour long session we spoke about Wilder's recent rants, Goldman endorsing Jones, Baseball, the Bottom as "Bosnia", and we touched on the issues of free speech and blogging.
I will say this truthfully and not because Mrs. Fulton bought me two Ketel One drinks and some "frites", but Robert Grey is a very very smart man. He can speak in broad terms at times, but he was making a lot of sense. At one point my buddy and I glanced at each other and basically just said "wow". This may be Grey's first official election process but he certainly doesn't act like it is. Let's be real here, President of the American Bar Association is a MUCH more powerful position than Mayor of Richmond will ever be.
Here are a few Grey happy hour highlights:
-I asked Grey about Mayor Wilder's recent outburst, and Wilder's lack of support for the man that many people saw as his handpicked heir apparent. Grey held no punches and he basically said, Wilder is a close friend, but I don't give a fuck about who he supports and what his stance is on this election (He didn't cuss, and I'm not quoting him at all here. This is just what I heard.)
- On whether or not I should have been fired and what he thought. As one of the most powerful attorneys in the country, he knows the law and he made it clear that there was no wrong doing in my firing. He sort of got into the fact that VA is an at-will state. We went on to talk about the freedom of the press though and whether people in the spotlight, such as himself and Pantele should get some sort of protection from attacks and media abuse (for the most part, he said no, they should not.)
- On the one topic that I actually care about, the safety and the revitalization of Shockoe Bottom, Grey didn't mince words. He has a plan and it made a lot of sense. Alcohol Beverage Control would play a big role in it. I won't get into the entire plan, but needless to say, it was solid.
- Interesting sidenote: Grey Campaign Manager Lisa Fulton could probably match or beat me in a filthy mouth contest. That's all I will say on that.
- Grey had red wine (not a Coke this time).
I met with some more friends after the meeting and we've now taken to calling Mr.Grey; "Cool" Papa Bell. Okay so I realize that referring to Grey as the star from the Negro Baseball Leagues could possibly be considered un-PC, but the name is just so perfect for him. That guy is like a black version of Val Kilmer in Top Gun. He's as icey as the other side of the pillow. I just can't imagine him losing his cool, ever. Pantele on the other hand probably frightens the little old lady at the dry cleaners on a daily basis with his outbursts.
Yesterday I walked away from those drinks and the meeting as a new believer. I realize that the older generation who reads this blog will scoff at a kid (and noted sex fiend) for giving them advice on who to vote for, so this advice isn't for them. This advice is for the VCU and URichmond kids who read this thing, it's for the bartenders and servers, it's for the people who are still figuring out what life is all about (like me). Do some research and check out Robert Grey. I honestly think that he would make a great mayor for this city.
Now if we can just get him elected maybe I can get those parking tickets and that, uhh, bogus statutory rape case "taken care of".