Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Drinks With Our Next Mayor, Robert Grey


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".

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

As an "older" reader, you young people today drive me crazy - what with your sex and your drinking and those crazy haircuts (maybe that was from another generation, who knows). However, I think your assessment of Mr. Grey (and "Crazy Eyes" Pantele) are dead on. Grey just soothes me with his brilliance. I like brilliance. I like being soothed. I hope he is elected mayor. Do your best.

Anonymous said...

"Cool" Papa is as smooth as they come. At the last Style Weekly forum he impregnated three women in the front row just by winking at them. True story.

Anonymous said...

"cool" pappa bell. legend has it, he was the fastest negro to ever play the game.

Anonymous said...

I echo all of your thoughts, Cool Papa is the man. He was very intelligent, composed and laid back as they come. I also think it says alot that he was willing to met us in such an informal and intimate setting. Meanwhile Pantele and his people have such a stick up their asses that they can't even take being commented upon (not even criticized) in a public forum. If he is that sensitive during the campaign, how will he be under the heat as mayor? I think its a perversion of the ideals of democracy that a candidate for public office thinks they are above public commentary and even worse that they take steps to protect themselves from commentary. Whats next, local news stations tearing up the first amendment to protect individual newscasters? Oh wait.....

Bottom line Robert Grey is a badass, we will all be very lucky to have him as our next mayor.

JM

Brie said...

Um, nice Fear & Loathing reference. ;) Nerd. :)

Jack Goes Forth said...

Brie- Sadly I'm amazed that anyone recognized the reference. I thought people only read "Entertainment Weekly" and/or "People" around these parts.

Anon- Grey will put you to sleep with his style and not in a bad way. We all want to be soothed. Infact, soothing rocks.

Believe it or not, Grey took a risk to have a drink with me. I come off as a drunken idiot, which isn't far from the truth, but he met with me anyways. If you're going to be mayor, you need to be completely upfront and open with the voters. Grey is just that.... Unlike some candidates.

Richmondite said...

Old or young, obsessed with sex or not. Robert Grey is a good choice for Mayor. Good advice.

Don said...

No offense to the Grey supporters who are shocked by Pantele's censorious ways, but Robert Grey just announced in the press that his model for effective leadership would be to have more public-private partnerships running the show around here.

The example he gave is the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation/CenterStage — which has wasted millions in tax dollars and is currently protected from basic Freedom of Information laws.

I fail to see how granting enormous power to large boards of unelected insiders — and then shielding from the public how they spend our tax money — is "brilliance." It might be smooth, no question about it — like a man at the carnival playing a shell game. But let's not pretend that there's anything new at all here. This is how Grey's supporters in the "business community" would like to continue to do their business — and he is their candidate.

[By the way — I would LOVE to hear Grey's plan for reforming the ABC. This is genuine (and, yes, welcome) news. But I do wonder why he's telling Jack about this in private when he hasn't said a word about such a plan in the press or during debates. At least there is nothing in the public record I can find. Can someone from the Grey camp please fill us in?]

Lastly, this whole thing about Jack endorsing Grey for mayor after swapping drinks reminds me of classic film dialogue from MONTY PYTHON & THE HOLY GRAIL:

DENNIS: Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

KING ARTHUR: Be quiet!

DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

Anonymous said...

With all the hands your shaking and contacts your making, I wouldnt be suprised to find you in a suit with some sort of authoritative title before your name down the road.
Keep up the good work!
R. Gibbs

ConcernedParent said...

Robert Grey is presently named in Divorce Court pleadings because of his "relationship" with a married woman with children. He is also under subpoena to testify about this relationship at a separate Court hearing concerning the children. Not so "cool" for such a "brilliant" man.

Anonymous said...

If he didn't carelessly sling his dick around and father many many children, then I'm not sure he could safely be considered African American.

Don Harrison said...

That past comment was completely out of hand and racist, anon. Grrrrr... I hope we have learned by now that voting for, or against, somebody based on their sex life (as well as voting for someone based on whether or not you want to have a beer with them — I love you anyway, Jack!) is probably not the smartest way to choose a leader. I don't support Robert Grey for mayor and that's because I happen to disagree with his platform and don't think he has shown to be as inclusive in his past public actions as he has been with his rhetoric. I do think he is a decent person and I hope that we can all debate his worth as a Mayoral candidate on the issues and on his platform, and not on his sex life. If you are going to disqualify a candidate based on his personal life, do you also vote to elect a crooked man because he's been faithful to his wife? It's crazy. And bringing race AND sex into it — this anonymous coward above should be ashamed of himself.

Jack Goes Forth said...

I agree, this isn't a place for racist comments, although I'm not taking it down. If this isn't a completely open, and honest forum, then why bother talking?

Don- Thanks for the discussion. Grey did mention ABC being involved a few times and it may be something that he needs to touch on in public, and not to a 25 year old kid.

Whatever Grey has going on in his personal life really doesn't concern me, although if that is infact true then it's pretty juicy. Either way, I'm down with Cool Papa Grey.




Gibbs- Good to hear from you buddy.

ConcernedParent said...

Disregarding and rejecting the racist comment by "anonymous", if Grey becomes Mayor, being an alleged party to Adultery in a current legal proceeding may very well become public and any spectacle would attatch itself to the city of Richmond. Some would find this circumstance a concern as citizens of a city that has been plagued by a string of embarassing officials. The issue of Grey placing himself in this position may also raise questions as to his judgement, (particulary since the woman involved may be disclosed for her other scandalous behaviors).

Don Harrison said...

CP: I don't want to downplay your concerns. and I have to agree with you to a point — if Grey were guilty of such a thing and were elected, it would reflect badly on Richmond. I'm just wary of these kinds of personal charges being brought forward at the 11th hour before we vote — and I'm really sick of focusing on this kind of stuff instead of actually debating the issues. Until some proof is shown, or some intrepid news service reports on the matter, the charge is nothing more than hearsay and character assassination. Where do you get your information and, more importantly, where can the rest of us access it?

ConcernedParent said...

The Court cases actually arose at the "9th" hour. The mainstream media has been aware since the "10th" hour but have decided to not go with the story at this point. The courts involved are Henrico and Chesterfield. If one would inquiry of the Grey campaign about confirming the truth of my statements, they could not honestly give a straight forward denial. I also certainly would not put myself at risk of libel in dealing with anyone, let alone a high powered attorney and previous president of the American Bar Association.

Jack Goes Forth said...

Not that I want bad news to come out and ruin Grey's chances, but if this info is true, we want the source CP. You just created he CP google moniker, so I'm pretty sure you're not in danger of being handed a libel suit.

Jack Goes Forth said...

I should say, you just created an anonymous google moniker. You can easily remain anonymous and still give pertinent information instead of rumors and heresay.

ConcernedParent said...

My comment of not commiting libel meant to denote that I would not say such a thing as I have unless it was absolutely true as the truth is an absolute defense of any possible such allegation. The designation of a moniker that does not specifically identify me in this forum is besides the point and it would certainly be easy to identify me through my user account info. I am prepared to explicitly be identified if the mainstream media were to go with the story, (and they do actually already have my identity) and expect this to happen at the latest at the time of a Court Hearing. For you, Jack, as you have contact with Grey, a simple inquiry by you should easily confirm the veracity of my statement whether responded to with obfuscation, "no comment", or least likely a truthful acknowledgement.

Jack Goes Forth said...

Haha, thanks but no thanks. I'm not going to touch this one or insult Mr.Grey by asking him something so stupid.

We got 9-10 days(?) until the election. Let's just see if these rumors (which I think are BS) actually come to light.

Anonymous said...

Grey is the smoothest cat in Richmond, I've been saing that for years. The guy owns any room he walks in to, his presence alone makes a huge amount of difference, his brain makes even more. If everyone in town could just meet him then he'd win in a landslide. Beleive me I've had conversations with them all and no one else is even close. Richmond will be a better place with Cool Papa Grey as mayor; with the others you'll just get the same old city hall BS.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say this, but Grey is too smart to be mayor. We must elect someone less intelligent and I have no doubt we will. Then, as soon as possible, we should run all of the public companies out of town.

Sue said...

it's funny Robert Grey had a diet coke when I served him at my bar!