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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dear Don - Blowing smoke again?

Don Harrison on Save Richmond is up to his usual tactics of blowing smoke and claiming there must be a fire. In this case he goes on about Gwen Hedgepeth's petty corruption case. She sold herself pretty cheap ($2,000), but not once have I heard Bill Pantele connected with this. So far as I know she was not considered one of his friends and he was never accused of anything. Gwen Hedgepeth went to jail and H. Louis Salomonsky went on to support Doug Wilder, even providing him with his "official" city residence.

He then spends a great deal of time on the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation. A lot of people do support a performing arts center downtown. Richmond is not alone in this except that we are about 10 years behind the curve. As a result, so is downtown. Even Mayor Wilder, Paul Goldman's former employer, eventually put his support behind it. There are many good reasons to support it.

  1. Making Downtown Richmond the cultural capital of central Virginia is a good thing,
  2. Stopping the dispersion of cultural and retail institutions to the suburbs is a good thing.
  3. Attracting new business and residents to the city is a good think.
  4. The fact that old time Richmond business leaders want to invest in downtown is a good thing.
Smearing reputations is what you do best. Where is the evidence that Bill Pantele has profited from his career in public service? It's all guilt by disassociation. No one gets rich from a councilman's salary and schedule. If he is getting paid off, then say so. Say who?, when?, how much? Make public accusations, not insinuations. It's one thing to disagree with some one's policies. It's another to impute their integrity. Here's a list of Bill Pantele's civic involvement over the last 20 years. Nothing to be ashamed of here.

  • Richmond Regional Planning District Commission Executive Committee
  • Richmond Metropolitan Planning Organization Executive Committee
  • Leadership Metro Richmond Board of Directors
  • Byrd Theatre Foundation Board
  • National Conference for Community and Justice Board of Directors
  • Sherwood Park Civic Association
  • Monroe Park Advisory Council
  • Visual Arts Center Advisory Board
  • American Red Cross Advisory Board
  • Virginia Municipal League Finance Committee
  • Number of years residing in Richmond: 40-plus
  • Number of years residing in your district: 20-plus
This was posted on Richmond City Watch by Scott Burger two years ago.

I'm a friend of Bill's. A lot of people are and most of them are voters and residents. Friends are a good thing, right Don?

Don would be glad to hear from you. He is well known for appreciating differing opinions, even though he doesn't publish them. You can email him at action@saverichmond.com, the contact information from his website. Unfortunately his inbox is full and you will get the mailer demon. As a friend of Don's, I have his private email address, but I'll let him publish that himself.

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Preston M. Yancy said...

Don Harrison is an interesting fellow. I am not a Pantele supporter, but his attack on Mr. Pantele was an unethical smear.
I have called on him to allow comments before. I guess responses to these kinds of smears is what he does not want.
Preston M. Yancy

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