Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2009 African American Heritage Festival

Happenings in the 20th HOD

I was reading over the latest candidate financial disclosure reports a few weeks ago and came across a curious item. There was a donation from Delegate Saxman to 20th HOD candidate Dickie Bell for $9000 (along with a donation of 5,000 in cash). Curious because it wasn’t a cash donation but an in-kind donation to the Bell campaign for polling work conducted for Delegate Saxman’s re-election bid. As you may recall Delegate Saxman withdrew from his race for re-election this summer after two distinguished terms in the House of Delegates.
What makes the in-kind donation even more curious is the fact that there are reports that Delegate Saxman had upwards of $60,000 left in his campaign re-election when he withdrew this July. This leaves many local Republicans to scratching their heads over where this additional $60,000 will be going, money that was supposed to be spent toward to re-election of the Republican candidate in the 20th House District.

Pull the Lever for Bob, Bill and Ken

I get my hair cut at Lomax on 2nd Street during the school year in Richmond. Lomax is owned and operated by one of the founders of Richmond’s premier black, activist organization – the Richmond Crusade for Voters. It also happens to be the same barbershop where a certain Democratic congressman also gets his haircut. I happened to stop by the shop on the same day this “distinguished gentleman” was getting his haircut and we struck up a conversation about the gubernatorial campaign. He lamented the fact it was after Labor Day and Creigh Deeds’ campaign still hadn’t gotten around to getting Lomax’s shop a sign for his window. He also went on to criticize Deeds for not having an overarching campaign theme, “We all know Bob’s for Jobs but what’s Creigh for?”

Welcome news for Virginia Republicans – the wind is at our backs. When a prominent, Democratic elected official is so open and honest with his feelings at this stage of the campaign you know the other side is in trouble.

Bottom line – if you’re tired of a budget “crisis” springing up every two years that “requires” higher taxes, if you’re tired of ballooning budget deficits, if you’re tired of pot holes on I-95, 66 and 81 – PULL THE LEVER FOR BOB, BILL AND KEN.

They’re the only ones who have come up with comprehensive budget, tax and transportation plans.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oliver J. Tate

I have met Governors and Presidents but no man has been as important to me as him. I have worked with diplomats and Ambassadors but none have taught me more about tact and class.

When others discouraged, he encouraged. When others said no, he said yes.

I watched this lifelong Democrat denounce high taxes, city hall regulations and municipal red tape that first made me skeptical of government. And learned to be a Republican.

I watched him attend church on Sundays at Augusta Street United Methodist Church in Staunton, loyally never missing a Sunday. And I learned about faith.

I watched him work, hard, long days into his eighties – doing work that men in their 40’s, 30’s, even 20’s would shun. And learned about having a work ethic.

I watched him devote hours upon hours to his VFW Post, Thomas Field 7814, and country. And
I learned about duty, honor and love for country.

I watched him save his money, spend wisely, and faithfully give to the Church. And I learned the value of a dollar.

I watched him face trials and tribulations from outside forces with a smile. And learned compassion and forgiveness.

I watched him get sick and persevere for two years. And learned about courage.

I watched him stay married to the same woman for sixty years and raise seven children but haven’t seen my own father in twenty years. And I learned how to be a man.

I watched people’s eyes light up when they discovered I was his grandson. And I learned the value of a good name.

On July 30, 2009 – Oliver J. Tate, my grandfather died. And I learned that there was so much more I needed and wanted to learn from him. We miss you, Pop-Pop. R.I.P.