Game over: Whites 2, blacks 0 in Democrats' firehouse primary

By Rob Schilling

A 32-year reign of engineered, single-seat black representation on Charlottesville’s City Council crashed to a screeching halt on Sunday, August 21 with the early morning release of results in Charlottesville’s Democratic Firehouse Primary. In their wake, racial turmoil and long overdue electoral reform increasingly are likely.

Colette Blount, assumed successor to the “black crown” on Charlottesville’s all Democrat and historically white City Council, has lost her electoral bid, reportedly finishing fifth in a field of seven candidates. Only the top three vote-getters can appear on the November general election ballot where the finalized Democrat slate is predestined for victory.

Blount’s defeat puts Charlottesville’s primarily white Democrat committee and the city’s black community at odds, threatening an uneasy alliance that has existed between the two entities since the early 1980s.

Charles Barbour was Charlottesville’s first black City Councilor. Elected in 1970, he served two terms. In 1978, black Democrat, James Hicks, was defeated in his attempt to follow Barbour leaving a two-year period of no black representation on Charlottesville’s City Council. Although Hicks would have been victorious running solely in either of the city’s two black precincts, Firehouse (Tonsler) and Lane (Carver), Charlottesville’s at-large voting scheme effectively nullified Hicks’s precinct victories when votes from white areas of the city were tallied.

During the ensuing years, seeking a fairer environment within which to compete, the Charlottesville NAACP called for ward-based elections to replace the city’s racially exclusive at-large system. Led by the late Virginia Carrington, the NAACP relentlessly petitioned then mayor Frank Buck to move the city from at-large elections (which had been dismantled by the United States Department of Justice in many other Southern cities during the 1960s and 1970s) to ward-based elections.

Buck and his predominantly white Democrat council cohorts reluctantly agreed to place the issue of moving toward ward-based elections on the November 1981 ballot as an advisory referendum. The measure passed in 6 of the city’s 8 precincts, with overwhelming support in the city’s two historically black precincts, Firehouse and Rose Hill (Carver). But there was a significant under-vote on the measure, as the Charlottesville Democratic Committee did not place the referendum on their sample ballot—knowing well that omission would yield greatly diminished voter participation. When Carrington and the NAACP pressed Mayor Buck to act on the referendum’s results, he rejected the obvious call for change, disingenuously claiming that the vote was “not decisive enough.”

Six months later, in May 1982, Buck put the same advisory referendum back onto the ballot—this time, a ballot on which Buck himself was a candidate for reelection to the City Council. He and other establishment Democrats actively campaigned against the referendum. Concurrently, Charlottesville’s white Democrats also colluded to divide the NAACP’s support for wards by offering perks to strategically-recruited members of the city’s black community in what later was termed a “system of patronage.” Under this proposal the Charlottesville Democrats guaranteed in perpetuity one black seat on the five-member council in exchange for voting cooperation from the elected black Democrat in issues of importance to (white) Party leadership.

Following Buck’s backroom deal, the second ballot referendum was defeated in six of the city’s eight precincts: a mirror opposite of the previous ballot result. The NAACP membership split over the outcome, and the organization was substantially weakened. Buck, meanwhile, was victorious in maintaining lock-fisted, white control of the Charlottesville Democratic Committee.

From the deal’s inception through today, there has been an uninterrupted succession of one, and only one sitting black Democrat at a time on Charlottesville’s City Council:

Engineered succession of black Charlottesville City Councilors

E.G. Hall 1980-1988 (two terms)
Alvin Edwards 1988-1996 (two terms)
Maurice Cox 1996-2004 (two terms)
Kendra Hamilton 2004-2008 (one term)
Holly Edwards 2008-2012 (one term)

Fearing that a powerful black voting bloc would emerge to challenge the white Democrat establishment, the Charlottesville Democratic Committee has never run a second black candidate while one was serving.

As the burden of assenting to demands of the Party became unbearable for solicited black men, fewer and fewer appeared interested in carrying the mantle as Charlottesville’s token black councilor. With a dearth of available men, the city’s Democrat machine then began recruiting women for the black seat. Unlike their male predecessors, both Kendra Hamilton and Holly Edwards each served only a single term, adding complexity to Democrats’ recruitment efforts for their ongoing racial manipulation scheme. Today, finding any black candidate willing to capitulate to the city’s Democrat Party bosses has become a near impossibility. In the absence of a willing mark, Party leaders appear intentionally to have let the bargain lapse.

When Colette Blount emerged as the only black Democrat candidate in the 2011 election cycle, nerves began to jitter. The establishment wing of the party– headed by Jim Nix and Tom Vandever– worried that Blount would be independent of Party dictates since she had aligned herself with Mayor Dave Norris’s interests and did not seek counsel and blessing from the elders. Of particular concern was Blount’s pro-Norris-plan position on the community water supply, which was diametrically opposed to that of Nix and Vandever, et al.

Blount’s candidacy received its death-blow when establishment Democrats, Kay Slaughter (former Mayor) and Kristen Szakos (current councilor) endorsed only two candidates, Kathy Galvin and Satyendra Huja, for the three open seats council seats, thus backstabbing their reputedly ideologically aligned co-candidate, Paul Beyer. Establishment Democrats needed to secure only two seats to maintain their control of council (Huja and Galvin along with incumbent Szakos will form a majority bloc). Thus Beyer was rendered superfluous.

While these racially motivated non-endorsements were the unofficial abrogation of Beyer’s campaign, they represented the eradication of Blount’s.  Although refusing to directly challenge the black candidate’s legitimacy, through calculated omission, Szakos and Slaughter secretly signaled the acceptability of establishment Democrats’ deprecation of Collette Blount in their ballot rankings.

The Democrats’ implementation of an Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)– allowing every voter to vote for every candidate through a ranking system– was another culprit in Blount’s electoral demise. In previous primary elections, most Democrats knew that it was in the Party’s best interest for the chosen black candidate to be the top vote getter, and sure enough, the designee typically received the most votes. IRV changed the voting dynamic drastically. As every voter now voted for every candidate through a ranked ballot, the black candidate was now one-of-many votes on every ballot instead of one-of-a-select-few votes on (nearly) every ballot. Since casting a vote for Blount inherently was a function of every ballot, there was no overriding imperative to rank her highly. In fact, many Democrats, angry with Norris and his slate, ranked Blount in the bottom half of their ballots, ultimately placing her fifth in a field of seven candidates.

White Charlottesville Democrats received the Slaughter/Szakos directive loud and clear– as demonstrated by their voting patterns– and resultingly, both Blount and Beyer were sacrificed at the altar of Democrat machine politics.

But the racial hangover from the Democratic Firehouse Primary does not end with Colette Blount’s repudiation. An intra-party challenge from Llezelle Dugger and Pam Melampy for Paul Garrett’s long held Clerk of Court seat saw Garrett, who is black, ejected from the position he’s occupied since his initial appointment to the post over 30-years ago– a date not coincidental to the inception of the Charlottesville Democrats’ 32-year-old compromise with the city’s black community. Garrett’s ouster will heap gasoline onto an already raging fire of racial discontent within Charlottesville’s Democrat Party.

Major electoral changes are possible and necessary in the aftermath of the disastrous firehouse primary. Non-partisan elections, implementation of ward or district-based elections, and a move toward a directly-elected mayor are getting discussed by Democrats who most recently had not considered such remedies necessary or even palatable.

In a city long dominated by white Democrats who have refused to equitably share the power of governance, their corrupt patronage “solution” to Charlottesville’s black “problem” eventually had to fall under its own encumbrance. And now it has. Sadly, it took 32 years; but finally, and thankfully, Charlottesville’s racially engineered political chickens have come home to roost.
Rob Schilling, who left office in 2006, was the last Republican to serve on City Council. Today a radio talk-show host, he initially put this essay on his blog,


Rob Schilling is now a Hook contributor? Maybe the world really did end when the earthquake struck.

And yet you didn't dispute a single word of his editorial. The truth shall set us free.

Fascinating essay Mr. Schilling. I also found the interview yesterday with Bob Fenwick and your discussion with Mr. White about this issue very informative.

seriously people! who effing cares what color their skin is! The only thing I care about is only one out of the three who got elected isn't corrupt and in the pockets of the developers and contractors! Jeez cville these people are just as bad a national politicians. Greeeeeeeeeeeeed

This history of the Machivellian "white Democrat" in Charlottesville is without a doubt the most informative "essay" I have ever read in the Hook. I am sure that former mayor Maurice Cox, an internationally know urban planner and faculty member at UVA's School of Architecutre who has also served as Director of Design at the National Endowment of the Arts, would be interested to know that the was only elected to to council because of a scheme of "white Democrat" patronage. I myself was thankful to Mr. Schilling to be dispossed of my illusions. After having read in dozens of publication over the last ten years that Charlottesville was one of the best places, if not The Best, to live in the United States, I was unaware that I was actually knee-deep in a cesspit of injustice where much of the population has been disenfranchised by corrupt political maneuvering. Since such disenfranchisement is a clear violation of the Civil Rights Act, I am sure Mr. Schilling is somberly working with the Department of Justice to alleviate the oppression he see everywhere around him.

In all seriousness, is the new editorial policy of your magazine is to feature "essays" that conclude with mocking references to Reverend Jeremiah Wright's chickens come home to roost diatribe? Would an essay that truly illuminated party politics in Charlottesville over a period of 30+ years really end with such a sophomoric and intellectually lazy jibe--the closest cudgel it seems whenever a conservative want to educate the populace on race issues these days? Does this piece, as written, reflect positively on your editorial standards?

Mr. Schilling is a well-known local retailer of conservative propaganda. As such, he echos an international right-wing media empire which has helped to enact policies that have brought on, and worsened, the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s. As such, he represents a prospective available from any of a million sources. In fact, conservative name-calling so fully saturates our radios, newspapers, magazines, online information sources, and televisions, that one can hardly avoid it without the wherewithal to purchase a private island distant from civilization. If your paper wants to share these sorts of mocking and ubiquitous perspectives, then I will add your publication to my list of untrustworthy news sources and avoid it at all cost.

What an insult to the African Americans who previously sat on the Council, and especially Maurice Cox, a former Mayor who oversaw the City during the time Charlottesville first starting receiving so much national recognition as a fabulous place to live. While I don't agree with 'engineering' an African American seat on Council, the way this has been reported exclusively by white journalists shows an underlying issue that should have purged from our collective thinking a long time ago.

@ Jeff: You thought this rag was trustworthy before this essay? Been reading it much over the years?

So now, not only are over half the Democrats that voted in the primary corrupt, but they are also racist?

The pro-dredgers are now in OJ Simpson defense team territory. It can't be that reasonable adults came to a decision about the water supply and want to move forward, it must all be a massive water-stealing, racist conspiracy!!!

The Hook, Mr Schilling, Dave Norris and anyone that parrots this nonsense really ought to be ashamed of themselves. They also ought to grow up.

As downtown brown notes, it is only white "journalists" and politicians spouting this garbage. The head of the NAACP had a markedly different theory as to why Collette Blount lost.

Interesting that the Hook does not show the NAACP the same respect as it does Rob Schilling. I wonder if racism has anything to do with that?

As someone who voted for two of the three winning candidates, I can assure you that my vote had nothing to do with the Democratic machine or the ethnicity or racial profile of any candidate. I simply voted for the candidates whose positions were most in tune with mine. Nothing more, nothing less. If there had been three black candidates running who promoted positions I support, I'd have voted for all of them. Why must the losing side impugn the motives of their opponents? About Mayor Norris, I thought his endorsement was not well advised and I did not understand his failure to endorse Mr. Huja who by all accounts seems to have been a dedicated and effective public servant over an extended period. The endorsement did help me zero in on the candidates whose positions were contrary to mine, however.

As long as we continue to compare black to white in any event the racist still win.

re:'In a city long dominated by white Democrats who have refused to equitably share the power of governance, their corrupt patronage “solution” to Charlottesville’s black “problem” eventually had to fall under its own encumbrance.'

Putting the words "solution" and "problem" in quotes implies that Mr. Schilling is quoting someone in the pages of The Hook. Would be nice to know who, exactly. Who, other that Mr. Schilling, says that Charlottesville has a black "problem"? Where, other than the pages of The Hook, can you read or hear that Charlottesville needs a "solution" to a black "problem"?

It is Mr. Schilling and The Hook that are being the white racists here and no one else. Shame on them.

This is a page out of the Dede Smith Scottie Griffin playbook. Push your agenda and use the race card to do it while fanning the flames of racial discord.

I hope Dr. Turner weighs in on this ploy of the mostly white dredgers to use the race card to achieve their agenda.

Wow Schilling ruling in a puppet regime with Smith and Norris as the puppets. It is crazy town.

A lot of sound and fury that will signify nothing...unless they go to the justice department, file a suit and get a ward system.

Nah, that will NEVER happen!

Gee. I wonder if Schilling brings any agenda to this discussion.

I guess next Hawes will be offering George Huguely a guest spot to opine about the horrors of domestic violence

You just compared Schilling to a murderer..really that'd pretty horrible. I don't care for Rob rants all that much but come on, that's just spiteful and mean. The real Joe Friday (badge # 714) of the LA police force would never stoop so low.

Rob shouldn't be expected to know the history of the Democratic Party's nominating procedures, and he doesn't. The instant runoff system is an effort to accommodate two perhaps competing interests -- to make voting easy and relatively painless for voters, and to nominate only candidates with some degree of support from the entire Party (as opposed to the situation in the Senate 22nd District this week, where the Republicans nominated in a primary a candidate -- Tommy Garrett -- with just under 26% of the vote).

Until we went to the instant runoff system in 2009, we would have nominating conventions like in 2002, when Blake Caravati and Alexandra Searls were nominated after about 5 hours, and when more than 100 voters left before the fourth and final round of voting. Nobody thought that was good, and we have been looking for ways ever since to make it easier for people to participate. The progress on that front is undeniable; in 2002, we had about 500 people participate, while in 2011, over 2,600 people participated.

Is Instant Runoff Voting racist? Various civil rights leaders and organizations don't think so. Most easily found on line, look at the website for This is an organization that supports various reforms to the electoral process, including instant runoff voting. Instant runoff voting, by the way, has been used and continues to be used in such racist places as San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Actually, there is one sense in which the instant runoff system may have led to Colette Blount's defeat. One of the virtues of the old, time-consuming nominating process was that each voter could stop and take stock of the situation after each ballot, and perhaps to readjust his or her preference based on the results of the first round. It is possible that if everyone had been gathered in the same place at the same time, and if they realized that Kathy Galvin and Satyendra Huja had been nominated, perhaps the supporters of the Meadowcreek Parkway and the dam might have said, "OK -- we've got a majority for moving forward; we can now nominate Colette and be sure that she won't become the third and dispositive vote to change course."

But ultimately, Instant Runoff Voting is not responsible for Colette Blount's defeat. My sense of the electorate is that there were two cross-currents at work here. First, in every election in a place the size of Charlottesville, voters are more likely to vote for candidates whom they know. People know Satyendra Huja, Kathy Galvin and Dede Smith from their years of community involvement. Second, there was the substantive question -- most folks don't know or care about the details of dredging vs. a new dam, but they do want government to get on with the business of government and to stop bickering about decisions already made. Colette would probably have been better advised to have NOT clearly identified herself with the "let's change course" view that is something of a minority position in Charlottesville, and in the Democratic Party.

Colette didn't lose because she is black, she lost because she tied her campaign to a position that was not favored by a majority of the voters, and she didn't have Dede Smith's long history of community involvement to compensate.

Umm...Paul Garrett lost because he is terrible at his job, race has absolutely nothing to do with it. Ask anyone who has ever had to do business in the Circuit Court.

First of all, I'm a Democrat who has been, at least peripherally, involved with city politics. Not once have I ever worried about a "black voting block" killing the "white establishment." Nor has anybody else I've come in contact with in the twenty five years since moving to town. I'm, frankly, embarrassed that anyone who lives elsewhere might read this opinion-piece and take it as fact---which it most certainly is not. Racist people, both white and black, can simply never grasp that it might not be the only issue in play.

I'm disgusted by The Hook. This is exactly the baloney one would expect from the writer. When the president talks about the economy collapsing because of needless partisan sniping over non-issues, he might as well hang a picture of Rob on the podium. If I ever see Rob Schilling's byline again, I can absolutely promise that for me at least, this paper will go the same way of WINA after they gave this clown a prime time slot---something I used to enjoy but now stay away from.

The percentage of black population is less than 20% . This article just makes the case of the necessity of having sitting members on council assesed based on their skin colour . At 20% of the population that requirement would equate to one black member . That quota has been achieved over the past number of years . The last one had two black skinned members exceeding Skinnings quota idea by 100% . Thankfully Williams has not screwed up his chances as did Blount with her poor policies , poor campaigning ,and poor strategy . This election can easily repeat the two black skinned members by electing Hugi and Williams giving the council 40% black skinned members out of a population of less than 20% .Williams is young smart ,agressive ,speaks well and is pumped for victory .

Edit Schilling ....

"Game over: Whites 2, blacks 0 in Democrats' firehouse primary" ???

I say Hook 1 Responsible Journalism 0.

Without even needing to look at the text in the article, this title, which ostensible summarizes the essence of the article, is just incendiary and anti-communitarian.

As ontheroad33 noted above, any rhetoric that overtly or indirectly states that black and white interests are in opposition and/or that only members of a race can and do look out for their own racial interests is an inherently racist act in itself.

Shame on you.

Maybe it is time we eliminated the electoral process and have the Council "persons" appointed...perhaps by the Governor or maybe even by the President. The criteria would be...religion, gender, race, age, employed/unemployed, disability, height, weight, eye color, length of hair, etc, etc. That way each and every person could be fairly represented!!!
Qualifications be damned...

It is not customary of The Hook to have periodic, say weekly or even monthly political guest columns, even under the guise of calling them "Essays." The appearance of this piece with no byline or warning that it is "editorial" or "opinion" is notable and does not reflect the usual high journalistic calibre of this paper. One can only guess this appears because Hawes is frustrated that his piece on the Nature Conservancy failed to sway the City primary results away from the dredging constituency the way he would have wanted. And solicits an inflammatory voice like Schililngs to impeach the results of the election? Come on, Hawes. The Hook is better than Rob Schilling's blog.

The sentence I like states that Szakos and Slaughter's endorsements of Huja and Galvin are "racially-motivated non-endorsements." How many false assumptions and jumps of fact can you make in one paragraph, Rob? Much less, one "essay."

The line I like Blount lost not be

Sorry for the straggler last line. By my bad proofreading, one can tell I'm not a journalist.

Rob S. is many sandwiches short of a picnic.

How did Szakos and Slaughter "backstab" Beyer by not endorsing him? That sounds like a mean thing to do. Had they made a prior promise to him that they would all stick together? Were they all really good friends? All of this conspiratorial intrigue! Someone should write a play about it.

But seriously, just because you lump candidates based on dredging/damming doesn't mean everyone else believes these categories morally demand loyalty automatically. There are other issues, you know, and I assume Szakos and Slaughter considered many factors when making their endorsements.

I like Beyer, by the way, and I hope he runs again in the future.

Should anybody of any color be an "assumed successor?" How many more "engineered representation" seats are there? 2008 Presidential election should have shown that with an intriguing message, anything is possible.

Seriously, this article is painfully moronic. Mr. Schilling (on the radio and in print) is a race-baitor with a nonsensical rightwing-nuttery agenda. Sustainability is evil, the socialist are coming for our children, the Muslims are stealing our way of life, bike-paths are for communists, global warming is a liberal conspiracy to keep corporations down, and more soda for kids will defeat the nanny-state. Mr. Schilling talking-points at times my fox news seem like NPR and he appears to live in a fantasy world.

the more I think about this article, the more angry it makes me at The Hook. This is maybe the most overt piece of racism (in a "legitimate" media outlet) that I've seen in print in Charlottesville, ever, and one of the worst I've seen anywhere. And the fact that the dozens of racial digs are used to jab a political party (basically, "I'm not the racist---but look at the Democrats! THEY hate black people") is so far beyond disgusting. The Hook needs to be above this.

This editorial has to be removed from the website. It has no place in the Hook. I've bought advertising in the Hook more than a dozen times, and read it every week. But if this stays on the website and/or shows up in next week's paper, I'm done. I want nothing to do with this racist paper that associates itself with this moron.

This piece has been on Schilling's blog space for quite a while now-not news until the Yellow Journalist Hawes Spencer decided to take another bite at the dredging apple. Only before. Schilling's spin was shame on the democrats for picking one African-American for Council. Now that it serves his (and Norris' and the dredgers') interests, when there is no African-American candidate, it is somehow the Democratic Party being racist. Come on, you can's have it both ways.

We all know what Schilling's agenda is: Cause dissension in the Democratic Party, promote a ward system and non-partisan elections so more Republicans get on Council and support dredging. If you buy into his arguments, might as well go get a Republican card.

What is shameful is the use of the race card to get dredging accomplished. A small group of elite whites speaking for African Americans in an attempt to use them for narrow interest gains. I feel confident that Dr. Turner and the African-American Community can speak for themselves and that they see the ploy here. Talk about gutter politics, we have reached a new high in lows.

I would pay special attention to the relationship among Schiiling, Smith and the Dredgers, Norris and the anti-dammers, the Hook and perhaps Fenwick. It seems in my opinion they will do ANYTHING to over turn the earthen dam decision, including try to use allegations of racism to their own benefit. I believe the voters saw through the last attempt by Norris to form a ticket-bloc and the democrats in town and they will see this for what it is and that will be it for Mayor Norris and the dredgers.

What we really need to know and what the responsible journalists in this town should be asking is:

1) Will Dede Smith, elected in the Democratic Primary in which she signed a pledge to support only Democrats in the up comng election, come out PUBLICLY and state she supports Huja and Galvin and not support Fenwick or any other pro-dredging Independent. Remember, according to Tom Vandever,and as reported in a previous Hook article, she violated the Dem. pledge in the last election and supported Fenwick. Will she do it again?

2) Will Dave Norris do the same? He voted and signed the pledge last Saturday. Will he PUBLICLY support Huja and Galvin in the General election and state publicly that voters should not vote for non-democratic candidates? His recent statements in the DP indicate that he is encouraging people to not vote fro democratic candidates because the party and recent elected candidates of the Party are supposedly racially insensitive. He has been playing the race card in my opinion to encourage democrats and independents and perhaps even Republicans to vote for the independents because they all are against the Earthen dam.

@Lloyd Snook, Mr Norris seems to respect and respond to you. Please have a talk with him about what he is doing with the race card. He has now expended all political capital and I am doubtful if he runs again, he would be successful. This is shameful what he is doing.It is a disgrace to the democratic party. Perhaps you and the other democratic states people in town can explain to him that is it not worth creating racial conflict to accomplish his objective of getting the dam stopped. There are other ways of addressing the issue of race and politics in this town. He's acting like a teenager run amuck. He should retract his statements in the DP about how the newly elected candidates will take a top-down approach to public housing, and statements about his the Democratic Party engaged in racist behavior. His candidate lost because of her stance on the issues and as Dr. Turner has said because she didn't do her due diligence in the community. Not because of her race.

Most importantly does Norris intend PUBLICLY to stand by the pledge he made in the Primary (if he voted in it) and support Galvin, Huja, and Smith and eschew support for any independent candidate? Or will he violate the pledge, support independents over democrats and thereby assure he will not have a future on Charottesville democratic politics? I had lost confidence in him on the Anti-dam-ticket shenangigans, now with the racism nonsense, I wouldn't vote for him again and would actively campaign against him, unless he learns and changes course now.

What Schiiling, the Hook, and the dredgers have done is disgustingly transparent. No issue, certainly not dredging, is worth what they are doing to the discourse and culture of our community.

Those of you throwing around the charge of racism need to look up it's definition. To argue that someone should be elected to public office because of their race is racist, just as it would be to say that someone shouldn't be elected to public office because of their race. If you wish to dispute the points made in this essay, try making them without the gratuitous personal attacks on the writer. Is Charlottesville incapable of a courteous debate?

re:"To argue that someone should be elected to public office because of their race is racist"

That certainly appears to be exactly what Mr. Schilling is implying, that Collette Blount's race is the paramount attribute when considering her fitness for office.

It is Mr. Schilling that focused like a laser beam on the color of Ms. Blount's skin. All the outrage is simply a response to his blatant racism.

Schilling claims to be in Virginia as a refugee from LA and the thin veneer of civilization on AA's as displayed by their actions during the R.King riots . As a refugee in C'Ville he now tries to make a buck pretending to be their friend ' spewing out racist clap trap .

I did not realize The Hook was in the business of publishing manifestos.

Rob Schilling is a media whore who will say or write anything that keeps his whining juvenile voice on the airwaves. Like any petulant child who screams when he doesn't get his way, the best course is to ignore him and sooner or later he'll realize that no one cares about his bitterness or his paranoia and he'll learn to keep it to himself.

Women 3, Men 2 - I guess nobody sees the interesting news in this pre election result - we would have a majority female council, possibly for the first time? - Szakos, Smith, and Galvin. Is race more important than sex, or should both be ignored in favor of ACTUAL ISSUES?!

I think understanding our different communities is important. In this case, the black community is important. Also, the lack of having black winners is worth a look. Certainly, their community should be expected to turn out good leaders and also we don't want to marginalize ethnic differences by overlooking black community aspects that the white community might not notice.

That being said, it's fine to vote for your best candidate regardless of color especially not using color as a ranking mechanism. Also, I disagree with blaming the voting system. I think ranked voting is a great idea and I think voters get it.

The take home action item I see is that our all white council needs to continue to pay attention to non-white community issues. The article is a little unnecessarily alarmist.

Actually I made a similiar comment on the gender make up couple of days ago noting the trend was female and no white males. Didn't realise this would be the first majority female council but good show . That puts the idea of supporting Williams forward to achieve the customary 40% black voting bloc in question though .What a delimma ! With only five members suitable candidates need to have many characteristics going for them . Someone who was a disabled,bisexual,female,of colour would make an awesome candidate .

Look closely at the connections: Schilling/Hook/Smith-Dredgers/Norriis(anti-Edam)= Agenda and tactics to influence the General Elections.

And once again from Wikipedia: Yellow Journalism/Hook (Spencer) Journalism

"Yellow journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.[1] Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism.[1] By extension "Yellow Journalism" is used today as a pejorative to decry any journalism that treats news in an unprofessional or unethical fashion.
Campbell (2001) defines Yellow Press newspapers as having daily multi-column front-page headlines covering a variety of topics, such as sports and scandal, using bold layouts (with large illustrations and perhaps color), heavy reliance on unnamed sources, and unabashed self-promotion. The term was extensively used to describe certain major New York City newspapers about 1900 as they battled for circulation.
Frank Luther Mott (1941) defines yellow journalism in terms of five characteristics:[2]
scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudo-science, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips (which is now normal in the U.S.)
dramatic sympathy with the "underdog" against the system.

Once gain, Spencer uses the paper to try to influence an election. Failed the first time and will again. Piss poor. Advertisers I will purposefully shun your products if I see them in the Hook. Advertisers should be pulling out more and more and who knows maybe the Hook will have done itself in with all the nonsense. Courtney, Dave, Lisa jump ship go work for the Cville Weekly and maintain high journalist standards your boss is unwilling to uphold. Or stage a Coup.

Citizen Party - i am beyond anti-schilling, he is like a spoiled child living in the make-believe of overindulgent parents, but I am also pro-dredging and anti-dam. As a result, please be careful lumping anti-dam democrats with intellectual fly-weight.

It's hard to imagine any African Americans work at The Hook, for then Hawes Spencer would have to actually look them in the eye every day after publishing this racist diatribe.

No one that actually cared about civil rights would publish such a piece. Shame on Hawes Spencer and the entire staff of The Hook.

"Schilling claims to be in Virginia as a refugee from LA and the thin veneer of civilization on AA's as displayed by their actions during the R.King riots"

Well Frank, at the very least Schilling actually lives here unlike you, who as a Canadian have nothing to do with any of the political issues being discussed here.

It is my belief that if we could put a lie detector on every single voter and ask them if they would choose a less qualifed candidate because of skin color how would they vote we would find that at least 90% don't care at all and the 10% that say it matters don't care enough to make it to the polls.

Slavery ended 146 years ago. Jim Crow ended 40 years ago.

The racism that exists is more prevelant in the wal mart parking lot then in politics or government. Baltimore Dc Atlanta, Detroit and LA have all had black mayors.

get over it. The liberals on the council will certainly represent every faction out there except white conservatives and we can take care of ourselves.

@NTK: thanks, good to know there are some reasonable pro-dredging folks out there. I think reasonable people can disagree on that issue. Don't like nasty tactics though and this is not passing the smell test. I know Schilling is pro-dredging and there seems like a strange convergence of folks who seem like odd bedfellows. I know there are probably some folks who support the smaller dam or dredging that are not a part of the schilling cabal, but there are some who would do anything to over turn the dam decision including sidle up to Schillings nonsense and sign up on to his agenda. How can we tell these two groups apart? I have just found it odd that Norris is using the race card and now Schilling is and they seem to have some things in common, oddly enough. I hope more pro dredgers like you come forward and denounce Schilling's tactics. As a democrat will you support Galvin, Huja, and Smith in the general election?

Frank thanks for taking an interest in Cville. its a free county and the bloggosphere is open to all t discuss ideas.

Mr. Snook you wrote : "Most folks don't know or care about the details of dredging vs. a new dam, but they do want government to get on with the business of government and to stop bickering about decisions already made. "

I doubt if most people want government to spend tens of millions of dollars needlessly that they will be asked to pay for.
You may not care what this dam/pipeline plan costs, but my guess is you are not in the majority. Last I heard we are in tough economic times and many are experiencing job loss or loss or income due to cut backs in consumer spending.

You may be disengaged from major issues facing the city, but luckily others who care about cost and what it will do to their water rates, plus the loss of city's assets and resources, are not. Your attitude of- I don't care, just move on, when the cost to city residents is still unknown is disappointing for a man of your intelligence and professed compassion for those less well off than yourself.

@Citizen Party (Carl): I don't know a single pro-dredger who doesn't think that Rob Schilling is a toxic idiot, and this article a piece of s**t. I'm appalled that the Hook would publish this creepy essay made up of innuendo and faulty reasoning.

What's just as appalling, though, are posters like you and your cohort Truthtopower who have been continually lumping the pro-dredgers in with people like Schilling. Now you've insinuated above that Dave Norris is in cahoots with Schilling! Are you insane?

From the beginning of this dirty campaign, you and your candidate have been repeatedly stating that people with differing views are easily duped, members of a troika or cabal, or shouldn't be allowed to discuss certain issues. In particular, your slurs against Ms Blount's intelligence have shown you to be a small man with small ideas. Shame on you for your bullying throughout this campaign. You and Schilling are far more alike than you'll ever realize.

The ward system will be a big issue in the election this November.

All the Independents at this event favor it and they are not all Shilling anythings, just intelligent, independent thinkers that understand the grip certain individuals, Lloyd Snook being one of them, have on who gets elected. To their credit the democratic executive committee, and their friends, have used these friendships and Obama e-mail lists to line up voters who have the Lloyd Snook, I don't care- just move on attitude toward local government ( as long as their people are in control ) and constitute " the government"

OOOOOSH- those "of color" do. Hey, I'm white, or "flesh" or whatever.....- so I care

@More Reality,

I think you have gone off the deep end. From my perspective the dirt in the campaign has come from people castigating all folks who support the Earthen Dam. The dredgers started the negative politics after they lost the RWSA, City Council votes, that's when it just got ugly. Supporters of the dam have been called by dredgers such things as "liars," corrupt, in the pocket of special interests. Just look at the Hook water article-just down right scandal mongering and character assassination. The slurs against Szakos and Huja (Napolean was a Smith supporter) have been atrocious. So shame on you and all those dredgers who are making innuendos about other public servants. And the nasty things said about Galvin, Huja, and Szakos, you didn't think those would go unanswered did you, so save the the holier than thou crap. Its politic sand you and your side played them too.

I have never said anything about Ms. Blount's intelligence or character and I resent your baseless accusation. I am sorry she lost and would have much rather seen her elected than Smith, even though I disagreed on the water and MCP issue. She has been a great school board member. Nor has there been any bullying going on (other than by the dredger lobby)-nice try though. Discuss all the ideas you want but don't expect people to believe your assertions about dredging or the dam, its costs, and supply realities just because you scream them loudly and don't expect no push-back when the dredgers engage in such nasty tactics. The less nasty but still distasteful tactics in my opinion included a sitting mayor endorsing candidates, the ticket crap, the softball questions of the troika.

Now that you have exorcised your desire to personalize this and accuse individual posters(a la dredger style) let's get back to the issues. You have to admit that it may be more than an odd coincidence that Norris who is against the Earthen Dam, ran three candidates to over turn the dam decision who ran as a ticket and threw softball questions to each other, when he lost that one in the primary election, began to raise the race card in the DP. It just looks like he's mad because he lost the primary and was looking for ways to bash the democratic party and question the support of Huja and Galvin. I find Mayor Norris' comments about race within the context of the primary and general election to be disingenuous. Then the same week, Schilling gets on the race issue in the Hook. Now one could speculate that since they are both against the Earthen dam that its an attempt to sway voters away from democratic candidates in the primary and toward independent candidates who are all against the dam. My question, is: do they have the same objective in the general election?

Are there independents who don't support Schiiling's perspectives? Sure. Are there pro-dredgers who don't support Schilling's perspective? Sure. I just hope people look closely at the agenda of various groups in this upcoming general election and tease out the motives.

What would put an end to that possibility is if Norris and Smith would come out publicly and support the democratic ticket over the independents. I am glad to hear that there are dredgers out there who understand that Schilling's motive in using the race issues is to undermine the democratic party, get ward elections and nonpartisan elections to assure more republicans spots on Council. Since he is pro-dredging, one could be influenced to vote for the independents for his reasons and then as a trojan horse you get something else.

I am glad there are independents running but they all want to revisit the water supply and the Parkway (I think) and I, like a lot of other citizens in town are plain tired of it and want to move forward so I won't be voting for them. So I don't see diversity in the Independent pool. Also I decided to vote in the primary and signed that pledge and feel morally obligated to live up to my word. In the past I have been a vocal critic of the Democratic party, but on this issue I think it was the pro-dredging faction and their elected officials qua supporters and their candidates who are off base, mostly in tactics. I try not to discriminate in my critique.

BTW I will probably vote for Blount in the School Board election.

"This editorial has to be removed from the website."
Oh great... now we hear a call for censorship.

"The racism that exists is more prevelant in the wal mart parking lot then in politics or government."
.... we're not elitist either are we?

"Those of you throwing around the charge of racism need to look up it's definition. "
While you're at it .. .look up cognitive dissonance

cognitive dissonance ---can't you heat the sour grapes " I didn't really want to be the mayor any longer anyway if the people don't like my my great trioka " -----------------" I didn't really want to be on council now i know the people more"

It would be interesting to know if there are any black contributors to the comments above. Largely it appears to be a bunch of white guys commenting on race and gender.

What ever happened to the normal electoral issues of taxes, budgets, ranking of needs all traditional fodder for a campaign?

Can Charlottesville just move ahead without racial politics? Can the city Dems stop using race to maintain their control?

One spot of hope emerged from the Random Row Citizens Debate. The inclusion of the Independent candidates changed the balance of power. No longer could the Dems demand that Dems were protected. Topics like DECEPTIONS emerged. And it could not be controlled. Unlike City Council, FREE SPEECH could not be suppressed by Szakos labeling it as Lying and Xenophobic or by labeling people disagreeable and unwelcomed to speak.
Schilling’s essay is his Free Speech. He informs and offers a perspective which is different from the Dems; it challenges them. I hope the NAACP, and women’s groups also offer their perspectives.
But most of all, I hope everybody would concentrate their efforts on what would be good for The People of Charlottesville and leave the race/gender politics of the past, in the past.
How can the legal assets which were paid for and are owned by the City be protected and not forfeited? How can the money paid by City residents to purchase Buck Mountain land be recovered?
How can the lease (which requires the reservoirs be maintained) of the three reservoirs be enforced? How can the irreplaceable city parks be protected from use a low cost real estate for buildings and roadways?
How can the employable people of Charlottesville be employed?
How can the elderly, sick and disabled people of Charlottesville be better supported?
There are big challenges in front of us and honest discussion is needed. It is a time to bring forward new ideas, and open Free speech. It is a time to give up on dysfunctional single party rule and work for all the people in a truly DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC!

Schilling is constantly boasting about how influential he is and how he gets underneath the opposition's skin. As someone who has frequently challenged him on his blog and via email, I can say that he usually dodges or ignores hard questions.

Today on the show he naturally took pride in all the abuse he's supposedly getting for this editorial, and he claimed that his critics haven't refuted him. I think he's made a strong case that the Democrats made a cynical deal decades ago, but he has presented zero evidence that white Democrats today make any attempt to limit the number of African-Americans on the city council, and he has refused to present what he thinks is evidence, even when asked directly why he attributes Blounts failure to secure more endorsements to race and not substantive issues. Schilling has effectively called slaughter and Szakos racists, and refused to provide evidence for that extremely ugly charge.

Schilling is not just a cynic, he's a coward. Having given him a platform for slander, the Hook ought to call him to account.

Can Norris and Schilling (White guys) stop using race to forward their non-poverty, non-race agenda to stop the dam? The only African American have seen without a dog in the fight has been Dr. Turner of the NAACP who gave his perspective on Blount's loss and It didn't seem overly focused on dem. party racism. and:

"What ever happened to the normal electoral issues of taxes, budgets, ranking of needs all traditional fodder for a campaign?" Simple, the dredgers tried to move everything else but the water supply off the agenda for discussion.

Don't think I heard Szakos accuse "lying"? But Napolean's comments was disagreeable and I wouldn't welcome that kind of politically motivated garbage speak back myself.

@ Lloyd: I am confused in one breath you say: "Can Charlottesville just move ahead without racial politics? Can the city Dems stop using race to maintain their control?"

Then you say:

"But most of all, I hope everybody would concentrate their efforts on what would be good for The People of Charlottesville and leave the race/gender politics of the past, in the past."

I am confused. The Dems didn't bring it up. The first mention of this was Norris' comments in the DP after the Primary, and now Schilling in the Hook.

"But most of all, I hope everybody would concentrate their efforts on what would be good for The People of Charlottesville and leave the race/gender politics of the past, in the past." But Norris did this in the DP articles after the Primary and Now Schilling is doing it.

And... "How can the legal assets which were paid for and are owned by the City be protected and not forfeited? How can the money paid by City residents to purchase Buck Mountain land be recovered?
How can the lease (which requires the reservoirs be maintained) of the three reservoirs be enforced? "

Now are you not back to all the anti-dam stuff and not focused on the other things you mentioned which were really good suggestions I thought. The water supply thing will be done and over very soon, and your suggestions:

"How can the employable people of Charlottesville be employed?
How can the elderly, sick and disabled people of Charlottesville be better supported?
There are big challenges in front of us and honest discussion is needed."

are great ways to move on to other important issues. Let's move on.

@Ken - You are too modest. You don't "frequent" Rob's blog. You've been parked there so long that you can claim squatters rights. Your fixation with Rob is not that of a lone wolf in the wilderness so much as it is a disturbing fixation. Schilling is largely criticizing the SYSTEM which he has strongly documented to be rigged. No one on this blog has yet to refute his documentation of history or the soundness of his argument -- only to pull the overused liberal hole card of a faulty racism charge out and stamp their feet. Everyone seems to love one party rule so long as it's their party in power. Change is coming.

I do dispute his choice of hairdo, though.

Feet to the Fire, you'll notice that I credit Rob for his history, but that he is the one charging racism is a factor today. But where has he actually "documented" the motives of today's white Democrats? Since you defend him, how do you know racism was responsible for Blount's defeat, and how do you know today's white Democrats conspire to only let one African-American at a time on the city council? You have "documented" nothing.

The corruption charge is cheap and predictable. Liberals habitually ascribe the worst motives to conservatives and vice-versa. We need leaders with enough character to break that pattern, to refuse to presume the worst about their ideological opponents just because they are their ideological opponents.

Politicians are like diapers, the have to be changed regularly and usually for the same reason


Ken- the last thing that anyone can call Schilling is a coward. He has in the past and is more than willing to meet anyone, anywhere and at anytime to discuss and debate his long standing views.

You up to it- Ken?

Harry, you’re right, coward is too strong a word because Rob does invite people of differing views on his shows. He deserves credit for that. But for whatever reasons they very rarely challenge him, or at least they don't in the few hours a week I hear, and when he’s challenged to defend his claims online, he won’t answer. Feet to the Fire seems to have fallen silent after being challenged in a rebuttal as well. Now why would that be? I don't respect that behavior and I think Rob's charges are reprehensible.

As for me, I’ve had discussions and debates with all kinds of people online for years. I find it fun and I’m always up for it.

I don't need to point out what is so pathetic about this piece. But I am surprised the hook editors would print such shit writing.