Picture Vs Policy: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Does the picture represent the man?


Image result for RALPH NOrtham BARACK OBAMA

So quick we are to judge. Who needs facts or details? One blip ,one bump and your career in over.   When my children were growing up, I would tell them its not what your say, its what you do.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was young when he took a picture in Blackface standing next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan costume.   Both pictures are offensive to this blackman.     As difficult as its seems, there are people who are  racially tone deaf, even in 2019.   Usually individuals who live in mono,environments ( Megan Kelly comes to mind )  because these individuals have limited contact with people outside their communities, they are often shocked when they are called insensitive or racist, because they work with people of color.

There is a difference between working and socializing and this is where I struggle with the Governor, who graduated from a predominately black high school.   He reportedly has strong personal ties with blacks in Virginia.  So the picture is not only a shock to the black citizens of the state, but a surprise to his black friends.

As a flawed human being I try not to rush to judgement.  Throughout my life as a flawed human being, I have made some poor decisions in my youth and as an adult.  When he took the picture nearly 35 years ago, he wasn’t thinking about the impact that picture might have on his personal and professional career.

The Picture ,was published February 1, 2019 on the website  Big League Politics   . Big League Politics was founded by former Breitbart News Employees and is considered a far right wing conservative website.

Is the picture a representation of who is Governor Northam is? 

In Virginia’s 2017 Gubernatorial election, Ralph Northam received an estimated 87% of the black vote, 67% of the Latino Vote and 61% of the women’s vote.  He was supported by many groups notably  the Latino Victory Fund and Planned Parenthood and support by many black political organizations,  most are now asking the Governor to resign.

His Positions:

The Governor supports a $15.00 minimum wage and is against a state constitutional amendment enshrining right to work legislation. That would allow employees in unionized workplaces are banned from negotiating contracts which require all members who benefit from the union contract to contribute to the costs of union representation. 

Northam “has called for phasing out the grocery tax on low-income people and ending business taxes in struggling rural areas.

The Governor as a record of supporting Abortion rights, ( Planned Parenthood supported him in his election campaign)  He is against a bill called the Repeal Act that would allow third trimester abortions to be performed if a single physician determines that there is any physical or mental health risk to the mother. Currently, Virginia law only allows third-trimester abortions to be performed in the state if three physicians determine that continued pregnancy would be “substantially and irremediably” harmful to a woman’s health.  This bill is supported by many Republicans and may be a topic in the 2020 Presidential Campaign.  

Northam has proposed making it free for students to pursue a community college education or apprenticeship in a high-demand field (such as cyber security and early childhood education under the condition that they commit to a year of paid public service. He opposes public funding for private schools. (wiki)

In February 2017, Northam cast a tie-breaking vote in the state Senate against a bill to ban sanctuary cities in Virginia

In Washington Post, Article Titled  “Anger and sadness as African Americans in Virginia consider Northam’s fate”

In conversations at churches, salons and coffee shops, African Americans disagreed about whether Northam must resign, but all voiced a sense of betrayal. In public office, Northam worked to expand Medicaid, the health program that serves the poor, and he helped to restore voting rights for felons, a policy that helps many black men. Many in the black community saw him as an ally, and as one of the good guys.

It’s a real slap in the face. You pretend to be my friend, and you’re really not,” said Thomas Parham Jr., as he arrived for worship Sunday at the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Old Town Alexandria. It’s one thing, he said, to encounter a racist public official. It’s almost worse when it’s someone perceived to be an ally. “I’d rather know where you stand.”

The Democratic Party Image

What is disconcerting about this controversy. is the Democratic tidal wave against this Governor.  Not based on his record, or actions or public statements but a silly misguided picture taken when he was in medical school.

Governor Northam is no Steve King the Congressman from Iowa. Who, for more than thirteen years has on record said:

 “Mixing culture will not lead to higher quality of life but a lower one.

 He wanted to make English the official language of Iowa.

He sued Iowa for posting voting information on an official website in Spanish, Laotian, Bosnian and Vietnamese.

King suggested shocking (via electricity) immigrants who climbed the wall.its successful in containing livestock

One the house floor, he said Profiling was an important component of law enforcement.

Suggested paying for the border wall with federal dollars coming from welfare, food stamps and Planned Parenthood

January 2019:  Steve King was stripped from all committee assignments after bipartisan condemnation of his remarks on white supremacy (A theme of his for the last 10 years)

From my chair in the balcony, the Democrats want to demonstrate they unlike ,the GOP they walk the talk.   I am reminded of Minnesota Senator Al Frankel who admitted and apologized to sexual misconduct when he was a citizen in 2006, his apology was accepted.  However when other anonymous woman came forward. he denied the accusations.  Members of his party demanded he resign without a full hearing.

In his resignation speech he made comparisons to Republican politicians, saying he was “aware of the irony” that President Trump remained in office despite the comments Trump made in the Access Hollywood tape released a month before his election, and that the Republican Party supported Roy Moore‘s Senate campaign despite the many allegations of harassment and molestation against Moore (wiki)

 

Self Inflected Wound

Governor Northam may have been flying solo (without council) when the news broke Friday Afternoon.  A good publicist would have advised and prepared him before appearing on camera.  However, as bad as Friday was, Saturday was a tsunami of bad press.

On Friday, he was almost there.  He apologized for the pictures and went on to say  “I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work”.  Someone, from his office might have spoken to the press, touting his record, his reputation with the black community and the suspicious timing of the picture,

Over night, they may have linked release of the picture to the date of his comment regarding his position on the Repeal Act  and reminded the press of his reputation. 

But that didn’t happen!  Flying solo, taking a page out of Donald Trumps playbook.  He said, that may not be me?  and like the 45th President of the United States, he was unable to stop himself.  He admitted, “Blackfacing” in the past AS Michael Jackson.  A talent contest that he WON, after practicing the moon walk!

The “State” of Virginia 

Should the Governor resign, the Democratic Lieutenant Governor, Justin Fairfax would become the Governor.

Sunday, February 3,   Patrick Howley of the conservative website  Big League Politics . reported Vanessa Tyson, a professor of politics at Scripps College, said she was sexually assaulted in 2004 by a campaign staffer who was now up for a “VERY BIG promotion” in Democratic politics. Howley, who was also the first to obtain the Northam yearbook photo, noted that Fairfax was a campaign staffer for presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 and that he was now poised to become governor of Virginia. 

It is reported, she brought her 2004 story to the Washington Post and another media outlet.  Both outlets investigated the story and found no corroboration and did not publish the story.

In the State of Virginia, if the Lieutenant Governor is ineligible, it would fall to the Attorney General, Mark Herring a Democrat. If he for any reason can’t serve,it would fall   to the Speaker of the House of Delegates would be next in line to take the role. The Virginia House is currently controlled by Republicans and Speaker Kirk Cox would be the interim governor.

Slow Down The Train……

The Democratic Party and the citizens on Virginia, should slow the train down. Dont solely judge the Governor on this picture.   Judge is life from there forward. What has he said?  What has he done?   Then look hard at the coincident via Big League Politics before rushing to judgement.

Wouldn’t you want someone to judge you on your complete body of work rather than one picture or a single incident.?

CityFella

 

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The Operating Hours of the Boys Club may change without notice


Image result for al franken

 

If your over 50 and currently employed your nights are a bit restless.   The world you knew changed a few months ago.   Women are coming forward with memories that spanned decades.  Their memories are clear and often detailed.   So you wake up in a small panic, was I inappropriate?  EVER?

The face of 66 year old Minnesota Senator Al Franken best represents a lot of baby boomers.   Did I?  Are there others?  How do you defend a brush or a touch (not grab) that took place 30 years ago ?

As a manager, I can clearly remember two female employees telling me they did not  want to be touched or hugged. I respected their wishes and there was no retaliation. Women rarely came forward in my years in management.  Are there women out there who feel that I was inappropriate in the 90’s or 2000? and what it the appropriate response?

There were members of the Boys Club who abused their power.  Everyone knew who they were and while you may not have been comfortable as they boasted about conquests you remained silent .

Throughout the years if a female staffer had a complaint you took it seriously.  But that was before the fall of 2017.

The question for many is why now?   If there was a problem in 2010 why wasn’t addressed in 2010. 

 

1991

It was sometime after the Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas hearings.  I was given a directive.  I was to personally spend the next few days speaking directly to employees about the company’s new sexual harassment policy.   There were no real directions, just a box of brochures and business cards.  This was the nineties, there were no smartphones or laptops.

My words brought confusion and concern.   Uttering those words “Sexual Harassment” resulted in many red faces. What do you mean sexual?    Is this from the union ?   No.  Should we contact the union?  You can if you like.   “If you ever feel uncomfortable for any reason by anyone you can call the number on the card 24 hours a day.

No one was quite sure what to do, one thing was clear, the company was serious.    Locations had five days to respond to any complaint and to forward all complaints to headquarters.  Failure to follow the new mandate would result in disciplinary action.

Before the mandate, there really wasn’t an official response to an individual who said he or she was being sexually harassed.  Quite often she was told someone would keep an eye out for her.   Yes, there were outdated guidelines from human resources  but the truth was no one was was equipped to respond to questions of sexual harassment.   It was my experience the victim wasn’t taken seriously.

2000 something

It has been a Boys club since the beginning of time.  The club had long resisted female members.   Once  you  became a member you quickly learned when to speak in the meeting and when to simply go along.

While you have never been inappropriate with a female, you know managers and professional who were.  In fact all the managers knew who the perpetrators were as many boasted about their actions.   As a member you may have participated in the banter as your male colleges have made comments about women who work for the company, you have laughed in the presence of female managers who seemed okay with the shenanigans, boys being boys.

A common question is why didn’t women speak up.  Why now?  

I was a black man wanting to move up.  I don’t speak for all black men or women.   When you a minority or a women the dance is very delicate as you move up the ladder.  Most clubs are filled with white men, with an occasional minority or woman. If your objective is an office upstairs, you played the game. You smiled when the boss or the majority of the room is being inappropriate.  Objecting could result in a delay in your ascension or halt it all together.

At a business dinner to honor our clients.    My boss loudly announced they were serving watermelon and which should make me happy!   Many of my colleagues  and clients were embarrassed.   Inside I was hurt and embarrassed, outside I was professional,”oh that guy”

I could have complained , could have sued the company, there were more than one hundred witnesses.   But it would have ended my career.   From that moment on, I would have been branded.   Nice guy, but!    Didn’t he sue? Didn’t he file a complaint?  I’ve been in those meetings,so I knew what the consequences were.

Women know this all too well.  They are outnumbered in the Boys clubs. So when one of the boys comments on the tits on the new girl in the mail room, they may smile uncomfortably or  look away.

Fall 2017

The abuse of power in the Boys Club is well known. Abuse comes in many forms, it is fueled by power.    From the fast food manager asking for  sexual favors in exchange for hours.   To department heads who s access to slush funds to pay for and elected members of our government who have made it very difficult for someone to complain.

The abuse by some of the members of the Boys Club was tolerated  if the member was generating income for the organization.   Beginning with the 100+millions in payouts from the Fox News Corporation followed by the  Weinstein scandal the stakeholders /shareholders declared there weren’t  any sacred cows.  NBC’s  Matt Lauer was being fired today.

Some members of the Boys Club are in shock.  The abuse of power is  so deeply ingrained in the culture.   After Donald Trump infamous Access America tape was released. some of his supporters dismissed it as being simply locker room talk.  His son, Eric, said it’s just what happens when men hang out together.  Its simply, Boys being Boys.

There are many men who believe while these actions against women were wrong.  They view the punishment to severe.

The Mee too movement is a beginning, however real change will not take place until the Boys Clubs becomes the Boys and Girls Club.  The institution has to change.

  There needs to be more than just one or two women setting policy.  One or two women in a sea of men.  This change needs to take place today.  The irons are hot!

CityFella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liberals aren’t Funny


In the tense ,pivotal scene in the movie “Moonstruck”  grandpa say’s “someone tell a joke”

The same could be said to host’s of  Liberal talk Radio.  Conservative’s get it.  before he appointed himself God Rush Limbaugh

 was extremely funny.

Today’s Bill O’ Reillyis

funny and very entertaining.

Love it or hate it Conservative talk radio seems to have a rhythm and if you remove the rhetoric, it seems as if they are winking at the audience.  Many progressive or  liberal hosts seem to beat the listener down. Look what Bush has left us, the Republican are evil people, drive a Hybrid, the earth is dying.

Air America (March 2004-January 2010)

The goal was the be the progressive-liberal answer to conservative talk.  They opened with star power, Al Franken and Janeane Garafalo.  Many in the industry felt,one of the major problems with Air America was the talent wasnt from Radio.  The only true radio professional was Randi Rhodes.

Air America exaggerated.   Perhaps, they believed  with George W in office Americans would embrace an alternative voice.  It overstated the funds it had, money needed to promote the network.  In a very short time  Air America’s  air time was reduced in many markets a victim of low ratings.    With little  or no revenue coming in, Air America couldn’t pay the rent on the stations they owned and in  less than two years after the start of the network, chapter 7 .    The  last light was turned off in January.

Local Talent

Sacramento’s Lone lefty, Christine Craft

is incredibly intelligent,  for many years she was a TV anchor ,she is an author and a few years ago became an attorney.   When I first moved to Sacramento, she was an island of sanity.     Ms Craft ,,like Rush and others she argued or cut off those who disagreed with her point of view, smart she was, entertaining she wasn’t.    Ms Craft is currently a fill in host of San Francisco’s KGO Am 810.

Ray Taliaferrobeen a voice in the Bay Area for several decades.  He was one of the first black TV anchors and has been a fixture at KGO since 1986. ( he’s on from 1am to 5am).  Ray’s stichk is simple, Republican and Conservative bad and Democrats good.  If you disagree, you’re an idiot.  Slow night? Let’s insult a white caller,  “You’re a silly white woman a disgrace to the kind and bright citizens of Livermore”

The Gold Standard in broadcasting belongs to Ronn Owens,

a fixture

on KGO since 75 is the highest rated broadcaster in Northern California and the only broadcaster who beats Rush, in the same time slot.(9am-to 12pm)  He has been nominated to the “National Radio Hall of Fame’ three times (including this year)  He has won the “Talk Show personality of the year” and is currently #13 of the 25 greatest Radio Talk show host of all time and he won the prestigious “Marconi Award”   He is funny,charming, love opposing views and entertaining.  he is the cornerstone at KGO.

Exceptions to the Rule

Randi Rhodessuspended from Air America in 2008.  She reportedly called Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton whores at a radio event in San Francisco, history was made. she is smart and funny she is heard(12am to 3pm) in the Bay Area on Am 960, Santa Barbara am 1490 and  am 1150 is Los Angeles. on XM Radio Channel 165.

I am still mourning the loss of Stephanie Miller  I should have know better, Sacramento’s KSTE is very conservative and  with the exception of  The Tom Keykis show, liberal or progressive talkers usually last three to six months.  To best describe the Stephanie Miller Show , its like a morning drive time show without music.    Actress, comedienne, Miller is everywhere.  she is the daughter of  conservative Us Rep William Miller who was Barry Goldwater’s running mate in the 1964 Presidential Election.

Miller is often the left’s mouthpiece on conservative talk shows on the Fox Network.   Her  radio audience refers to her as “mama” .   Her show is hysterical, she loves the right .  She can be heard nationwide and on (6am-9am)XM satellite 167, In the bay on 960am, and KTLA 1150 in Los Angeles.  two words catch her.

Will there be another progressive network? Not anytime soon. the industry has taken a hit.  The economy has taken a toll, revenues are down, no multi million dollar contracts this  year.

An alternative voice is needed in the country.  Yes, there will always be those who insight, anger and those who  blindly believe.  At the end of the day, radio is entertainment and the trend is  conservative talk rules.  In the future ,conservative talk may become something else.   Until that happens if your liberal and you want to go into broadcasting, tell a joke.

CITYFELLA