Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jeff Artis’ Big Annoucement – 3-way 11th District race?

Jeff Artis at Juneteenth

Jeff Artis at Juneteenth

If you have not read Jeff’s column in The Tribune, The Roanoke Star-Sentinel, and now on his blog at jeffartis.com then take a look below. Jeff Artis’ website seems to be toying with us.
I asked him last week if he was running for the House of Delegates 11th District against incumbent Democratic Delegate Onzlee Ware. Artis just grinned that big wide grin of his then mumbled something non-committal. There is certainly no love lost between Artis and Ware. Everyone is looking at the 17th District race when the 11th may be the race to produce the real fireworks.

Jeff Artis’ column:

If you have ever read The Artis Blog on my website, JeffArtis.com, you know that I am not a fan of Roanoke, Va. House of Delegate member, Onzlee Ware. I am often asked why. The answer is simple. I do not support amoral politicians, who sell out their constituents for their own personal gain, who also work to sabotage so much of the work by individuals and organizations that strive to make the community better. I will never support any politician who is more interested in being “Head Negro In Charge” as opposed to doing the job he was elected to do – representing the people of his district fairly and equally.

Roanoke, Va., community activist, Martin Jeffrey, has announced that he is running against Ware, for the Democratic nomination in the upcoming June Primary. I wish him well. Jeffrey needs five things to defeat Ware; money, organization, credibility, political connections and possibly some information on Ware that no one knows about.

Like former Washington D.C. mayor, Marion Barry, many in Ware’s district and some in the local media are very forgiving when it comes to Ware and his actions. It appears Ware has been forgiven for his involvement in the drug trade in 1975, as well as, Ware’s cover-up of his involvement in the drug trade which nearly cost Ware his life. Ware’s sorry record in the Virginia General Assembly which includes several sellouts of his constituents, a refusal by Ware to help remove a racist, sexist judge from the bench, putting campaign contributions ahead of his constituents and Ware’s refusal to help Black candidates in local City Council elections does not seem to matter, either.

Ware has gotten a free pass for attempting to rig the 2008 Roanoke City Council Democratic Primary – his war on Carolyn Word, after she was elected head of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee several years ago when Ware helped form a second Democratic Party in Roanoke. I have also been told of Ware’s attempt to keep noted educator, Mignon Chubb-Hale, from getting reappointed to the Roanoke School Board, and to have Roanoke civil rights icon, Perneller Chubb-Wilson, removed from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Ware also has worked to sabotage Roanoke’s SCLC Juneteenth Celebration in order to promote his own.

Ware has also received a free pass for introducing legislation in the General Assembly to make it easier for local governments to take the land of tax paying citizens through eminent domain by using the phony guise of public safety.
One reason Ware receives a free pass is because he is a master at going into the White community and saying one thing while telling the Black community the complete opposite. It’s interesting listening to Ware “talk Black.” During the methadone clinic debate, I thought I was talking with H. Rap Brown. It should be noted that Republicans love Ware – especially White Republicans who should know better. All the while, no one takes the time to check Ware’s record, especially some in the local Roanoke media who are either too lazy to do their jobs as reporters or who jump at the chance to kiss Ware’s ring whenever they can.
Roanoke, Va. Vice Mayor, Sherman Lea, can defeat Ware in any election. The problem is, Lea won’t run. Personally, I wish he would. I would love to see Lea in Richmond. At least then, I would know my district has a representative who is actually representing me, not exploiting me.
To have a chance of beating Ware in the June primary, Jeffrey will need to raise at least $100,000 for his campaign. Given Ware’s Republican support and his current war chest, even that amount may not be enough. Still, I admire Jeffrey’s actions. It’s sad that Ware’s people tried to disrupt Jeffrey’s announcement to run against him. It’s never easy taking on the king. But, no elected official should be allowed to run for re-election unopposed. That is simply unAmerican. I will say this. The Ware – Jeffrey race will be interesting.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, State Politics

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