I caught up with Dena Phoop, Chairwoman of the "Elect John Uhrin to Virginia Beach City Council and Keep Re-Electing Him Until He Slides into the Mayor's Position" Committee while she was jogging in First Landing State Park and had a chance to ask her some quick questions about our man, Da' Uhrinator!
TL: Miss Phoop, how do you feel about John Uhrin's unchallenged bid for a city council seat this year?
DP: It's just as we expected. Why would anyone else bother running against him?
TL: According to a link I found, he raised $41,500 this year and he's got $25,113 left. What the heck did he use all that money for if there was no need to do any campaigning or anything?
DP: There were $16,393 in itemized expenses.
TL: For what?
TL: Will he be donating the rest to some worthy local charity on November 3rd?
TL: According to the same website, John's contact address is listed as 1000 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA, 23451. Is that his official campaign headquarters?
DP: No, it's a Days Inn.
TL: Odd. Does he live there?
TL: Then, uh...why is it his official campaign headquarters?
DP: It clearly states on the city's website that Mr. Uhrin oversees the operation of 6 hotels at the beach. He's director of operations for Burlage Management.
TL: Yeah, I saw that. I looked all over for an official Burlage Management website and there isn't one.
DP: Right. There isn't one.
She runs far ahead of me while I lean up against a tree for a while to catch my breath. I cut through the woods, wade through some swamp water and, 23 minutes later, catch up with her.
TL: I thought a website, even a dinky one, was necessary and required in this modern digital age?
TL: And, come to think of it, there isn't an official John Uhrin website, either. You know, one for clearly stating his views and standpoints and affiliations and stuff. I mean, with all that money in his pot, couldn't he have one made - just to have some sort of place folks could go and learn more about their city councilman. Ask him questions, see what he looked like as a kid, you know, all the basic stuff.
TL: Has he had time to enjoy the 1,400 foot, $1.1 million dollar wooden bridge on Lake Holly?
TL: Does he always carry scissors around?
TL: Did he learn a valuable lesson after stuffing himself silly on steamed clams and oysters that had been sitting at room temperature for several hours in a banquet room at a fundraising event last April for Dave Redmond, Candidate for an At-Large seat on Virginia Beach City Council?
TL: Did any of the $8,500 he donated to Dave Redmond go towards taking this incredibly lame picture of him sitting in the off limit dune area on the coast of Virginia Beach?
We both stop so she can look at this picture.
I continue running and she catches up with me.
TL: Was this photograph AND sweatshirt Mr. Uhrin's idea to make Mr. Redmond appear "beachy" and or "casual"?
TL: Is it not the most hilarious thing you've seen in quite a while?
DP: Yes it is. Hilarious and sad.
TL: Did Mr. Uhrin take the photograph?
DP: (pause) Yes.
TL: Will he ever ride light rail when it's completed?
I start running backwards, out in front of her.
TL: Will he, together with the handful of like-minded city officials and developers that always seem to get exactly what they want around here, slowly, piece by piece, make the Virginia Beach oceanfront into a super, mega-resort town on horse steroids? Totally devoid of any aesthetic value or quaint, Southern beach town charm? Are his primary interests in the city summed up by the words "more", "big", "now", "money"?
TL: On page 2 of the election results from 2006, it shows that John won the election with 17,580 votes and 44,469 ballots were cast out of a possible 261,869 registered voters.
TL: I'm no statistician, but those are just pitiful numbers. Downright embarrassing for everyone. The people of Virginia Beach, the candidates...only a few people really give a hoot to vote.
DP: Yes. And it doesn't really matter who wins in the end. Virginia Beach isn't run by politicians. They're puppets. They dance on strings controlled by people with money in order to make more money so more people can hold more puppet strings...including most of the politicians themselves.
I turn around and slow down considerably. She passes me.
TL: (to myself) Oh my God. Puppets...controlling puppets.
DP: It's been like that since the beginning of time and it will always be the same
TL: One last thing, his name...is it really pronoun-
DP: Yes. "Yer-In". Like pee. Get over it and act like an adult.
I stop. She continues running.
TL: (yelling) And your name...is it really pr-
DP: (yelling) "Foop". It's Dena "Foop".
At that moment, a great wave of shock and sadness flowed through my entire body. I realized I'd been running this whole time with my fly down. How embarrassing!
Get out and vote, folks. It doesn't matter for who or for what reason, but it's something fun to do before or after several beers.