Archived Story

The wacky world of McLemore

Published 9:26am Saturday, April 14, 2012

In the vast conspiracy-filled galaxy in which Greg McLemore orbits, The Tidewater News and this pundit are part of a “trick of the rich” to keep Franklin Mayor Jim Councill in power.

For all of the juicy details, visit on Wednesday, when we’ll post the full unedited audio of our news staff’s recent visit with McLemore. If not a wise investment of a half-hour of your time, it certainly will be entertaining. McLemore, the spunky Ward 3 city councilman and mayoral hopeful, is nothing if not entertaining.

His latest conspiracy theory — that wealthy white Franklin citizens (he names names in the interview) and “The Foxwater News” are supporting Vice Mayor Raystine Johnson as a ploy to split the vote and ensure Councill’s re-election — is amusing, chiefly to Councill, who arguably has received as much scrutiny and criticism in this space as any City Council member and who has seen some of his staunchest supporters over the years defect to Johnson in the current campaign.

It takes a supersized ego to concoct such a theory as McLemore’s — an ego that has convinced its owner that he is electable, as opposed to the simple spoiler that he was in 2008, when Ellis Crum would have trounced Councill had McLemore not been on the ballot.

McLemore’s targeting of the newspaper and its publisher is curious. Outside of the 184 Ward 3 voters who picked him over incumbent Councilwoman Rosa Lawrence in 2010, few have tried like we have to give McLemore the benefit of the doubt. We have commended his passion, suggested that his “solar city” idea, derided by most, was worth at least a look, and opposed the use of city charter amendments to engineer short-term political outcomes. Granted, criticism has outweighed the praise, but no City Council member or faction has escaped critique in this space, as any regular reader — and certainly the seven council members themselves — can attest.

Two years ago, in the wake of his convincing ouster of Lawrence, this column explored McLemore’s political future, speculating on a couple of possible outcomes:

The verdict on McLemore is at least a couple of years away. He can still be successful if he thumps the chip off his shoulder and thickens his skin.

McLemore must come to understand the power of his words. If he learns the value of tact and diplomacy — that how you say something is as important as what you say in the public arena — he will be an effective city councilman. If he doesn’t learn that lesson quickly, he will remain ineffective.

Come May 1, the verdict will come in, delivered by those whose opinion counts: the citizens of Franklin.

STEVE STEWART is publisher of The Tidewater News. His email address is

  • YocalLocal

    Who is going to research all his claims on his “long Biography” and other claims??? Come on TN, call him out!

    1. Passing all the merit badges and ranks in the Boy Scouts by the age of 14. And being able to hold the title of Scoutmaster except for his age??? Huh?

    2. Comparing Franklin to Las Vegas geographically, except for the gimmick. Franklin is 9 square miles, Las vegas is 131 square miles. The strip is two miles long. No, it is 4.2 miles long. With all the information available on the internet, where does he get his facts??

    3. He has sources who promised a Great Wolf Lodge would be built here. Who promised that? And why would they put one so close to Williamsburg when all their other properties are separated by hundreds of miles???

    4. He has NASA scientists who would love to consult on the solar city project. Who are they? Give us names so we can ask them if they are “in.”

    5. Need I say more? McLemore? Come on, you as a Boy Scout should know the Scout’s Oath and Law. Guess when you are in politics it is easy to forget.

    I hope the Tidewater News will dig deep and expose this man for what he is… Or maybe the Foxwater News can dig up the info.

    Suggest Removal

  • vasweet

    If nothing else….he is entertaining…

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  • rdarden

    McLemore is the Paul Riddick (City of Norfolk Councilman),of the Franklin City Council. Riddick, like McLemore is always trying to make up conspiracy theories and crying racism at every item that does not go his way. Quite frankly, it has gotten very old to the majority of the citizens in Norfolk. Likewise we are seeing the same type of thoughts and actions in the citizens of Franklin.

    Stop whining and complaining and wasting time on wild goose chases and come up with real solutions. That is exactly what is wrong with our governments on every level. To the Tidewater News: keep up the great work! I enjoy reading your paper and commentary. You were spot-on on this one!

    Suggest Removal

  • Makalani

    In an ideal world — our elected politicians would be intelligent — articulate — work hard to further the best interest of their constituents AND put their egos in a lockbox. Unfortunately — in the real world — some elected officials — like people in other professions — come in various gradations of competence and intelligence. Some exhibit more — not less — hubris upon their election.

    Unlike changing doctors by looking in the Yellow Pages if one discovers that theirs is a quack — citizens are often stuck with “wacky” elected officials until the next election cycle.

    More “lunatic fringe candidates” are running nowadays than ever. They are convinced that only they can save the citizenry from various conspiracies and “the government.” We probably haven’t seen the last of stealth “wacky” candidates running and being elected in Franklin only to show their true colors after being elected.

    It is imperative that Franklin’s elected and appointed officials systematically — not haphazardly — research and devise a recall charter amendment that will pass legal/legislative muster.

    Suggest Removal

  • handkusp45

    How can anyone take this idiot seriously? If he is elected Franklin will be the laughing stock of Virginia. I agree he is in his own world. He’s in a world where you don’t work to make a living because the government hands you everything. It’s a world where you can get away with anything because you are black. If people point your shortcomings out they are racist. Or it’s because you are “rich” and don’t understand the plight of the less fortunate. It’s a world where you can spout off some of the most crazy ideas anyone has ever heard of and people who don’t know their head from deep center field will still vote for you. Only in this world can McNomore get elected.

    Suggest Removal

  • pleasehelpus

    I’m so confused about his yard signs, can he not make up his mind on anything. First Yellow and Now guess what color?? You guessed it “White and Red” just the reversal of VOTE “RAYSTINE JOHNSON” for MAYOR. What a joke, What an idiot, What a JERK.

    Suggest Removal

  • Gunner

    Vote Raystine Johnson for Mayor.

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  • employee2

    The wacky world of McLemore….that about sums it up. As his yard posters declare “DEVIDE the city”.

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    • hellcat

      Even his yard posters say “DEVEDE?” Oh, dear. I’m sure the person who printed them pointed out the spelling mistake, and he said that was the way he spelled it, so leave it alone.

      Raystine Johnson for mayor!

      Suggest Removal

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