RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The lawmakers you vote in to office have the power to change the way you live and work. With the news of the Supreme Court's decision to d rop federal corruption charges against Bob McDonnell, many voters are wondering how to change the political landscape.
On a quiet corner of N. 6th Street sits Greenleaf's Pool Room, where a passerby may not put pool and politics together. However, for the owner of the pool hall, the mission is to create an atmosphere conducive to conversations about politics and any other life-wonderings among all walks of life.
There are no flat screens hanging from the wall, no dark corners or smoke filling the air. All conscious choices made by owner Jim Gottier.
"We consciously made an environment for ardent conversation, there are no big T.V.s...but we do have great cocktails!" said Gottier as he surveyed his establishment as the Monday night pool league got underway.
The players took the time to talk about the topic of political corruption, namely the federal charges recently d ropped against former governor, Bob McDonnell.
"I think he knew what he was doing, I think he was buying influence," expressed Ernie Plante between shots. He added, "He was providing access to people. We see this all the time."
Nothing new, and nothing good, according to Plante.
"A lot of people have decided not to get into the political arena because it gets so heavily scrutinized by the media. So what that leaves is people who don't have a lot of sense about the world. And they're willing to buy their way in," he expressed before adding, "It is very expensive to be a politician. When you get favors from other people, they expect something in return."
At another table, Jerome Dixon cues up. He closely follows politics to see how his own life may be affected by decisions made by lawmakers.
"Economic development, the job market. Typically, politics drives all those decisions," said Dixon as he walked around the pool table.
The retiring military member has seen similar situations happen around the world.
"You see corruption in small countries. America is no different. It still happens, just at a different scale. It can be seen as networking, a lot of its politics. The line gets blurred sometimes," said Dixon.
He believes voters need to be vigilant to make proper political changes.
"The biggest thing is for people to be aware of what's happening. The only way to change it is education," said Dixon.
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