In Defense Of Purple



When people ask me about politics, I say that I’m purple. I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. In all cases, I choose freedom over party. This means that I am loved (and hated) by friends on the left and the right. And I’m OK with that. 


During the 2000 Presidential election, the late, great reporter and ‘Meet The Press’ host Tim Russert coined the terms “red states” and “blue states.” Republicans had control of red states. Blue states showed Democratic control. Russert and other political pundits identified several swing states or “purple states,” where the balance of power shifted from election to election. States like Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina, and my beloved Commonwealth of Virginia identified as purple. And if you look at the last twenty years, those purple states have been doing pretty daggone good. 


Swing states always rank highly for business, cost-of-living, education, and happiness indexes. North Carolina gets high marks for its high quality of life and a low cost of living. Colorado counts two cities — Denver and Colorado Springs — as “Best Places to live in America.” Minneapolis-St. Paul always appears in those rankings. The not-so-surprising fact is that all of these states have a divided government…they’re purple.


Although we say we hate divided government, we actually like it. And the research proves it works. The major parties keep each other in check and have to compromise when they divide power. As a result, they invest in things they agree on, infrastructure, economic development, education, and in turn, their states prosper. Neither side never gets too extreme, and we as voters, for the most part, like this — although we never admit it. 


Virginia has been one of the most successful states over the last 20 years. It was named the best state in the nation to do business by CNBC and Forbes Magazine in 2019. According to U.S. News & World Report, Virginia is the seventh-best place to live in the country and ranks fifth for best public schools. In 2002, I moved back to Virginia from California to take advantage. My kids got a great education. We enjoy a high standard of living and a low cost of living. I got a job here because unemployment was low and the opportunity was high. Later, I started a business here and it succeeded. I’ve invested in real estate and other businesses. Virginia is a GREAT place to live, work, and play.


On November 5, a mighty blue wave washed over Virginia. My Democratic friends are giddy. My Republican friends think it’s the beginning of “the end times.” Is Virginia turning blue? I really hope not. I caution the Blues to be careful and the Reds to be patient. If they work together, we can make progress. I pray Virginia stays purple. If Virginia turns as Blue as California, we’re all screwed. (Caution: The last link is disturbing and NSFW.)


Colors have meaning. The psychology of the color Red can be strength, but it can also warn of danger. Blue can show peace, but it also denotes sadness. My advice is be Purple; purple shows power, wisdom, creativity and magic. In times like these, we could all stand to be a little more purple.



Monday, November 18 – Reaching the Pinnacle



On Monday, Haleigh “Mrs.” Newlin and I made the brief jaunt down to Williamsburg to present a customized 2020 marketing plan to our friends at Two Rivers Country Club. It was great to get the gang back together.
And it’s official! We welcomed Glen Allen-based Pinnacle Living to the Madison+Main client family this week. Pinnacle Living is a 71-year-old non-profit that operates five life care communities across the state, including Hermitage and Cedarfield here in Richmond. We are very excited about helping them get to the next level….and reach the pinnacle. #punintended






Tuesday, November 19 – Virginia is for Tourism Lovers

On Tuesday, Communications Director Kent Brockwell returned from the VA1 Tourism Summit in Arlington. While in NOVA, he visited the original Ben’s Chili Bowl, checked out the oldest dive bar in DC, and bumped a reporter from Slugline onto the tracks of an approaching Metro train. #Underwood2020 Since his return, Mr. B has been full-auto peppering all of us with stats, facts, and calculated predictions about the future of tourism in Virginia — so much so that we all want to take a vacation just to escape the information.
In other news, I went in for my annual physical at PartnerMD on Tuesday. I don’t want to brag too much, but all of my numbers were on the good side — best they’ve been in the four years since I joined the concierge medical group. Thanks to the staff at PartnerMD for your encouragement and to Dr. Mark Petrizzi for your guidance and friendship. Yep, and I lost 10 pounds since last year….of course, me losing 10 pounds is like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic.






Wednesday, November 20 – I Shall Return



I’m a big fan of the Virginia Council of CEOs. I religiously attend my roundtable meeting every month with my CEO peers, but for some reason or another I seem to have missed every luncheon this year. I fixed that Wednesday by dropping by the Jepson Alumni Center and networking with lots of friends, clients, partners, and colleagues. Speaker Jim Schleckser, CEO of Inc. CEO Project, told us “Great CEOs are Lazy.” I already knew this, but it was nice to get some personal affirmation.
Wednesday brought another reason to celebrate, as Art Director Carissa “Party Hair” Ghaffari circled the sun another time. The Madison+Main celebrated by giving her a birthday card filled with inappropriate jokes.
It was also the final monthly PRSA lunch of the year so Leanne FerryAllison Nida, and Kaitlin (pictured below) headed out to Jefferson Lakeside Country Club to hear a panel discussion about diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also got to congratulate our former PR intern Taylor Burress, who was presented The William M. Dietrick, APR Memorial Scholarship award by the PRSA Richmond Chapter! Go Taylor!




Thursday, November 21 – Horsing Around



On Thursday, Creative Director Art Webb and Director of Account Services Kaitlin Thomas hit the road early to facilitate an informative CORE session with our friends at the Virginia Horse Industry Board in Charlottesville.
Back at the M+M World Headquarters, we had two great reasons to celebrate. First, our friends at Housing Families First were featured in Style Weekly‘s cover story about people who help run local homeless shelters and what it’s like for the homeless during the holidays. We also helped Haleigh celebrate her birthday by getting her office bestie Katie “Birthdays Are Magic” Rossberg to dress up like Billie Eilish and serenade her all day with scary pop songs I’ve never heard before. #KidsTheseDays



Friday, November 22 – Make Your Next Event HOT-HOT-HOT


We know a thing or two about throwing successful networking events. We also know a thing or two about the marketing that goes into each. Take a look at this scorching hot scorecard, flyer, and tabletop sign that we designed for our CROCKtoberfest Chili Cook-Off last month. If your company is looking to spice things up a bit, the Madison+Main-iacs would love to sprinkle in their magic. Email us at shout@madisonmain.com!







A Few of Our Favorite Events


Green Top Shooting Range Grand Opening


11547 Lake Ridge Parkway | Ashland, VA


December 7, 2019 | 11 a.m.


To officially celebrate its new outpost, Green Top will be hosting a Grand Opening Celebration on Dec. 7 at Green Top Shooting Range. The event will feature free lunch from Zaxby’s from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and a live remote broadcast by K95’s Garret Doll. They are also waiving the initiation fee for new memberships all day — a $50 savings. This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend!


Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!




“From the political angle, I’m trying to be apolitical if you will. I mean people say, ‘Are you a red state or blue state?’, I say, ‘I’m purple.’ I think there are great ideas on both sides of the aisle and neither side has cornered the market.”

— Brad Thor, Best-Selling Author