Full statement from Jonathan Wainscott on the shouting match at last Thursday’s West Asheville Business Association forum for City Council candidates
For those who have been following the current election campaign for City Council, you are probably aware of the recent discourse between me and fellow candidate and Councilman Cecil Bothwell. At a recent candidates’ forum, a heated discussion between the two of us escalated to a full-fledged argument. Upon the accusation of me being a “liar” by Mr. Bothwell in front of my community and family, I defended my honor as an honest man and candidate. The charge of dishonesty by Mr. Bothwell is thoroughly unfounded and irrefutably rebuffed by a wealth of video and written correspondences. Mr. Bothwell has apologized to Mr. Lanning, Mrs. Wisler, and the West Asheville Business Association, but his insistence that I am lying to the public has been neither substantiated nor apologized for. I have expressed my regrets to both Mr. Lanning and Mrs. Wisler in person for the awkwardness that the moment of my defense caused for those two candidates. For those present at the forum and those who have witnessed the exchange by watching the video, I too apologize for the unease this exchange may have caused you.
I will not apologize, however, for defending myself against the false and egregious accusations levied by Cecil Bothwell. During the course of this campaign Mr. Bothwell has accused me privately and publicly of being a liar when he has found himself short on facts. He has repeatedly put words in my mouth then accused me of lying based on his own verbiage he attributes to me. Mr. Bothwell has a reputation of unapologetic denigration of those he does not agree with, and continues to employ the tactics of a bully. I will not stand for his dirty-pool tactics. Mr. Bothwell clearly owes the community, my wife, and my daughter a full explanation of his accusation of my alleged dishonesty, an apology to me for these unfounded accusations, and an explanation as to how his behavior is not a violation of the Code of Ethics he is bound to uphold as a member of the Asheville City Council.
As we proceed with our current election cycle I give you the following assurances:
o I will continue to provide complete honesty about my vision for moving Asheville forward.
o I will express myself with vigor, passion, and respect, but I will not be bullied and if finding myself in that situation again, I will defend myself, my family, and my community with the same level of dedication that I bring to my concerns about our City.
o I will continue to lead our community toward the prosperity, rewards, and greater ownership of our assets and resources we all deserve.
Thank you for your attention and participation in this election. The road forward can be a rough one at times. It is not my intention to inflict harm in exchange for political gain. It’s my intention to boldly lead our community to a higher level of empowerment.
In the words of a great social leader, Mr. Thomas Petty, “I won’t. Back. Down.”