Chad Nesbitt doesn’t have one good thing to say about liberals. “They’ve taken over this town,” he says. “They’ve raised the taxes sky-high. They’ve taken over the churches, which are becoming more liberal all the time.” He could go on.
What pains Nesbitt the most, however, is his own party’s lack of oomph, at least at the local level. “We just don’t see any fighting spirit coming out of the Republican Party,” he complains.
Nesbitt uses the word “we” a lot these days, referring to the organization he recently founded, Carolina Stompers. The group’s aim, described at its Web site, is to “Stomp out Liberals and RINOs [Republicans in Name Only] for Our Children’s Future.” Its symbol is the elephant rampant, a cigar prominent between its gritted teeth.
Longtime Buncombe County residents will know Nesbitt—who happens to be the stepson of Martin Nesbitt, the Democratic state senator—as a foe of liberalism in all its pervasive forms. They will know him as a truth-seeker, a righter of wrongs, an enemy of zoning, a video producer and sometimes TV and radio personality.
Nowadays, he serves notice on political corruption at the local and state level, as well as behaviors that get a negative treatment in The Good Book. He has allies in this effort, including his wife, Nancy Nesbitt, along with Don Yelton, Zora Hayes, Paul Perdue, former state senator R.L. Clark and others.
What does a Stomper stand for? “Common sense, for one,” says Nesbitt, “and Christian values.” The group also believes in supporting the men and women fighting the Iraq war. “You constantly see the Western North Carolina Peace Coalition talking about our soldiers like they’re dogs,” he charges. “Well, they’ve taken the fight to the enemy. You just have to look at the record: There hasn’t been one terrorist act on American soil since 9/11.”
In more local affairs, Nesbitt et al hope to see Republicans vaulted to success in upcoming elections. “Carl Mumpower [who recently announced plans to run for Congress in 2008], we endorse him 100 percent,” he says. “And Selina Sullivan. And Matt Hebb. And Bill Russell. And Bobby Johnston. [All of whom are Asheville City Council candidates.] These are all conservatives with an ‘R’ by their names.”
And let it be known that the Buncombe County Republican Party isn’t spared the threat of Carolina Stompers’ ample foot. “They’re not going about things the right way,” Nesbitt says. “But we hope they’ll follow our lead and watch what we do. Maybe then we’ll start winning elections.”