The Beat: Mind your (former) P’s and tweets

The Beat: Mind your (former) P’s and tweets-attachment0

Local candidates and political parties have been bringing out the big guns in the final days leading up to the Nov. 2 election.

The biggest of all (although it should be noted that he’s lost a lot of weight in recent years) was former President Bill Clinton, who came to Asheville to stump for Congressman Heath Shuler. The Democratic incumbent has been waging a fierce battle with Republican challenger Jeff Miller to represent Western North Carolina’s 11th District, with both sides accusing the other of relying on manipulative advertisements that distort their respective records.

In his 45-minute address to the crowd of thousands who filled Pack Square Park downtown, Clinton sought to cut through the commercial sound-bites that “turn politicians into cardboard cutouts.”

Evoking Shuler’s past football career, the president said that “America’s playing a football game with the rest of the world” and that he was trying to show people the “game film” of why Shuler deserves another term. To make his case, Clinton cited Shuler’s support of pay-as-you-go budget policy, Wall Street reform, clean-energy legislation and college-loan reform, as well as his efforts to fight childhood obesity, among other achievements.

“His ideas are better than the other guy’s; it doesn’t have anything to do with party,” Clinton asserted. “If you want to get more jobs, then you don’t have a choice: You’ve got to vote for Heath Shuler.”

Not surprisingly, the Miller campaign disagreed with Clinton’s assessment.

A few days earlier, Miller hosted a Hendersonville rally with U.S. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who told the modest crowd that Miller — a small-business owner — was the only proven jobs creator running for the 11th District. The race to represent WNC is about cutting the debt and getting jobs, he insisted.

And in response to Clinton’s visit, a Miller spokesperson sent out this statement: “I’m sure that President Clinton and the Congressman will have a nice time talking about the good ol’ days when he was in the White House and Heath was trying to make it with the Washington Redskins. … But, that was 16 years ago … North Carolina’s families are having a tough time making ends meet and we don’t need to relive the days before Heath sold out to liberals in Washington; we need solutions for the future.”

Buncombe County Republican chair Chad Nesbitt also had harsh words.

“Bill Clinton is against everything our much-talked-about mountain values are about,” he said in a statement. “WNC’s liberal socialist progressives must be concerned if they are bringing in this model of dishonesty and seduction to uplift their candidates.”

In a separate press release, Nesbitt also announced that he was questioned by the Secret Service ahead of Clinton’s visit. The interview was reportedly prompted by concerns over statements made via a satirical Twitter handle bearing his name. Messages sent out in the days leading up to the rally included:

Brainstorming ways 2 disrupt #Shuler event on Saturday. Doing so will make crowd vote #Republican & get me a lot of attention.

Oops – my informant tells me the #Clinton visit to #Asheville is on Thursday! :-O My bad! I’m going to have to think fast! :-O

What are good ways for #Avl #Republicans to make themselves known during Thursday’s #Clinton visit? #avlteaparty #bcgop

In the statement, Nesbitt denied any involvement with the Twitter account and said he’s reported it to local authorities.

“I do not have and have never had a Twitter account,” he asserted. “I reported this false account several weeks ago to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department. They consulted with Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore, who I understand refused to take action. Per that lack of accountability, this situation reached a point of seriousness requiring Secret Service action. I hope the Buncombe County Sheriff Department and Mr. Moore will now realize the seriousness of this matter and act on my complaint. I will, again, make a formal request for action.”

Nesbitt also explained that, although he considers Clinton a “scoundrel,” he wished him no physical harm.

In response to the GOP press release and a WLOS story on the issue, the satirical Chad Nesbitt, @chadnesbitt sent out several tweets, including:

Note to media: 1) This account didn’t trigger anything. The Secret Service interviewed Chad as part of it’s normal routine.@WLOS_ABC13

Note to medi: 2) II you’re going to claim this account threatened anyone, you should at least link to the tweet. @WLOS_ABC13

Note to media: 3) Feel free to DM me directly. You should have done that first, frankly. @WLOS_ABC13

Note to media: 4) If the authorities are concerned, they are also free to DM me. @WLOS_ABC13 #avlpolice

Note to media: 5) If SS really thought I was a threat, I would have gotten a visit by now. (I didn’t.) @WLOS_ABC13

Note to media: 6) I’ve been very careful to make clear this is a satire account. Even added a few more hints recently. @WLOS_ABC13

Note to media: 7) You believed a press release from the real Chad? Seriously? Have you learned nothing about him lately? @WLOS_ABC13

Note to media: 8) Considering Chad’s tough-guy persona, I’m genuinely surprised at his sensitivity. @WLOS_ABC13

Note to real Chad: 1) Do you not like being mocked? How is this making you feel? Ponder that, and reflect on your own shenanigans.

Note to real Chad: 2) If I’m hurting your feelings – just say so. Perhaps we can work something out.

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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

45 thoughts on “The Beat: Mind your (former) P’s and tweets

  1. shadmarsh

    Has anyone independently verified if Nesbitt was actually interview by the SS?

  2. Piffy!

    [b]Has anyone independently verified if Nesbitt was actually interview by the SS? [/b]

    I wonder if that even could be verified.

    Is that info the SS gives out?

  3. shadmarsh

    well, we could at least know if someone tried. I’m talking to you MX staff.

  4. Barry Summers

    Has anyone independently verified if Nesbitt was actually interview by the SS?

    Good question Ice Dude – MX, has anyone tried to verify whether Chad was in fact interviewed by the SS?

    What about Duncan & Moore? Could they verify any part of this, and were they asked?

  5. shadmarsh

    I’m sure he called the Sheriff and the DA. He loves wasting the time of public officials. After all Republicans are the only ones who pay taxes.

  6. I doubt very seriously that anyone confirmed Nesbitt’s assertion that he was interviewed by Secret Service in relation to the bogus twitter account. If they had, there would be a quote in here. Hell, if they had even tried they would have printed that.

  7. shadmarsh

    Yep…It just seems suspect that the actual holder of the fake account was never interviewed or contacted by the SS.

  8. Barry Summers

    Yep…It just seems suspect that the actual holder of the fake account was never interviewed or contacted by the SS.

    That’s the real story here – who holds this account, and is the SS really so inept as to not know how to trace them? I don’t think so.

  9. Barry Summers

    I call shenanigans on Chad Nesbitt!

    In olden days, we’d beat him with sheleighlies. Now, as I understand it, we tie him to a tree & stick Post-It-Notes with mean comments all over him…

  10. grimatongueworm

    Quote: “Feel free to DM me directly.”
    Redundant much? Does Chad Nesbitt also use an ATM machine?

  11. Don Yelton

    Modest crowd and thousands me thinks your bias is showing through. Where are the pictures and where were the members of the crowd from?

    Bus them in, bus them in, and frankly Clinton has the major distinction of promoting oral sex in the white house. He also passed NAFTA and sold secrets to the Chinese. Good man to build up ones character??? Maybe for you guys, so keep it up.

  12. Margaret Williams

    Don: We guestimated the Rep. Cantor crowd at about 150; the C-Times estimated the Clinton crowd at 6,000’ish, which we thought was high, so we chose not to suggest hard numbers, going for “modest crowd” and the vague “thousands.”

  13. Don Yelton

    Thanks for reporting the high figure in the Asheville fish wrapper.

  14. Barry Summers

    You’ll have to excuse Don, he might be a little ornery because the BCGOP only pulled in $2,520 this last quarter…

    And over half of that came from the Nesbitt and Yelton households…

    …while having expenditures of $5,823.41

    Hey, look. Chad paid $130.00 to himself for… balloons? Those have got to be high-quality balloons.

    But this is the expenditure that really gets me:
    $439.78 for pup tents??

  15. Barry Summers

    11 of them, at $39.98 apiece (those have got to be some fine pup tents…) Chad, Chad, Chad. If you buy the full dozen, you get them for $34.95.

  16. Jake Frankel

    In the Oct. 27 print version of this story we’ll include comments from the Secret Service and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan. Stay tuned.

  17. Barry Summers

    In the Oct. 27 print version of this story we’ll include comments from the Secret Service and Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan. Stay tuned.

    Forget that. The news cycle has churned that & forgotten it already. Get your best reporters on this pup tent story, ASAP.

  18. Barry Summers

    Michael Muller, drop whatever you’re doing & head to Leicester!!!

    (I wouldn’t necessarily believe those rumors about the pup tents being for some shadowy Leicester-based militia group, but you never know…)

  19. dave

    I seem to recall some kind of a “benefit” of recent that Nesbitt put on with local firefighters. Turned out to be a Republican fundrasier, and lacked integrity to the point that the firefighters separated themseselves from it.

  20. Piffy!

    Are they FEMA pup tents?

    Is Chad preparing for the socio-apocalypse?

  21. Don Yelton

    Just wait and see how long it takes for an answer from the powers that be. Wanna bet no answer til after the election.

    Glad to see that a lot of people are watching such small numbers on the report. As I said please keep it up because you show just how small your brains are.

  22. Barry Summers

    Don, I’ll think you’ll have to agree that Chad has earned every drop of sarcasm. Seriously, when you launch yourself onto the stage by predicting that a telethon on local cable will bring in $250,000 – $300,000… c’mon. And when you mix the constant mistakes Chad makes, with his vitriolic attacks on anybody to the left of David Duke – hey, he’s a big fat target. And he’s dragging your party down, thank you very much.

    I’ll compare brain size with the Chadster any day.

  23. Barry Summers

    Don, maybe you can help – do you know why the BCGOP bought 11 pup tents in the middle of campaign season?

  24. bobaloo

    Is Chad Nesbitt a liar?

    This per BCGOP link:
    “Per discussion with the agent and officer who met with me, their concerns originated with comments on a Twitter account under my name,” said Nesbitt. “I do not have and have never had a Twitter account…”

    Then this via ThunderPig:

    http://thunderpigblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/fake-twitter-account-leads-to-secret.html

    “For those who want to follow Chad on Twitter, his account is here.”

    Which leads to this:
    http://twitter.com/#!//neverleft

    Which is it Chad? Do you or do you not have a Twitter acct? And if not, why is TP misrepresenting you? Also, if you want to delete that acct go for it, I have the screencap.

  25. Don and Chad,

    I am an independent voter. For example, the last city council elections I went for more for the right than the left overall. Party affiliations mean nothing to me, from the president on down. Many people I know also believe the same.

    I was fully prepared to vote against Heath Shuler this election. However, you’re shenanigans and constant need for the spotlight have left me no choice but to vote D across the board. Chad is now a candidate.

    We won’t really see what your actions have done until after Tuesday. However don’t think that Buncombe will ride the conservative tide that is supposedly sweeping the country right now, and if you suffer some loses, what then?

    What does your job entail? Broadening your base? It looks like to me that you’ve marginalized and isolated. Showing the Republicans to the media in the best possible light? Hardly.

  26. RUBE

    Same for me Orbit……

    But unfortunately the present BCGOP are coming across as complete baffoons.

    I believe in a split vote, but could not back the present GOP candidates in any way, and that is unfortunate. Our country is better led, with diverse leadership & dialog, but what BCGOP has proffered is not what the Founders had in mind.

  27. RUBE

    Same for me Orbit……

    But unfortunately the present BCGOP are coming across as complete baffoons.

    I believe in a split vote, but could not back the present GOP candidates in any way, and that is unfortunate. Our country is better led, with diverse leadership & dialog, but what BCGOP has proffered is not what the Founders had in mind.

  28. Don Yelton

    The dems have broaden their base to the point they have no principles. Yes, that is right. You may have forgot that both Chad and I were Democrats long before we switched parties.

    You have caught yourself in your own lie. You say party does not mean anything to you and then you say you are voting straight Democrat because of what someone else did. Sounds like you are just a party voter period and looking for a reason to justify you inability to think for youself.

  29. Don Yelton

    The dems have broaden their base to the point they have no principles. Yes, that is right. You may have forgot that both Chad and I were Democrats long before we switched parties.

    You have caught yourself in your own lie. You say party does not mean anything to you and then you say you are voting straight Democrat because of what someone else did. Sounds like you are just a party voter period and looking for a reason to justify you inability to think for youself.

  30. shadmarsh

    Another display of the Yelton charm. I can’t believe you haven’t won a race yet. It’s just inconceivable!

  31. Barry Summers

    I have to say, OrbitDVD, I’m kind of with Don on this one. Why would his or Chad’s antics drive you to vote for someone you otherwise wouldn’t? I can’t bring myself to vote for Shuler, and nothing these guys can do would make me.

  32. Piffy!

    [b]What does your job entail? Broadening your base? [/b]

    Orbit, I truly believe that Nesbitt’s real purpose is not to broaden the base, but to marginalize the Republicans by association, pushing the folks like yourself to the left in reaction.

    I don’t believe this is HIS intent, but i believe he plays the role well, which is why he was placed in his current position in the BCGOP.

    I suspect that after the elections, if Chad is succsesful in his role of marginalizer, you will see the BCGOP taken over by more rational, fiscally-minded conservative folks once again so that the REAL Republican takeoever can occur in 2012.

  33. Piffy!

    [b]Sounds like you are just a party voter period and looking for a reason to justify you inability to think for youself. [/b]

    Hardly. It means that he is voting to one side to show that he has no desire to support Chad and your asinine antics in any way.

    IT’s funny how the Republicans like Chad and Don can eb highly partisan and polorizing, while screaming about how ‘partisan’ independant voters are.

    Perhaps it is a generational thing. Most people I know under about 40 don’t vote along party lines as a rule. Mr. Yelton appears to still live in that world of reactionary extremes defined by highlypartisan politics and fails to understand many people are far more educated in nuance to fall into such an ignorant, small-minded trap.

  34. bobaloo

    That’s because you wouldn’t vote for anyone to the right of Dennis Kucinich.

  35. Barry Summers

    That’s because you wouldn’t vote for anyone to the right of Dennis Kucinich.

    Not true. I voted for Shuler when he first ran, because it was important to get rid of Chainsaw Charlie, and I crossed my fingers & voted for Obama, like many people, even though he showed signs of being just another corporatist. Both of them have made it clear after getting in office that they don’t give a damn about my vote anymore – so be it.

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