WNC congressional candidates voice views on U.S. Supreme Court’s health-care ruling

One of President Barack Obama's signature achievements to date, the overhaul of the country's health-care system, has continued to be a hot-button issue since its passage in 2010. So it’s not surprising that local congressional candidates had something to say about the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 28 ruling that the act is constitutional.

In the 10th Congressional District, incumbent Republican Patrick McHenry says, “ObamaCare is still bad policy that needs to be replaced with patient-centered reforms that will actually lower the cost of care. … Until we enact real change, premiums will continue to rise for millions of American families.” His Democratic opponent, Patsy Keever, cites a long list of benefits to health care reform, such as: young people can remain on their parents' plans until age 26; and clients can no longer be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. "I imagine that there are families all over North Carolina right now who are breathing a sigh of relief," she says. (For more candidate comments, visit — Jake Frankel

Local media sue district attorney, city of Asheville over evidence-room records

Mountain Xpress
, Carolina Public Press, WLOS, WCQS and the Asheville Citizen-Times filed suit last week against District Attorney Ron Moore and the city of Asheville, seeking to compel release of the audit of guns, drugs, and money reported missing last year from the Asheville Police Department evidence room.

“The issue represents a matter of substantial public importance because it involves not only the conduct and procedures of the Asheville Police Department, but also impacts the integrity of the cases investigated by the police department,” the filing reads. “Defendants have failed and refused, and continue to fail and refuse, to provide Plaintiffs with access to the audit report.”

News emerged last year that more than 115 items were missing from the APD evidence room. Asheville City Council ordered a $175,000 audit and then-APD Chief Bill Hogan promptly resigned. The audit was finished in January this year, but District Attorney Ron Moore has declined to release it, despite multiple open-records requests. (For the full story, go to — David Forbes

Buncombe County GOP kicks Don Yelton off committee for “party disloyalty”

The executive committee of the Buncombe County Republican Party found longtime political activist Don Yelton guilty of party disloyalty, voting June 25 to strip him of his duties as precinct chair and kick him off the committee until the next party convention in March of 2013.

The move wasn't unanimous, however: In protest, former party chair Robert Malt as well as Gary Shoemaker resigned from their own leadership roles in the party. Executive director of conservative group Buncombe Forward, Malt has been very critical of current party chair Henry Mitchell. Shoemaker serves as Buncombe Forward director.

Yelton says he plans to appeal the decision to the district and possibly state levels. He wasn't able to attend the June 25 meeting to defend himself due to work commitments, he says. Instead, former party chair Chad Nesbitt spoke on his behalf. (For the full story, go to — Jake Frankel

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