Ending months of speculation as to whether he would attempt to stay on City Council, two-term Council member Carol Mumpower has announced he will run for re-election this year.
In an e-mail dispatch last night, Mumpower cited the “continued irresponsibility of Asheville’s liberal City Council” as the reason his run is a “necessity.”
“Mirroring the wasteful patterns of government found in Washington and Raleigh, our mayor and her five colleagues continue to grow government, indulge special interests, and invest precious tax dollars on nice over necessary,” Mumpower said in the e-mail.
He added: “Eight years is a long time to hold the line as a conservative watchdog. There is no question that the best personal course for my family would be to say thanks and wave goodbye. The behavior of the Council and city management is creating too many obstacles between my conscience and a comfortable exit.”
In the statement, the full text of which is below, Mumpower also pledges to neither accept donations nor spend money on his campaign.
— Jon Elliston, managing editor
Mumpower – An irresponsible city council makes running a necessity.
Citing the “continued irresponsibility of Asheville’s liberal city council”, two-term city councilman Carl Mumpower has committed to running again in the fall. “Mirroring the wasteful patterns of government found in Washington and Raleigh, our Mayor and her five colleagues continue to grow government, indulge special interests, and invest precious tax dollars on nice over necessary,” said Mumpower.
“Eight years is a long time to hold the line as a conservative watchdog,” noted Mumpower. “There is no question that the best personal course for my family would be to say thanks and wave goodbye. The behavior of the Council and city management is creating too many obstacles between my conscience and a comfortable exit.”
“I am aware that several of my colleagues view themselves as conservative or moderate,” said Mumpower. “Unfortunately for them, politicians are defined by voting records over vanity. With rare exception, the Mayor and council’s votes place them to the far left in their spending habits, social policies, and political agendas. The lack of remote balance on the council, and a belief that diversity of thought really is important, leave me no wiggle room.”
Mumpower notes specific frustrations with his colleague’s stewardship. “This council is about to surrender Asheville’s one billion dollar water system to legislated banditry by our local legislators,” said Mumpower. “I consider this impending action nothing short of criminal misconduct toward the tax payers of Asheville.”
“This council, in conjunction with city and police administration, is continuing to dramatically fail in their commitment to eliminate open air drug markets in Asheville’s public housing and other vulnerable neighborhoods,” said Mumpower. “Our willingness to allow drug dealers and users to make Asheville a corrupted playground is a form of child abuse as far as I am concerned. Incremental progress that leaves our children at risk is not remotely good enough.”
“Then there is the Mayor’s fantasy boondoggle – a new performing arts facility on Depot Street that will kill a ball park, distract from that community’s real drug and social problems, and saddle the city with another financial burden in the middle of an economic meltdown,” said Mumpower. “This extravagance is mirrored in the pork handouts that the council is accepting with a callous indifference to the burden the misguided economic recovery package is laying on the next generation.”
Mumpower notes that the official sign up period for candidacy is in late summer, but that he wanted to make his intentions clear in view of the Council’s recent and on-going “mischief”. “The people of Asheville have had almost 8 years to watch my model of service as a maverick watchdog,” said Mumpower. “They can decide if my commitment to principles over power, care with other people’s money, and firm eye on Reality 101 is in the city’s best interests.”
With the latter in mind, Mumpower has offered that he does not intend to accept or spend any money in the fall campaign. “I will gratefully embrace the help of volunteers who can do what they will, but I don’t intend to invest other people’s money trying to buy my seat at the table,” said Mumpower. “I’ll continue to enthusiastically do what I do and embrace the outcome when the voters do what they do.”