Mumpower woos tough crowd at Faces of Asheville; shocks some with marijuana comment

Asheville City Council member Carl Mumpower is one of hundreds of people photographed for Jenny Bowen’s ongoing Faces of Asheville portraits project, but in some ways he stands out in the crowd.

That was the vibe when Mumpower was asked to give a personal testimonial about his feelings for Asheville at a Faces fundraiser on Feb. 15 at the Orange Peel. Before a audience of mostly progressive locals, the conservative politician received heckles, jeers, laughter and, ultimately, applause.

Xpress was there to video the unique encounter. Click below to see Mumpower discuss his feelings on drug policy (including some comments on marijuana legalization that surprised many in attendance). Click here, here and here for the remainder of his talk.

Jon Elliston, managing editor



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About Jon Elliston
Former Mountain Xpress managing editor Jon Elliston is the senior editor at WNC magazine.

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22 thoughts on “Mumpower woos tough crowd at Faces of Asheville; shocks some with marijuana comment

  1. travelah

    While I am not a big fan of the man, he seems to be demonized by the ragtags an awful lot.

  2. Diana

    Go Mumpower! I liked him before and I like him even more now. I don’t personally do any drugs, but I do think the criminalization of marijuana makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

  3. Jimbo

    I’m sorry, but of all the people in all the world to speak against self indulgent behavior, it’s Mumpower? What exactly does it take to be called what you are, a hypocrite. Next up, Mayor Bellamy speaking against egotism, and self promotion.

  4. Ashevegasjoe

    A person who chooses to be a politician being demonized? What’s next, a hooker who gets a VD?

  5. September Girl –
    This was from the Faces of Asheville Pre-Exhibit Exhibit at the Orange Peel on Monday Feb 16.

    There were 346 portraits of members of the community who self participated in the project. They were exhibited on a slide show while raising funds for the final exhibits archival prints. Dr. Mumpower was one of the 346 participants who had is photo taken.

    Every participant was given a self-addressed-stamped envelope with a letter asking them to share their story on Asheville including current hopes, fears, loves, dislikes, and visions for the future. At the evening’s event 15 of those letter’s read, attempting to give a broad but accurate perception of the joys and concerns of the greater community.

    While decriminalization of marijuana was brought up in several letters that were sent back, Carl’s letter specifically addressed the {hard} drug culture and how much damage it does to communities, neighborhoods, and families. His letter also addressed several other good points, which you can see by watching the other videos.

    The great thing about these videos is it shows a diverse groups of folks coming together, enjoying themselves, and discussing the pressing topics concerning our community. I was so busy keeping the show going I did have time to observe it, but it looks like everyone was having a good time. :)

  6. travelah

    Interesting …. people who run for public office and are elected deserve to be demonized.

  7. September Girl

    Thanks for the clarification, JBo. I recognized some of those faces, and taken out of context, it looked like he was referring to them. I’m sure everyone there got it though. Great project, btw. Beautiful work.

  8. travelah

    PFGTaJ, let’s play your game this once, remove the word “deserved” and then you go next and have the last word.

  9. hello

    Why is this surprising? If you paid attention more didn’t just read the headlines in mtn x, you would already know where Mumpower stands on the marijuana issue. Not the first time he has said this.

  10. Trey

    Isn’t this the same guy that was hanging out at a Widespread Panic show trying to bust people for smoking weed???

  11. Trey –

    It was a Ratdog show, and I believe he wasn’t trying to bust people for weed & other psycho active drugs as much as he was trying to make a point about the open-air drug market that the APD allows to occur at concerts & other venues. Carl’s record will show a consistent level of awareness concerning our Police Department and how they deal with situations like drugs and homelessness.

  12. jeff

    Yes he made a highly publicized appearance at the Widespread show too.

    Does Dr. Mum do anything that is not highly publicized? If we all ignored him and he went away, I think all his pent-up energy for self-promotion would cause him to explode.

    If only there were a way to harness some of that energy to be used for a good purpose… (sigh)

  13. Ashevegasjoe

    being demonized is an occupational hazard to politicians (see the right’s treatment of our president). All politicians are aware of it before they choose to run. Much like my analogy of hookers who know they could get VD. There is no flaw in that logic– nice try trav, I guess.

  14. entopticon

    It’s a good thing travelah never demonizes politicians. I’ve even seen some people here demonize our President as a Marxist, socialist, black nationalist who forged his own birth certificate with a secret Muslim agenda. In fact, one of them even went by the name of travelah. Golly, travelah would never do anything like that. I’m sure the person who said all of that stuff who uses the same moniker was just some liberal trying to make him look like he was demonizing our President as part of their communist plot.

  15. Bjorn

    Mumpower doesn’t know if he’s a right-wing Michael Moore,or a Mr. Scrouge with a megaphone! Always seeking self promotion & publicity. If he was any shorter he might be a successful dictator! Personally I think he has a bright future in stand-up!

    Mumpower no sabe si él es Michael Moore de la derecha, o Sr. Scrouge con un megáfono! Promoción y publicidad del uno mismo siempre que buscan. ¡Si él era más corto él puede ser que sea dictador acertado! ¡Personalmente pienso que él tiene un futuro brillante en de pie!

  16. Vrede

    travelah: “While I am not a big fan of the man, he seems to be demonized by the ragtags an awful lot.”

    True… almost as much as he was by the WNC GOP last year.

  17. B Smart

    The man is pretty much a libertarian in the true sense of the word. He takes a hard-line approach to minimal taxation and government spending, as well as minimal government interference in private lives.

    Hard drugs (not Cannabis) cause so many public social ills that they don’t fall under “minimal interference in private lives.”

    The Republicans pretend to be the anti-tax, anti-spend party, but they are not.

    The Democrats pretend to be anti-interference in private lives, but they are not.

    The Libertarian party claims to be both, but are distracted by fringe issues. They have too many members of the aluminum-foil hat crowd and not enough focus to be a real contender in any meaningful election.

    I’m sick of the two-party, us vs. them mentality that permeates our political process. We need alternatives in leadership. The two bullies on the playground need their collective asses kicked by the masses.

    Unless MAJOR change (not Obama feel-good change) occurs in our government and society, our government will overwhelm us with taxes and restrictions on our personal freedom.

  18. smugflotsam

    I’m sure Mumpower purchased the package with 8 wallets and candids from his speech. This is “art” in Asheville nowdays? The buzz around this project, after seeing the genuinely bad photography, perplexes me. I have seen enough of this artist’s work to conclude her popularity is driven by self promotion and social networking more than any notable talent, the insta-audience inherent in this project a case in point.

  19. Mister Blister

    Whoa! The times they are a-changing, eh? Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

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