The Beat news roundup: Grand Old Party poopers

It was a bad week for the Buncombe County Republican Party.

In an online post, Xpress reported that “Rappelling 9/11 Fundraiser Creates Fallout for GOP.” At the event, participants were invited to rappel down a 90-foot tower at the Bee Tree Fire Station and donors were asked to contribute $100 per rappel to raise money for the party and a local nonprofit.

According to the article, the fundraiser and a video used to promote it that decried “socialistic terrorism” drew harsh criticism from a range of Democratic officials and some Republicans, including Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler and Republican challenger Jeff Miller. In a statement, Shuler called the event “one of the worst displays of politics” he’s ever seen. And in response, Miller released a statement agreeing that “no one should play politics with this tragic day. … It is not a time for politics.”

Not everyone lambasted the event and its organizer, BCGOP chairman Chad Nesbitt, however.

Carl Mumpower, who participated in the event, told Xpress that he thinks “Chad is a creative, well-intended and courageous GOP County Chair.”

Mumpower also went on to boast that he beat Nesbitt in a push-up contest at the event.

“His push-up capacities are limited, and he let a 57-year-old beat him,” Mumpower joked. “We considered having a contest with some of our community’s liberal politicians, but then Chad and I remembered that progressives can’t do push-ups.”

While it’s unclear as to how much money was actually raised at the event (“No one has any money,” Nesbitt told Xpress), the party responded to the criticism by asserting in a press release that it took “special delight in our Saturday event and will repeat the effort next year.”

Nesbitt and the GOP also caught heat last week for raising questions about the legality of an early voting location near Shuler’s downtown Asheville congressional office that were found to be based on faulty information.

In the online post “Board of Elections: GOP Concerns Over Legality of Early Voting Site Were Baseless,” Xpress reported that the board held two emergency sessions last week to deal with highly publicized assertions by the party that a sign on Shuler’s office door could constitute a “political advertisement” that violated the required minimum 25-foot buffer between campaign activities and voting sites. Despite repeated claims by the GOP that the doors were only 18 feet apart, however, the board measured them at 25 feet, declaring the concerns moot.

Asked at the Sept. 16 meeting where the shorter, alleged measurement came from, Nesbitt said “we were told it was within 18 feet.”

“But you didn’t do your own due diligence?” he was asked.

“No, that’s just what we were told,” Nesbitt admitted.

In other potentially embarrassing news for the GOP, Xpress reported in an online post that “Councilman Bill Russell Leaves the Republican Party.”

While the Asheville City councilman didn’t directly cite Nesbitt or either of the recent incidents propelled by the county party in his decision, he told Xpress that “it seems to me that some people are doing things to promote themselves over the party’s candidates and they’re not bringing people together … none of that does anything to help the party, the process, or the community in which we all live.”

“I’m much more of an independent than what a Republican seems to be defined as these days,” he explained. “I want to serve Asheville as effectively as I can and I don’t want to have any part of these political games.”


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12 thoughts on “The Beat news roundup: Grand Old Party poopers

  1. UnaffiliatedVoter

    Gordon, we want YOU and your council colleagues to support NONpartisan solidarity by ALSO denouncing your democrat registrations changing to UNaffiliated! WHAT a MESSAGE you’ll send to democrats across NC and the country when we make you guys the poster council for NONpartisanship and thoughful recusement from the party of SLAVERY who has CONTROLLED NC since about 1897!

  2. UnaffiliatedVoter

    Scrutiny Hooligans is not a very positive type of website for a City CouncilMAN to operate…and it discriminates against the mainstream.

  3. J

    Gordon’s hilarious. Gordon gnashed his teeth raw about Taylor’s alleged improprieties, and worked a phone bank to help elect Shuler… is run by a man who’s been convicted of insider trading. So Gordo used the phone bank of a man with court convictions against him to depose the man who was never charged with anything.

    Now we have a Congressman who’s been written up by an Inspector General, something that never happened to Taylor, and Gordon’s cool with voting for him…I guess ethics only matter when you’re out of power.

    Bill Russell left the GOP purportedly to get away from these political distractions that hampered with city business, and el Gordo cheered him on. Now we have Gordon trying guilt by association without paying any attention to those people’s personal issues or views – pretty much the opposite of what Bill is apparently trying to do.

    If only Gordo could see himself for the farce that he is.

  4. Gordon Smith

    From the Inspector General’s “write-up” of Heath Shuler (aka exoneration):

    “The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently completed a review of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Maintain and Gain Program. We are providing you with a copy of our report because of the involvement of Congressman Heath Shuler in one of the lake access transactions. We have included the entire report although only the section on Blackberry Cove applies to Congressman Shuler.

    Our referral of this matter should not be interpreted in any way to suggest that we have found any evidence to support an allegation that Congressman Shuler violated any ethics rule. We are forwarding this report only in recognition that the TVA OIG has no jurisdiction over a sitting United States Congressman and out of an abundance of caution. As you will see in our report, this matter was the subject of considerable coverage by the media.

    While we found no attempt by Shuler to influence the TVA maintain and gain process, the facts as related in the report created an appearance of preferential treatment. These same facts were investigated by the FBI in conjunction with the TVA OIG to determine if any criminal statutes were violated. Both the FBI and our office have closed the criminal case because of insufficient evidence that a crime was committed.

    Congressman Shuler cooperated with our staff and submitted himself to two separate interviews without the presence of legal counsel.”

  5. Gordon Smith

    J – You ought to get a blog! Quality writing with a strong point of view? It’ll be a guaranteed hit.

  6. brebro

    The BOE declared the GOP concerns, “mute?” Well, that’s one way to shut them up, I guess.

  7. “Despite repeated claims by the GOP that the doors were only 18 feet apart, however, the board measured them at 25 feet, declaring the concerns mute.

    Should be moot….cannot believe the number of folks who substitute mute for moot. Good catch BB.

  8. Gordon is pulling that tired old fallacious hat of guilt by association.

    Like him or not, Chad Nesbitt is the Chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Party and has as his duty the responsibility of promoting Republican candidates.

    Our freshman city council member finds it surprising that actual Republican candidates would be seen in the same place with the local party chair.

    Poor Gordo. He knows what he’s doing and does it anyway. He think that if people don’t like Nesbitt, they will surely not like the field of candidates if he can associate the two by characterizing the association as “candidates who stand with Chad.”

    Silly little man.

  9. Piffy!

    So timpeck’s theory is that the actions and words of the head of the BCGOP don’t reflect on the party he oversees?

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