WNC manufacturers denounce Mumpower’s Congressional bid, immigration stance

Citing the Asheville City Council member’s “entrenched” stance on immigration and hiring practices, the board of the Manufacturer’s Executive Association has announced it will not support Carl Mumpower’s bid for Congress.

The MEA, which boasts a membership list, which includes Volvo and Tyco, as well as Mills Manufacturing — which was raided by federal immigration agents in August — is a nonprofit affiliate of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and advocate for the manufacturing community in Western North Carolina. MEA President Jeff Imes said the board’s decision was made during an Oct. 23 meeting.

“Based on the Dr. Mumpower’s comments and actions, the Executive Board of the Manufacturers Executive Association can not justifiably support his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives,” reads a statement issued by Imes. “He is not conversant about the immigration issue in this country and is not really interested in engaging with area manufacturers.”

Imes notes that conservatives and the manufacturing community typically share a pro-business stance, especially when it comes time to campaign. But Mumpower’s attacks have left a historically safe voting bloc cold, he said.

“He’s completely alienated anybody who would vote for him,” Imes told Xpress. “In an election, you usually shore up your base. I think he’s eroding his traditional base.”

Following the raid at Mills Manufacturing, MEA sent a letter to Mumpower inviting him appear before the board and participate in “an open discussion and dialogue … to review the immigration issue and policies in this country and its affect on local manufacturers.”

But, less than a month later, the board retracted that invitation after Mumpower continued to blame local employers for exacerbating the problem of illegal workers.

“He wasn’t open to a discussion,” Imes told Xpress. “He just wanted a platform to air his views.”

In a statement of his own, Mumpower (who has taken to calling himself a “Mountain Maverick” on his campaign Web site), responded to the rescinded invitation.

“The MEA of WNC is absolutely correct that I am entrenched in my position on illegal immigration. I have absolutely no sympathy for American companies who fund the flood of illegals into this country with jobs and money.”

Imes says that manufacturers are limited in their ability to confirm the eligibility of workers and that the immigration battle is more appropriately fought at the federal level, arguments that Mumpower has dismissed repeatedly, including in his response to the MEA.

“The MEA and the Chamber of Commerce could make a major difference in creating action on illegal immigration. Instead, I believe they have conspired behind a mask of legitimacy to exploit this cheap imported labor pool and the rest of us who are picking up the hidden costs. I can understand why they would not want me to have direct access to their membership — they are not accustomed to being called cowards.”

For more on this story, see the Nov. 5 edition of Xpress.

Brian Postelle, staff writer


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

17 thoughts on “WNC manufacturers denounce Mumpower’s Congressional bid, immigration stance

  1. LOKEL

    “Imes says that manufacturers are limited in their ability to confirm the eligibility of workers…”

    It seems to me that if said worker can not speak English or write or communicate with at least some grasp of the English language that should be the first sign of someone who may be here illegally.

    After all, the ability to read and write in English is a requirement of US Citizenship.

    Also let me ad that I do not support the good Dr.

  2. Reality Check

    How dare anyone question their ability to break the law! Sarcasm font throughout.

  3. PatD

    Mountain Maverick .. hehe.
    So funny.

    And Lokel
    Although I understand where you come from (and agree) on the ‘speak english’ subject, citizenship and green card are two different things.

  4. shadmarsh

    It seems to me that if said worker can not speak English or write or communicate with at least some grasp of the English language that should be the first sign of someone who may be here illegally.

    A quick glance here or at the ACT forums would seem to suggest that quite a few “real” American citizens would not pass this test you purpose.

  5. LOKEL

    It isn’t a test that I propose it is currently a legal requirement for US Citizenship.

  6. dave

    The board of the Manufacturer’s Executive Association are obviously dominated by the “Far-Left”. Those Commies. :-)

  7. nuvue

    I don nowe mebbe i gwan git me a jobby job i har ye gon check fo’ anglish cipherin an stuf

  8. Jim Shura

    Damn those far left manufacturers. Over the years they’ve always sided with Big Labor and paid out unreasonable percentages of the profit to the workers, driving up prices for all of us.

  9. bobaloo

    I don nowe mebbe i gwan git me a jobby job i har ye gon check fo’ anglish cipherin an stuf


  10. Reality Check

    This isn’t a left or right thing. Both parties are in the tank equally when you look at how we got here. These business owners make campaign contributions to everyone and buy the souls of the legislators.

    Its a greed thing. Both parties are susceptible to greed.

  11. dave

    If the workers were willing to work for free, then the companies could afford lower prices for the consumers!

  12. PatD

    Now, if the workers would all pay to work instead of be greedy and demand wages … then we could beat China.

  13. Ashevegasjoe

    So, the good Dr. turns in a bunch of illegals, who are “taking our jobs”. Then, when the factory is unable to find any willing, “legal” workers, the city council buys bus passes for homeless people to fill a fraction of the open jobs (meanwhile production at the factory is decimated). Why have there been no follow up reports on the success of legal workers now employed by said factory, or how many homeless people remain gainfully employed? Because these hard-working industrious people (illegal immigrants), are in fact doing work that no one wants to do. If you do, please apply at Sonopress and prove me wrong.

  14. dave

    rural whites receive more welfare and social assistance that any other demographic.

Leave a Reply to nuvue ×

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.