My little family of four just recently settled in the Hendersonville area. Hubby and I both work remotely and travel often, but we justify the long, chaotic Monday-Friday for weekends hiking the Pisgah, raising kids in a charming small town and soaking up the beauty of Western North Carolina. We weren’t planning to get involved with local politics, but with so many factors deteriorating our safety, health care, education and environment, we can’t afford not to.
I’ve been following the District 11 Congressional race closely; it’s our district. It’s a race to unseat incumbent Mark Meadows, which is an absolute necessity for the health of our community. My eyes have been glued to the Democratic primary featuring Mr. [Phillip] Price, Mr. [Steve] Woodsmall and Dr. [Scott] Donaldson.
After attending a slew of candidate forums/debates and hearing each one articulate their platform in similar and different ways, there is something that has really been bothering me. I feel the need to bring it up. It’s Woodsmall. He’s not being honest.
He touts his carbon footprint. I’ve heard him say he’s 100 percent wind-powered, off the grid and doesn’t give a dime to Duke Power. Other times, he backpedals and negates those claims. His home shows no evidence of wind power, and he’s admitted to buying credits from a third party. That doesn’t make you wind-powered. And your money still lands with Duke Power.
He also mentions his Air Force career. He retired as a major and he claims to have commanded military bases. But he’s given no details when asked to elaborate. He changes the subject to how angry and fed up he is without taking the time to answer questions that would validate his claims.
Why am I the first to question his honesty?
The reality is, I began following this race because of my passion for sensible gun laws to protect my children, my opinion on single-payer health care, my love for the environment and desire to protect it. But what I learned is a disappointing reality that, not only do we have to evaluate candidates on their opinions about the issues we care about, we have to evaluate their honesty. Honesty in speaking about themselves and not just telling us exactly what we want to hear. Honesty in making realistic promises to the citizens of WNC. And honesty in representing us in Washington. So, if Woodsmall can’t tell a clear, transparent and consistent story in the District 11 primary, how will he ever survive the general against Meadows? And if by chance he does, do we really want him representing us anyway?
— Kaycee Kalpin
Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Woodsmall’s campaign with a summary of the letter writer’s points and received the following response: “Replacing Mark Meadows is the most important objective. He’s wrong for Western North Carolina. Wrong for America. But beating him will not be easy. You must decide which candidate can attract the most Democratic, unaffiliated, conservative and moderate votes to get that job done.
So let me quickly dismiss the concerns mentioned so all three of us can return to what’s most important: helping you decide who’s most qualified to take the fight to Mr. Meadows.
• I’m a Ph.D. professor with a degree from an accredited university online. (Ask and you can read my leadership dissertation!) This is an example why I want high-speed internet throughout District 11, so everyone can use this modern communication medium.
• Your home can be powered with renewable energy from Arcadia Power, too. Just select “100 percent wind power.” It’s a little more expensive, but I see that as an investment in our environment.
• I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1975 and retired in 1994 at the rank of major. I’ve held five separate command positions and was recognized as Company Grade Officer of the Year, Maxwell Air Force Base; and Outstanding Airman of the Year, Scott Air Force Base.
• I’ve held positions at the Securities and Exchange Commission, FAA, several corporate management positions and a community action agency; served as adjunct faculty at several universities; and taught graduate courses at Forbes School of Business.
You can learn more about me at woodsmallforcongress2018.org. But my platform includes universal health care, “green” jobs, reasonable gun regulations, safer schools, education, a living wage and protecting our beautiful WNC natural resources. We’re working hard to spread that message before the May 8 primary. Then, first thing May 9, we’re “back in the office” for the most important District 11 goal: retiring Mark Meadows this November.”