Casting my first vote for Mark Cates

I’ve never voted before in my life. I’ve never really even paid that much attention to politics or felt excited about anyone running for office — until now.

I met Mark Cates a couple of weeks ago while hanging out with friends at Wedge Brewing Co. After meeting him, I asked why he was running. He told me all about his plans to grow Asheville’s green economy and get people employed again. Besides his great ideas, he’s actually a cool guy, too, who’s not like the usual stiff politicians I’ve seen.

I made sure to register to vote so I can vote for Mark in the October primary. I hope anyone else out there who wants a normal person on City Council does the same.

— Tricia Koss


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23 thoughts on “Casting my first vote for Mark Cates

  1. Valerie Hoh

    Hello Tricia, I applaud your decision to register to vote. However, before you do vote for Mark Cates, who does present all these great plans & portrays himself as a normal, cool Ashevillian, you should google Mark Cates, tea party & you will find that in the seven years he has been in Asheville, he has not worked on any of the issues he is campaigning about. Instead he has been the bookkeeper for the Tea party. If you agree with his tea party values, then by all means vote for him but if you were hoodwinked by a stealth candidate, then please look at the long record of community involvement of Chris Pelly, Marc Hunt & Lael Gray. You will not see any of these candidates on those large digital billboards that is so unsuited to our beautiful City and which Mr Cates has spent large sums of money on!

  2. Barry Summers

    I’m not sure what you mean by “a normal person” (what are you saying about the other candidates or current Council members?), but in my definition, it doesn’t include Tea Party officials who try to run from their past, or those who call Asheville “the heart of enemy territory”.

    I can’t trust someone who kicks off his campaign by vowing to “strike a blow from the inside” (his words). That’s not a “cool guy”, IMO.

  3. reasonable

    Would you please list the suposssed “Tea Party values” that you claim Mark Cates adheres to? I’ll give you some time to make some up as they’re no where to be found on his web site or in his position and plan to economically re-energize Asheville. In fact, Mark believes that good ideas can come from anyone-progressive, liberal, Democrat or conservative.

    • Barry Summers

      …they’re no where to be found on his web site or in his position and plan to economically re-energize Asheville.

      I think that’s the point, Mr. Reasonable. You don’t play the kind of role Mr. Cates played in the Asheville Tea Party without having some very strong convictions. Yet, the sort of things that he talks about now (non-partisan working together, green economy, another layer of big government creating jobs, etc. etc.) are about as far from the Tea Party as you can imagine. His current campaign strikes me as seriously deceptive. Maybe he should’ve stuck with the “strike a blow against the liberal enemy” rhetoric. That would’ve won him points for honesty, at least.

  4. Joe Newman

    I met Mark Cates a few days ago and took him to be a progressive–which is exactly impression he was trying to make on me. I’ve since learned he is a Tea Party activist.

    I can respect Tea Partiers who make it clear what they stand for. Mark, by contrast, won’t tell the Asheville public who he is or what he really believes. Instead, he appears to be intentionally deceptive. I can’t respect that kind of politician.

  5. reasonable

    If your take-away from supposedly meeting Mark Cates was that he is a progressive, I have to call BS on this. Does Mark Cates believe that progressives can have good ideas? Of course he does. He believes good ideas can come from anyone. Period. Your second paragraph is just plain wrong-headed. That’s being polite. It’s obvious you haven’t really listened to Mark and understood his vision.

    It is you, and others here, who appear to be “intentionally deceptive” and you should rectify that. You’ll sleep better and others might “respect that kind” of catharsis in you.

    • Joe Newman

      I stand by what I wrote, Reasonable. Mark is talking a progressive line trying to get elected in a progressive town.

      The problem Mark keeps running into, in this discussion and elsewhere, is that he has a long paper trail that documents his Tea Party background and politics. If he no longer supports the Tea Party, he should say so publicly.

  6. Barry Summers

    The problem for you, Mr. Reasonable, is that we have listened to Mr. Cates, and have simply come to a different conclusion than you’d like. That doesn’t make us “wrong-headed”.

    “Is it possible to return to a federal government of the people, by the people, for the people?”

    In his letter to the Asheville Daily Planet less than a year ago, it was clear Mr. Cates was speaking as someone hoping to craft the local Tea Party agenda, with an eye towards higher office. He spoke of a strategy to influence the national political landscape, in part, by “supporting candidates at the local and state levels that are aligned with Tea Party values.” I think it’s fair for us, a mere ten months later, to draw the simple conclusion that he is himself one of those candidates. And after laying out that strategy, the fact that he doesn’t speak about “Tea Party values” anymore, now that he’s running for office in an overwhelmingly Democratic town… well, that strikes me as a little bit deceptive.

    Read the whole letter (not you, Mr. Reasonable – I’m pretty sure you’re read it already & know exactly what Mr. Cates is up to.) He is a Tea Party activist, exhorting his fellows to “focus on supporting local individuals who can develop experience in governing over time.”

    You can call us “wrong-headed” if you want. But I’ve learned all I need to about this stealth Tea Party candidate.

  7. reasonable

    Barry, you glean whatever you wish from that article. I read it as a rational, clarion call to action to reel in the federal government and for NC, the path to do so runs through Raleigh. nothing sinister about that. I’m in no way affiliated with any aspect of any TEA PAC, group, or whatever but that doesn’t preclude me or anyone else from agreeing with some of their issues.

    What Mark wrote conforms to that.

    • Barry Summers

      I read it as a rational, clarion call to action to reel in the federal government

      So you admit that Mr. Cates is a Tea Party activist who is focused on a national Tea Party agenda, not on serving the needs of the people of Asheville.

      Thanks. Got it.

  8. reasonable

    Joe, there is no “long paper trail” as you relate. The only ting I see is the Asheville Daily Planet letter and a bazillion ScruHoo and MX posts all pointing to it. That’s it.

    I’ll think we’ll see a more concerted effort to get out the from the majority of Asheville voters this election.

    Eighteen percent each of 19 percent of our electorate is what “swept” in the last three council members. That is no mandate and many Ashvillians are now energized to rectify that so that council may actually resemble this town and not the far left fringes of it.

    We’ll see.

  9. D. Dial

    There are many more questions than there are answers with Mr. Cates. Questions Mr. Cates is not answering.

    Does Mr. Cates and his WashDC /Chicago, Ill PR spinmeister, Fritz Chaleff, think we’re such bumpkins that we cannot see through the b.s.?????

  10. Dionysis

    “Does Mr. Cates and his WashDC /Chicago, Ill PR spinmeister, Fritz Chaleff, think we’re such bumpkins that we cannot see through the b.s.?????”

    It appears the answer to this question is ‘yes, they’re counting on it.’

  11. Margaret Williams

    Please refrain from personal attacks. The tone on this thread is increasingly negative. What ever you may think about the candidate or fellow commenters … do not make it personal. Criticize the ideas, not the people.

  12. D. Dial

    @ “Reasonable (aka RR) “Wrong-headed???”

    Anytime someone goes “stealthy,” it’s simply the responsible thing for a citizen to do, to begin raising questions. As we have done here.

  13. Dionysis

    “Please refrain from personal attacks. The tone on this thread is increasingly negative.”

    Ms. Williams, please clarify (this is a sincere question) as to what is deemed a “personal attack.” I re-read each post twice just now, and the closest that I see to a personal attack is the phrase ‘wrong-headed’. Is that what you are referring to?

    As for the negativism, you are right, but as one wise old sage once noted, “politics is a contact sport.” Thank you.

  14. Barry Summers

    Yes, Margaret – what exactly has crossed the line here? I think it’s been pretty civil.

  15. Barry Summers

    BTW, Margaret – is it possible to restart the ‘notification’ function on these comment threads? I found that to be a real help in continuing a dialog.

  16. cecilbothwell

    Apparently in his seven years here, Cates has never voted in a municipal election.

    Odd,eh? You’d think someone so much concerned with local government might actually bother to vote.

    I voted for Gray, Hunt and Pelly and urge everyone to join me in supporting three folks who have been working for years to make Asheville a better place for us all to live.

  17. john

    My understanding of Tea Party principles are these–
    govt limited to it’s Constitutional authority, economic solvency, liberty, freedom and personal responsibility, lower taxes–citizens keep more of their own money, lower and more efficient govt spending, a true free market system. If Mr. Cates supports these, I believe he is a good candidate.

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