B.C.G.O.P. – ringing some Christmas bells…

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From the chair – Asheville is a tough environment for faith based charities. The “progressive’ environment has demonstrated antagonism to organizations that put God in front of their mission. Case in point, you can no longer track which agencies the United Way funds through their resource application process.

“Every donor has the option to designate their gift to ANY 501c3. You do not need a “sanctioned” list from us to do so. We will direct your gift to any 501c3 as you wish, be they in Asheville and Buncombe County or halfway across the globe. Because you do not need a sanctioned list from us, we feel that creating one is unnecessary and ultimately distracts donors from our actual goal of building the Community Investment Fund.”

There’s an unspoken reason for this policy – as of our most recent opportunity to track United Way applications a few years back, there were no faith based organizations being funded by this organization in Asheville and Buncombe County. We don’t believe the United Way wants that to be public information – and for obvious reasons. Might that be a partial explanation of why the YWCA is now called the “Y” and the Christian part of their equation has gone MIA?

Fortunately, in spite of antagonisms, there are many great local and national faith based charitable organizations that continue to thrive and make a difference in our community. One that works very hard to be sincere to their Christian affinities is the Salvation Army!

You know these folks by their large charitable footprint on Asheville and Buncombe County – and their Bell Ringer program at Christmas time. Buncombe’s Republican Party just made a commitment to help in a direct fashion. When WLOS noted the Salvation Army’s recent loss through a retail outlet shift to a non-faith based charity, we thought this might be a small way to help out.

On December 22nd and 23rd, 10 Republican Party volunteers will be ringing bells for the Salvation Army from 10:00 – 8:00 at the Sam’s Club in Asheville. Those volunteers include-

Bill Lack, Tom Van Slambrouck, Linda Humphries, Lenny Rogers, Ken Hawkins, Tim Elkin, Melody Koebernik, Lisa & Carl Mumpower – Standby folks include David Shaw, Anita Metcalf, Eddie Bussard, Seth Blankenship & Lisa McNally.

Many thanks to these folks for stepping up. We can’t think of a better way to kick-off Christmas than picking up one of those bells to support the multiple contributions the Salvation Army makes in our community.

Might there be a learning moment in all this for conservatives? Yes – be thoughtful about where you invest your donor dollars. There are a lot of us contributing to schools, charity groups and organizations that are antagonistic to everything we believe – including the idea of keeping our God in front of what we do. The Salvation Army is a notable exception…


WOW – what a meeting!



From the Chair – One of the prime directives of the BCGOP is to stop this –

And thus lay the foundation for more of this –

Last night (Monday, November 27th) saw our Executive Committee members coming together is exemplary fashion! Here’s a quick list of some of what we accomplished in an hour and a half…

  • Committed to Lt. Governor Dan Forest – or should we say he committed to us – for our Lincoln-Reagan Dinner!
  • Committed to providing 11 (for the 11th District!) bell ringer Christmas volunteers for the Salvation Army!
  • Affirmed the American Success Equation Contest for next year with Andrew Brooks as our Chair
  • Affirmed a specific plan to press on with our very successful Reverse Walk program efforts
  • Developed a candidate development committee to be Chaired by Mark Crawford
  • Committed to a mentoring program
  • Committed to working with two student Republicans to start Republican clubs in their schools
  • Reaffirmed our commitment to our candidate support program – (we still need a 1-2 hour commitment from 4 more)
  • Got to see the new Biltmore fund raising basket ($400 value) put together by our Secretary and received commitments from EVERY Executive Committee member in attendance with a promise to sell 5! (This can raise us $3,000)
  • Affirmed Minority Outreach program and defined action plan – already moving
  • Committed $250 in matching funds to UNC-A Republicans for a major speaker at UNC-A this winter.
  • Affirmed a letter to Buncombe Commission Chair praising their expansion of public comment program.
  • Finance Committee Chairman Anita Metcalf grabbed the reins and is planning some good things!
  • And more – much more!

Our batting record of a quorum for each meeting was reached again in spite of Thanksgiving overlap and the snow storm (I had that last one as back-up in case we didn’t make it – the snow storm went around us…) We were especially pleased with the positive, supportive and creative spirit that characterized participation by all who attended. Speaking of attendance – here’s a quick list of Executive Committee members who graced our doors – and there were others!

Bill Lack, Lisa Baldwin, Linda Humphries, Angela Phillips, Andrew Brooks, Tim Elkin, David Shaw, Patsy Gardin, Anita Metcalf, Bill Gainer, Mary Jean Burgin, Ron Burgin, Bill Porter, Ken Hawkins, Pat Hair, Betty Budd, Laura Bowen, Tom VanSlambrouck, Mark Crawford, Sylvia Arrowood, Don Yelton, Melody Koebernik and Lenny Rogers

We’re grateful for everyone who came – and how each and every person worked to serve our common BCGOP mission of being positive, united, creative, considerate and productive!


Why be a Republican? Because we get the American Success Equation –

Liberty + Opportunity + Responsibility = Prosperity!

Charles Taylor Christmas Dinner – John Bolton!

This is a great unifying event for WNC Republicans!

Great speaker – please consider attending…

Trish Smothers – Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton will headline the 25th Annual Charles Taylor Christmas Dinner.  Bolton has served in several Republican administrations, and was appointed Ambassador to the United Nations by President George W. Bush. He also served as under secretary of state for arms control and international security. Bolton was an assistant to Secretary of State James Baker and was a protégé of conservative North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms.

Also appearing will be North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore. Former Congressman Taylor has praised both the North Carolina State House, Senate, and members of the Council of State for their work in moving North Carolina forward. The program will include updates from federal, state and local elected officials on important political issues.

The Christmas Dinner will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 16 at the Expo Center at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville. A separate, private reception begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Blue Ridge Room. Tickets for the Christmas Dinner are $60 per person.  Tickets for the private reception to meet the guest speakers are $150 per person and include admission to the dinner.  Checks should be made out to “Charles Taylor Christmas Dinner” and mailed to: P.O. Box 7587, Asheville, NC  28802.  In order to guarantee a seat at the dinner, tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information please contact Trish Smothers at (828) 243-2187 or tasmothers@yahoo.com.

Conserve [v. kuh n-surv] To use or manage wisely; preserve; save

There’s lots to be grateful for!

“If you think Independence Day is America’s defining holiday,

think again. Thanksgiving deserves that title, hands-down.”

Tony Snow


From the chair – It will come as no surprise that in today’s America the deeper values of Thanksgiving are at risk. This unique American celebration of blessings deserves something better. May we suggest conservative minded people are not powerless to resist the slide?

Thanksgiving’s degradation is not solely because we don’t care – most of us do. It’s more like we’re so busy caring about so many things that some things get lost. Even important things – like Thanksgiving.

It need not be so. In the land of liberty we remain in primary control of our priorities and individual initiative stands as our best source of personal impact.

Those wishing to preserve a tradition of ‘thanks giving’ have an easy jump off point – resetting our holiday auto-pilot.

Consider a list of words commonly associated with Thanksgiving – turkey (of course), football, family, pumpkin pie, cranberries, travel, nippy weather, and black Friday are a few. Note how many of these associations have even a remote connection to giving thanks.

Under the the priorities noted, it’s very easy for Thanksgiving to become just another work holiday flavored with unique  culinary and entertainment opportunities. Gratitude on Thanksgiving – ironically – is easily lost amidst all the bounty we enjoy.

It’s a counter-intuitive notion, but like most good things in life, appreciation takes work. It requires a conscious investment of time and energy. Down deep many of us are grateful, but unless we dig it out, our appreciation sits in the darkness.

Consider the sun. Most of us are so busy doing things under its light, that we rarely ponder the fact that without it we wouldn’t be doing anything.

It’s not necessary that we worship the sun, but a little mental note of thanks for its gifts isn’t a bad idea. That’s because being thankful – an attitude of gratitude – has hidden value.

Here’s a short list (all are research based) —

Appreciation for our blessings makes us – happier, more likeable, healthier, more effective at work, more mentally healthy, of deeper character, more optimistic, less materialistic, more spiritual, stronger in self-respect, sleep better, less self-absorbed, more mature, likely to live longer, more energetic, more active, more resilient, less depressed, more relaxed, friendlier, more intimate, more efficient, more effective, more decisive and more productive.

That’s a lot of good things coming out of one word- T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G!

If you’re a conservative thinker who’s concerned about our drifting connection with this special day, resolve to keep your eye on the ball – giving thanks for your blessings – in word, deed and prayer.

Then relax and enjoy that bonus of a feast, a family and a little football…




Nothing good is based on deception…

so·cial·ism ˈsōSHəˌlizəm / noun

A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Synonyms: leftism, welfarism; radicalism, progressivism, social democracy; communism, Marxism, labor movement
(in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.


From the chair – We live in a time of unparalleled political deception. Never, at any point in U.S. history, have there been so many organized voices from so many directions attempting to undo the *American Success Equation. How? By embracing the newest reincarnation of S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M.

Though the names may change, the core the mission of socialism remains the same – put power into the hands of elitists with the promise the masses will bask equally under government’s radiant benevolence. That this pretense of something for nothing has never worked anywhere for any significant period of time doesn’t matter. Like a relentless neighborhood burglar, when socialists can’t get in one window, they try another.

It’s disappointing that this insincere enterprise has a found a home in the 21st century version of the Democratic Party. Our opposition’s leadership has figured out that voter’s like the notion of gain without responsibility; freedom without boundaries; and opportunity without consequence. That these messages are counter to everything that nature tells us is incidental to these crafty social manipulators.

Proof positive comes easier than we would wish – starting with the definition at the top of the page. Advocating economic, social, regulatory, labor, taxation and administrative policies that put ‘community’ (slang for government) in charge of commerce and production makes one a socialist.

Read the Democratic Party’s platform for a ‘”Heck Yeah!” on all of the above policy priorities. In that behavior remains the best mark of sincerity, today’s Democratic Party’s is socialistic to the core. Ask Bernie.

The picture on the left reveals the deception of the left. Though they love to selectively quote scripture…

Matthew 19:21 “Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

…it’s only for purposes of aiding their propaganda program.

Jesus was a Jew and a former carpenter – he was never a socialist. Real socialists don’t tell you the insincerity of the socialist heart is revealed in the fact their movement requires forced participation. Jesus was encouraging generosity, compassion and a commitment to higher spiritual authority as a voluntary act.

Witness the harsh hand of Democrats wherever they gain power and control. Sure, they’re OK with sex, drugs and rock-and-roll, but the right to self-defense; the lives of the unborn; and keeping the lion’s share of money you earn in your pocket? Well, let’s just say that benevolence thing only applies to behaviors that keep you from being a threat to their power agenda.

Conservatives don’t hate people – we disagree with people. We disagree with Bernie Sanders and the ‘Democratic Socialist” movement because their idea of higher authority is ever bigger government. We know that you can have big government or big people – never both. We like people to be big.

What’s our point? If you don’t want Brand-X to succeed in their mission of turning America into another failed experiment in socialism, please get involved in the only organized political group capable of stopping them – The Republican Party.

We’re not perfect, but we are reaching in the right direction and we need your help to get better.

Read our 7 page Party Platform here –

Read our Party Principles here –

Buncombe County and our sister counties in the 10th and 11th Districts are standing as the only viable counter to the deceptive practices of Brand-X as manifested so clearly in Asheville. You know what we are talking about and you know that you don’t like it. Please help us push back by stepping in…

Here’s the link for that –


*Why be a Republican? Because we get the American Success Equation—

Liberty + Opportunity + Responsibility = Prosperity.


B.C.G.O.P. Chair – “I have failed…”

“We can’t get to good places with bad means.”


From the chair –  This past August (five months into the new leadership group) the Buncombe County Executive Committee unanimously approved a new “Elected Official Support Policy.” We charted our course and charged a committee with the responsibility for implementation. It was a great start.

Since then we’ve fallen flat on our face and the buck stops with the BCGOP chair.

More on that later, but first a quick update on what we’re talking about. Here’s a quick link to our previous post on this effort followed by a 1,2,3 summary of the how and what of what we have come to call our “P-4” program-


Link – An elephant you can count on – Our new approach!”


The “P-4 Elected Official Support Policy” can be summed up as-

  1. Finding middle ground between “they do no wrong” and “get rid of them” extremes that polarize our party, alienate volunteers and feed division within our party.
  2. Apply a 3-1 focus on what our elected Republican officials do right over what they do wrong – you can’t effectively raise concerns unless you give strong attention to what’s right and what’s working.
  3. Apply recognition in public fashion – raise concerns privately in respectful fashion – accountability w/o hostility.
  4. Assign a volunteer to monitor the voting record/service model of our elected officials – the chair, for example, was charged with monitoring President Trump.
  5. The focus – track each elected official’s sincerity to their stated promises and our party’s stated principles and platform and do so in positive fashion.


For most of our leadership team initial enthusiasm toward endorsement, commitment and action has faded to resistance, antagonism or indifference. Sound familiar?

That’s on leadership and first and foremost on the guy with the keys. I have failed to make our P-4 program work – and it matters.

In a fallen world, good things never come easy. That includes trying to find (1) ‘a third way’ unifying approach to our responsibilities and (2) a constructive means to making sure the Republican Party walks its talk and stands for values people can count on. That’s the only way we can come together toward the important mission of countering the real enemy – the progressive-liberal-socialist movement busily undoing our culture and America’s exceptional success equation.*

What to do? Let go of the rope – but use the P-4 program as a model by staying positive. Effective immediately, I’m shutting down the P-4 program and resetting in as the P-5 program. The BCGOP’s mission is now to uphold the promises and our party’s stated principles and platform and do so in positive and persistent fashion.

I have failed. We’re going to try again, but not until we have 6 volunteers willing to give the effort an hour or two a week.

The buck stops with the chair – but the P-5 program is a team sport. Got my six?

Update – We have two of our six – Gloria Michael, Patsy Gardin and ____________________? Grateful!


*The American Success Equation: Liberty + Opportunity + Responsibility = Prosperity.

There’s a reason conservatives honor our military…

Chair’s note – Conservatives (that’s Republicanism boiled down to one word) retain a special fondness, respect and compassion for our military men and women. In contrast to the left’s lip service and antagonism, we really mean it and do a pretty good job of walking our talk. Conservatives don’t kneel during our National Anthem and we don’t give a pass to those who chose to do so during solemn ceremony.

Part of our enthusiasm tracks to what the military does for us – serve and protect. But the formula is far bigger than that. There is an extra special quality in those who put their lives on the line for something bigger than “me.”  We note and honor that exceptionalism because in a world of kneeling millionaire ball players – angry entitlement addicts – predatory crony capitalists – pandering politicians – and other social manipulators, our military stands out as something bigger, bolder and better.

For a ‘hit you in the gut’ summation of these conservative affections, the BCGOP would like to introduce you to Lt. General John Kelly and his 2010 address to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis. In it he describes the actions of two Marines – Cpl. Johnathan Yale, 22, and Lance Cpl. Jordan Haeter, 20, during a 2008 suicide attack in Iraq. It will help remind you of why you are a conservative thinker and retain a firm appreciation for those who protect and serve – every where, every day, and in every way.

Six Seconds to Live

What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “…let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.

It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were-some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop…the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the [driver] who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers -American and Iraqi- bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe…because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty…into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight – for you…


Conserve [v. kuh n-surv] To use or manage wisely; preserve; save


Senator Chuck Edwards has a courage button…

Perpetual 7-0 is not representative governance…

From the chair – In Raleigh Senator Chuck Edwards represents the citizens of Henderson, Transylvania and Buncombe Counties. He ran and was elected as a conservative and works to uphold his stated promises and our party’s stated principles and platform. He merits our support for his willingness to walk into the winds of a culture increasingly devoted to ‘the promise of something for nothing’ so faithfully sold by Brand-X politicians and mainstream media outlets.

One of his principled stands has been the successful sponsorship of legislation to initiate district elections in Asheville. He and others have offered various explanations on motivations. We would like to highlight one ‘rubber meets the road’ reality that stands out above all others-

7 – 0 = MONOPOLY


Asheville liberal-progressive-socialist voting block has dominated city governance since the turn of the century. They have held that 7-0 super-majority for almost 10 years and just locked in another 2. That’s wrong for so many reasons – but note the attention this imbalance receives from local mainstream media outlets, the Democrat Party and community activists who toss the term ‘fascists!’ about with the ease of one feeding popcorn to pigeons. Not a peep…

We appreciate Senator Edwards for sponsoring and herding the only action with the potential to challenge this unconscionable city cartel. We appreciate his suggestion that the recent Asheville district election referendum was a “sham.” It was and it’s easy to prove – how can a 7-0 city council credibly initiate a vote on a subject that puts their power block in question by handing it to the same organized voting block that so aggressively seeks to preserve their 7-0 reality? They can’t. It was a sham.

Thank you Senator Edwards. We appreciate your courage button. The final outcome has yet to be determined, but you have secured your standing as one of the few people in our community with the character and pluck to address the obvious. Senator Edwards has a courage button and Asheville’s emperors have no clothes…

Conserve [v. kuh n-surv] To use or manage wisely; preserve; save



Resisting a 7-0 governance monopoly is a good thing – even in the dark…

There are a host of reasons independent thinkers support District Elections for Asheville…


Today is the day for municipal elections in Asheville. We wish we could offer recommendations on a conservative minded candidate, but that’s not an option. No matter what the outcome of today’s election, we will once again have a 7-0 left minded monopoly governing our city.

That’s not a good thing – anywhere – anytime – and its one of the reasons the BCGOP was out last night posting “YES” for District Elections signs at all of our city’s precincts. We were delighted to play our small part with other partners in good governance who see 7-0 as bad math.

That blurry late night picture above has Bill Lack and Alex Maddox doing their thing with the chair in the West Asheville area. Following are BCGOP volunteers including Treasurer Angela Phillips, Bill Gainer, Secretary Linda Humphries, and Bill Whitehead (not pictured volunteers include Ken Hawkins, Diane Bartlett, Gloria Michael and Patsy Gardin) doing their part to give voters food for thought on this important municipal issue. In a world of a lot of people who lend their voice – we reserve our greatest respect for those who apply their hands.

These folks were working hard to do their part to counter the passive support for a 7-0 governance model that – in normal times with normal media watchdog protocols – would be roundly challenged. When is 7-0 ever considered a good equation for representative governance?

If you are planning to vote in Asheville today but don’t have a candidate to support, please step forward anyway and cast your opinion in support of District Elections. Here’s why –

  • Campaign costs will be significantly reduced
  • Each district will have an elected representative to represent their interests
  • 90% of NC’s largest cities have district elections
  • 78% of registered Asheville voters do not participate – district elections will increase turnout
  • Having multiple angles of political view are a crucial component of accountable representative government

Local media outlets are comfortable with  enabling a 7-0 Asheville governance model. We shouldn’t be. By putting the District Election issue to a local vote controlled by the same folks who have constructed this lock on city affairs, they are assuring that their power will be preserved. We think that hypocrisy is a shameful foundation for corruption in our community.


“Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Republican position on gun control…

Earlier Brand-X success would have made sure there was no good guy with a gun in Texas


Chair’s note – Once again a bad guy with a gun has translated personal hate into violence and murder. Once again a good guy with a gun was there to stop him. Once again Brand-X has chosen to focus on taking the good guy’s gun away as a solution.

That bad guys will also find a weapon or way to do harm clearly doesn’t matter to anti-gun zealots. Last week’s use of a truck to mow down unarmed New Yorkers clearly doesn’t matter to anti-gun zealots.

Fortunately, to the majority of American’s who support the 2nd Amendment’s and the right and means to self-protection – it does matter.

This Constitutionally enforced liberty is very much on the minds of conservatives who filter their world view through realism versus emotionalism. We understand that the Republican Party remains the only viable constraint on the left’s clear mission of dismantling the 2nd Amendment; disarming law abiding citizens; and thus making our world even more dangerous.

For a quick take on our view, look no further than the NC Republican Party Platform found under the ‘Values’ section of the BCGOP web site. Here’s a specific sub-section that addresses the issue at hand –


North Carolina Republican Party Platform

Article III – Individual Liberty

Section 5. The Second Amendment guarantees the right of the individual to keep and bear arms. We support the constitutional ownership, sale, purchase and carry of firearms by law-abiding citizens. Further, we support reducing the number of “gun-free zones”. Gun owners have a right to confidentiality. Personal information acquired by government agencies for gun purchases and permitting should be available to law enforcement for investigative purposes only and not for public record.


That’s it – the Republican position is short and sweet. It’s about supporting the natural right of law-abiding citizens to the means of effective self-defense. The left? Per usual, the seek to disarm the good guys while they empower the bad guys.

Sunday’s horrific tragedy has many lessons. We suggest these –


  • Life is precious – celebrate that gift and use it wisely.
  • Bad guys are out there and they wish even the innocent harm.
  • Citizen good guys are the most likely first responders to violence.
  • Government bureaucracy is persistently inept at stopping gun criminals
  • Most mass shooters are mentally ill, on medication and/or known by the authorities.
  • Thank goodness we live in the only nation on earth where law-abiding citizens are legally armed.
  • Why, as the world grows more dangerous, people will naturally become more conservative.



REPUBLICANS – You know, the folks who still believe in the word normal –
and in supporting the only political movement capable of countering those who don’t…