Interested in being a Buncombe Republican leader?

Is now a good time to step up?

 

From the chair –  Did you know there are well over 46,000 registered Republicans in Buncombe County? If all of those registered Republicans were voting Republicans, the ravenous appetites of our Brand-X opposition would be majorly constrained.

That vision is not yet our reality, but some of us are working to make it so. We need your help to pull it off.

The election is behind us and we’ve had a good month to reflect on the outcome, celebrate our hard work and successes and learn from the challenges. There are points of upcoming action that need good heads, hearts, hands and spirits to bring them to life.

With the holidays before us, many are also settling into the traditions of the season. It’s a well-earned rest for the engaged volunteers of the Buncombe Republican Party family.

May we suggest this might be a good time to ponder the possibility of your stepping toward a leadership role in your local Republican Party?

On the first Saturday in March, the Buncombe GOP will hold our annual Party convention at the Buncombe Courthouse. This is the odd numbered year during which we elect or reelect our respective officers for a two-year term of service.

Might you destined to be one of them? If so, may we meet and talk about the possibilities? I can be reached directly at drmumpower@aol.com or (828) 252-8390 and would welcome the opportunity to.

There’s another helpful starting point we’d like to add to your plate. How about a quick list of leadership qualifications that we’ve found helpful? Here are a few of the standouts –

  • Leaders devoted to unity and constructive action over drama and intrigue
  • Leaders who like to work and get things done
  • Leaders who share a belief in our Party’s principles and platform
  • Leaders who bring us together versus assuming a “Chinese Warlord” approach to organizational development
  • Leaders enthused about helping Republican candidates get elected
  • Leaders who believe in playing by the rules – every time – every place
  • Leaders who understand the difference in a party of shared values versus a party of competing personalities
  • Leaders who go the extra mile to deliver on their promises (think President Trump for a role model).
  • Leaders who understand that to beat the opposition we have to out think, out create and out work them.
  • Leaders who understand the Republican Party stands as the only organized political movement capable of stopping the accelerating harms and excesses of the left

If you believe you have these qualifications, please give your engagement serious consideration. Let me know if I can help in any way – including explaining the duties of the various roles within the organization.

Just after the first of the year I’ll be making my own personal decision on running again as chair. Please add the possibility of becoming a part of the Buncombe Republican leadership team to your own December check list.

The BCGOP –

Relentlessly stepping over the impairments of the negative toward the opportunities of the positive.

 

 

 

Buncombe Republicans! Please join Congressman Patrick McHenry and Lara Trump for Christmas!

Congressman McHenry has a Christmas event coming up!

With Special Guest – Lara Trump!

…and you’re invited!

Please give this celebratory event your consideration!

It’s a great way to (1) voice your support for our 10th District Representative’s hard efforts on our behalf (2) demonstrate your appreciation for our President and his family (3) and embrace this special season with others who value and uphold the Republican mission!

Trump Haters Demonstrate Virtue is not a Team Sport…

We should celebrate Presidential pluck…

 

From the chair – Remember middle-school? You should, because that’s where most people lay the foundation for their lifetime social model. 

You may recall that virtue, maturity and grace were not exactly the skillsets marking that chapter of life. For far too many adults, those three years in crazy land becomes a permanent theme. 

Thus, we have a partial explanation for the lack of sanity in our nation’s governance model. We live in a time where middle-school thinking has us operating out of cliques and a popularity chase that would make an in-crowd cheerleading squad look like amateur hour. Civility and sincerity are similarly AWOL in today’s political opera.

Need an example of our nation’s adolescent regression? How about one of the most debated and vilified Presidents in history – 45?

From candidacy to the present moment, our country’s CEO has been a remarkable source of consternation, conflict, and controversy. Is it because he is good or bad – real or fake – dangerous or courageous? Buncombe’s 46,000 Republicans have a view and we’d like to use the accusations of his antagonists to make our ironic point – in an ever-shrinking adult leadership pool, President Trump is one of the strongest swimmers.

The President is stupid – No, he is not infrequently careless with words, but no one with any direct historical or current contact with the President sees him as stupid. Just the opposite in fact. He’s quick on his feet, processes information with a speed, depth and breadth that very few leaders can duplicate, and he has a trait very uncommon to politicians – candor. He says what he thinks, not what you want to hear. That all takes smarts plus. Successfully obtaining the highest office in the land further confirms his cognitive credentials.

He’s trying to destroy the 1st Amendment – Nope, he’s actually trying to do just the opposite. Our President isn’t resistant to critical press – he’s resistant to bias and liberal advocacy. He has reason to be – by objective measures, 90% of mainstream press is antagonistic to him at a political or personal level. Calling them out is no different than Teddy Roosevelt similarly challenging the “Yellow Journalism” of his day. Does no one remember Obama and Hillary relentlessly attacking FOX, talk radio, Breitbart and other conservative news outlets? For President Trump’s real view on journalism, watch him interact with anyone attempting to be fair, objective and sincere to investigative ethics. He gets it that without the eyes of a healthy press, we will have an increasingly unhealthy America.

He won’t release his taxes – Shazam, this proves collusion with Russia or other grand scale corruption. Well, no, not really. Like every President before him – think Obama and his grades – there is information he is willing to make public and information he is not. We won’t argue the point, other than to say he’s not alone and that this is a tempest in a teapot he refuses to fuel. Trump is President – those who disagree with his conservative approach are free to resist such. The unprecedented introduction of prejudicial, relentless and ruthless verbal assignation merits countering opposition by the President and his supporters.

He’s obsessed with being liked – For a guy that supposedly needs everyone to like him, 45 has a curious approach. He’s notoriously open with his “take it or leave it” thoughts – politicians wanting to be liked unfailingly rely on speaking please-a-nese. Think Hillary under most circumstances. If being liked is job one, wouldn’t a guy who gets himself elected to the Presidency have enough sense to know that taunting the media would not result journalistic happy faces? This President doesn’t want to be liked – he wants to be right and to make a difference – and he’s on target with both far more often than not.

He surrounds himself in sycophants – In case you’re not up on that last word, it’s associated with yes men, ring kissers and others who seek favor over truth and effectiveness. What this President wants is competency, honesty and loyalty, not yes men or women. How do we know that? Look at who he hires. Anyone who sees John Kelly, John Bolton, H.R. McMaster and James Mattis as shy little daisies prone to cowering at anyone’s feet doesn’t know these guys. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has more fortitude in her right pinky than most family’s can muster at a 3-generation reunion. Fact is our President surrounds himself in competent people a bit like him – they have a courage button, think outside the box and get things done. If you can’t meet those criteria, your tenure will be short and it won’t have anything to do with kissing the bosses ring.

He can’t work with people – Ask the members of Congress that were antagonistic to our President’s candidacy and election how they now feel. Most would tell you they are amazed at what he has done and are delighted to be working with a conservative minded leader who follows his promises. They are persistently surprised by his values, courtesy and savvy leadership. If you can get elected with one party totally against you and one partially against you and then try hard to work with Congress, then you know how to unite people toward common goals. That’s leadership.

He’s divisive – Face it, in today’s America, anyone with the courage to say “no” to anyone’s needs, special interests or opinions is considered divisive. President Trump refuses to participate in “promise something for nothing” political pandering and he’s certainly not into being blackmailed by the zillion special interest groups accustomed to having first place at the trough. Telling the truth is divisive wherever people seek to live outside of reality and reason for the same reasons setting boundaries with children is not popular with children.

He’s a dictator – This is probably one of the most foolish forms of false witness brought to bare on our 45th President. By word and deed, this President is sincerer to his Constitutional oath of office than anyone we’ve had in that seat in a long time. Do you know that oath? Here it is – “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Pretty easy words to say, but per the behavior of most of his predecessors, not so easy to do. In action and deed, this President is on his A-game with the Constitution. Whether it is in protecting our borders, putting America first, standing up to threats and economic warfare or raising the obvious (the Paris Climate accord was a farce having more to do with penalizing America than impacting our environment), this elected executive gets his responsibility. Those who don’t like the constraints of the Constitution are understandably upset with his “dictatorial” dedication to upholding our guiding document and his word.

He wants to kill the judiciary – This accusation is fun. The President recently called out the 9th District Court of Appeals – located in San Francisco – for their latest ironic attempt to paralyze the executive office.  The Chief Justice had the nerve to go after the President for daring to suggest that trackable fact. In a pattern echoed by many, Justice Roberts stayed silent when former President Obama did precisely the same thing and did he miss Justice Ginsburg’s recent hostile comments toward the President? Robert’s is wrong about another thing – we do have Trump judges and Obama Judges. The former make a patterned attempt to reach for the deeper truths of the U.S. Constitution. The latter make a patterned attempt to rach for the deeper agendas of the liberal-progressive-socialist movement attempting to usurp that compass.

By now you’ve noticed another pattern – attacking our current President for saying the very same things that his predecessors have said. As a matter of fact, almost every “controversial” thing the left-leaning media routinely criticizes President Trump for has been duplicated by 44 or 42. That coverage hypocrisy reveals why our President retains animosity for the corruptions and bias of the fourth estate and others so clearly devoted to his opposition’s agenda.

No one in leadership deserves a blank check. This President is not asking for one. He does seek fairness. You can help by being an informed supporter.

That begins with learning how the opposition thinks as surely at how our side things. It ends with refusing to be a rhetoric echo versus an independent thinker. Those seeking to be part of today’s version of a middle-school in-crowd predictably offer opinions devoted to obtaining man’s favor. Culturists devoted to reason and reality step over popularity to a more principled agenda – truth.

That’s the kind of President we have – and we should celebrate his pluck.

One last point. No man who ever made a real difference in the world was not targeted by those devoted to their version of status quo. Bitterness, envy, strife and dishonesty always screech at courage, character and conviction.

In a fallen world, virtue is not a team sport…

 

James 3:14-18
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

There’s lots to be thankful 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 not Priority One. This unique American celebration of blessings deserves something better.

Thanksgiving’s slippage is not solely because we don’t care – most do. It’s more like we’re so distracted by so many things that some 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 fulfillment.

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

Consider the words commonly associated with Thanksgiving – turkey (of course), football, family, pumpkin pie, cranberries, travel, nippy weather, and black Friday are a few. Note how few have even remote connection to giving thanks. Under these priorities, it’s very easy for Thanksgiving to become just another work holiday flavored with gastronomy and entertainment. Ironically, giving thanks can get lost in all the bounty.

It’s a counter-intuitive notion, but like most good things, appreciation takes work. Down deep many of us are grateful, but unless we dig it out, our appreciation rests in the darkness. That matters because being thankful – an attitude of gratitude – has hidden value. Here’s a short list —

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 feast, a family (our Buncombe Republican family if no other) and maybe a little football and a nap…

 

With gratitude!

It’s tough when winning or losing leads to the miseries…

Democrats Can’t Find Their Happy Place…

 

From the chair – Buncombe’s Republican family had lots to celebrate in this past election. Living in Ground Zero for the liberal-progressive-socialist movement certainly made it tough to win, but it was clear our family and our candidates did a lot with not much money and an abundance of heart. If you came to our HQ after-election party, you found our spirits to be positive, encouraged and strong throughout the evening. Why? Because we knew we had done all we could with all we had.

Contrast that with our opposition. Have you watched out the losing Democrats in Georgia and Florida are acting? False witness is recognized as a Biblical sin for a reason. It’s amazing how enthusiastically the left embraces this temptation.

In spite of record turn-outs demonstrating a liberated electorate, declarations that elections were stolen and voters suppressed have been hurled about with the intensity of a doubles racket ball game on a warped court. Losing is clearly not a practiced skill set for today’s Democrats. In fact, according to so many of these folks (Hillary, Nancy and Harry established the model) Democrats no longer lose – they are robbed.

Pouting and screaming their victim status has become a perfected art among the opposition – but they are not much better when they win. The words leadership, service statesmanship are no longer in vogue at Donkey HQ. The new buzz words are resist, attack, impeach and destroy.

Instead of using elections as an opportunity to declare war, might that energy be better invested in learning about the three branches of government (Executive, Judicial and Legislative)? Case in point – a not-very-informed and newly minted NY rep who has declared herself a socialist determined to destroy the government she is charged with upholding. That’s not a problem according to some Democrats. Ends justify the means thinking has become a license to be mean, obnoxious and not very smart.

As we walk away from this election and toward 2020, it’s important that the Republican family smile. This mid-term went far better than it could have or was expected to. Nationally, certainly the best thing that could have happened was for us to preserve our Republican majority in the House. But the next best thing was to elect an irrational and emotionally combustible Democrat majority that will spend the next two years demonstrating why voters should reach for the Republican lever next time.

In some ways we should feel sorry for our opposition. Win or lose, they can’t seem to find their happy place. We know our place – and it’s not in whining, antagonism and fantasy governance models coached out of ignorance. Our happy place comes from quietly, persistently, and unitedly working to preserve America’s Success Equation. That’s a message that can fill a voter’s heart far better than the left’s never-ending case of the miseries…

 

Liberty + Opportunity + Responsibility = Prosperity

Veteran’s Day – remembrance…

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month it ended…

 

 

Today is the day we honor our Veterans – all our Veterans. We honor those who were killed in service – those who who have left us through the passage of time – and those who are still with us to remind us. America’s protectors are so often the best of us. They merit remembrance on this day and all days.

We honor them best by caring for their wounds – and by working to make sure their future service is invested with wisdom, care and gratitude…

With gratitude,

Carl Mumpower, BCGOP Chair – On behalf of the Buncombe County Republican Family

 

Do some teachers lie? Part II

From the chair – Last week we posted a question – “Do some teachers lie?” We made the case for the fact that some do and the media (in this case WLOS gave three teachers an opportunity to press their point without any conservative opportunity to counter the propaganda) helps them.

Well, as we all know the teacher’s union is an organized body and Sunday we received proof. We avoid doing business on Sunday, but comments can come into our web site. In this instance we received a swarm of 12 back-to-back comments that were clearly solicited.

We want to share those comments with you because we believe they (1) reveal the organized nature of the teacher lobby (2) mark the narcissism of that organization and (3) demonstrate an indifference to progress, facts and persistent constructive efforts by Republican leadership to support education in North Carolina. We’re not even going to talk about the fact that children are almost totally absent from their raised concerns. Whoops – we just did, didn’t we. Sorry?

But first, Here’s a link to our first post-

Do some teachers lie?

Now, we’d like to share their comments – followed by our response…

This is comical. Did you know that in order for some “raises” other areas must experience cuts? Did you consider that the “average” salary is actually based on a very slim margin of teachers at one particular pay grade? Perhaps you should also know that our “raises” are based on years of experience, meaning that it isn’t exactly the same for every teacher, and that the 7% increase (for example) may be an average or only apply to one step on the pay scale? Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud to be a teacher and I thankful for the progress we and our supportive governmental officials have made. However, you cannot call us liars for seeking all of the help we can get. Advocating for ourselves is how we have made such important strides in the field. So just as we continue to advocate for YOUR kids EVERY DAY, we will continue to advocate for what we need to make YOUR KIDS as successful as possible. Or maybe I’m just lying….  (Hi Lee. What do you call it when people intentionally manipulate, distort or ignore facts?)

1)Please see facts from NCGA Fiscal Research Department utilized by teachers and their professional organizations.
2)Using the mean (average) is a poor statistical measure for comparisons – middle school students can explain why.
3)Why attack teachers? Really, think about that. The highest salary they can ever make in the state is $63,000 after 25 years; yes, 25 years and that’s if they have a Masters degree and if they are Nationally Board Certified. Oops, forgot; the state no longer honors Master degrees since a 2013 GOP decision so that throws a kink in things. Change that salary to $58,000 with NBCT and 25 years. 4)If lies are your forte, why not attack the documented, fact checked lies coming from the White House? 5)Teachers are on the frontline of the most important job next to parenting. Bet you could name one that made a difference in your life. They should be supported.
(Hi Joanne- Republicans do respect and value teachers. We also recognize that your compensation comes from pockets of taxpayers – most of whom do not enjoy anything close to the benefits and salaries of teachers – or politicians. We freely acknowledge attempting to incentivize teachers to better classroom performance versus rewarding milestones (like time in a position) that may or may not improve our children’s education. It is our belief that education priorities and dollars should be focused on our children as the primary beneficiary.)

The Republican party has no commitment to public schools, it gave away 750 million in tax revenue to decrease the corporate tax rate which is the lowest in the United States already. Why would you give away your funding source Kansas made that mistake, they have severe budget short falls as a result of their irresponsibility. (Hi Peri. Republican tax decreases have resulted in an unprecedented influx of new jobs, industry, commerce and more income for everyone. Republicans believe in leaving the money people earn in their own pockets versus the position of our opposition that it is government’s business to take money from citizens to distribute to special interests. Under our leadership everyone is benefiting – including teachers who had received no better – and in some cases much worse treatment – under Democratic leadership. We are not in Kansas – NC is thriving!)

Here are your lies… (Hi Mark. OK?)

As someone who personally knows Angie Cathcart, I am appalled that you would call her a liar. Angie is a hardworking and honest woman, who goes above and beyond her job duties daily for the benefit of the school she works for and those in it. (Hi Savannah. We are sure you are correct – but she did play with the facts – dramatically so.) As far as this goes: “WLOS helped some dishonest teachers echo their deceptions by giving three of their voices coverage with no countering input from the conservative side of the equation.” WLOS covered an event that was happening in the area that their station covers, and reported on that particular event – their reporting included quotes from people at the event. As someone who attended the event, I can attest to the fact that I did not speak nor hear from anyone with a countering POV. So, it would make sense that WLOS took quotes from people who were at the event, when writing an article… about a particular event. This is pretty standard as far as journalism goes, and I am sure if you have your own event to encourage voting they will report on that as well. I’m sure it’d even include quotes from people who attend, and I assume that they’d all have a similar POV to you! (Yes it is local media’s normal standard to offer the unfiltered liberal view – three times – without conservative input – but it’s a little surprising that an educated person doesn’t see the problem with that.) Also, you can claim all day long that republicans have been good for North Carolina’s education system, and it’s teachers. However, I moved here two years ago from Georgia – and I can tell you personally that living in NC is not easy for an educator. If you compare counties within a 2-3 hour driving distance around Buncombe, there are many in other states where a teacher could go and make a substantial amount more money. These are areas with similar costs of living. Simply teaching in Greenville, SC would give me a more than 5,000 dollar per year raise. This includes my school district’s 9.5% supplement on top of my 39,000 dollar per year salary. Mind you, I have a BA, a MA, an EdS degree, with excellent observations and awards in my program – and I make 42,705 dollars per year before tax. Those 6.2% raises you speak of? That is not the amount all teachers got – as I know I certainly did not get this kind of raise. Statistics and percentages can lie too when you aren’t using them honestly, and I don’t believe you are. (As you note, you have no history in NC and do not know how it was under Democratic leadership or how much things have improved under Republicans. Comparing Greenville to rural NC is comparing apples to oranges. Had you moved to Asheville, your raise would have been even larger than the one your noted in Greenville.) Here are some other statistics and percentages which show Angie, and other NC teachers, aren’t the greedy liars you claim we are: According to research from the Economic Policy Institute, North Carolina teacher wages are just 65% of other college-educated North Carolinians. Only teachers in Arizona and Colorado have less competitive teacher salaries than North Carolina teachers. (Sorry, someone has cherry picked the facts for you and is hammering on the negatives to craft a false political narrative. That’s like an OCD tourist coming to Asheville to see the leaves and accurately, but not very productively, noting they are all dead material matter. There’s a bigger reality missed in that narrow assessment.) In an article published in April of 2018 by the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, they state that this year, NEA estimates North Carolina’s average teacher salary is $50,861, moving it up two spots to 37th in the nation. North Carolina’s average teacher salary has increased five percent since 2009, but accounting for inflation, it has decreased nine percent. North Carolina also fell short of the average per-pupil spending in 2017, coming in at $9,329 as compared to the national average of $11,642. NEA estimates North Carolina’s per-pupil spending this year will be $9,528, a 2.1 percent increase from last year that puts North Carolina at 39th in the country. (Whoops – you are playing with the facts again – and again comparing apples to oranges. On the latter, how many professions have not lost ground over the past decade or so – it’s called stagflation. If you want to focus on fairness, please note that teacher salary increases have been almost double what other state employees and the general working population have received over the period of time you mention.) Before you go and call myself and my hardworking colleagues liars (and thieves), please get your facts correct. We are simply fighting for ourselves and our own families whom we should be able to support with our salaries. We are fighting for our students, who deserve the right to have schools that are safe and can provide them  with a first rate public education, well trained and qualified teachers, and other services and programs which are critical to their development. Also – who does calling teachers liars help? It really only helps your political agenda, because it certainly isn’t helping the children whom we dedicate our lives to teaching. (Sorry – if one uses behavior as the marker, objectively some of you are liars and thieves, but we didn’t call anyone a liar in our first post – we just raised the question. And we have just got to say it, to play the “for the children” card isn’t very credible when everything in your post is about “for the teachers.”)  Oh – and to comment on your cartoon. There are no teachers unions in NC. We aren’t allowed collective bargaining rights which would be required in order to form a union. Might want to find a different image, or someone may… I don’t know… call you a liar? (Are you a leader in your teacher’s union? Sounds like it, because you are playing a technicality card to hide your true nature. Webster’s defines a labor union as an “organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members’ interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions” You guys are a union and the fact you work so hard to conceal it marks your most sincere agenda.)

This is extremely dishonest and misleading. If I had received the pay raise you listed above in 2014, I would have stayed in NC. It was only teachers within the first 7 or so years that received that increase. Veteran teachers received what equaled about $50 a month in take-home pay. Veteran teachers over 10 years also lost their longevity bonus to help fund this increase for younger teachers. This was after we had no step pay increase for about 6 years before that. It could be even longer because I lost track after several years. You can manipulate numbers easily to mislead the public by including administrative salaries and other teacher bonuses, but I taught in NC from 1996-2014, and I know that my pay was stagnate for at least 7 years and I lost money in my salary as an 18 year teacher. That is when I left and went to SC where steps have not been suspended even during the recession. NC proved they did not value experience when all of this started and it was under a Republican legislature. This doesn’t even touch on the tenure efforts that were finally stopped by the courts or how they stopped giving pay increases for obtaining a masters. I can only hope people of the public will do what was mentioned above and look at the annual salary of an experienced teacher over the last 25 years. Salaries were not increased for all teachers the way you stated above. I left 4 years ago with 18 years experience making $48,000 before taxes, SS, retirement, etc were taken out. That’s the real story. That an experienced quality teacher with 4 years (or even 6 now) of higher education and 18 years of experience could make less than $50,000 a year. (Hi Jane. Yes – the Republican leadership took over in 2011 and it took them a couple of years to reverse the Democrat led policies that had left our state economy in a mess. They had to do one thing at a time (starting with attracting and retaining new teachers) and have worked hard to create a more balanced equation for all teachers since then. We find it fascinating that so many teachers were passive during the salary stagnancy years under Democrats and are now so relentlessly critical with real, solid and meaningful Republican generated progress. We see that as shameful, politically motivated and dishonest.)

I would like to point out that the “average” teacher pay is the median, and nowhere near the mean or mode. It took me 15 years, a Masters degree, and National Board Certification to get that high. That is only average in that it is between 0 years’ and 30 years’ experience with both a Masters (which no longer affords a raise to those seeking it after 2013) AND NBCT status. (Hi Laura. Please pick whatever statistic serves your agenda – we appreciate your patience with our contention that Republicans have worked hard to address legitimate teacher pay concerns in a fashion appropriate to our economy, state wage norms, market realities, peer state’s teacher pay norms, and an appropriate fairness equation. We’ve been in a leadership position in Raleigh for 7 years. There is a persisting illusion that things were better when Raleigh was under Democratic control. It wasn’t. We’re proud of the progress made on education in NC – and there’s more to come.)

I am a veteran teacher in my 28th year. I have not gotten anything near a 19% raise over the last 5 years…UNLESS you count the LIES told to the public when we were stripped of our longevity pay & it was repackaged as a “raise.” And if you do count that, I guess if I come to your home & steal something you already had, give it back to you, and brag to all your neighbors about my generous gift to you, you would thank me for it? That’s exactly what happened & if you don’t believe it, you need to dig a little deeper than the propaganda put out by the NCGA. So, don’t you DARE call me or any other teacher a liar unless you’re going to call the folks in Raleigh the same. (Hi Crystal. Please see our response to Jane above. We haven’t called any teachers liars – we’re just raising the question and you guys are providing the affirmation. Thank you.)

Interesting that the “average teacher salary” in your statement is higher than the highest teacher salary in the state. Unless, of course, you factor in those who make a little bit more due to graduate degrees, but that extra pay was eliminated several years ago. Those of us who completed graduate degrees after 2013 have not gotten higher salaries commensurate with those degrees, therefore the number you are quoting cannot possibly be correct. This information can be very easily verified by looking at the state salary schedule on DPI’s website. Perhaps you should find an actual teacher who will allow you to view their paycheck so that you can see an example of a real salary – not just what the politicians want you to believe the salary is. Regardless, we are also interested in FUNDING for our schools. Textbook funding, funding for technology, funding for school safety specialists such as nurses, counselors, and support personnel, funding to repair and replace crumbling facilities, and funding to pay for state and federal mandates. Look up per-pupil expenditures and compare them to the amount spent on inmates, for example. I am a teacher, have been a teacher since 2001. My salary is nowhere near the amount I was promised on the schedule back then, much less allowing for inflation. I buy most of my own materials, use Donors Choose to provide the rest. We are struggling. Please help support public education instead of making false claims that can be easily disproved. (Hi Karen. We agree to disagree on salary statistics – who’s accurate and who’s not. But it was refreshing to have one of you good folks actually speak to the interests of the students. But then you got back on that ‘what’s in it for us’ script and comparing apples (students) to oranges (prisoners. Please take a look at the wage picture for the average working person and you will find that wage stagnancy has been a national phenomena since you became a teacher.)

Hi! If you go look at NCDPI’s website you can view the state mandated salary for teachers. A teacher does not make $50,000 until they reach 15 years of service. And that remains the pay currently until they hit 25 years where it goes up to $52,000. Granted some counties do offer higher pay than that but most do not. (Hi Jessica. Yes, the teaching profession in almost every state in the country is not a profession one seeks purely for financial compensation. Please nonetheless look at the information at the bottom for how hard NC is successfully working to move up the compensation charts for our teachers.)

How about why the GOP got rid of longevity pay for teachers but no other state employees. Oh yea, because they used that to say they gave us a raise which was a falsehood. I’m more of a Republican than a Democrat but honesty by the GOP is not a high priority. (Hi Josh. Longevity pay has not been associated with educational performance improvement. We are Republicans and our platform prioritizes merit over habit.

Fake news? This is a direct defense to the Apple Card. Truth is, the democratic candidates can do more for our students right now. Also the cartoon at the end is appalling. Suggesting teachers just want things for themselves is heinous. Especially coming from someone who posted a big picture of themselves at the start of the article. (Hi Michael, That picture is of a UNC-A educator who has been charged with stealing conservative signs. You are correct that the Democratic Party has a long-standing history of seducing voters with the promise of something for nothing. Republicans work to avoid that deception and support a more sustainable and fair governance equation that takes the approach we are all in this together vs. divide us into competing special interest groups.

Are you not brave enough to publish all replies? Just asking? (Hi Joanne. Just as soon as I can find time to directly respond to your all’s email swarm, it will be our pleasure.)

Now, it’s our turn to speak to some truths. May we suggest a few links?

  1. NC senator claims teacher pay increased under Republican leadership – Politifact – Mostly True
  2. The Truth About NC’s Rising Teacher Salaries
  3. And another raise is in the hopper for next year…
  4. Teacher Pay Rankings, Facts, and Figures
  5. How teacher salaries really compare

Let’s travel back to the original question – Do some teachers lie?  When it comes to power politics, yes, they apparently do. We’re done now – time for supper…

Buncombe Republican? Celebrate Your Success!

Mid-term Election Wrap-up

 

Carl Mumpower, Chair – One of the biggest mistakes in politics is to treat the adventure like football. Who won? Nothing in life that’s important is ever that simple or easy, and politics – the effort to determine who governs us – is most assuredly not an exception.

Part of the reason we think within a win-lose box is that it is hard to see through all the fog, numbers, deceptions, and misinformation that surrounds politics. Don’t worry – your Buncombe Republican leadership team is here to help.

First, may we suggest there is lots to celebrate?

For starters, thanks to literally hundreds of engaged volunteers, we kept the Republican percentages high enough in Buncombe that the left was not able to undo Congressmen Meadows and McHenry or State Senator Edwards.

Pelosi, Inc. did not add one of our House seats to her stable in part because Buncombe County is uniquely comprised of two Congressional Districts – 10 and 11 – that impairs the left’s ability to dominate the outcome. And although Congressmen McHenry and Meadows did not carry Buncombe, they took their districts with 59% of the votes.

NC Senate District 48 Republican Candidate, Chuck Edward’s race encompasses Henderson and Transylvania Counties and 13 South Buncombe precincts. Within his District in Buncombe there are 11,828 registered Democrats and 11,404 registered Republicans and 14,350 registered UNA’s. While coming in 47% to 53% against his challenger in Buncombe, Senator Edwards won his District 56% to 44%. His strong numbers in Buncombe helped secure a representative who has worked very hard as a conservative voice for that part of his constituency.

Marilyn Brown and Amy Evans, as first-time General Assembly candidates, also have much to celebrate. Both were only 3-7 percentage points below the Republican incumbents who lost their seats in 2014.

Our NC House 116 candidate Marilyn had significant support from the NCGOP, former Congressman Charles Taylor and others which opened the door for a creative campaign against incumbent two-termer Democrat Brian Turner. Mr. Turner outspent Mrs. Brown $250,000 to $100,000, but in spite of Mr. Turner’s money, experience and name recognition, Marilyn garnered over 45% of the votes. Congratulations on running an honest campaign Marilyn. Are we correct that your opponent failed to reciprocate that honesty?

As near as we can tell NC House 115 candidate Amy Evans had a war chest of $6,000 – including $3,000 of in-kind donations, individual contributions and $1,000 from the Buncombe County Republican Women’s club. She also ran against a well-heeled two-term Democrat incumbent – John Ager  – who raised $160,000 – curiously including $5,200 from the Cherokee Tribal Council. Amy still pulled 16,858 votes for 42% of the total.

With that kind of funding and those kinds of numbers, both of these first-time candidates have lots to celebrate – so do the people who worked to help them.

Former NC General Assembly member Mark Crawford knew out of the gate that his was a near impossible-to-win race for the NC Senate District 49 seat against his opponent – Democrat incumbent Terry VanDyn. We are always grateful for Mark’s willingness to throw his hat into a very liberal ring and thus prevent the opposition from funneling their campaign funds into other races.

Mark’s race outcome mimicked the Democrat verses Republican voter registration in that district which encompasses North Buncombe, East Buncombe, West Buncombe and most of Asheville. There are 62,808 registered Democrats and 34,415 registered Republicans in NC Senate District 49. Mark secured over 32,000 votes with a 34% showing. Thank you for stepping up in such a strong way Mark.

The next big race was for Sheriff. There are a lot of people disappointed that Shad Higgins “lost” this race – no one more than Shad. Why did that happen? As best we can determine, our sheriff’s candidate’s Achilles heel was probably his limited law enforcement experience. Many of our poll workers reported hearing things like, “Would you rather vote for a man with experience or one who has never been in law enforcement?” In the end, they obviously did not know our Shad; nor, the darker background of his opponent and thus went with that question. Time will tell who really “won” this one.

When Shad stops unnecessarily kicking himself, we encourage him to look at the numbers. This Buncombe County Sheriff’s Race mimicked the Buncombe results between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016. President Trump and Shad Higgins both lost by over 20,000 votes – mostly because they struggled to sway unaffiliated voters. You’re in good company Shad.

We regret that Buncombe’s corruption tainted county government was not secured by a 4th Republican Commissioner seat for Glenda Weinert – and thus for us. As a first-time candidate, Glenda made a good show. Her biggest support came from North Buncombe with precinct percentages mostly 60% or better in her favor. The one exception was the Weaverville Town Hall where she lost by only 1/2% point. Still, not enough to carry the rest of her District.

It’s important to know that since 2012, Commissioner District 2 has been shifting to the left. Commissioner Fryar won his District 2 seat in 2012 and was reelected in 2016.  In both cases, the difference in winning and losing was no more than several hundred votes. District 2 encompasses North Buncombe, Black Mountain and Fairview and is an increasingly tough arena for a conservative candidate. Glenda was awesome, had great qualifications and she should be applauded for her courage and conviction in stepping forward.

Congratulations are due to incumbent Republican District 3 Commissioner, Robert Pressley, who was reelected to his seat. He secured approximately 51% of the votes – suggesting he also garnered Democrat and/or UNA votes.  There were 670 votes between he and his opponent. Robert’s District encompasses the semi-circle of Leicester, Hominy Valley and South Buncombe where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 700 voters. We’re glad that come January Robert will still be at the Buncombe governance table.

Speaking of numbers, if you are curious, the most recent figures we could access come from July. Here is the breakdown in Buncombe County: Democrats – 74,957, Republicans – 46,004, and Unaffiliated – 72,402. Looking at those numbers helps explain why Buncombe County is such a tough, but exceedingly important political pivot point in our region and why county-wide races are so difficult for our candidates.

Though Buncombe County as a whole voted against all six of NC’s Constitutional ballots, four passed across the state. Republicans helped by knowing what they were voting for and supporting the state-wide vote. To the extent that all of this initiative was intended to support liberties, constrain the spending frivolity of our opposition or restrain power interests, four out of six is a great victory. Most importantly – we now have a voter ID requirement in our State Constitution.

One of the biggest disappointments to all of us was the outcome of the state-level judicial races – and most especially that of Chief Justice Barbara Jackson. In case you missed that outcome, it tracks to the last-minute candidacy of a fake and Democratically funded Republican who successfully pulled votes from Ms. Jackson. Anyone who knows that losing Ms. Jackson is a great loss for all North Carolina citizens.

If you were a part of the Buncombe County Republican Party volunteer pool, please celebrate our very broad and targeted effort to support our Republican candidates in their election bids. We put roughly 18,000 sample conservative ballots into the hands of early and election day voters supplemented with a gazillion digital media postings, emails and phone calls. We had four billboards supporting our candidates and the amendments  – along with banners, ads in various newspapers, radio spots on three stations, an active HQ, thorough early-voting coverage and committed election day coverage for 60 of the most important polls among the 80 in our county.

We don’t have the data on election day, but early voting coverage was especially important this year. Thanks to the majority of our leaders and volunteers who stepped up and made sure that most of the time in most of the places, we had a volunteer working the polls.  Republican early voting in Buncombe County was up 29% over 2014.

A celebratory shout out is due to the Angry Buncombe Taxpayer group for their nothing short of spectacular effort to bring voter attention to the truth of county government corruption under Democratic dominance. The time, energy, money and creativity invested by these folks merits much appreciation by all conservative minded people. May we be candid? No individual or group in Buncombe’s history has ever developed a more creative and relentless effort to politically educate the voters on a problem, the facts and a solution.

We would be amiss if we did not bring a note of concern to your attention. During the campaign several of our Republican candidates mentioned that once in office they didn’t plan to necessarily operate as Republicans. That matters because we feel our party’s special platform and principles are what being a Republican is all about and a reason that other Republicans work so hard for our candidates.

But there’s another reason that running as a Republican should suggest one serve as a Republican. To quote someone else, our opposition treats their platform and principles “as a religion.” If we are to counter their excesses in both platform and principles (read them to better understand just how scary the liberal-progressive Democrat movement really is), do we not need to hold to our own platform and principles (read them to better understand just how grounded in normalcy and reality the conservative Republican movement really is) with at least matching enthusiasm?

We hear a lot about diversity – but when it comes to having conservative diversity of thought at the table of governance, too many are tempted with a fun to the safety of middle-ground. Under most circumstances that’s less about statesmanship than a wish to be liked.

We continue to encourage our Republican elected officials to function as Republicans. As the only political movement capable of defeating the excesses of our opposition, that dedication is crucial. President Trump’s success with a model of promise followed by sincere action offers further example. Republicans like to vote for candidates then know stand for something they can count on.

We close by reminding Buncombe Republicans that ours is a ‘David vs. Goliath’ reality. The liberal-progressive-socialist movement – as manifested in today’s Democrat Party – outnumbers us dramatically and has more money, media support and momentum. This year, building on the support of our predecessors, we made sure they knew they were in a fight and that Buncombe County’s 46,000 Republicans are alive and well in spite of their relentless attacks on our community’s traditional values and standards of normalcy.

We are not done – and that is one last thing to celebrate!

 

 

Special Note – special thanks is due to our BCGOP Secretary Linda Humphries for gathering data and in general doing what she always does – help us get to get to good and ever better places…

BCGOP will participate with enthusiasm!

Panel announced for WLOS round table ‘Midterm Election: The Message from Voters…

by Kelsay Hart

Friday, November 9th 2018

Here’s a quick link to the details!

 

 

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

Tired but happy – BCGOP volunteers leave it all on the field!

Thank you!

From the chair:  The polls close in Buncombe County in about 15 minutes. There’s not much more to say now – and most of us are too tired to say anything more anyway. We did indeed “leave it all on the field.”

60 of Buncombe’s 80 precincts were fully scheduled with pledged volunteers and commitments by Area Coordinators and Precinct Chairs. There were some gaps in follow-up, but most of our volunteers and leaders did a great job of stepping up the plate on this last day of a strenuous election. There were literally hundreds of you!

If you have any energy left, come on over to the BCGOP HQ – every conservative minded person is invited. We have food and beverages and companionship as we share the outcome. Know this – we will celebrate two things tonight – (1) Those candidates who succeed in their good efforts to win an elected seat and (2) The fact we held up our end of the deal and then some.

As chair, I can say with no equivocation – there was nothing more the BCGOP could have done. We coordinated, organized, communicated, advertised, promoted, supported and worked our hearts out. As things come to an end, there’s only one more thing to say to those who tried so hard today-

We’re Grateful!