Thursday, October 1, 2009

It was only a minute . . .

The recent brouhaha over our school kids reciting President Obama's
campaign slogans has had more legs than most would have anticipated. Liberal
apologists, culture vultures, and their enablers are joining forces to
minimize the impact of the event and those challenging it. With all due
respect, I would rather not.

Indoctrination and learning

I am a little surprised that trained and experienced educators would
pooh-pooh the idea that rehearsing, performing, grouping, and repeating would
not be common tools used to teach and/or program kids. It is nonsense to
pretend otherwise. Was this a conscious and intentional effort to brainwash
the kids to be Obama fans - I hope not. I never consciously and
intentionally run over squirrels - but when it happens they nonetheless absorb the

The Program Had Good Intentions - Honoring Our Presidents

Fair enough. But there is a big difference in quoting the past wisdom of
a bunch of 'dead white guys' and singing songs filled with the current
campaign slogans of a live black guy. What is the difference - only one -
those dead guys cannot benefit from the attention. The live guy can and

Political Correctness

I have gotten a bigger kick out of the people saying we should "be nice"
than the people denying the orchestrated impact. Where did all this "we
just need to get along" bologna get started? I am all for embracing the
challenges of civility and truth, but when did that become a license for
rolling over and pretending everything is OK when it is not? I am not
interested in "being nice" to people who are corrupting my country and the future
of my grandchildren. Political correctness is one of two things - always -
an act of manipulation or an act of surrender - neither is good.

People of the Lie

Some twenty-five years ago, Christian psychiatrist Scott Peck, wrote a
book titled, People of the Lie. With crystal clarity he shared his belief
that our country was busy mass producing a generation of liars, deceivers,
and manipulators in government, religion, and business that were one day
going to take the heart out of America. His words were prophetic. In
today's America, image, political correctness, and safety more often than not t
rip reality, truth, and courage. Our culture is increasingly devoted to
avoiding accountability and embracing politicians who say what makes us
happy. That brings me to my next point.


Yes, it is true, the one minute tape at Sand Hill-Venable elementary
school near Asheville, North Carolina, demonstrated the same indoctrination
techniques used by those guiding the Hitler Youth in Germany in the thirties.
If you need a more current model, check out the methods used by Communist
China, Castro, Chavez, Al-Qaeda, and Hezbollah.

Creating a Personality Cult around Our President

The current President has illuminated his mission of creating the greatest
change in America's social and political structure in history. His
success will be largely predicated on his popularity. There are a number of
'right wing fanatics', 'religious zealots', and other members of the mumbling
majority who disagree with his mission and do not wish to support the
creation of a cult status for the gentleman. That resistance extends to
publicly funded schools and our children.

Good guys and bad guys

People wanting to avoid accountability like to play 'good guys and bad
guys'. If one can vilify the opposition, then one doesn't have to think and
one can minimize the other person's impact. It's a lazy approach to
dealing with a complex world, but it is simple and satisfying. Higher authority
encourages us to "reject the sin - not the sinner". Higher authority
also encourages us to uphold our sense of truth.

It is Not Christian to Challenge Our Teachers and Administrators

More nonsense - the Bible prizes accountability in matching enthusiasm to
love and Jesus always upheld truth regardless of the expense. It would be
my suggestion that many of us as Christians are licensing cowardliness,
laziness, and enabling when our society is sorely in need of courage,
discernment, and tough love. There is absolutely nothing passive in the model
of Jesus or the demands of Christianity.

The Guy Who Released the Video Violated the Law

I find this exercise in political terrorism most telling. Roaches run
when you turn on the lights. Roaches do not like light. Roaches seek to
turn off the light. People, including school teachers, principles,
politicians, and media representatives should not behave like roaches.

One minute

The argument has been made that this one minute video was taken out of
context. My use of the word 'Nazi' has been taken out of context too, but I
don't care. I used in on purpose to illustrate a point - brevity does not
necessarily minimize impact. Use one curse word in your next prayer
meeting and then come talk to me about "it was only a minute".

I would like to offer my personal thanks to the gentleman who had the
original courage to post this video. Thanks are also due to those who have
kept the issue and the concern alive. You can see the video on this site-

Monday, September 14, 2009

Your Local Chamber of Commerce and Corruption

Like most communities, my home city, Asheville, NC has a local Chamber of Commerce. This organization of local business interests is manned by enthusiastic and, from experience, well intended people. On the plus side, these good folks unite the business community and give voice to the importance of commerce. On the minus side, like most special interest groups, they are busy gaming America.

Special interest groups can serve a good purpose in raising awareness on issues that might otherwise go unnoticed. Unfortunately in today's "big government" America, where the free enterprise system and rule of law have been selectively laid aside, it is very difficult for special interest groups to resist the temptation to join the herd and milk the system. The result is a parade of selfish interest groups busily trumping the common interests. Despite a well contrived image, the 'American as apple pie' Chamber of Commerce is no exception.

It will come as no surprise to you that most politicians are elected and influenced on the basis of money above all other considerations. Over the past 10 years the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has invested more dollars in this insidious "Buy America" plan than any other lobby group in America. In fact they have outspent their nearest competitor - the American Medical Society - two fold. (1)

If you are businessman in America and a member of your local Chamber, ask yourself if that money has produced results you are proud of? If you are an average citizen, ask yourself if those dollars are directed toward the common good, or somebody's idea of a special deal? You can bet that no one invests these kinds of dollars in Washington just to feel warm and fuzzy.

When most folks think of the Chamber of Commerce there is an immediate mental connection with conservative values. It is a common mistake to place people or organizations with a business bias, like the Chamber and sister organizations such as the Manufacturers Executive Association, under this umbrella. Like many of our politicians, having a few conservative positions does not a conservative make.

Looking back at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsement of "Hillary Care" during the Clinton years offers a sobering reality check on the difference between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce image and reality. (2) There are others.

The U.S. Chamber's position on illegal immigration represents a chamber of horrors for those who believe in our free enterprise system and the rule of law. For decades, the Chamber has consistently fought reform and obfuscated immigration realities to the benefit of select members.

Their most recent illegal immigration offense was set-back this past week when Federal Judge Alexander Williams ruled against the U.S. Chamber and other plaintiffs fighting the use of E-Verify to validate legal employment status for Federal contract workers. (3) It was his position that the delay they sought would benefit their private interests more than public ones.

"While the court understands that some harm and inconvenience always accompanies changes ... plaintiffs have failed to show they are likely to suffer irreparable harm," Williams wrote. "Contractors can avoid contracting with the government if they do not want to use E-Verify for whatever reason."

In our community, as in many others in America, Chamber members and other special interests are using non-English speaking labor from an estimated pool of 15 - 20 million illegal aliens while 15 million Americans remain unemployed. (4)

With 10.1 percent of adult males in this country out of work, how does any organization continue to honestly claim that illegal workers do jobs that Americans won't or that good American workers can't be found for the jobs that do exist? (5)

The deeper truth is that many Chamber members want to have their company in America, make use of the benefits of our culture, but run their business with imported labor willing to work for wages lower than those necessary to attract American workers. This artificial means of wage manipulation sidesteps the natural wage adjustments that would occur under a more honest free market economy. (6)

You and I should be willing to pay a quarter more for a burger cooked by a legal worker. If a company's business model doesn't work here then then they should take their business elsewhere - not try to import their labor pool through the back door.

Paradoxically those who game the system are usually undermining their fellow Chamber members who try to use legal American labor for American jobs at American wages. The passivity of the "play it straight" membership with their organization's short-sighted policies on illegal immigration is fascinating. (7)

Speaking of shooting one's self in the foot, you might have an interest in our local Chamber's upcoming "luxury" trip to China. (8) At a time when our every energy should be devoted to keeping American jobs in America, vacationing with the country most often manipulating or ignoring our trade agreements and taking most of those jobs is a form of economic treason. This model is probably being mirrored in your own community.

For a bargain of $2,000, Asheville Chamber members can travel to China, Inc. for 10 days and get to know our abusers a little better. One has no doubts that the historically self-less and benevolent Chinese government is enabling this adventure with an eye on making sure that American jobs stay in America and the 'way out of balance' trade imbalance rights itself. Right?

No, not if you take a closer look at the industrial and manufacturing rape of America over the past 15 years. The U.S. government and the U.S. Chamber have led a charge that has found America going from one of the strongest manufacturing nations in the world to one of the weakest - from a nation that once funded the world to a nation that now lives on borrowed dollars and a fantasy future. (9)

Don't believe it? Ask yourself whatever happened to all that fairy dust once used by every Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. touting "high tech" bio-tech as the future that was going to replace "low tech" manufacturing. Seen any bio-tech lately?

Then there is that accompanying and frequently recited Chamber nonsense about America's future being found in the service industries and fair and free trade laws. As a country, if you are not building, growing, or mining something then you are slipping down the food chain. And there has been absolutely nothing close to a fair or free trade agreement for America in decades.

As former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca once famously warned, "We can't build an economy flipping burgers for each other and shopping in each others stores. Somebody's got to make something." The official policy indifference to the crucial importance of production over consumption illuminates the U.S. Chamber of Commerce more realistically as the U.S. Chamber of Corruption.

One does not need to be a business expert to see that America's economic foundation is eroding at an alarming rate. Take a look at the empty store fronts, shuttered plants, and loss of middle class jobs in your community. Don't be distracted by all the new foreign cars whizzing by - each represents more jobs in another country and less jobs here. Each is a 4 wheeled billboard pretending that "Made in America" doesn't count.

Speaking of which, the Chamber has consistently been at the forefront of the mass exodus of our economic base by pretending that making it here with legal workers doesn't matter. In fact, the Chamber has a persisting history of resisting and mocking "Buy American" initiatives. (10)

Why? Unlike China, 21st century American business thinks more about now than later. Our stock market, executive's salaries, and consumer based economy are all grounded in making sure the wheels keep turning today. One can burn their house to keep it warm, but that seems a bastardization of the American Dream.

It would not be my position that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is no longer relevant or necessary. To the contrary, this vast network has tremendous potentials to retrace its role of corruption and rededicate itself to the crucial mission of honest commerce.

Continuing to fight illegal immigration interventions and "Buy American" initiatives, while advocating for a consumer based service economy and unrealistic and abused trade relationships that steal our revenue and jobs, is dangerous work. These acts of cultural suicide should not go unchallenged.

That should be the mission of every Chamber of commerce member in America. Don't quit your organization - step forward and begin the process of recapturing it.

The good old boys and girls at the local Chamber have been busy swapping the American Dream for an American Nightmare. It's time to wake up.

Carl Mumpower
Asheville City Council

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Obamacare Will Not Work

Editorial Submission - August 10, 2009

President Obama is correct in noting that America's health care system is too expensive and works too poorly for too many people. His solution - socialized medicine - is destined to fail for exactly the same reasons.

Obamacare is built on deception

For starters the Federal government has no demonstrated capacity to administer health care. Take a quick look at the inconsistencies of government services for Veterans and active duty military. Long lines, rationing, and quality control problems persistently plague both systems.

Some argue that government administered Medicare works, but it survives only by underpaying service providers and transferring the true costs to those with private pay insurance. In other words the government has to cheat to keep Medicare afloat.

Big government advocates are notorious for consistently underestimating the projected costs of new initiatives - it is true for wars in foreign lands - it is true for social programs. In this case, even the advocates for publically funded health care are finding the costs of Obamacare unsustainable.

If the socialist among us can pull of the con, we will get publically funded healthcare in one form or another. In the face of an aging population of baby boomers and a fast developing national budget crisis, one of two things will be certain to happen. The system will be milked until it collapses or rationing of services will eventually mock the promises of something for nothing used to sell the lemon.

What is wrong with the current system

Contrary to popular understanding, America does not have a free market health care system. In truth we have a hybrid mishmash of socialized medicine and consumer driven health care that is gamed by just about everybody.

We can start with you and me. Americans eat and drink too much, exercise too little, and rely on medicine to fix the results. The best and least expensive health care program is prevention and that responsibility starts with the person you greet in the mirror each morning.

The medical profession has become just that - a profession. Marcus Welby, M.D. began to retire when bureaucrats and lawyers began stepping into the examining room. Just as teachers have been disenfranchised from their classrooms, our physicians have lost control of their practices. The outcome - an increasing dedication to revenue over relationships that has too many M.D.'s, and especially specialists, milking the system for every dime they can effectively codify.

Then there is the reason so many of us enjoy lawyer jokes. Before his fall from grace, former Democrat Presidential contender and attorney John Edwards specialized in personal injury cases. That is where he developed his talents at manipulation and did his part to add to the $700 we each spend annually to fund medical tort liabilities.

Government games the system routinely by promising big services and then refusing to pick up the tab. In shifting the real costs to those of us who buy our own insurance, "Big G" effectively creates a health care tax hidden in the paperwork. Add all the unfunded mandates they pile on hospitals and a big share of every health care dollar is eaten up in Washington.

You may remember Ross Perot cautioning us on the "giant sucking sound" that NAFTA would create in America. Hospitals are the community version of the same phenomena. The bigger they are and the more they participate in the technology race, the more dollars they suck out of somebody's pocket. Though we love them so, one of the best places in your community to pick up a staph infection and a big bill is within the hallowed doors of your local hospital.

If you have watched the commercials touting the latest 'got to have it' drug, 'free' motorized scooter, or other 'you deserve it' medical service, then you know that there are a host of marketing agents driving health care in America. Marketing agents are rarely trained in patient health - they are well trained in advancing the bottom line.

We won't even talk about the ways health insurance companies manipulate the system to their advantage, but they are just as good as the rest of us at reaching into someone else's pockets. Unfortunately, America is running out of pockets.

So what is the solution?

America needs to play to its strength to fix our health care system. Our free market economy, if turned loose, holds the potentials to bring health care down to earth. Think flat screen TVs and what the free market did to availability and costs over a few short years. Speaking of short, here is a short list of ways to fix America's health care system without giving up America's heritage-

1) Get the lobbyist out of government - pharmaceutical and medical lobbyist spend a ton of our money each year manipulating the system to personal advantage. Get hold of the PAC contributions that your local Congressman receives from these folks to buy his/her seat in Washington and you will be ashamed of how our system has been corrupted.

2) Higher participant costs for those who abuse their health through obesity, smoking, drug abuse, and other high risk behaviors - self indulgence creates a bill that no society can sustain. Reintroducing the concept of personal accountability is the only way we will avoid rationed health care services in the future.

3) Tort reform - we cannot afford the defensive medicine tactics necessary to avoid law suits. Nor can we afford the impact of $300 an hour predators masquerading as public benefactors under a system of institutionalized extortion.

4) Stop the technology rush - primary care and prevention services offer the best bang for the buck and should receive most of the dollars. Those seeking higher technology should pay for the option just like those who want a Cadillac pay more than those finding satisfaction with a Ford.

5) All government programs must be properly funded on creation - shifting costs supports system dishonesty that leads to unfulfilled promises and system overload.

6) Consumer driven health care will only work if the consumer has accountability and knowledge - when is the last time you saw a price list in your doctor's office? We can help people help themselves, but making government, bureaucrats, employers, or anyone else responsible for our health care makes us pets - not patients.

7) Get the bureaucrats and fat cats out of the examining room - overregulation limits the number of health care providers we have and what they can do. Licensing boards, government regulators, and professional organizations do more to restrict competition than they ever do to protect consumers. If you doubt it, look at the statistics of people killed by medical errors and prescription meds each year

8) Get serious about Medicare and Medicaid fraud - those wishing a preview of Obamacare need look no further than these two highly abused governmet health care programs. Government enforces the corruption of these programs about as well as they enforce immigration law.

9) Insurance co-ops can help us help one another - most states currently rig insurance pools so that individuals, families, and small businesses cannot find strength and savings in numbers. The current system is another example of how big business and big government look out for big business and big government.

10) Stop the medical mythology game - 80% of the health care needs you and I have can be provided by a nurse or other health service profession requiring 2 years of training versus 10. We all like the idea of our own Marcus Welby, but that day has faded with the milkman. If we would let our system adjust to the realities of 21st century medicine, the protocols and low cost technologies exist to have primary care provided at Wal-Mart and the corner drug store for pennies on the dollar.

In conclusion

Obamacare is another big government lie that will lead to more taxes and eventual disappointments for the very people it is supposedly designed to serve.

Nonetheless, there is a legitimate call to fix our current health care mess. Solutions will not be found in leaving the broken parts in place or selling our liberties for Washington's magic beans.

The key to your health and mine will be found in the flat screen TVs that have so quickly gone from expensive indulgence to affordable convenience.

This is America and we have a history of doing things differently than the rest of the world. One of those differences is allowing the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of free people to find solutions and make them work. Health care, regardless of the hype and mythology, is no exception. If we can get government, professional organizations, lawyers, and others of self-service out of the way, there are plenty of bright minds to fill the void America's way. We will all be healthier for it.

Our President is a Racist

-Editorial Submission . July 28, 2009-

It is hard to hide your upbringing. President Obama's community organizer training and home church exposures shined through in last week's impulsive reaction to local affairs in Cambridge, Mass.

One guesses that the President wishes he had kept control of his own actions in stating that a police officer "acted stupidly" in arresting black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.

Unfortunately, Obama is steeped in a long tradition of racism that continues to flourish under the leadership of victim culture vultures like the Reverends Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Jeremiah Wright. These are men who clearly believe one can build a good life on a bad foundation.

I joined the service and volunteered for Vietnam when I was seventeen. My time there, like for most, was a mixture of good and bad exposures that left a pretty deep tattoo on my identity.

Vietnam's touch also propelled me toward school and a rewarding search for something better. Although it cost me a measure of my youth, to this day I consider the nudge worth the price.

For years I have watched many of my peers take a different course. Vietnam became the defining experience of their existence and a chain that stopped forward movement.

As a psychologist, I have noted with sadness as Veteran's groups, my profession, the Veteran's Administration, and other misguided souls oversold the PTSD mantra. The outcome has produced less recovery than mangled negative identities based on something bad (war exposures) as a rotten foundation for something good (moving on, living fully and reaching our potentials).

When a person's identity becomes largely defined by something bad that happened to them, that person ceases to be in control of their own destiny. It doesn't matter if one is on the receiving end of sexual exploitation, combat exposures, criminal violence, racist abuse, or any other harm. Using past painful experiences as a get out of life free pass adds insult to earlier injury. In a fallen world, we all have our own personal versions of Pain-nam.

Today's racial problems have less to do with issue of color than culture. Color was long ago discredited as a measure of character, intelligence, potential or anything else of importance. Culturally determined lifestyles and values, however, are very much measurable and thus judgeable. Man may be created equal, but cultures are not.

It would be foolish to defend the absurdities of the KKK and white southern racist cultures of the past. It is equally foolish to defend the absurdities of today's version of a what amounts to a black KKK masquerading as something more noble. The evils of racial oppression and exploitation come in many forms.

Professor Gates has evidently played the racial 'get out of life card' so often that he lost objectivity on the night of infamy. He apparently thought that a white cop backed up by two minority cops would be impressed by his celebrity status as a perpetual victim and back down when he played his well worn card. They were not, but evidently our President was.

Obama's lack of internal restraints and long term conditioning led him to reach down from Washington and lay his hand on local government affairs in Cambridge. His rush to racist judgment and assumption came so fast that he even beat Jesse and Al to the punch.

I, for one, am glad our President did what he did. A damage control beer at the White House may sooth feelings, but his unintentional illumination of the tired old practice of trying to build a healthy culture on a foundation of victimization, anger, and racist thinking has the potential to do something better.

The irrationality of a Harvard professor and impulsivity of the President has nothing to do with skin color - it has everything to do with cultural conditioning. It would my suggestion that past wrongs cannot be righted with new wrongs. These two gentlemen and a courageous cop offer us a birds-eye view into why not.

Republican Party Punches Grow Weaker

Editorial Submission - July 27, 2009

Trained boxers will tell you that the best punches come from the feet. A 150 pound lightweight with good footwork, can throw a 10 inch blow with more oomph than a heavyweight's haymaker. Ask any trained boxer about power and you will get the same answer - your foundation is everything.

Like a bloated former champion, the Republican Party continues to throw floundering shoulder punches at the opposition. Not surprisingly, the Democrats are dodging most of the blows and shrugging off the weak impact of the few that hit.

Without the firm footing of a principled foundation, Republican blows lack credibility. We are simply moving air and as Ernest Hemingway once noted, "confusing motion for action."

Republican leadership has recently been crying a lot of crocodile tears over Democrat spending. Those charges are easily sidestepped by noting that Republicans also spent like drunken sailors when they were in power.

Obama and his party's push on health care is certainly a back door to the stated goal of socialized medicine. What would you call the Medicare prescription benefits legislation pushed by Bush and his colleagues? The most expensive big government entitlement surge in Medicare history certainly meets the socialism smell test.

Got a problem with how Obama and the Democrats are ignoring the Constitution? Take a look at the Republican championed Patriot Act and undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and find the Constitutional authority for such.

Party politics in America today is about little more than swapping punches. The title belt may switch from election to election, but the outcome is the same - special interests continue to trample the common good.

I am a Republican in public office. I am a good one to the extent that I am familiar with my party's principles and uphold such where it counts - when I vote. I am so lonely that I have made a public offer to contribute $100 to the charity of anyone's choice who can show me another Republican elected official in my District whose walk matches their talk and votes match our party's stated priorities.

So far I have had no takers. Either my fellow Republicans are indifferent to charity (not likely as we give far more per capita than liberal Americans) or we are stuck with the truth. It is the rare Republican official whose voting record has any correlation between his or her campaign promises or our Party's principles.

So what does that mean? Simply that we continue to be a party without a foundation and that our power to fight the opposition is weakened by our refusal to stand firmly for something people can count on.

In the absence of a party of principle, people will go with the party of least principles in order to at least secure some of their selfish interests. That is why Democrats stand for and promise everything - they know that our party realistically stands for nothing and take full advantage of the vacuum.

Want to help heal the Republican Party and thus secure the future of America? Start by insisting that your local Party power structure start monitoring and rating local, state, and national elected Republicans for the match between principles and votes.

The process does not need to be adversarial, but it does need to be persistent. It is amazing what the light of day does to nudge accountability and political honesty.

Until such time as the Republican Party gets our feet firmly set on something American can count on, we will continue, like a tired old boxer, to slide into oblivion. It will not be because America is becoming more liberal - in truth the opposite is happening. It will be because we followed the course of Colin Powell, George Bush, and a host of other Republican leaders who confuse a few conservative positions and political expediency for principled driven public service.

My offer to my fellow NC 11th District Republicans remains in effect and no local charity has benefited to date. I would bet a similar offer in your District would fare no better.

It is a Good Time to Say No

It is a Good Time to Say No

The Asheville Citizen Times recently ran another targeted editorial cartoon depicting me as a self-important grandstanding politician with a dedication to the word no. They got two out of three right, but would not accept my reciprocal editorial response. I thought you might.
In the June 3rd Asheville Citizen-times, David Cohen's editorial cartoon offered a stereotypical depiction of Asheville City Councilman Carl Mumpower as a "self important, grandstanding politician" with a penchant for saying "NO". I do not enjoy a strong sense of my personal importance, but the editorial was otherwise absolutely correct.

It is myth that today's America is run on the basis of mature collaboration between value driven leaders seeking the common good. The truth centers on power - mostly in support of self, special, or party interests. For the super-minority operating from different motivations, grandstanding, as in illuminating issues with enthusiasm, is a crucial gizmo in the political toolbox.

Political satirists, usually mad at challenges to their special interests, will frequently and unsuccessfully attempt to put me in my place with the label "Dr. No". Anyone who has raised children understands that "NO" is every bit as crucial to success as "YES". In fact, I would firmly suggest that today's America needs a lot more "NO".

When it comes to accepting open air drug markets and prostitution in public housing and other vulnerable neighborhoods, anything less than "NO" seems insincere. If we truly believe in fair governance, the people living in the apartments of Deaverview should be as safe as the people living in elegant homes on Kimberly Avenue.

It is my pleasure to say "NO" to those who believe it is OK to ignore America's porous borders and the host of employers who exploit an imported illegal underclass. In a dangerous world, no country without boundaries can sustain itself. The heart of our free market economy is sold out when we allow self-serving employers to undercut their competitors, artificially suppress wages, and transfer health, social service, and education costs to the rest of us.

Restraint and responsibility have become bad words in our government's rapid embrace of totalitarian policies mocking the Constitution and ignoring the lessons of history. It is my pleasure to consistently say "NO" to those who are willing to mortgage our grandchildren's tomorrows for the "me" generation's selfish today.

Our local state legislative representatives have successfully manipulated control of Asheville's one billion dollar water asset. In a classic case of power over principle, makeup has been applied to misbehaviors any drug thug would recognize instantly. How could a politician with an ounce of courage say "YES" to the greatest act of political plunder in our city's history?

Those who believe that "NO" is every bit as important as "YES" can find a model in the wisdom of Winston Churchill. At the beginning of World War II this gentleman offered his shortest and best speech in a career filled with illustrious prose - "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

Those with a dedication to special interests over the common good are not going to stop what they are doing. The corrupt power structure of my party and the other party are not likely to soon embrace principles as their defining mission. Those willing to steal America's future with false promises, big government excess, and greed do not seem inclined to alter their course.

Under such circumstances, I will savor the opportunities to say "YES", but I will not take off my "NO" button and surrender to the pressures of political correctness. America is busy mass producing "YES" men politicians schooled in the easy task of squandering other people's money and liberty. Their limited vocabulary necessitates a "Dr. No" - and that is important.

Limbaugh, Powell, and Chaney: Who is a Real Republican?

Editorial Submission-
May 26, 2009

"In the latest round of the increasingly heated intra-GOP feud, former Secretary of State Colin Powell Sunday defended his Republican credentials and fired back at radio host Rush Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney, saying the party had to expand beyond its conservative base."

Ex-Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and former Secretary of State Colin Powell called on Republicans Sunday to be more inclusive. In what's become a running battle with conservatives, they suggested the GOP's status as a major party was at stake. Powell also hit back at former Vice President Dick Cheney, calling him "misinformed."


Like the wicked queen in "Snow White" seeking reassurance of her beauty via a talking mirror - most politicians define their image by persistently talking to themselves. In the absence of a magic mirror, voting records and actions offer the best credential check. On that basis, authentic principle driven Republican leaders are about as rare as albino unicorns.

The recent Republican heavy weight dust-up has illuminated political hypocrisy as surely as it has provided opportunity for introspection. All is not as it seems.

A Host of Pretenders

It is interesting to see Dick Chaney challenging the Republican credentials of his peers. His call for the Party to stand for something is sweet music, but he should have played that tune for the eight years he and the President controlled the executive branch of our government. During their tour of duty, this team violated about everything the "R" word stands for - including engaging in expensive foreign entanglements, increasing entitlements, minimizing the Constitution, and expanding government bureaucracy. Real Republicans walk what they talk.

Former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge has taken Chaney to task for daring to suggest that Colin Powell was no longer a Republican. I can understand why Ridge would do that. He made a job of not being real with the Constitution and playing loose with Republican core principles throughout his tenure. Certainly he would identify with those behaviors in others.

Colin Powell is officially still a member of the Republican Party. He may have failed to blow the whistle on our Iraq adventure while there was still time - he may have endorsed the most liberal socialist member of the Senate for the Presidency - he may be calling for Republicans to become more like Democrats to save the Party, but we can all rest easy that he has kept his official Republican secret decoder ring.

Rush Limbaugh continues to take the heat for dismissing the machinations of "moderate" Republicans pushing for a more socially acceptable version of the Republican Party. He is the only guy in the mix who understands the concept of principle over politics, power, popularity, political correctness, pragmatism and all of the "P" words that have kidnapped the Republican Party.

There is a reason Rush has a following and it doesn't have much to do with a charming personality. He stands for something, however imperfect, that is real.

Republican Values are Conservative by Design

Powell and other men of studied virtue are concerned that the party has been kidnapped by its conservative members. If our Party's stated principles mean anything, then those voices are the only ones who are remotely sincere about being real. All the rest are pursuing some camouflaged political effort to abandon values for other priorities.

The recent loss of favor of the Republican Party has little to do with a refusal to make the tent bigger. Over the past eight years the Republican Party power structure constructed a huge tent -- unfortunately filled with hot air. A trend that the Democrats are carrying on with enthusiasm.

Our problems in the Republican Party are the opposite of what Mr. Powell suggests - it is not that we are at risk for standing for something too restrictive; it is that we have failed to stand for much of anything.

I would raise the question about whether those right wing conservatives that everyone is so upset about dominating the Party ever really existed - at least when filtered through our true principles. What we had were Bush, Chaney, Powell, Ridge, Rove, Gingrich, and a host of enthusiastic followers pretending to be conservatives as they played out some form of political game behind a screen of spotty conservative positions.

Who or What?

Comedians Abbot and Costello once did a famously circular routine called, "Who's On First". The Republican Party's struggle for an identity will not be determined by who is on first, but what. If principles do not come first, then the rest is more hot air and political pretense founded on transient personalities.

If we do get real, it is my sense that America's mumbling majority will be delighted to have a political party that is careful with their liberties, values, safety, and resources. After all, that is the stated mission of the Republican Party. We best get on with it and let the pretenders take the headlines. Our job is to stand for something and take back America.

Asheville Citizens Being Cheated of Water Assets

Asheville Citizen-Times Guest Commentary Reprint
Published March 6, 2009

I would like to thank the AC-T for turning the meticulous talents of columnist John Boyle loose last week. As much as I enjoyed all that warm and fuzzy attention, I do wish the column, "Boyle: Council needs to confront Mumpower," (AC-T, Feb. 28), had focused more on the real issue - the purloining of Asheville's water system by our local legislators.

Yes, I know the word "purloining" is mushy, but I do not want to upset anyone by using the word "stealing." It's OK to define what shoplifters do as stealing, but when you are a Raleigh power broker and push through laws that capture control of a one billion dollar asset - that is somehow different. So I have settled on the word purloining so as not to offend my fellow council members, the purloiners, and the citizens of Asheville who have been conned into believing that stealing a water system is not really stealing.

For two years I have mostly cooperated with my Council colleagues as we have legally challenged the right of our legislators to purloin the city's water system. We lost all the way up to the State Supreme Court - each and every layer said our legislators had the legal right to take control of our water system if they wanted to. The courts said they had the right - they did not, at any point, say it was right.

The central issue of this water war is not some soggy old law from the 1930s. This fight is about Sullivan Acts II and III that were championed and passed in Raleigh by local legislators just two years ago. These laws insured that Asheville citizens would be cheated of the benefits of their water assets; treated differently than every other city in the state; and forced to continue carrying their extra heavy tax burden. The fact that our forefathers had the wisdom to purchase the two reservoirs at the heart of the system did not matter. That the titles to most of the water lines and infrastructure are owned by Asheville citizens also did not matter. What mattered was whoever had legislated control realistically had ownership.

When the Asheville council majority decided last week that they were going to surrender to this mischief and pander to our legislators, my conscience told me it was time to turn up the volume. I am already in two political battles, so why not three? Besides, I see no difference between drug dealers, those who employ illegal aliens and elected officials who use their office to indulge special interests.
When you are a super-minority of one, playing nice will get you absolutely nowhere. And so it was necessary that I reach into my political bag of tricks and pull out a big gun. In this case it was a weapon seldom used by politicians - candor.

Speaking of which, Mr. Boyle and the AC-T inappropriately criticized my council colleagues for not making a stronger effort to muzzle me. In their defense, they try to do it all the time, but the inconvenient hurdles of freedom of speech and diversity of thought trip them up most of the time. Nonetheless, I want to assure those fans of political correctness that the art form of criticizing the Mumpower guy to avoid looking at the real issues is alive and well.

Then there are the lofty concerns about damaging our relationships with political party cronies and the often-cited "crucial need to work together." Swallowing the truth and embracing these co-conspirators so as to secure more butterfly exhibits for Asheville would be more like joining a gang than a team.

In further contradiction to the spin-meisters, the water issue is not complicated. All we have to do is start treating Asheville like other cities who also own their water system - including Weaverville to our north and Hendersonville to our south. The point of compromise is found in taking five, 10, or more years implementing that simple plan and thus making sure that people in the city and county are treated fairly. If our legislators have a change of heart or the voters seek a change of representation, Sullivan Acts II and III can easily be reformulated from poison to medicine.

I do owe the citizens of Asheville, and for that matter professional criminals and street walkers, a personal apology for calling our state and city officials "thieves" and "prostitutes." In view of their efforts to purloin and sell out the city's $1 billion dollar water system, my language should have been much less restrained.

In search of true conservatives...

Hendersonville Times-News Editorial Reprint
Published: Sunday, December 7, 2008

Once again the T-N editor, a recognized champion of Republican conservative values, has made a public effort to illuminate my failings as a congressional candidate. Less I fail in my perceived mission of giving this gentleman and others on-going heartburn, I am grateful for the opportunity to respond.

The bill came due this election for a Republican Party habitually swapping principle for power. Mirroring countrywide failures, every North Carolina Republican congressional candidate running against an incumbent lost. The highest vote getter spent contributions of a half million plus in his Raleigh district and earned 37% of the vote.

I passed on party and lobbyist money, relied on an all volunteer staff, raised less than a hundred thousand dollars, and came in second with 36% of the vote in 15 counties. I hate to intrude on those enjoying our campaign's perceived failings, but without the machinations of a number of county party organizations, including Henderson, we would have easily had the top vote percentage among Republican challengers in N.C.

I do not know if I will do it again, but I do know that I will not change a thing if I do. That firm eye on true Republican principles will remain. My marriage to the word conservative will not be softened, spun, or polished to suit anyone's concept of political correctness or expedience. I will not side step the issues to nurse special interests or pander to get elected. I will not try to buy my election with other people's money.

The American Dream is in jeopardy and it is not a time for timidity or joining the ranks of what Christian psychiatrist Scott Peck called, "The People of the Lie."

Our campaign spent a lot of leather and rubber hitting every county in WNC with enthusiasm. I met many good and well intended people. Using the Biblical measurement of actions over words, a surprising few were principle driven conservatives.

My conservative filter is simple - caution with other people's money, values, liberties and lives. It is that simple, but it is certainly not that easy.

Next to the path of a true Christian, being a conservative is one of most demanding undertakings in the human experience. Unlike the easy accommodations, relativism, and hollow promises of liberalism, there is a necessary discipline, firmness, and dedication that is not for the faint of heart.

Jesus upheld a conservative value system, and we remember what he suffered for his refusal to be practical over principled.

No true conservative would find comfort in earmarks and other forms of Washington's community and corporate welfare program. Conservatives are interested in making people bigger and government smaller and recognize a liberty robbing handout when they see one.

It is easy to see how a conservative would not soft pedal on the legalized murder of our children. Where, however, are those conservatives with the courage to fight the importation of an illegal exploited work force; decimation of our spiritual liberties; a ballooning drug problem; and a dysfunctional education system that is murdering our culture?

A prioritization of safety over liberty is the way that many betray the authenticity of their conservative credentials. Those who would embrace FISA and the Patriot and Homeland Security acts without vigilant pause are students of convenience over conservatism. A dedication to protecting the country may feel conservative, but it is real only if one works to preserve what that country is about.

True conservatives resist the absurdities of misguided foreign entanglements and undeclared wars that kill our youth, rob our resources, and confuse our people.

I do not believe we should betray the sacrifice of so many by arrogantly leaving Iraq with indifference to the outcome. Nonetheless, we went there with matching arrogance and a real conservative would have immediately howled at the nonsense packaged and sold to us by Colin Powell and George Bush - the same 'conservatives' who respectively helped insure the election of the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate to the presidency.

In these four filters one can find the measure of a true conservative and, for me, what is the hopeful future of the Republican Party and America.

That same Bible which holds us accountable for what we do offers a timely message for conservatives and Republicans who are busy scratching their heads and pointing their fingers. "Be hot or cold or I will spit you out."

In spite of the best efforts of Mr. Moss and a host of party orchestrators, 121,000 voters still understood the message.

Congressional run a lesson in not-so-special interests

Asheville Citizen-Times Editorial Reprint
November 19, 2008

I now understand how Alice felt when she stumbled into the rabbit hole. Instead of a Mad Hatter and grinning Cheshire Cat, my congressional run was an adventure with special interests. Alice would recognize the connection.

At best, special interest groups inform. The temptation to manipulate is what creates a selfish interest group. The common interest quickly surrenders to money and power in that all too widespread transition.

The faucet of lobbyist money turns on immediately for congressional primary winners. In fact, if you are an incumbent, that faucet is never turned off. I refused to drink and watched over 300 lobby groups from outside of WNC give $1.5 million to my opponent. My self-imposed limit to a home equity line and individual contributions fell somewhat shy of that amount.

Going with the flow

The endorsement questionnaires are more transparent in their self-service - if you support their efforts, then they will endorse yours. Most candidates reaching for higher office quickly recognize the necessity of going with that flow. I preferred Alice's model of sincerity.
One memorable "Wonderland" moment involved the Military Officers Association candidate questionnaire. I agreed with one of their four interests, but believed the other three leaped over a fair deal to an elite deal.

I hesitate on any deal that comes from borrowed money resting on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Then too, most of us as veterans fought to preserve America, not rob her.
The Queen of Hearts did not appreciate Alice's candor and nor did the MOA's membership appreciate mine. It became the mission of some to assure a candidate who dared suggest that veterans, especially officers, deserve only fair treatment should not be in Congress.
Further adventures involved the Manufacturers Executive Association and their Chamber of Commerce affiliate. Again with Alice in mind, I suggested that many area businesses actively employ illegal aliens.

The group seemed surprised that a Republican candidate would dare risk "alienating his base" - the inference being that I was expected to walk in lockstep with another group willing to rob America just because they were businessmen. I must have overlooked that item on my party's authentic principles list and thus triggered the wrath of those who view themselves more enthusiastically as victims than champions of industry.

The bigger picture

These experiences and others provided a troubling glimpse into what is wrong with today's America. A vision of something really special, the "American Dream," is being replaced with a selfish nightmare called the "American Deal."

Alice made it through "Wonderland" without becoming cynical. I grant myself no exception. Besides, there were refreshing glimpses into an American ideal that remains intact in WNC.
Paradoxically, one of my finest exposures came some months back in the Snowbird Community of Graham County. There I stood before 50 or so skeptical Cherokee Indians in the community center and fielded questions.

Most had a clear understanding that I was the guy who, early in his primary campaign, challenged the special gambling and lobby interests of the Cherokee reservation.
Toward the end of the event, one of the attendees got right down to business and asked, "What will you do for us?" It was a pivotal moment, but I remembered Alice. "I will do nothing more than fight to see that you are treated fairly - I am not about special deals for anyone," I replied. It was probably my imagination, but there was a long and intimidating silence, and then came the applause - stinging in its selflessness.

Those members of a Cherokee Nation conditioned by decades of government entanglements understood the true meaning of America better than our champions of industry and officer elite.

The people of Snowbird had been on the receiving end of hollow promises and the self-serving long enough to know the corruptions of that fantasy version of America.

Ongoing mission

Going forward I plan to retain my interest in special interests. There is nothing special about those willing to sell out the "American Dream" and giving them an occasional reality check is going to be my special mission.

I also plan to smile at my grandkids and tell them that dream was worth a home equity loan, a year of my life and a glimpse into the devil's eye. To make sure I do not forget, I have a locked memory of 120,000 voters - and the people of Snowbird Community who taught me something truly special about the real American deal.

Mumpower Continues to Challenge Lobby Groups

Originally posted July 1, 2009

Carl Mumpower is not shy about his belief that special interest groups are "kidnapping" America. The 11th District Congressional candidate does not hesitate to back his concerns with action - going so far as to challenge the Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations that would normally be guaranteed sources of support for a Republican. His lack of timidity has earned him a trip to the woodshed by WNC's Manufacturer's Executive Association.

The MEA membership covers most large manufacturers in WNC - including companies like Mills Manufacturing and Sonopress that have been targets for the City Councilman's actions against illegal immigration.

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

According to a Brian Postelle article in the Mountain Xpress, Imes made the statement that, "Conservatives and the manufacturing community typically share a pro-business stance, especially when it comes time to campaign."

"Mumpower has left a historically safe voting bloc cold. He's completely alienated anybody who would vote for him. In an election, you usually shore up your base. I think he's eroding his traditional base." Mumpower was not impressed or intimidated by the MEA Executive's position. "I am fascinated at how many smart people so casually reveal their indifference to ethics," said Mumpower. "This gentleman is admitting that he expects his version of a conservative congressional candidate to prostitute himself for personal gain. I am glad that Mr. Imes and others with his vision are not behind me. They should certainly seek another candidate who is willing to accommodate their interests. My opponent has oney from 300 lobby groups while we have taken zero. I don't think they will have any trouble finding their man."

"Special interest groups have a way of evolving into selfish interest groups," said Mumpower. "On the issue of illegal immigration, the MEA seems to have fallen into that trap. Too many of our area manufacturers are finding ways to open their doors to illegal workers and then crying "victim" when ICE or a City Councilman on a mission knocks on the door.""If you want to have a plant in America, then hire, train, and pay Americans," said Mumpower.

"If your business model is marginal and you need the cheap wages of Mexico, then move to Mexico - don't try to bring Mexico here."

"I understand that Manufacturers are struggling against tax burdens, heavy handed regulations, and unfair trade policies practiced by the federal government," noted Mumpower. "Solutions will be found in getting off their fannies and fighting back. Using illegal immigrants as short-term solution is not the right answer."

"A real conservative puts truth, liberty, and principles before power, politics, popularity, and other considerations - including getting elected to Congress," said Mumpower. "For the past year I have had one group after the other knock on my door and seek my allegiance to their special interests. The Military Officers Association has their version of a special deal, as do the environmental lobbyists. The AARP has their wish list, and so does the Republican Party power structure, the Teacher's Association, and the Highway Patrol lobby. There is nothing wrong with these groups educating candidates on their issues. There is something terribly wrong when the goal is pushing aside the common good to get to the front of the line."

"If I have a base, it is found among people who believe there is still a 'we' in the American Dream and that there is more to our country than rigged deals for those whose primary devotion is to 'me'," said Mumpower. "I am not for sale. That's one of the marks of an authentic conservative politician - an endangered species in today's America."

Firefighter and Postal Unions Personify the United States of Special Interests

Originally posted August 19, 2009

Worried about America's enemies? When you get done checking out the porn addict in North Korea; cave dwelling terrorist in Pakistan; and Holocaust denier in Iran, put an eye your nearby special interest group. With the help of both political parties and the vast majority of our politicians, the people of "me" are busy robbing the heart of America faster that Kim Jong II can rewind a Paris Hilton sex tape.

Special interests groups, by design, are organized to advocate for a cause. Nothing wrong with the mission of educating the rest of us, but problems begin when special interest groups become selfish interest groups. Selfish interests have a demonstrated history of selling out the common interests for their interests. In the process, these folks are transforming America from a united country of "we" to the hollow conglomerate of "me".

In my eight years as an Asheville City Councilman, and during my run for NC's 11th District Congressional seat, I have had a front row seat to this mostly hidden band of cultural terrorists. From personal experience, it would be my suggestion that such diverse groups as the Cherokee Nation, WNC Military Officer's Association, the Republican and Democrat Party, the Manufacturers Executive Association of WNC, and even our local Firefighter's union are typical of a pattern of corruption found in every city, county, and state. The money and power of special interest groups is buying the future of America.

Here is a quick rundown of these special interests and their impact-

Cherokee Nation - laying aside their dedication to segregation as a good thing, how is it OK for America for one group to get tax breaks, casinos, sovereignty, and partial immunity from the rules? Andrew Jackson was a rascal, but he was a rascal 200 years ago.

Military Officer's Association - I am Veteran and did a tour in Vietnam when I was 18. At no point do I recall that America promised me the moon for that service. The MOA has a different vision. Having provided special service, they now believe they deserve a special deal. For those politicians considering challenging the entitlements of these retired warriors, be advised that they are as well versed in the concept of "me" as any professional welfare mother you can find.

The Republican and Democrat Parties - I am a conservative Republican and have a voting record that matches my words and the principles of the Republican Party. Unfortunately I am a member of a political party with an unscrupulous dedication to power that stands for nothing. The alternative is pandering party of seducers that stands for everything. Under this model of leadership it is no wonder America's future is in peril.

Manufacturers Executive Association of WNC - Somewhere along the line I picked up a liking for the rule of law. Defending our borders and enforcing immigration law seemed an important priority. I did not believe that those who fund and exploit the flood of illegal aliens crossing our borders should be given a free pass for circumventing our free market economy. The MES, being apparently accustomed to political hacks who can be bought, has been disheartened that a conservative Republican would dare suggest that this and about every other major employer group has been scamming America.

Asheville Firefighters Association - This AFL-CIO affiliate represents our firefighters. No offense, but twisting facts, manipulating virgin candidates, and pushing other city employees to the side seems contradictory to the concept of public service. Behind a mask of virtue, this union is marketing its membership's special interests in a way that mocks the reason most men and women become firefighters. Try as I might, I can't believe that most of our city's finest realize the corruptive methodologies of their union representatives.

In today's America, most political candidates buy their seat in public office with special interest money. It happens at the local level as surely as in Washington. If you are interested in knowing more about what special interest group paid for your congressional seat - check out If you understand the corruptive influence of power and money, you will be frightened by what you learn.

One of the favorite tools of special interest groups like PAC's, unions, and political parties are the "trump" cards they use with impunity. My friends in the Firefighter's association use the "danger" card to claim their special status. The military officers association, not to be outdone, use the "guilt" card and an old "danger" card to manipulate the system into providing special compensations that are being funded with our childrens' futures.

We see the "race" card played all the time in America, which, in itself, is probably one of the most insidious forms of racism. Closely related, is the "victim" card. When things get politically tight, our friends in the Cherokee Nation are quick to pull out the wicked old bones of Andrew Jackson to make sure their special interests remain intact. Being victimized by a social predator of yesterday does not entitle one to become a social predator of today.

People of money and power like to use the "money" and "power" cards. They pretend to want nothing in return, but is anyone so naive to believe that all those lobbyists and PAC's are just looking out for the best interests of America?

The trump cards I enjoy watching the most are the "anger" and "you are stupid" cards. Dare raise an uncomfortable question with a special interest hidden in the closet and watch how quickly these two cards are thrown on the table. When the facts are not on your side, intimidation and personal insults can be effective tools for making sure your special interest doesn't get waylaid by some clown concerned with the common good.

Below is an email exchange between leadership of our local Firefighter's union and the American Postal Workers union. These communications offer a "pay no attention to the man behind that curtain" look into the hearts of two special interests - both of which have a stated interest in making sure you know who

I am going to make it easy on these guys by encouraging them to come on out of the closet and play their trump cards. They might want to pass on the "solidarity" card though - it sounds a little too much like Stalin preaching to the proletariat.

I am going to take things a step further by not accepting any campaign contributions or spending a single dollar toward my reelection.

These guys can keep representing "me" stuff and I will keep representing "we" stuff. Together we will get a glimpse into the future of America.

Carl Mumpower
Asheville City Council does not get reelected.


Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 9:23 PM
Subject: Fwd: FW: Firefighters Getting Burned by Exercise in Socialism

All of our Union Brothers and Sisters. I knew that Carl Mumpower was bad, but not this bad. Asheville Fire Fighters Association Vice President Scott Mullins forwarded me this email. Scott had sent a City of Asheville Council Candidate Questionnaire to Mr. Mumpower and following is his response.

We can all be thankful that this man is not our congressman, and hopefully not for much longer an Asheville City Councilman!

In Union Solidarity and Growth,

Mark V. Case

From: onemullins@hotmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

To: mark277@aol.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sent: 8/16/2009 7:57:40 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Subj: FW: Firefighters Getting Burned by Exercise in Socialism

Mark, I thought you might find this both interesting and irritating. I am looking forward to his defeat this year.

In Solidarity,

Scott Mullins


Asheville Fire Fighters Association


From: DrMumpower@aol.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2009 11:28:32 -0400

Subject: Fwd: Firefighters Getting Burned by Exercise in Socialism

Firefighters Getting Burned by Exercise in Socialism
Carl Mumpower

Like many of you, I reserve a special respect for those who stand in harms way to protect other people. Our military, our police, our firefighters, and many others who do not necessarily wear a uniform, merit our respect and consideration. They do not, however, merit a special deal. In Part II of "Why the Greatest Erosion of Personal Liberty is Occurring at the Local Level", please note the following questions by our local Firefighter's Association and attached responses.

This effort to influence candidates illustrates the difficulty of maintaining a principled position of moral independence in politics - even at the local level. Who wants to stand up against our fireman? How many new candidates can? Once a candidate is committed to a position supporting an organization, how do they change it?

The policies represented in this questionnaire mirror special interest indulgence at its worst and demonstrate this organization's commitment to self-service behind a mask of public service. Their approach mocks the reasons that most of us once uttered the words, "I want to be a fireman when I grow up."

Playing the "danger" card is not much different that playing the "race" card or the "victim" card. It is all about getting a special deal. America is in a danger of her own as we risk becoming a collection of special interests dedicated to "me" versus a land of opportunity dedicated to "we". That slide toward darkness is just as surely accelerated by the manipulations of socialistic unions as any other force - even when those unions represent the best of us.


Asheville Fire Fighters Association

August 10, 2009

To: 2009 City of Asheville Council Candidates
From: Scott Mullins, Vice-President
Re: City of Asheville Council Candidate Questionnaire

Dear Council Candidates,

On behalf of the men and women of the Professional Fire Fighters of Asheville, I would like to ask you to participate in our Council Candidate Questionnaire and screening process. The information will be used to help guide our organization in making endorsements in the Primary and General Elections of the 2009 Asheville City Council Elections.

We would like to interview candidates as part of the process. The screening part of the process will take place on Wednesday August the 26th or Thursday the 27th. If selected for the screening process you will be contacted for an interview no later than August the 25th @ 5:OOPM. The interviews will take place at our office at 18 G Regent Park Boulevard just off of Patton Avenue near Denny's. We ask that, due to time constraints, please be on time for your interview.

If you would prefer to have the questionnaire by e-mail, send me a request at my e-mail listed below and I can forward it to you in Word.

Your completed questionnaire needs to be returned in the postage paid envelope included in this mailing by Monday August the 24th.

Should our organization decide to endorse your candidacy for City Council your campaign will be notified following the process.

Scott Mullins, Vice-President
Asheville Fire Fighters Association
onemullins@hotmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Asheville Fire Fighters Association
City of Asheville Council Candidate Questionnaire
(PLEASE RETURN BY Monday August 24, 2009)


Candidate responses from Carl Mumpower / August 15, 2009

1) What is your view of the role that unions and union members play in the City of
Asheville? Please Explain.

Unions offer an organized effort to pursue the special interests of their membership. Most are rarely concerned with the common good and use methodologies whereby the organization's needs and wishes are used to justify nefarious means. Asheville's Firefighters Association, in my exposures over 8 years, is not an exception.

2) NC General Statute 95-98 was adopted in 1959. This statute prohibits government entities from entering into contracts with employee organizations. North Carolina is
one of only two States in the U.S. with such a law on the books. There is current legislation alive in the NC General Assembly for the short session which would repeal
this antiquated law. Would you support bills like House Bill 1583, sponsored by former Speaker of the House Dan Blue, to repeal NC General Statute 95-98? Please Explain-

No - I would not support H.B. 1583 or any other effort to give a special deal to one employee group over another. It is my belief that special interest indulgences are undermining our system of government and the unity of our people. I have additional resistance to the pillage of tax payer dollars that typically come out of such arrangements.

3) Would you support a Meet and Confer process between public employee organizations and City Staff? Please Explain-

This process suggests a formal effort to require such collaboration. Under most circumstances, this arrangement would be used to inflate the power of employee union/associations/special interest groups over the common needs of the larger employee population. I would not support any effort to carve out special considerations.

4) The City contributes approximately 6.2 % less to firefighter's retirement than law
enforcement personnel and 4.2% less than the general employee. Would you support increasing the City's contribution rate to the firefighter's 401(a) retirement to equal the City's retirement contribution for other City's employee's retirement?
Please Explain-

Speaking of nefarious, less than 2 years ago the City Council, on a 6-1 vote if memory serves, gave our firefighters extra money to compensate for this gap - in spite of the fact the gap exists because Asheville firefighters repeatedly refuse to participate in social security. Probably most of us would chose this option if we could, but to then claim "foul" and play the victim card is insincere. No, I did not and would not support giving you folks a special deal over our other city employees.

5) Do you support payroll dues deductions by the City of Asheville for public employees
who join unions? Please Explain-

No - I am not interested in advancing city government bureaucracy. Union members are free to have their dues automatically withdrawn from their back accounts much like other people have their bills automatically withdrawn. This appears to be another effort to authenticate unions and build them into the city structure - for the reasons mentioned above, that is not a mission I would support.

6) Asheville Fire Fighters who have at least one child fall below the "living wage". Do you support a "living wage"? Please Explain-

First, I am not sure this is true. Second - no. The "living wage" concept is a socialistic initiative to artificially force wage concessions and special deals. I do not support special deals for one employee group over another and have no faith in the workability of contrived wage structures. We should pay our firefighters wages that match their skills, the economic realities of the city, and competitive market forces. Artificial wage structures based on sympathy factors find us robbing one group of people to pay another.

7) The City invests our deferred compensation plan to ICMA-RC. The International
City/County Managers Association (ICMA) receives monies annually from ICMA-RC.
ICMA opposes firefighters on issues important to the firefighters in Washington, DC
and throughout the Country. The firefighters have a required 2% match, therefore,
this practice forces the firefighters to invest their deferred comp monies with a
company that gives profits off investments to an organization in direct conflict on
firefighter issues. Would you support allowing a second investment group to come in
to give firefighters a choice? Please Explain-

I am sympathetic to your resistance to funding an organization that works against your best interests. I feel the same when I send my taxes to Washington and Raleigh.

8) In 1956 firefighters went from an 84 hour work week to 72 hours a week. In 1967
they went from 72 hours to 66 hours. In 1970 they went from 66 hours a week to
56 hours a week. Thirty seven years later, in 2007, firefighters are still working a 56
hour work week and only receive overtime for hours worked beyond 53 hours a
week. In today's society, this makes it very hard on families. Would you support,
after 37 years, a work hour reduction for firefighters and until its implementation
support lowering the overtime threshold below 53 hours a week? Please Explain-

No - I would not. It is my understanding that we have reached a point of balance in the hours our firefighters work - especially when you factor in that this 53 hour work week includes sleeping, eating, and other non-productive time. Again, there is a point where policy moves from a fair deal to a special deal. It is my sense that is your advocacy.

9) Firefighting is a dangerous profession where firefighters and officers must depend
and rely upon each other to keep the citizens and themselves safe. The so called
"merit" pay system currently in place in the Asheville Fire Department has been the
source of morale problems and tensions between firefighters and officers for many
years. The merit system has never really worked. Rather than being a true "merit"
system there seems to be a "who you know" aspect to raises. Would you support the
elimination of a merit pay system for the Asheville Fire Department and replace it
with a system that is fair and equitable for all? Please Explain-

No pay system involving people is going to be perfect. A rational merit system seems to be one of the better ways to reward employee performance. If there is a better way, it should be applied to all city employees and not one department. We have other employees who also work in a dangerous profession

10) NFPA 1710: Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression
Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by
Career Fire Departments calls for a Fire Department, to operate safely, effectively,
and efficiently there shall be a minimum staffing level of four (4) firefighters on
apparatus (some situations actually call for 5-6 firefighters i.e. high incident
jurisdictions). As a Council member would you continue to support the proper
minimum staffing levels of fire apparatus in the Asheville Fire Department so that the
firefighters may serve the Citizens safely, effectively, and efficiently? Please Explain-

Yes - and for the reasons you mention.

11) If you have the opportunity to name or recommend an individual to a board or commission would you consider naming a labor union member? Please Explain-

Yes - I would give fair consideration to a union member. I would not, however, support any board or commission candidate who was seeking membership simply to advocate for select union matters, social policy matters, political matters, or another special interest.


Carl Mumpower,
Asheville City Council Candidate
August 15, 2009


On the campaign trail in 2008 . . .

The Issues We Face

The Republican Party Principles

Editorials and position statements:

A Good Time to Say "No"

Obamacare Will Not Work

Our President is a Racist

GOP Punches Grow Weaker

Who is a Real Republican?

Asheville Citizens Cheated of Water Access

In Search of True Conservatives

Thoughts on the Congressional Campaign

Challenging Lobby and Special Interest Groups

Firefighter and Postal Unions Personify the United States of Special Interests

The Anti-Campaign

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Upcoming Events!

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