Thursday, September 3, 2009

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

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