Thursday, April 29, 2010

RL Clark

RL Clark is the Asheville Tea Party's recommended candidate for NC Senate District 49. He has already served two terms in the North Carolina Senate (1995-1996, 1997-1998), where he earned the nickname "Senator No" due to his unyielding resistance to voting for irresponsible spending bills.

Candidate Survey - R.L. Clark
by Mountain Xpress | 04/21/2010

MX: What most distinguishes you from your opponent?

My previous legislative accomplishments: Cut over $1 billion personal, food, excise, inheritance and business taxes. Repealed intangibles tax. Created charter schools; returned control to local boards of education. Required sex offenders to register for life; repealed prison cap. Increased homestead exemptions for elders.

MX: What are your top three legislative priorities?
  1. Jobs creation by reducing business, individual and personal taxes plus eliminating unreasonable and unnecessary rules and regulations.
  2. School choice, vouchers and removal of charter-schools cap.
  3. Compliance with U.S. and N.C. constitutions regarding state sovereignty and legislative redistricting.
Campaign 2008

Campaign 2010


The Definition of Insanity
Micheal Muller | April 28, 2010
Don Yelton is an angry little man with an enormous ego: he runs for office every year because he has a captive audience of Republicans who are either too afraid to stand up to him or too stupid to realize that he’ll never win an election.

Asheville Video

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Little Republicans

From: Darrell Barry
Subject: Obama's vacation
To: Asheville Tea Party

I now have my doubts about the Tea Party Movement, what is going on? The very man whose policies we are protesting gets a free ride. No protests except a few anti-war demonstrators. I smell something rotten in Denmark or should I say Asheville. My support is rapidly dwindling.

On Apr 25, 2010, at 8:58 PM, Richard Bernier wrote:


We did not have to be were we are right now with the ATP - my words fell on the deaf ears on the phone with you a few days before you endorsed Dr.Dan. I would suggest that you consider to resend any endorsements if you hope to return the ATP to the numbers that ATP had a year ago.

ATP is alot of hard work, one may make mistake when working on this large task but its clear that something is wrong, please save this movement & make larger steps in the hopes to get America on track.

Let the people speak - no liberty without this basic freedom.

Erika Franzi, Asheville Tea Party:

"The people are, and always have been, free to speak.

The Asheville Tea Party is an organization dedicated to the promotion of individual rights, limited government, and free markets. If one is interested in protesting a Presidential vacation, he or she should perhaps look to the Carolina Stompers or the Buncombe County GOP, or host his or her own protest.

Regarding the endorsement of Dr. Dan, the Asheville Tea Party held an open candidate's debate and a straw poll and made an endorsement from among all participating candidates. We are not obliged to continue providing all candidates with a platform for campaigning. What we are obliged to do is fully support the candidates that have been selected for endorsement or recommendation by our organization. We have done our job and will be campaigning for the candidates that we have selected.

It's not the job of the Asheville Tea Party to promote all candidates. We have a distinct point of view and that's what we are promoting. The candidates that come closest to advancing our values have received our endorsement or our recommendation. That is the fair and just way for us to proceed. To indiscriminately present inferior candidates after an endorsement would be unfair to our membership and an abuse of trust.

Organizations like the Carolina Stompers, 912 Project, Conservative Thunder or the Buncombe County GOP are welcome to introduce any or all candidates for the consideration of their membership -- even candidates that insufficiently uphold the Tea Party values of individual rights, limited government and free markets. We have completed that phase and are proceeding to the next logical phase: actively promoting selected candidates."


Asheville Serves Obama Weak Tea
Darrell Barry | April 28, 2010
This action, or should I say, lack of action really set off alarm bells for me.

Jane Bilello Resignation

From: Jane Bilello
To: Bill O'Connor
Date: April 26, 2010
Subject: Resignation

Mr. O'Connor,

Since its inception over a year ago, the Henderson County TEA for Liberty organization has come a long way. TFL has had some successes but, in the end, far too many failures. And we arrive at our present sad milestone along a crooked, stony path. It is clear now that we are at a crossroads from which we must not turn away.

To look forward with clear vision and an eye toward progress, we must squarely face the causes that place us here and the choices ahead for our next footfall.

I recall the words, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

In this quote, Edmund Burke acknowledges a fundamental principle that applies to a variety of situations. Most certainly political ones. It is the principle of discrimination.

While all men are created equal, they seldom stay that way. And when presented with choices in the political marketplace, it is the obligation of the ideologue to discriminate; that is, to sort out the good from the bad and the good from the better. To avoid this obligation is to stand for nothing, to stand without principle, as well as to betray the trust of those who look to him to apply the judgment necessary to steer a clear and profitable course for the body he represents; in this case, the Henderson County Tea Party.

You state in your recent letter to TFL members (Apr 22, 2010), "We can all be proud that no candidate or event that we have been asked to publicize has been denied. Our group stands firmly neutral in all contested primaries, and has made no endorsement of any candidate for any office."

This is the abdication of judgment. How can a man be proud of turning his back his duty to discriminate? To discuss the inferior in any manner implying neutrality, is to sanction inferiority. One must speak up in situations where silence can be taken as agreement with or the sanction of inferiority. In political contests, where so much is at stake, one must discriminate.

But then let's examine the matter more closely. Is this in truth what you have done? -- turn your back on exersicing judgment? Do you expect us to believe that you see Heath Shuler, Patsy Keever and Jeff Miller as political equals, each deserving an impartial representation on our website, in our literature and in our public statements?

As it happens, however, we know that you yourself have endorsed congressional candidate Jeff Miller in the newspaper and in a flyer sent to voters wherein which you identify yourself as "Founder of the Henderson County Tea Party."

Are we to suppose that this is not an endorsement sanctioned by the TFL? Why identify with the organization that professes to have no skin in the game? You can't have it both ways, my friend. And we won't let you.

What is worse, you have directly and indirectly slandered the Asheville Tea Party, of which I am a proud board member, and its leader. ATPAC has been forthcoming, public and transparent in its principles and in its goal to find, assess and support candidates based on those principles. There is no secrecy at work here. Only due diligence.

You never did that. ATPAC has accomplished what TFL set out to do last July. You hijacked that process and used TFL to widen the circle of your personal influence and power. You have also been hostile to me since I joined the Echenbaum campaign. This is a double standard that redounds to your disfavor. Are we to praise you for your endorsements and blame others for theirs? These, among other spears and arrows, you have thrown at me and ATPAC, to name a few.

Your letter to TFL members is another in a long string of thinly disguised attacks on your betters. Your preoccupation with slandering and vilifying a more successful sister organization in the eyes of others is childish and shameful and has made you a severe liability to the tea party movement locally. You do more harm to our cause by opening your mouth than does lady liberty in closing her eyes.

You speak for fewer and fewer as each drop of ink spills from your poisoned pen and it is time for you to retire to the cell from which you first emerged and lock the cage door behind you. In short: you have become useless to the cause our organization was formed to champion.

Instead, you are a pompous windbag with a funny hat who has nothing more to trumpet but his own impotent disgruntlement. Your persistent displays of emotional dysfuntion are a hinderance and, finally, an embarassment. This is too distracting to a movement that, now more than ever, needs men and women of character, conviction and a modicum of appeal. You have shown yourself to be devoid of these qualities.

In sum, when discrimination was wanted, you were neutral. When unity was wanted, you were divisive. When leadership was wanted, you were self-absorbed. And when pettiness is hated, you are its standard bearer.

You have in fact served TFL so badly that you have become quite indistiguishable from our critics. You are neither a leader nor a follower. You are a thorny obstacle that must be kicked to the wayside, and with haste.

I have a long laundry list of complaints and reasons why I can no longer support this organization which had so much promise. I will be submitting them to the 'why-are-folks-leaving-TFL' committee.

It is time to confess that you are not at all my 'cup of tea.' And time as well to dissassociate myself with the countless harms you insist on inflicting on our coalition with good people.

There is no one more disappointed with you than I. You know that I was always supportive and available. But now I am done and I encourage others to reflect on my concerns, to think for themselves and to follow their hearts.

In resignation,


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tax Day Protest

Photo by Asheville Daily Planet

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

Who is Ray Noland?

From the Mountain Xpress:
The city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department recently announced that three local artists have been chosen to have their artwork appear on buses as part of the city’s first-ever “Art on Transit” bus art competition. Each artist will be awarded a $750 honorarium and their designs will grace the sides of a big bus.

The winners were Ray Noland’s “Jeweled Forest, a color-splashed, whimsical forest; Naomi Johnson’s photos of local food and farmers; and Nina Ruffini’s “Message” featuring bunnies adrift in boats.

Noland and his bus (Photo: Jen Bowen):

Interview with Ray Noland by "Angeline":
As much as I’d like to, I can’t pretend to know him well. But what little I do know is that Ray is making some of the most iconic and important art to come out of Chicago since Carl Sandburg wrote about a “City of the Big Shoulders.” CRO is currently in Asheville, North Carolina, fundraising for a new street art campaign combating the ignorance and idiocy that is the Tea Party Express. Can you dig it? Read more below and consider participating in The People’s Party, either by donating to the cause or spreading the word by downloading this free poster and putting it up WHERE FREEDOM RINGS.

The "art" of Ray Noland:

More "art" by Ray Noland posted on public utility box on Walnut St and Broadway in downtown Asheville (since removed by the City of Asheville Public Works Department).


Ray Noland
Tim Peck | Asheville Tribune | April 9, 2010
First, along with two other contestants, Mr. Noland is an artist who was awarded public money to create fantastical, larger-than-life graphic images for the artistic “wrapping” of city buses in Asheville’s “Art on Transit” project, sponsored by our Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department. To be sure, there’s nothing that eases the drudgery of a daily commute in our privately-owned vehicles than seeing largely empty city buses concealed in aesthetically pleasing screens funded by those very same commuters.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

All Wee-Weed Up

Scrutiny Hooligans

Below is a graphic published in the footer of the local Progressive group weblog Scrutiny Hooligans for a special April Fool's Day jest. (It will be removed after today, of course.)

This weblog was created by now city council member Gordon Smith, who still contributes to the site.


Asheville City Councilman Shows Us How He Really Feels
Erika Franzi | April 1, 2010
I wonder how many of the folks who voted for Asheville City Councilman Gordon Smith really know who they elected. Meet Gordon “Screwy Hoolie” Smith, proprietor of Scrutiny Hooligans, Asheville’s favorite prog-blog.

Scrutiny Hooligans Unveils New Design
by Michael Muller | Mountain Xpress | April 1, 2010
Prompted by the recent ascendancy of Chad Nesbitt to the leadership of the Buncombe County Republican Party, Scrutiny Hooligans, a local political blog, has unveiled a new look this morning.

Meet City Council
Councilmember Gordon Smith was elected to the Asheville City Council in 2009.