Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.By James Harrison

Anderson out

Talk about a classic Friday news dump. With mere minutes remaining before most reporters were ready to clock out for the weekend, Asheville Police Chief William Anderson announced he would retire—bringing months of seemingly endless controversy to climax. Following suit, Mayor Esther Manheimer issued a statement late Friday wishing the outgoing chief “all the best in retirement.” In the days following, news emerged that Anderson and the city agreed to a settlement, with the chief promising to not sue or make negative remarks about the city in exchange for a $35,000 payment. According to WLOS, the recruiting process for Anderson’s successor is already underway.

Election endorsed

The results of this month’s election are official, as the Buncombe County Board of Elections determined that the final canvass of ballots would not change the outcome of any races. The news led GOP hopeful Christina Merrill to officially concede her race against incumbent Commissioner Ellen Frost, who will serve another term on the board.

King abdicates seat

Buncombe County commissioners unanimously approved a $9 million incentives deal for Linamar this week. In exchange, the company committed to expanding its Arden plant and adding 400 new jobs. The meeting was the last for outgoing Commissioner David King, who was bested by newcomer Miranda Debruhl in this year’s primary. For a full rundown of the meeting, see this post from Mountain Xpress reporter Cameron Huntley.

Medicaid musings

Speculation that Republicans could shift course and expand Medicaid for North Carolina continues to mount, as lawmakers prepare to reconvene early next year. Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Mark Barrett examined the possibility this week, which has been mentioned by both Gov. Pat McCrory and outgoing House Speaker Thom Tillis. The issue is complex, and promises to impact the estimated 500,000 North Carolinians who could stand to gain coverage under expansion. Expect this to be a major topic of debate in months ahead.

Governor gains

President Barack Obama’s announcement of an executive order to overhaul the nation’s policy on immigration drew ire from Republicans across the board Thursday, including Gov. Pat McCrory. In a statement responding to the president’s speech, the governor expressed his “extreme” concern for the action and said he and other governors were discussing an “appropriate legal” response. Speaking of McCrory and Obama, a new poll released this week by High Point University showed a gain in the governor’s approval rating among voters up to 47 percent, which puts him in higher favor in his home state than Obama—who scored a 43 percent approval rating in North Carolina.

Meadows on the move

After coasting to a second term, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows tells the Avery Journal he’s ready to “pass as many bills as we can” in the House and send them to the GOP-controlled Senate. What kind of bills are in store? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

 James Harrison recently returned to Asheville after working as a government reporter for Nooga.com, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Follow him on Twitter at @jharrisonAVL.

12 Comments

  1. I don’t think Obama is going far enough. I say every illegal who is arrested, detained or otherwise identified by any government body or official should be held until they are definitively identified and assigned a tax ID # so that they cannot make another $1 in the U.S. without either being taxed or arrested as a tax cheat. If they refuse to pay their fair share, deport their tax-cheating ass. (And go harder after the folks who pay them under the table, too.)

    Once word gets out that you cannot earn tax-free $ to send back to El Pueblo, I’ll bet the flow of illegal immigrants will see a rapid nose-dive. I find it strange that as a LEGAL citizen, I am expected to maintain a SSN and pay taxes or face the harshest fines and penalties short of murder, yet illegals are now allowed (by lack of enforcement) to come here, earn tax-free $ and DEMAND access to free health care, housing and all documents printed in non-English without paying a dime for the additional expenses.

    Would the liberals’ beloved FRANCE or SWEDEN allow a bunch of Americans to come to their country illegally, demand everything be written in English for their convenience, and refuse to pay taxes to pay for their healthcare and welfare? I think not.

    It does not matter whether we are talking about Democrat pandering or Republican obstructing, our policies towards illegals is about two things: cheap labor and the enlargement of a pro-welfare voting block.

    • Why kick the poor while they are down? The sheer quantity of tax dollars evaded by American based corporations and the super wealthy is monumental compared to the amount we’re not getting from immigrants. The real leeches are on top of us, not below us.

      • Thank you Matt for speaking truth.

        I wish more people could see the reality of the situation.

      • More class warfare BS. The top 20% of the earners pay 93% of the income tax in this country. We need to pass a flat tax or consumption based tax to get participation from ALL. End the generational welfare that’s become all too prevalent, and get back to some self reliance. The handouts are killing us.

        • luther blissett says:

          We need to pass a flat tax or consumption based tax to get participation from ALL.

          BS. The flat tax is the lottery ticket that billionaires sell to delusional thousandaires. Being poor is its own damn tax.

          End the generational welfare that’s become all too prevalent

          You mean the generational welfare that’s set to keep the Walton spawn richer than the rest of Arkansas for eternity, right — the consolidation of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority that manage to gather even more money without having to work for it? There’s generational welfare, all right, but it’s strictly for the rich.

        • The top 20% of the earners pay 93% of the income tax in this country.

          And as wages slide and fail to keep up with inflation, and the “earners” more and more comprise people who were simply handed wealth from their parents, the workers and the middle class will continue to be painted as parasites by those who are more “deserving”.

          Tax those parasites into the poorhouse. How dare they believe those ridiculous lies about the “American Dream”?: Work Hard, Live A Middle-Class Lifestyle, Leave a Better Life For Your Kids.

          There are only so many seats at the table, fool. In the immortal words of Otter from Animal House, “You f***ed up. You trusted us.”

        • Both the blithering idiot and the hack hate the wealthy and successful because they are not among them. You have instead chosen to play the part of victims of what you deem an unfair and unjust economic system. Neither one of you has what it takes. Move to Cuba and be equal

          • I don’t hate the wealthy. I hate the suggestion that the solution to our problems is to tax the poor and the working class more, while we cut taxes at the top.

            Income disparity is ruining this country. There hasn’t been this level of concentrated wealth at the top 1% since 1928. And hey – that ended well, didn’t it?

            theatln.tc/1Fnv803 (drag & drop)

            Some people refuse to learn from history, and so we’re all doomed to relive it.

          • luther blissett says:

            Both the blithering idiot and the hack hate the wealthy and successful because they are not among them.

            I hate the concentration and perpetuation of wealth among people whose only “success” is in choosing their parents. I hate the concentration of wealth in parasitic industries that privatize profit and socialize loss, are “too big to fail”, and too big to face criminal charges for their crimes.

            I hate the way in which success and income mobility is ever more constrained. I hate the way a bunch of thousandaires have been duped into becoming lickspittles for billionaires. I hate the selfish hypocrisy of conservative Baby Boomers who got handouts at every stage of their lives — housing, education, tax cuts, Social Security and Medicare — now telling young people to pull themselves by their bootstraps.

            I especially hate people who kiss up and kick down.

            Harry’s the cranky old white guy who forwards hi-lar-ious chain emails through the year. His younger relatives are dreading having him at the family Thanksgiving table. Move to the 1800s, Harry, where you belong.

    • luther blissett says:

      yet illegals are now allowed (by lack of enforcement) to come here, earn tax-free $ and DEMAND access to free health care

      It’s common knowledge that illegal immigrants are subsidizing the Social Security checks and Medicare benefits of angry old white dudes. But not to “Big” “Al”.

      Would the liberals’ beloved FRANCE or SWEDEN allow a bunch of Americans to come to their country illegally, demand everything be written in English for their convenience, and refuse to pay taxes to pay for their healthcare and welfare?

      It’s common knowledge that TEXAS was invaded by a bunch of Americans who appropriated land, imposed slavery, demanded that everything be written in English for their convenience and started a war with the ruling nation. But not to “Big” “Al”.

      And let’s get past the BS that “cheap labor” matters solely to corporations. Every cranky white dude actually likes what illegal labor means for their own wallets. If “Big” “Al” had to pay $5 for a head of lettuce because the pickers had the power to form a union instead of being itinerants living in the shadows, or if “Big” “Al” saw the prices on restaurant menus go up, you’d hear the cursing all the way down in Greenville.

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