Brian Turner: And Tim (Moffitt) asked me not to use certain things in that conversation in my campaign, and I won’t.
David King: Right. Right.
Turner: But I’m not gonna sit by and say, well, I’ve got a two-term incumbent who wants to be Speaker of the House, who asked me to withdraw, who implied that I might be able to get a job at UNC-TV, and if I stay on the ballot I’m gonna get destroyed by outside groups. I mean, that’s just… You know, those are things that, that were said..
Turner: …that are politically.. can be, you know, advantageous to me in my campaign. I’m not gonna distort the truth.
17:40 into the conversation between Brian Turner and David King, recorded after Tim Moffitt and Turner’s infamous backroom meeting, yet before either King or Turner went on WWNCW, King affirms Turner’s entire story.
It’s been weeks since Ashvegas dropped the bomb that Democratic candidate Brian Turner met with Republican incumbent N.C. Rep. Tim Moffitt in a backroom meeting attended by David King. Since then, there have been numerous radio interviews and articles cataloguing the various viewpoints of those in attendance. Many pertinent details have been noted. After all the parsing, and the addition of the taped phone call, it’s clear that Turner’s version of the meeting is the one that stands up to all the scrutiny.
On the afternoon of Feb. 24, Moffitt, Turner, and King met in the backroom of a South Asheville restaurant. Although the idea of a meeting was first floated by Turner, it was Moffitt who, on Feb. 22, asked for a meeting with Turner through King. The three sat down just four days before the deadline for a candidate to withdraw. (At that point, Turner had filed to run for N.C. House District 116 and Moffitt had not.) When questioned by the Asheville Citizen-Times, Moffitt said Turner had been sending messages to him about meeting for some time. Both Turner & King have verified that this was in fact not true.
Before the meeting began Moffitt laid the ground rules, saying that no recording devices were allowed. Why? If this was simply a forum for two candidates to meet, what could possibly be said that Moffitt wouldn’t want heard? Keep in mind that it was Moffitt who arranged the meeting time and date. Moffitt also claims that Turner asked for the meeting to be private, yet King acknowledges that both parties asked him to stay.
According to King, one of the first things discussed was the matter of third parties “nuking” Turner and his family. It’s an issue that can’t really be constituted as a threat, despite Turner’s reaction. The political reality is that outside groups will go after Turner. (And probably Moffitt, too.) Moffitt shouldn’t have any say over that, at least according to law. If there’s ever any evidence of collusion between Moffitt and his PACs, that’s a different story. But as it stands, there’s nothing to suggest that Moffitt threatened Turner.
According to Turner, and verified by King, Moffitt asked Turner to consider withdrawing from the race. Moffitt told Turner what he’d accomplished in the General Assembly and stated that he needed four more years to finish what he had started. He told Turner of his ambition to be Speaker of the House and about what power, including financial, that position held. Running unopposed, Moffitt could spend his time and considerable resources to obtain this much sought-after position. According to Turner, Moffitt said it simply wasn’t Turner’s turn yet to hold the seat. Neither King nor Moffitt have denied this. It’s clear that Moffitt thinks he owns the seat. But isn’t that up to the voters and not candidates sitting in a restaurant’s back room?
Moffitt suggested Turner consider serving the public in another capacity, as director of UNC-TV, for example. (Turner has experience working in television.) King verified the statement. Keep in mind that Turner had just quit his taxpayer-funded job at UNC Asheville as assistant vice chancellor for the sole purpose of challenging Moffitt for the House seat. Why on earth would he be interested in some random job in Raleigh? When the Citizen-Times asked about his statement, Moffitt stated, “I could probably make him queen of Spain before I could make him president of UNC-TV.” But what’s interesting is that this statement is only kinda-sorta-maybe true. If Moffitt becomes Speaker of the House, he gets to appoint one person to the UNC-TV Board of Directors. And as Speaker of the House, he would have considerable input on the choice of their next director.
Interestingly enough, UNC-TV is currently in the process of hiring a new director. So unless Moffitt has some major Spanish connections that we haven’t heard about, I’d say he’d have a much easier time getting someone the UNC-TV directorship. Keep in mind that Moffitt’s day job is working as a headhunter. Moffitt gets paid to help major corporations fill executive level jobs, such as CEO. Or, for instance, the director for a publicly run news station, a position that pays roughly $232,000 a year. Due to the sensitive nature of the work, headhunters must be discreet. If you have a client that is interested in a recruit and the word gets out to the recruit’s boss that they are considering other employment options, the recruit stands a fair chance of being fired before ever being offered the job.
Remember: David King, a Republican, won a seat on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners in 2012 solely because district elections were forced on the county by action of the General Assembly in legislation lead by none other than Tim Moffitt. There is not an ounce of hyperbole when I say that David King owes his current public position to Moffitt.
After weeks of sifting through different viewpoints and information, we finally have actual, documented proof that Brian Turner’s story is the only one that holds up completely. What we have here is a two-term incumbent who wants to be Speaker of the House. Who asked Brian Turner to withdraw. Who implied that Turner might be able to get a job at UNC-TV. And that if Turner stayed on the ballot he’d get destroyed by outside groups. I mean, that’s just… You know, those are things that were said.