Ashvegas Political Hit List: The ‘thanks for nothing’ edition

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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McCrory_2012By James Harrison

Happy Friday! Here comes the Hit List.

Asheville reorients on Pack Place

This week brought a shift in tone to a bubbling dispute over a lease agreement between the city and the Pack Place. Last month, city officials sent a letter to Pack Place demanding thousands of dollars in repairs to the facility, along with declaring the organization in default of its current lease agreement. This week, Mayor Esther Manheimer told the Pack Place board to view the notice as part of an ongoing “dialogue” regarding the lease, which expires in May. More details on those developments here, in Ashvegas.

County spared debate on Coggins Farm, Moogfest (for now)

This week had the trappings of an epic meeting for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. But plans for discussions on both a controversial residential development in Riceville, along with a proposal for the county to provide $90,000 in incentives to Moogfest, were delayed. Commissioners allowed the request for a zoning change to the Coggins Farm development to be tabled without prejudice to a later date, after the developer requested more time to adjust plans for lowering density in the development. For full details on the meeting, read this report by Carrie Eidson in Mountain Xpress.

Grocery drama engulfs McCrory

What should have been a routine trip to the grocery store turned into a week-long media mess for Gov. Pat McCrory. Visiting Reid’s Foods in Charlotte earlier this week, the governor was recognized by a worker who approached him and bluntly said “thanks for nothing.” The governor and his team then complained to the store owner, and the worker was promptly fired. There’s plenty more “he-said, she-said” to the story (which gained national headlines), but in the end it looks as if everyone came out losing. An op-ed in the Charlotte Observer breaks down the episode, and suggests McCrory missed a golden opportunity to rebuff his image as a governor who is “thin-skinned” to criticism.

Tillis ready to debate now

After weeks of absence from gatherings of GOP Senate primary candidates, frontrunner Thom Tillis now says he’s “chomping at the bit” to tout his record in a public forum. Tillis, who notably sat out candidate events (one of which was held a handful of miles from his home) told the Raleigh News & Observer he would begin campaigning more publicly toward the end of the month. If you’re looking for an answer as to why Tillis waited till now, start with a look at his campaign wallet. The state House Speaker, who is gunning to unseat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, has raised more than $1.8 million so far—more than three times as much as any of the other four Republican primary candidates. Hagan, on the other hand, has more than $10 million in her war chest.

Harsh blow to Tea Party hopeful Greg Brannon

Dr. Greg Brannon, a Tea Party candidate who seems poised to steal a few votes from Tillis on May 6, was dealt a major setback this week. The day before filing his official paperwork for candidacy, a jury verdict found the candidate guilty of misleading investors, and questioned his integrity. So far, Brannon has raised more than $500,000.

This week flew by! See you next Friday.

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

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. theOtherBarry February 21, 2014

    I was the lone member of the public in attendance at the House Unmanned Aircraft Systems Committee hearing in Raleigh on Monday, and no press to speak of. The taxpayer-funded testing of surveillance drones in NC airspace continues, and it’s all being orchestrated by the military, the drone manufacturers and the NSA. Does anybody care?

    50 min. audio here:

    1. John February 22, 2014

      Apparently not.

      1. theOtherBarry February 22, 2014

        Thanks. I’m pickin’ that up.

        I was invited to speak at the Tea Party a couple of nights ago, and they are very concerned and asked very good questions and offered very good suggestions.

        The ‘left’ in Asheville, not so much, so far.


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