By Jane Bilello-You, the good folks of Buncombe County, have a bold red line in the sand drawn for you in the upcoming commissioner race. Will you stand with fellow citizens who hold their elected officials accountable? Will you continue to elect commissioners who expand the budget on your backs, the taxpayers, or elect those who will reduce the budget? Unlike David King’s criteria for voting: “ Will the benefit outweigh the initial cost/pain to the taxpayer?” (And, how are you dealing with that ‘pain’?) See your tax bill. How many of you have seen either a dramatic rise in your property evaluation or a property devaluation but your taxes have risen? How many of you own businesses who have been on the ‘losers list’ and not gotten those tax incentives or been part of the ‘chosen winners’ list like GE and Linamar? How many of you have seen fees and regulations eat away at your profits? When will we stop electing Republicans who embrace Progressive ideology that punishes hard work? An ideology that redistributes your wealth, stifles business expansion, and depresses job growth. For every dollar that is confiscated from you for a bogus plan to create jobs means that you don’t get to decide what is best for you, your family and your business. This is not what made America a nation full of innovators, job creators, and the greatest middle class.
WE are a group of citizens conducting a Citizen-Job Interview of candidates who stand committed to fiscal responsibility, limited government, and adherence to Constitutional authority.
In 2012, NC Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, Chris Dillon, NC Court of Appeals, Lt Governor Dan Forest, Representative Mark Meadows, Jim Davis, NC Senate, Chris Whitmire, NC House, Carl Ford, NC House, CB McKinnon, Cherokee Commissioner, Josh Houston Henderson School Board, Susan Cox, Rowan-Salisbury School Board, all vetted, endorsed and elected, had no problem with commitments to these principles. Why do David King, Joe Belcher, and Mike Fryar have such a problem? The answer is obvious to us. The proof is in their abysmal voting record that doesn’t even qualify them to enter the iCaucus process at this point.
For our commissioners, we want to know where they stand on the economy, free markets, private property rights, annexation, extra territorial jurisdiction, private public partnerships, and education. Don’t you? If they are pillars of Conservatism, why are they so afraid to tell us where they stand on the issues and commit to these principles in writing and on an interview?
Mr Fryar’s attempt to discredit Asheville Tea Party/PAC is feeble at best. How we run our private organization is frankly, none of his business. However, for the record. I was repeatedly and strenuously implored to take the Chair position. After several weeks, I agreed but under one condition and that was ATPAC use the tools iCaucus gives We The People to find, vet, endorse, campaign for and then hold our elected officials accountable. I also wear the hat of iCaucus NC State Director. Why? In 2010, The Republican Party excoriated the grassroots groups, ATPAC included, for daring to get behind candidates before the primary and not rubber stamping their ‘chosen’ ones who did not meet our standards. It’s over after the primary and we are stuck with the candidate. We do not follow either party like sheep and ‘stuck’ is not an option.
iCaucus is a national, non-partisan organization that
• Takes the special interest money out of the election process.
• Empowers citizens to vet and endorse candidates as the media and Political Parties have failed us.
• Works to get the endorsed candidates elected to office.
• Holds our elected officials accountable in the performance of their duties.
Also, unlike other national organizations, this is a bottom up process, not a top down, grassroots effort. I do not vote on candidates outside of the county I live – Henderson. Like you, I participate in state and my county candidate endorsements. My NC iCaucus Director job is to facilitate the endorsement process in every county. Every citizen who participates has ONE vote. A committee does NOT decide. WE THE PEOPLE DO! If an elected representative fails to live up to the promises after elected, WE THE PEOPLE decide to pull an endorsement, not the organization. Why? Our Founders wanted us engaged with our candidates before the primary to scrutinize their qualifications, intentions, and ideology. Their terms were limited so WE could oust them from office should they stray. iCaucus gives citizens like you and I the tools to do this. Does this sound ominous to you? The ‘parties’ won’t hold their own accountable and they don’t want us doing it either. Not gonna happen!
The two major political parties are hemorrhaging members to unaffiliated registered voters, the fastest growing voter group in NC. The number of registered voters in the state has increased by 210,000 between November 2008 and November 2013. Since 2008, there are 102,800 fewer registered Democrats and 12,400 fewer registered Republicans statewide. There has been a gain of 306,500 unaffiliated voters, or independents, during that time frame. The Libertarian Party has grown from 3,637 to 22,173 since 2008. Significance: The Republican Party better come out of the wilderness and re-embrace Republicanism or they will go the way of the Whigs. As the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party Movement celebrates its 5th Anniversary this week, we are confident that our posterity will find us on the right side of history.