By Leslee Kulba –
Saturday the Buncombe County Republican Party hosted its annual Lincoln/Reagan Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Resort. The event, billed as a “Victory Celebration” this year, is the organization’s greatest annual fundraiser. In attendance were a number of high-ranking Republicans from the region, which was noted as an oddity in itself. Having gained pivotal positions of power, the speakers assumed a more mature stance this year. But that didn’t stop the luminaries from roasting each other.
The running joke was a tale of the time NC Senator Tom Apodaca was pulled over for speeding. The cop let him go because he had a man tied up in the back seat. Apodaca was merely performing his duties as a bail bondsman back in the day. State Representative Nathan Ramsey had not arrived by the time the speakers were taking the podium. His wife was present, but he was “tied up.” According to later reports, he was delivering a calf back at the farm.
State Representative Tim Moffitt was the standup comedian. He told of going to buy shoes with a colleague. The young shoe salesman was very impressed to have legislators in the store, and so he asked a lot of questions. For example, he wanted to know if legislators had to have a lot of education. Moffitt replied rhetorically, asking how much education the lad thought the chief executive had.
Moffitt then bragged to the crowd about his superior skills as a community organizer. Anytime he appears in Asheville, the community comes together in opposition. Apodaca praised Moffitt for having an entire wall filled with hate cartoons about him from Asheville. Apodaca’s badge of honor was getting about 60 to his opponent’s 10,000 votes from Asheville.
Moffitt wanted to clear the air. There was no truth to the rumors that he was supporting a campaign against Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell. Moffitt finds Bothwell’s biweekly comedy routine the funniest show on TV and for that reason hopes he continues to get re-elected.
Moffitt knew a lot of people were interested in what he intended to do about the city’s water system. He told of H488 designed to combine the AWRD and the MSD under an ARWA, making him in the eyes of many an acronym not fit for print. Regardless of the city’s whining, Moffitt said, in the words of Larry the Cable Guy, he intends to “Git-R-Done.” The same applied to the other bills he has sponsored on behalf of those who elected him to office with expectations of follow-through.
Before closing, Moffitt turned his affections to Apodaca, praising his clout, proclaiming his love even to the point of having a man crush on the most powerful legislator in the General Assembly. Following Moffitt’s parody of a kisser-upper, Apodaca quipped, “I’m sure glad that marriage amendment passed.”
Associate NC Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin gave the audience a primer in basic civics. Members of the judicial branch are elected to serve eight years, so it was important that voters make informed decisions. Since judges aren’t supposed to get political, he simply went over worn-out truisms that are getting lost along with other American traditions, like, “The judiciary should interpret the law and not legislate from the bench.”
Congressman Mark Meadows gave a refreshingly sober, nonpartisan talk on the view from the hill. Corruption in Washington, DC was about ten times worse than anybody had warned. Meadows stressed the need to educate or replace legislators so the US Constitution, with the Bill of Rights, may regain its rightful place as the Supreme Law of the Land. A civil society based on liberty cannot be enforced top-down, but is the responsibility of every citizen to promote and defend.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest was the keynote speaker. After telling a few jokes about the insignificance of his position, he praised the work Republicans are doing in the legislature. Accomplishments included doing the state’s part to trip up Obamacare by not establishing an insurance exchange and voting down Medicaid expansion. In the works is legislation to reform the state’s tax structure, with the most notable desired outcome being the elimination of the state income tax. Republicans are also attempting to reduce voter fraud by cutting back on the duration of early voting (with same-day registration), and requiring voter ID.
A couple hundred supporters were in attendance. Some had paid for sponsor or patron status, granting access to special refreshments and photo ops. In addition to ticket sales, the local Republican Party offered raffles and a live auction. Prizes included guns engraved with the Bill of Rights, jewelry donated by Alan’s, and lunch with Moffitt and Ramsey. Moffitt said that was the first time he had ever been bought and sold, and it would probably be the last – because he went so cheap.