Ol’ Lumpy’s (Non-)Decision to be (Non-)Announced This Morning


Looks like this morning we’ll finally get an answer to the “will he or won’t he” question that’s been bugging people from both sides of the 11th District’s political spectrum. (See update below) Via the Hendersonville Times-News:

The Henderson County Republican Men’s Club will hear a response from former U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor at its regular meeting Wednesday.

Last month, the club passed a resolution demanding that Taylor make a decision by today about running for the 11th Congressional District seat he lost to Democrat Heath Shuler in November.

Philip Stanley, president of the Henderson County Republican Men’s Club, said Taylor sent a letter in response. Stanley said he will read an excerpt from the letter and make a public comment. He would not divulge the contents of the letter prior to the meeting.

“I feel the membership must be the first to hear it,” Stanley said.

The club meets at 7:30 a.m at the Opportunity House. Asheville City Councilman Carl Mumpower, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for the seat, is the speaker.

We’ll be following this story as it develops.

UPDATE: 11th District GOP gets Punk’d by The Lump! We really should have seen this one coming… (Again, via HT-N, emphasis mine)

Former U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor was vague in his response to the Henderson County Republican Men’s Club about seeking re-election.

The club passed a resolution at its July meeting asking Taylor to make a decision on running for the 11th Congressional District by today. Taylor wrote a brief response to the club’s president, Philip Stanley, but he did not address the question directly.

Taylor thanked Stanley for his “kind remarks” in the letter and for being “there to serve the 11th District.” The letter never answered the central question of the club — will he run for office.

The letter drew some harsh criticisms from members of the Republican Men’s Club and Stanley.

“We urged Congressman Taylor to speak out by 22 August for those that supported him for 10 election cycles so we know where we stand as a party,” Stanley said. “In my opinion, the 11th District and whoever represents us is more important than any one individual. We have waited long enough in extending our consideration to Mr. Taylor to think it over. Perhaps it’s time to disconnect and go away?”


  1. shadmarsh says:

    Republicans Men’s Club? If I can borrow a phrase from The Dude…what year is this?…And do they honestly think that Mumpower, with the charisma of an old shoe, could defeat Schuler?

  2. Arratik says:

    Never underestimate the power of the phrase OPEN AIR DRUG MARKET!!!

  3. Drama Queen says:

    Fun stuff. If he isn’t running, I bet the Repugs wanting to run will tear each other apart trying to get the “decision” made behind the scenes. Wooo hoooo!

    And is Mumpower the new Cheney? I’m the committee chair and I can’t find anyone better than me? I bet no one in the district wants someone from Buncombe running. Surely Jeff Hunt wasn’t thinking Cheney when he talked to us.

  4. Arratik says:

    FWIW, Ashvegas is predicting that Taylor will run again.


  5. Gordon Smith says:

    Even if he announces, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a primary challenger (in addition to John Armor) jump in as an alternative to disgrace.

    This is the kind of ad I’ll enjoy seeing more of:

  6. Arratik says:

    Not only that, but even a Republican primary challenger could launch a “Two Charles Taylors” ad blitz, highlighting his proclivity toward yammering about fiscal responsibility while securing wasteful pork projects to NC-11.

    As for me, I’d love to see this kind of thing REALLY take off during the next season.

  7. Drama Queen says:

    This is all too too funny. He’s going to screw them either way.

  8. Gordon Smith says:

    Punk’d indeed. Taylor’s going to hold the Republican Party hostage until he’s damn good and ready to let them go. Maybe some sort of ransom needs to be paid?

  9. So who is really Kaiser Soeze, Charlie or Mumpower?

  10. DaLoneGoose says:

    >Never underestimate the power of the phrase OPEN AIR DRUG MARKET!!!

    … not to mention DRACONIAN SOCIALIST AGENDA and IMMIGRANT TAKEOVER of the creepy self-entitled, double-chinned white man club.

  11. I can just hear Crackpot Carl now complaining that Taylor has “kidnapped the electoral process” as he looks out from behind those little glasses with his Deputy Dog face on.

  12. Senator No says:

    If he’s not in, he’s not in. They’re only being held “hostage” because they are letting themselves be. If another candidate wants to run, he has to declare, and then make it to the primary.

    They just want him to run because he has name recoginition and money. They’d look silly if they started endorsing another candidate, and then Taylor jumped into the race. They’re just being impatient.

    If anyting, Taylor’s being the smart one. Look at how many issues there are on the table that will change within the next six months.

    Iraq: there’s the report and the fact that Levin, Clinton, and Baird have admitted to progress being. Baird said he’s not even voting for timetables anymore.

    Economy: Where is the most visible indicator, the stock market, going to go?

    Afghanistan: Will it solve itself, or will they stay tribal poppy farmers who don’t really care about central governments. What if Bid Laden is found?

    What if Huckabee gets the nomination. The grapevine says Taylor hosted Huckabee at his house, and that could carry good will for Taylor from Huckabee, and Huckabee could visit the district to help campaign for Taylor, a huge plus. That has to play out.

    Will Taylor retain his seniority status, or will he be treated like a freshman? If he goes back to D.C. victorious, but he’s treated as a frosh, people will have high expectations of him on which he won’t have the old structure base he used to in which to deliver.

    The DNCC is not dumb, and they realize that Shuler is a frosh, and the seat used to be held by the GOP for a long while. They’re going to pour their resources to in this district to try and keep it. If any candidate declares now, they will have to have lots of money. Shuler has a hefty sum of cash, and we’re not even into primary season yet. He would be able to simply outspend any opponent at this point.

    If Taylor seriously wants to run, he’s being smart watching the issues play out and not getting into a spending war 14 months before an election.

  13. Senator No says:

    Let me clarify, I meant to say that if any candidate declares now, they will have to have lots of money to keep up with what Shuler already has in the bank. The RNCC still has considerable debt, and may not be available to provide much help to many canadidates.

  14. Huckleberry Huckabee has about as much of a chance as a pig in a poke!

  15. Arratik says:

    I’m not sure if there’s anything in the House rules that explicitly states whether a re-elected Representative will automatically be treated like a Freshman – I’m guessing that it depends on who the “party in power” is at the time.

  16. Senator No says:

    For greenasheville:

    There was another Gov. of Arkansas who everyone ruled out back in ’92. Clinton something or other, I forget exactly.

    The Huckabee scenario could play out in several roles. 1)He could win. Unlikely, but he still could. 2)VP nod as the southern-social conservative to appease the base. 3)He could just wind up being famous and go help campaign. 4)The man won two state wide races to win governor, and Senator Mark Pryor faces re-election this year. Pryor is from Arkansas, and is not in Huckabee’s party.

  17. Huckleberry Huckabee is no Bill Clinton! But he is the only low rent GOP candidate who would stump for the lump! One hand washes the other…

  18. Arratik says:

    But he is the only low rent GOP candidate who would stump for the lump!

    That’s not necessarily true, greenasheville. It all depends on your own definition of “low-rent”. As you may recall, Taylor hosted a sham town hall meeting on immigration reform last September featuring special guest Tom Tancredo, and Duncan Hunter was the keynote speaker at his annual holiday dinner not too long after his defeat. (Is Duncan Hunter still even in the race?)

    We’ve covered those two events – use the search function on the top of the left sidebar and you’ll find them

  19. I was not aware that Chainsaw Charlie has been courting other low rent GOP candidates. My bad. I still want to see him have Giuliani down here for the Coon Dog Day festival next year! Or how about McCain in the tacky Apple Festival Parade in H’ville next month? Mitt Romney at the tractor pull at the fair or the next Land of the Sky gun show?

  20. I believe Tommy “can you hear me” Thompson is the only GOP candidate to go belly up so far.

  21. Gordon Smith says:


    Actually, he is holding them hostage. District Attorney Jeff Hunt has said he’d like to run but will wait for Taylor’s decision. Hunt has been a part of Taylor’s campaigns for years.

    If Taylor chooses not to run but doesn’t announce until January, any challenger will be at a serious fundraising deficit. Shuler’s already raised over half a million dollars.

    I hear you about waiting to see what the political landscape looks like, but when the entire party was dependent on Taylor’s largesse, you’ll have to understand that they look to him like a Boss.

  22. Senator No says:


    While I agree that Taylor is a large shadow overcasting the race, and the likely nomination for the party to be the challenger, it is ultimately not up to Taylor. The decision has to be made by people wanting to enter the race. Do you want the mindset of your potential Congressperson to be “I can do it if they let me and no one stands in my way”? Won’t work well when you have 434 other business partners.

    It is ultimately up the R’s of the 11th district to decide who they want to be their challenger. This is why we have primaries. Taylor’s not a party boss. Unlikely, but he could lose the primary challenge if he even decides to enter the race.

    In Cherryville, there’s a waiting list of “elders”, if you will, who want to take turns being Congressmen. McHenry didn’t listen to them, went against the political heavy grain, and now he has a fan club on this website.

    Let’s just pretend that Brad Daughtery has an interest in politics and is an R. We wouldn’t be having this same discussion of Taylor holding the party hostage. I think we owe that to any challenger, that should they choose to enter the race, that they have the credibility and ability that Daughtery would have given the chance, and could win in a primary. The Hendersonville group is just one small part, and hardly controls the rest of the 11th. The point of this rant is to suggest that if people are waiting to enter the race based solely on whether other people run or not, I would be dissapointed in them from the start. Our “leaders” should not be beholden to anyone else.

    If Hunt has been close to Taylor, one would assume Hunt has a notion of what Taylor will do.

    I also disagree with you on the date of entry. There were several candidates in Florida a few years ago who jumped in a year before the race, and had their money bled out of them before May. They had to drop out. The Shuler – Taylor race didn’t really get started until well into 2006. Shuler would still have a campaign strategy in place, I don’t think starting a long drawn out race against Shuler would be the best strategy.

    I would wait until Feb, when he’s back in D.C. as opposed to Jan. when he is still touring the district full time. Maybe even coordinate an announcement at the Lincoln Day Dinners while you have room fulls of GOP members there. I think Hendersonville is just jumpy, I think Taylor still has time; and his time shouldn’t affect anyone else’s decision.

  23. Senator No says:

    As for greenasheville,

    I think the biggest problem the left has in politics today is the constant underestimation of candidates. They think of silly names, call them stupid, and assume everyone they know is dirt.

    In ’04, every liberal I knew claimed that voting for Kerry was as logical as evolution, and as sure as the sun came up the next day, Kerry would be president. Instead, Bush got more votes than any other president in American history.

    So, go ahead and continue with semi-creative names and the disregarding of candidates you disagree with. The GOP appreciates you.

  24. Gordon Smith says:

    “would be dissapointed in them from the start.”

    That’s right. Any of them will be a disappointment for the NC11 GOP. I hear you. The point is that they won’t jump in without Taylor’s say-so.

    Another piece is this. You’re talking about starting a campaign around February. That’s all fine and good. But the challenger ought to start raising money long before that. Unless it’s Taylor, of course, because he can bankroll his own game.

  25. Gordon Smith says:

    And, Senator, if every liberal you knew said that, you need to meet some more people. Come on down to Asheville. We’re a heapin’ helpin’ of liberals without a Kerry admirer among ’em.

  26. rip says:

    “I think the biggest problem the left has in politics today is the constant underestimation of candidates. They think of silly names, call them stupid, and assume everyone they know is dirt.”

    Is that how the “conservatives” kept from being completely obliterated in ’06?

  27. Drama Queen says:

    Taylor obviously wants to let the 527s attack Heath as long as possible.

    And I bet Patrick McHenry would stump for the lump. (And yeah, the name-calling really seem to have any good purpose but it makes us happy.)

  28. Gordon Smith says:

    Well Charles Taylor earned his nicknames through the sweat of his brow own activity and inactivity.

    Chainsaw Charlie a.k.a The Lump


    For me It’s less about disagreeing with Taylor on substantive policy points. It’s more about having a corrupt Congressman.

    His voting record is abysmal as well, but it’s secondary to his deficits in character. Just type his name into the search bar on the top of the left sidebar and you’ll find a long history of the particulars.

  29. Senator No says:

    I’ll hold out hope someone will just jump in the fray and do a good job. Time will tell.

    I think that DQ makes a good point, this day and age you can let 527’s villify an opponent without an official candidate. When you have declared, you are subject to reporting all of the fundraising. More people are apt to fund raise behind the scenes and let others do the work. How much money is there to be raised in WNC? If you can’t summon a lot of money, it’s good to come in low and fast in the end. If you can raise a lot of money, then I agree with you, get in the race early because you need to fundraise.

    As for rip,

    Case in point.

    The dems are one “mukakah” away from not controlling the senate, and while they did win 30 seats in the House, the GOP won 50+ in 1994. By comparison, I would hardly say that is obliteration. Several of those seats were won in GOP strongholds, which is credit to the democrat campaign machine, but that means those seats are also hard to be defended. But if you think that success is winning one midterm election every 12 years, I’ll be glad to give that to you, every time.

    Not to mention some of the new crew are pretty pro-life, and pro-gun. Resounding liberal success reeks all over.

  30. Arratik says:

    I’ll hold out hope someone will just jump in the fray and do a good job. Time will tell.

    Some of us lefties are waiting for the same thing, Senator.

  31. Asheman says:

    I think folks are underestimating Huckabee. He has a compelling personal story, he thinks faster on his feet than all the other candidates combined, and he doesn’t come across as an angry wing-nut conservative (except for the bit about not believing in evolution).

    And he’s been on Colbert a few times. I will be voting Democrat in 08, but he is a likable and impressive guy.

  32. Philnc says:

    This whole issue is SO Republican! Get in lockstep with the Fuehrer or be kicked out of the Party. I left the Party after 40 years when they got in bed with the bigoted, hypocritical fundamentalists.

    Are Republicans still so afraid of losing an election they won’t allow and open Primary Election?

  33. senator no:

    Lighten up man! do you have no sense of humor?

  34. life would be oh so boring without comedy! (and music)

  35. as far as the left thinking of silly names goes – what about Bill the Thrill, Slick Willie etc., etc. that we had to hear for 8 years!?

  36. Gordon Smith says:

    And don’t even start on all the variants of Hillary…

  37. Gordon Smith says:

    Republicans are pissed.

    ““I think Taylor has insulted this party,” Jones said. “He’s dragging us down. Now it’s time for us to look out for our party and move on.”

    But Larry Ford, Taylor’s former field representative for Henderson County, said it would be wrong to reprimand Taylor in public.”
    “State Sen. Tom Apodaca, of Hendersonville, said he was disappointed in Taylor’s response. Apodaca is considering seeking the Republican nomination for Taylor’s former seat.

    “I would have liked to have heard a little more on where he is and what his thought process is at this time,” he said. “I think in all fairness we need a decision sooner rather than later from Congressman Taylor.”

    District Attorney Jeff Hunt, who also has said he is considering a run for Congress, said Taylor may be considering a Labor Day announcement.”

    Taylor lover and all-too-frequent political “expert” for the AC-T begins Taylor’s campaign for him: “Sabo said first-term incumbents including Shuler are the most vulnerable candidates, and he believes Taylor would win a rematch.”

    Why in God’s name does Sabo think this? It’s just as we saw during the last election campaign – he thinks everything that happens is a plus for Taylor. It’s really very sad. How can he continue to be so wrong and still get his “expert” credit?

    There are also some folks in the article who think it’s no big deal. Go read it.

  38. Arratik says:

    Believe it or not, I’ve been looking forward to reading one of Sabo’s conveniently soundbite-sized ritual kissings of Taylor’s glorious, pasty, corrupt, white Republican butt.

  39. Senator No says:

    Sorry greenasheville, I didn’t pick up on your joke in the text. First rule of life, always entertain yourself, even if at the expense of others.

    Interesting comments from Sabato.

  40. Drama Queen says:

    Sabo said that WNCNN targeting was faulty. Can you imagine some one so stupid as to think we had actually done any targeting?

    FYI, Senator No: Sabo is UNCA prof who doesn’t sem to know crap but is always being quoted in WNC traditional media outlets.

    Larry Sabato is a nationally-known political scholar out of UVa (my alma mater and he was well known and respected even way back then before flush toilets were invented).

  41. Arratik says:

    I wouldn’t go as far as calling Bill Sabo “stupid” – maybe just a little unprepared for the changing status quo and the role of so-called “Web 2.0” applications such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, etc. in the political landscape. Chances are that he may not make that kind of call again. He did say that WNCNN’s targeting was faulty, true (which was kind of dumb now that I think about it – our target audience was obviously NC-11), but I’m sure he’s smart enough to admit now that there are a lot more tools available to enterprising activists than there were say two or three years ago. I’m sure this was something that Taylor ignored to his own peril as well – his internet presence during the 2006 campaign was practically non-existant, save for a crappy campaign website and a Yahoo! e-mail address. Whoopee.

    But yeah, it seems like Bill Sabo was the go-to guy whenever the AC-T needed a positive pull-quote in support of Taylor. I’ve heard rumors that he’s a tad more progressive than you’d think based on his previous track record, but on paper (and on the internets) there’s always been that perception that Sabo was/is a Taylor guy.

    And any PoliSci professor can tell you that perception equals reality in politics.

  42. Drama Queen says:

    Well, perhaps I was a tad bit vicious. I guess there’s a lot of stranger, more crudely done stuff on TV that actually has been targeted . . . Sorry, Bill. I take back the stupid remark.

    Of course, WLOS showed the video to college kids and asked them if they made voting decisions based on the information. That’s kind of strange. Like anyone who would make a voting decision based on a YouTube video would be smart enough to notice that they’re making voting decisions based YouTube videos.

  43. sen. no you really do need to lighten up!

  44. Is Huckleberry really that offensive? It’s not like I called Giuliani Giucifruit or anything!

  45. Senator No says:

    Don’t worry greenasheville,

    I haven’t been taking anything you say seriously.