NC 11th District Republican Congressional Candidate Debate


The URTV debate has been posted at their site. When I get a DVD, I’ll rip out the most interesting bits.

I got to ask four questions, including one submitted by ScruHoo reader and transpartisan geolibertarian, Tim Peck.

UPDATE: I just watched a little and realized that they edited down my first question. I reckon it was too much to hope that they’d run the thing without cutting substantive parts out. Anyway – for those who suffer through the viewing, I recite at least two more of the earmarks Shuler’s brought to our district. After the jump you can find a comprehensive list of Shuler’s earmarks.

Shuler Earmarks Received 2008

Financial Services: $564,000

$282,000 AdvantageWest (Henderson/Buncombe)

    134 Wright Brothers Way, Fletcher, NC 28732

$282,000 Rural Ventures (Raleigh, but invests in all of WNC)

    4021 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610

Interior: $8,284,710

$5,906,400 North Shore Road Settlement (Swain) (p15)

$492,200 Town of Murphy Sewer Improvements (Cherokee)

    75 Peachtree St, Murphy, NC 28906

$1,886,110 Blue Ridge Parkway

    PO Box 2136 Asheville, NC 28802

Energy and Water: $1,476,000

$826,560 for Green Energy Xchange (Yancy)

    Yancey County Courthouse, Room 11, 110 Town Square, Burnsville, NC, 28714

$354,240 for Western North Carolina Clean Energy Business Incubator (Buncombe)

    125 So. Lexington Ave. Suite 101, Asheville, NC 28801

$295,200 for App St. Biofuels and Biomass Research Initiative (Watauga – with Foxx)

    Office of the Chancellor, PO Box 32002, Boone, NC, 28607

Labor, Health and Human Services: $812,551

$191,593 Mission Hospitals for facilities and equipment (Buncombe)

    509 Biltmore Ave. Asheville, NC, 28801-4690

$263,318 Transylvania Community Hospital for facilities and equipment (Transylvania)

    1 Hospital Drive, PO Box 1116, Brevard, NC 28712

$310,479 Western North Carolina Health System for health information technology (Buncombe)

    501 Biltmore Ave. Asheville, NC 28801

$47,161 Tri-County Community College for equipment and technology (Murphy)

    2415 Airport Road, Marble, NC 28905

Transportation-HUD: $4,890,200

$1,470,000 Andrews-Murphy Airport (Cherokee)

    75 Peachtree St. Suite 112, Murphy, NC 28906

$980,000 I-40 (McDowell)

    1542 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1542

$980,000 Blue Ridge Parkway

    PO Box 2136, Asheville, NC 28802-2136

$735,000 NC 143 (Graham)

    1542 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1542

$294,000 Asheville Replacement Busses (Buncombe)

    City of Asheville, PO Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802

$196,000 Tri-County Community College (Graham)

    145 Moose Branch Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771

$98,000 UNCA Zeis Science Building buildout (Buncombe)

    CPO 1400, One University Heights, Asheville, NC 28804-8500

$137,200 Reid Center Renovation (Buncombe) (p108 added by Burr)

Commerce, Justice and Science: $987,000

$493,500 WNC Methamphetamine Enforcement

    Multiple Agency Narcotics Task Force, PO Box 148, Marble, NC 28905

$94,000 Asheville Police Department Methamphetamine Enforcement (Buncombe)

    Asheville City Police, 100 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801

$94,000 Madison Sherriff Dept Methamphetamine Enforcement (Madison)

    Madison’s Sherriff Department, 33 Bailey’s Branch Road, Marshall, NC 28753

$94,000 Communications Equipment (Swain)

    101 Mitchell Street, PO Box 2321, Bryson City, NC 28713

$211,500 Asheville Police Department Firing Range (Buncombe)

    Asheville Police Department, 100 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801


Rural Development Grants – amount tbd:

Swain County School System Expansion (Swain)

    101 Mitchell St, PO Box 2321, Bryson City, NC 28713

UNCA Zeis Science Building – Lab and research equipment (Buncombe)

    UNC Asheville Campus, CPO1400, One University Heights, Asheville, NC 28801

Yancey County Extension and Research Center (Yancey)

    Yancey County Courts, Room 11, 110 Town Sq. Burnsville, NC 28714

Cherokee Center for Applied Technology (Cherokee)
Graham County Rural Housing Program (Graham)

    Graham County Rural Development Authority, 12 No. Main St. Robbinsville, NC 28771

Defense: $5,000,000

$1,000,000 Mission Hospital Computer Physician Order Entry Initiative (Buncombe)

    509 Biltmore Ave. Asheville, NC 28801-4690

$2,000,000 Long Range Initiator DukePro (Buncombe)

    1854-A Hendersonville Rd. PMB 154, Asheville, NC 28803

$2,000,000 Lightweight Composite Armor for Blast Ballistic Protector 3Tex (Rutherford)

    3Tex Inc. 208 Laurel Hills Drive, Rutherfordton, NC 28139

Military Construction: $3,733,000

$3,733,000 for National Guard Asheville Field Maintenance Facility

    Departments of the Army and Air Force National Guard of North Carolina, Office of the State Adjutant General Attn: J5 4105 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh, NC 17607-6410

Homeland Security: $400,000

$400,000 for Davis Arena Upgrade Western North Carolina Agricultural Center (Henderson/Buncombe)

Total: $26,147,461


  1. Tom Buckner says:

    An observation: every member of Congress is generally expected to bring back more to hir district than the district pays into the federal budget. It is logically impossible for every legislator to succeed at this. Some states historically pay more in than they ever get back; others much less.
    NYT article:

    NYT article quote: “The authors calculated that New Yorkers on average paid $5,676 in federal taxes in the 1998 fiscal year. The state received $4,840 per person in federal money for everything from Social Security checks to highway construction. The difference, $836, was called the balance of payments deficit, and it made New York the 13th worst-off state. Connecticut had the highest balance of payments deficit, and New Jersey was second.”

    NY, NJ and CT, for example, pay more in than they get back. Sen. Moynihan, though complaining about the situation, admitted that “Hawaii has to have more naval bases than South Dakota.”

    A chart comparing all the states (FY 2003) can be found at the bottom of this dense page on California’s balance of payments:

    Small states and Southern states tend to come out ahead. Northeastern and Rust Belt states, and California tend to come in behind. The District of Columbia comes out farthest ahead, at $6.59 of spending in the District for every dollar sent to the federal till, but notice that most of that is getting spent in Washington and the Pentagon, not on sckool kids in the District. That’s why balance of payments doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about whether the citizens themselves will benefit from earmarks. Next is New Mexico, which gets $2 for every $1. We can safely assume that a lot of that money is going for mystery weapons getting tested in the desert, and maybe fences on the border to make Mexicans spend an extra five minutes getting in.*

    In FY 2003, North Carolina got $1.08 for each dollar, coming out slightly ahead of parity. Most of NC’s neighbors come out ahead, except Georgia (.96 for each dollar).

    Looking over the earmarks above, I find the Homeland Security item pointless, and I oppose the methamphetamine enforcement earmarks on philosophical grounds (meth and handguns should be available by prescription).
    And why does the PD need a gun range when there is a perfectly good golf course a mile away?

    *Penn and Teller have a cable tv show called Bullshit!!
    Each episode they pick a subject for evisceration; I don’t always agree with them, but their episode on illegal immigration was classic.!/immigration/episode/992851/summary.html?tag=ep_list;ep_title;5

    Penn and Teller went down to the local home-improvement big-box and hired a foreman and a crew of Hispanic men (presumably illegals) and went out into the desert. There they built three sections of wall according to the specs used for the border fence, metal over wooden poles, twelve feet high, topped with razor wire. As you may have heard, the fence will cost 30 billion or more to cover just 700 miles out of the 2100 mile Mexico border. The sections finished, night having fallen, they then divided the men into three teams of two, if memory serves. The teams were given ladders, crowbars, shovels, blankets, and some other basic tools. Each team had five minutes to climb over, tear through, or dig under its section of the wall. All three teams got through in less than five minutes.

  2. Arratik says:

    Looking over the earmarks above, I find the Homeland Security item pointless, and I oppose the methamphetamine enforcement earmarks on philosophical grounds (meth and handguns should be available by prescription).
    And why does the PD need a gun range when there is a perfectly good golf course a mile away?


  3. randallt says:

    Arratik, I think he is talking about shooting birds, as in birdies, as in one under par on a given hole.

  4. $282,000 AdvantageWest (Henderson/Buncombe)

    I thank the congressman for funneling some money to our local development agency. But I’ve had my eye on AdvantageWest for years. In my estimation, they have consistently underperformed in achieving their stated goals.

    Chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1994, AdvantageWest is a non-profit public-private partnership whose primary focus is marketing the North Carolina mountains to corporations seeking to relocate or open a new facility, expand an existing business within our region, and those who might otherwise improve the quality of life for citizens within our region through activities such as filmmaking, entrepreneurship and tourism.

    Or maybe, they’ve simply underperformed in achieving attracting good-paying manufacturing jobs to this area (to replace the thousands we’ve lost).

    I was at AdvantageWest in 2004 when the governor parachuted in to take some of the credit for Jacob Holm locating a nonwovens plant on Sandhill Rd. 70 jobs – sweet. And since then?

    Coats North America (Cherokee County): -98 jobs, 2008
    Stanley Furniture (Graham County): -450 jobs, 2007
    Western Forge (Cherokee County): -170 jobs, 2006

    1,400 jobs were lost in 13 days in Haywood, Buncombe, McDowell and Mitchell back in 2004.

    Recently, a friend who wants to start up a small CNC machine shop asked the Asheville Chamber of Commerce what help they could offer him. They offered him the door. Manufacturing, it seems, is too blue collar, and not the kind of “new economy” business they want within the city limits.

    AdvantageWest, the Asheville Chamber and local leaders need to get a clue: thousands of laid-off factory workers won’t likely land filmmaking jobs, or “new economy” jobs writing software in trendy Biltmore Ave. storefronts. Our local economy is slowly being hollowed out to where only those who don’t need work (or bring theirs with them) can afford to live here.

    Worst of all, that may not change until local moguls awaken to find a shocking shortage of waiters and housekeeping staff.

  5. Tom Buckner says:

    “Worst of all, (moguls’ attitude toward hollowing out of local economy) that may not change until local moguls awaken to find a shocking shortage of waiters and housekeeping staff.”

    Seems to me you never actually run out of waiters when cost of living becomes miserable in a region (see Cape Cod/Martha’s Vineyard, for example). You just end up with waiters likely to spit in your food (see Fight Club).

    Drove out today to Lake Lure via Rt. 9 from Black Mountain. Let me tell you, last time I was on that road, circa 1978, there were no McMansions on it! And in Lake Lure there’s a branch of Sotheby’s real estate wing. Y’know, the Sotheby’s that auctions Picassos and castles? The moguls are not envisioning an economy where anything gets manufactured here.

  6. The moguls are not envisioning an economy where anything gets manufactured here.

    You’re right, Tom. Can’t have manufacturing allowing honest, working people making enough to buy homes, raise families and send their kids to college. Factories being so unsightly and all.

    Your drive reminded of that old New Yorker cartoon with the two women on skis at the top of the slope, where one asks, “Where do the poor people ski?”

  7. Stephen Duncan says:

    Just two questions regarding Shuler’s laundry list of budget busting earmarks…. first of all, would we not be better keeping our own money here in Western North Carolina rather than sending it to the Feds, let them collect a holding fee, and then return our own money? Something he should remember the next time he votes for tax increases and other measures to collect our hard earned money….

    And… Just how many of these News Making Announcements of Funds for WNC have actually been paid and received?

  8. Gordon Smith says:


    Welcome! Thanks for dropping by.

    Which of Shuler’s earmarks would you like to see done away with?