The Tea Parties and Jeff Miller


After the Asheville Tea Party chose not to endorse Jeff Miller, there was much gnashing of teeth within the NC11 Republican Party. The AVL Tea Folk had all their chips on Dan Eichenbaum, and when he narrowly lost the primary they chose not to endorse Miller.

In response to this perceived slight, some Glenn Beck Republicans got together and formed their own Tea Party group. The newly minted Tea Party WNC, founded by a 9-12‘er, says it’s a state level PAC and won’t be involved with the Congressional race. However, this quote from Erika Franzi in the Asheville Daily Planet indicates much suspicion:

As for TPWNC, “It’s as if this thing sprang out of nowhere,” [Tim] Peck said.

Agreeing with Peck’s assessment, [Erika] Franzi continued, “I have first-hand information they’ve been working with the Miller campaign.”

Peck asserted, “This is a way to subvert criticism around the Miller campaign to give him the Tea Party support” they covet so much.

This video makes it look like the AVL Tea PAC endorsed Jeff Miller, but they didn’t. It’s a Republican videographer trying to make it look like they did. The same Republican asks if AVL Tea Party leader Erika Franzi is a liar here.

It looks like a full blown civil war has broken out among the various factions. The libertarian-leaning AVL Tea Partiers don’t like Jeff Miller’s politics. Henderson County Tea Partiers want to elect Jeff Miller and don’t like the AVL Tea Party. The TPWNC folks, who are Glenn Beck-variety conservatives, don’t like AVL Tea Party. According to Franzi, Buncombe County GOP Vice Chair Don Yelton recently attended a Freedom Works training day in Washington DC. Freedom Works purports to be a Tea Party organization. Conservative Bill Fishburne has attacked Asheville Tea Party in his Asheville Tribune.

What does it all mean? I don’t know. Miller’s not ideologically pure enough for the AVL Tea Party, so that looks like a point in his favor. He is, however, plenty pure for the Hendersonville Tea Party and the 9-12’ers who founded the Tea Party WNC, so those allies look like anchors around his neck. If I had to guess, I’d say that Miller is more partisan conservative than he is libertarian. That, however, is the guess of someone who watches these things only from afar.

What do you think it all means?


  1. John says:

    The appeal of Tea Party candidates must be like those moments in our lives when rage trumps reason.
    Remember when you hit your little brother for taking one of your toys? Seemed justified at the time. At least until Dad heard the kicking and screaming, and you soon regretted ever wanting the toy.

  2. shadmarsh says:

    It’s a circular firing squad with a platform based on nonfactual, vaguely articulated balderdash, that is easily swayed and led by charlatans and opportunistic sociopaths. Some want to remake America into some sort of Randian wet dream, others want to reinvent America as a Christian Theocratic Empire, and most don’t realize that those two dreams are, among many many other things, totally incompatible.

  3. Forrest Samuels says:

    I think this is great news for Heath Shuler. Overall it is starting to look like the best thing to come from the Tea Party may be splitting the conservative vote and getting more progressive candidates elected.

  4. Terry Smith says:

    so does this mean the Tea party folks here in WNC are left steaming over who to vote for, or is the kettle still warming up and not yet whistling over anyone. we all know that Shuler or Miller are not getting their backing so will they try and rerun as a write in Mr. Eichbaum and if so they better move fast. frankly i say if they are steamed enough and brew over this long enough just don’t vote on this race and let the leafs fall where they may.

  5. Neither the Asheville Tea Party nor the Tea Party group in general are libertarian. Or if they are, they are exceptional libertarians- they are libertarian, except for this, that, and a whole host of other issues. Basing your politics on consistent principles means you can’t treat it like a buffet; you can’t pick and choose. It is largely an all-or-nothing deal, which the tea parties do not have.

  6. CoolguyinNC says:

    After seeing the success of the Tea Party in Delaware and the Northeast last night, the tea party may be the best thing to happen to the Democratic Party.

    The Republican Party has overreached and now the reap what they sow.

    Good riddance.

  7. Fremont says:

    See copy of Print ad for ATPAC Candidates 2010 at: at the bottom of page.

    It should clear up your questions of where the Asheville Tea Party stands.

  8. CoolguyinNC says:


    I thought you and the other readers of the blog would be interested to see that even the Buncombe GOP doesn’t seem to support Jeff Miller.

    In a posting on the Buncombe GOP website they say:

    “Democrat candidate Heath Shuler was interviewed in the WLOS story and said that the BCGOP event was “the worst display of politics”, he had ever seen. Ironically, he was subsequently supported in that position by the Republican Candidate for the 11th District Congressional seat – Jeff Miller.” They went on to say, “As regards to comments by our congressional candidates, it would be our position that campaigning through uninformed criticism does not speak well to the judgment and maturity of these potential representatives.”

    Full post:

    It’s fun watching the GOP eat their own.

  9. Sara says:

    Regarding the 9/11 fundraiser by the Buncombe GOP, does anyone know if they had to pay to use a publically-funded space?

  10. John says:

    Oh yeah. I know these guys. Erica and Tim are both independents – at least now they are anyway. From my understanding – keep in mind this third hand information – Asheville TEAPAC sent out endorsement information to BOTH the Shuler camp and the Miller camp. I guess the Miller people threw a hissie fit – again, rumor – when Asheville TEAPAC didn’t fall in line with the Republican party.

    I guess this was the result. Too bad too. Erica tried real hard to make her outfit as independent as possible. I suppose it was inevitable. The general public isn’t going to take notice of the details. When someone says “TEA Party,” the image is already in their minds.

  11. Fremont says:

    Asheville Tea Party core values and goals are the promotion and preservation of individual rights, Constitutionally-limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets.

    The members come from the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and other political parties plus Independents.

    To learn more about the process The Asheville Tea Party uses and will continue to use to vet candidates they endorse visit the Independence Caucus website

    You may wish to take a test that is at, you may find it interesting.

  12. Charles Carter says:


    How many Democrats are members of the Asheville Tea Party? Your group always claims that you are a healthy mixture of Republicans, Libertarians and Democrats, yet I never see any Democrat candidates endorsed by your group, nor have I ever met a Democrat who is a Tea Party member.

  13. Fremont says:

    Mr. Carter,

    Please, read the ad at the bottom of The Asheville Tea Party encourages Shuler and Marshall along with Miller and Burr to take the ICaucus test. So far, they have not. So no endorsement.

    Are you saying there are no Democrats that believe in promotion and preservation of individual rights, Constitutionally-limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets? Or that you do not go to any Tea Party meetings to see what they are about? If, you don’t, You may find it easier for you to meet some if, you go to some of the many Tea Party meetings just in the WNC area.

  14. Erika Franzi says:


    Respectfully, you are incorrect.

    …yet I never see any Democrat candidates endorsed by your group…

    Please recall that we endorsed democrat candidate Rocky Owenby for Sheriff in the primary.

    If Heath Shuler, or any other Democrat candidate, were to take and pass our candidate assessment conducted by the Independence Caucus, we would proudly endorse him too. We are completely non-partisan.

    It would be difficult to say with any degree of accuracy how many Democrats are in the Asheville Tea Party. We do not inquire of people’s political affiliation ever. Given the prevailing public view (which you seem to share) that all Tea Partiers are rank and file GOP members, I would wager that Democrats do make up only a small percentage of our membership. But the under-representation of Democrats in our non-partisan organization is not the fault or aim of the leadership.

    How about encouraging your candidates to take our assessment? Not all of them would pass it, just as not all Republicans pass it. Some, like Miller, simply refuse to take it and then act like we snubbed him. But consider getting your guys on board. We’d love to back some of them too.

    Go Blues. 🙂


  15. Erika Franzi says:

    Interesting day to choose to stir the Tea Pot, Gordon. Not happy with yesterday’s electoral results?


    Despite the local political shenanigans which seem to give our detractors so very much pleasure, we’re still here and we’re still making an impact. And, quite frankly, we’re happy to be doing it without the support of our neighborhood theocrats and GOP clowns.

  16. Gordon Smith says:


    Thanks for coming by. You’ve always been a straight shooter, and I appreciate it.

  17. Diogenes says:

    Who said?

    [Tea Party candidates and their supporters]” tell us that they they represent America the way it used to be, self-reliant, virtuous individuals and small businesses. And the truth is, what they want to do is dismantle government so corporations, big corporations will control our destiny.”

    @ Michael Moore
    @ Bernie Sanders
    @ Bill Clinton
    @ Rachel Maddow

  18. brainshrub says:

    Erika: I’m thrilled Delaware Republicans nominated Christine O’Donnell – an anti-masturbation candidate who believes her enemies hide in her shrubbery.

    I offer a hearty, sincere, congratulations.

    – pvh

  19. nathan ramsey says:

    Many in the Tea Party are populists, they oppose TARP, aide to corporations like GM and Chrysler, oppose many of our free trade agreements, and many feel big government and big corporations have created many of the problems we face so to say they would be pawns to big corporations is just plain wrong. Actually, to hear some, there is some widespread agreement with those on the far left on certain issues.

    I disagree with them on certain issues but unforunately, many paint the “Tea Party” groups with a broad brush when on further inspection, its a little more complicated than the national media would like to portray. All of us should salute regular people who get involved and devote their time and energies to bring change to government regardless of their ideology.

  20. Dixiegirlz says:

    “All of us should salute regular people who get involved and devote their time and energies to bring change to government regardless of their ideology.”

    Word on that Mr. Ramsey!!!

    Now…why is Tim Peck banned from posting here?????

  21. Anne says:

    @ Fremont;”…Asheville Tea Party core values and goals are the promotion and preservation of individual rights..”

    Let me guess, except a woman’s right to determine her own medical choices?

    and “fiscal responsibility”???

    I’d wager that 98% of TeaParty-ers voted for Bush-Cheney, the administration that presided over a $2.5 TRILLION dollar increase in public debt. So now they’ve seen the light? And expect to be taken seriously? heh…

  22. nathan ramsey says:

    Just saw the first negative tv ad of the NC 11 congressional race. Surprisingly, it is being run by our congressman who has a huge funding advantage, $1.5M in the bank and who in the last several months his reps have said their internal polls show them with a big lead. Politicians with a big lead do not strike first with negative ads.

  23. Matt says:

    Those videos were taken/posted back when the ATP was still pretending they’d give all the candidates a fair chance.

    I’ve noticed that most of ATP leader’s recent blog posts are attacking the local GOP, freting over who’s the leader of the party or simply getting in a few jabs.

    If there were a Democrat involved in the ATP you’d know it. They’d make a big fuss over the person to illustrate how non=partisian they are–like they do when a minority person attends a tea party event.

    I think ATP’s time has come and gone… they’re less important than they would like you to believe.

    Dixiegirlz: Tim Peck doesn’t need to post here–Franzi is posting. Ever notice on other blogs how often Peck’s quotes are Franzi’s?

    What a fun post Gordon– I’m still laughing over the Dr.Dan/Franzi/Peck video that was posted here a while back., don’t get to cocky–remember your little c

  24. Dixiegirlz says:

    “Dixiegirlz: Tim Peck doesn’t need to post here–Franzi is posting. Ever notice on other blogs how often Peck’s quotes are Franzi’s?”

    Oh, had no idea there was a “proxy” system in practice here, whereby one person speaks for others……who knew?????

  25. Tim Peck violated our comments policy by engaging in a form of spamming known as comment flooding. Until he apologizes to the contributors and readers of Scrutiny Hooligans, he will continue to be banned. But, because John Galt said that he owes nothing to his brothers, I’m guessing that we’ll never see his smiling Gravatar again.

    It’s ironic, really, that a blogger who disallows commenting on his own blog would act like such a grade-A spammer jerk on ours.

  26. John says:

    Yeah, Tim. He once said that co-ops are immoral because they didn’t make a profit. I’m still not sure what that means…

  27. Fremont says:

    Anne states: Let me guess, except a woman’s right to determine her own medical choices?

    Fremont asks: would it not be better for a discussion to ask a person or want a groups platform is instead of guessing?

    Anne states: “fiscal responsibility”???

    I’d wager that 98% of TeaParty-ers voted for Bush-Cheney, the administration that presided over a $2.5 TRILLION dollar increase in public debt. So now they’ve seen the light? And expect to be taken seriously? heh…

    Fremont answers: Please, Anne remember that the Democratic House held the purse strings the last two years of the Bush-Cheney era. That is where ALL bills for raising Revenue originate. If, they really did not wish to spend the money just do not fund it. But, they did. Also, look at ALL of the bills passed since Obama and the Democrats have held both the House and the Senate. What is it now over $113 trillion? Are the blinders on?

    You want fiscal responsibility read the following bill I propose and then push it to both parties in the House and Senate.

    Flat Tax Plan of 2010 proposed by Fremont V. Brown III


    5% tax on every individual of their taxable earned income.

    Taxable earned income would be considered income earned and earned income would be considered wages, salaries, or professional fees received from sources within the United States for personal services actually rendered.

    Business, Corporate or Trades

    5% on every person engaged in a business activity located in the United States on business taxable income of such person on the taxpayer’s share of the net profits of such business, corporation or trade, shall be considered as earned income. Net profit is income from sales or services minus standard business expensive.

    The present U.S. Income Tax act would be completely repealed.

    Also, the following taxes and programs in placed now would be completely repealed: Estate Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Dividend Taxes, Payroll Taxes, Taxes on Social Security payments to retirees, Unemployment Taxes, all Welfare and Foreign Aid programs.

    Social Security would be phased out. People would become responsible for their own retirement programs.

    Also, all tax-exempt organizations and non-profits would no longer be exempt from income taxes.

    Included in the above Act is the following, Congress would add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that Senate and Representatives could not spend more then 80% of the income taxes received for the previous year. Also, included would be a law that the 20% balance of the taxes collected the year before MUST be used to pay down the debt till it is paid off. Once the debt is paid in full, the 20% then could be used as the above 80%. NO NEW DEBT EVER ONCE ALL DEBT IS PAID OFF.

    The 16th Amendment which states: The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census and enumeration. A new amendment replacing the 16th will need to read: The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census and enumeration. At a rate no higher then 5% for individuals, corporations and trades.

    Reasons and benefits to the Flat Tax Plan of 2010 proposed by Fremont V. Brown III

    By repealing the Estate Tax, which steals the American Dream of someone building a foundation for their family to grow and prosper. And by repealing the Capital Gains Tax and Dividend Tax will cause more investment in companies and they will build and invest and in the process create jobs.

    The Flat Tax would draw businesses that left the US back as the Corporate Tax would be about 34% less then it is now. Also, it should bring new businesses to the US as our Corporate Tax would be much lower then many other countries.

    Once Unemployment Taxes are repealed and the income to the Government increases due to the lower income tax rate, retraining programs could be started. But, if the education system was changed at the local level to say something like: First through sixth grade the teachers must teach the students the BASICS like math, speaking, spelling, reading and writing. Teach math without calculators. Teach the student what type questions to ask themselves to reason out the answers for themselves. Teach US history with solid knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, plus world history and geography are a must. Then starting in 7th grade the courses change to three hours a day for courses to prepare the student for college. One hour a day for a course called LIFE. This course would teach the student EVERYTHING they need to know once they begin life after 12th grade. Like cooking, washing the clothes, balance the checkbook, understanding the interest rates on loans, how to do a budget and stick to it, etc. Then four hours of vocation/trade skills. These courses would teach skills to be a plumber, carpenter, chef, landscaper, auto mechanic, dental tech, nursing, etc. The courses would also include management, purchasing, accounting and all of the skills needed to run a business. At the end of the courses the instructors would or would not issue a certificate that guarantees the employer that the student can do the job without supervision and correctly. The student could in many cases finish school with three to six skills. I am pretty sure the drop out rate would be much lower then it is now. And the students would be more prepared to start life on their own. And if, they loose a job will not need any retraining.

    The Flat Tax would take less time and money to prepare at the end of the year. For Individuals, the tax return would be the size of a 3″ x 5″ index card. For Business, Corporations or the Trades the tax return would be the size of a 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. It would, also greatly reduce the size of the IRS. As the tax returns would be much smaller and less complex, there would be much less for them to do.

    Flat Tax would be a job creator as with more money left in the taxpayer and businesses pockets, they will have more money to spend and save. To spend on hobbies, vacations, fixing things around the house, buying a second home, etc.

    Flat Tax would also, create lower prices as less taxes means less cost added into the products and services which equals lower wholesale, distributor and retail prices. The cost of living goes down. Even more money left in the taxpayers pockets.

    Something to think about: Everyone should support their country, as their country should treat all of its citizens equally. As all men are created equal, everyone should pay the same percentage.

    It is a proven fact that lower tax rates increase revenue to the taxing agency, because people have more money in their pocket to spend on investments, goods, and savings, etc. This creates more jobs and growth.

    Higher taxes give people reasons to not report or under report income or to earn less income. Higher taxes are one of the reasons for lower productivity and lower living standards of the people. Along with to much government regulation. It is also the cause of less money for research and development expenditures. It removes money from the private sector. The private sector is where wealth is created. The Government sector does not create wealth. The larger the government the more it takes from the people and produces nothing, but overhead (expenses) in return.

    According to the Tax Briefing Book by the National Center for Policy Analysis, the growth-maximizing tax rate (the rate at which increased taxes and spending cease to increase economic growth and begin to decrease it.) for federal, state and local taxes combined is between 21.5% and 22.9 percent of GNP. The taxes as a share of GNP have not been at the optimal since 1949. If, the rate had stayed the same as in 1949 every American family would be roughly $100,000 wealthier today, on the average.

    Also, stated is that if, the nation’s total tax had remained at 22.9% of GNP, the US would have collected $11.6 trillion more in tax. Today the GNP is about 63.6%. According to Jose Pinera of the CATO Institute we are 100 Trillion in debt, because of entitlements and government spending, and spending just keeps going on and on increasing the debt. We must stop the out of control spending.

    It has been stated that a flat tax rate under 14% would put more of the burden then now on the “rich”. So, for those that wish the rich to shoulder more of the burden then the poor, you get your wish.

    Video about the US Tax Code:

    The Onerous Compliance Cost of the Internal Revenue Code

    Links to other sites you may find of interest and that support the above:Center For Freedom and Prosperity

    The Global Flat Tax Revolution

    Lower Taxes, Greater Growth

    Capital Markets: The Importance of Lower Taxes

    A Brief Guide to the Flat Tax by Daniel J. Mitchell, Ph.D., July 7, 2005

    Microsoft Warns Of Tax Law Consequences

    Hong Kong Tax: A Beginners Guide, Hong Kong Tax the Basic Facts, By Rory Boland, Guide

    Tax Briefing Book, Edited by Joe Barnett, National Center for Policy Analysis

    Flat Tax, National Center for Policy Analysis

    Do Taxes Affect Economic Growth?

    The Flat Tax By Robert E. Hall and Alvin Rabushka, senior fellows at the Hoover Institution Tax Reform Websites:Americans for Tax Reform

    BrookingsValue-Added Taxes: Lessons Learned from Other Countries on Compliance Risks, Administrative Costs, Compliance Burden, and Transition

    Tax Reform Information

  28. Fremont says:

    comment deleted for multiple violations: off topic posting, comment spamming, borderline sock-puppetry.

    and the above comment is cutting it pretty close,


  29. Fremont says:

    comment deleted for multiple violations

  30. Fremont says:

    comment deleted for multiple violations

  31. Dixiegirlz says:

    “Tim Peck violated our comments policy by engaging in a form of spamming known as comment flooding. Until he apologizes to the contributors and readers of Scrutiny Hooligans, he will continue to be banned.”

    I saw Mr. Peck’s version of what transpired and his apology.

    What’s he supposed to do, self-flaggelate with a cat-o-nine tails, in Pack Square till no more flesh is on his back?

    Earlier this year there were discussions about other affiliates coming here to voice opinions (but there was hot comment about the level of literacy that was expected)….Mr. Peck always writes articulately and well, though he tends toward a different mindset.

  32. Fremont says:

    I understand the three removals.

    But, do not understand the “and the above comment is cutting it pretty close… Shad”

    Please, explain.


  33. shadmarsh says:

    It’s really really long and has multiple links, which is fine, but it’s just not very reader friendly and is, essentially, a blogpost on its own.

  34. Fremont says:

    Got it.


  35. Matt says:

    I realized that I accidentally deleted part of my earlier post when submitting it…
    I’ll try again…

    Just because the “conservatives” are biting and kicking each other, don’t get to cocky. Remember that on election day no matter what they call themselves (Carolina Thunder, Tea Stompers or Ashville Tea Pigs or Human-Elephant Hybrids) they are going to vote for Miller just because he is Republican.