Mumpower to hold town hall meeting in Columbus on August 11
The meeting will give him a chance to share his vision for the Republican Party in Western North Carolina, which he hopes will lead a &dquo;Conservative Reform Movement&dquo; for the party nationally. He also will have a chance to explain his positions on key issues, including some considered to be very controversial within his party, and to answer questions from prospective Polk voters.
Many of those Polk voters may know little more about Mumpower than the fact that he is from Asehville and he has upset some people in the Polk County Republican Party.
The Polk party&squo;s leadership voted unanimously recently to part ways with Mumpower, saying there will no longer be any coordination between the Polk GOP and Mumpower&squo;s campaign.
The division stems from a few factors, according to party officials, who raised concerns about Mumpower&squo;s criticism of fellow Republicans shifting focus from the issues of the district and his race against Shuler.
Mumpower recently criticized Republicans for approving a Farm Bill that he says was a &dquo;pork laden exercise in special interests.&dquo; He&squo;s been highly critical of excessive government spending while Republicans were in charge and what he sees as a willingness to abandon the party&squo;s core principles and trade votes.
But perhaps his most controversial comment related to President Bush. Mumpower said he would support the president&squo;s impeachment because the president has failed to uphold his oath of office by not enforcing laws against illegal immigration.
He says his comment was triggered by the president&squo;s decision to take National Guard troops off the border.
&dquo;What&squo;s been disturbing to them is my willingness to violate the 11th commandment,&dquo; says Mumpower, referring to the party&squo;s unwritten rule that Republicans should not criticize fellow party members. &dquo;There is no 11th commandment, and, in my opinion, the 11th commandment violates the first 10 commandments.
&dquo;I believe it&squo;s imperative that we challenge wrongs within our party.&dquo;
Mumpower has made it his mission to lead a reform movement aimed at restoring the values of the party and regaining the trust of voters. He briefly suspended his campaign until a majority of the parties from each county in the district signed on to his mission. Polk, Jackson and Henderson counties have been the only counties in the 15-county district to reject Mumpower&squo;s request.
&dquo;I know I&squo;m sometimes viewed as assaulting from within (the Republican party), but we&squo;re going to need a little revolution here,&dquo; says Mumpower. &dquo;If I don&squo;t have the courage to stand up to my own party&ellip; then I don&squo;t think I belong in Washington.&dquo;
Mumpower says he will continue to reach out to party officials and Polk, Henderson and Jackson counties, and to voters there through meetings such as the one on August 11. Without the support of the party to arrange such gatherings, Mumpower must do it himself.
He says he also hopes to get to each county for a debate with Shuler. If Shuler does not agree to the debates, Mumpower says he still would like to visit each county and at least debate a flip chart showing Shuler&squo;s voting record.
Mumpower acknowledges that Shuler may have some advantages in the race as the incumbent, but he&squo;s optimistic he can&bsp; still rally his party and recapture the seat. He makes it clear, however, that principles will come before winning.
&dquo;People are going to know where I stand and going to know that I will take chances and risks to fight for those principles,&dquo; he says.