AshevilleGovernmentLetters to the editor

Bothwell too ‘crazy’ for higher office


By Charles Parker –

“Cecil Bothwell announced that he will run for reelection to the Asheville City Council.” That’s the way Asheville Councilman Cecil Bothwell announced to the world last week that he would run again.

Why, is he running again? Bothwell released this statement as to why he is running again:

“My goal in serving our community during my first term was to faithfully represent the citizens of this city. I think I’ve done that these past four years, and I’m willing to devote another four years to this effort.

“During my first term on council, I have consistently been a leading voice for a greener Asheville. From single-stream recycling (the big blue curbside bins) to building and light efficiency, the measures we have enacted have cut waste, saved money and reduced the city’s carbon footprint.

“When reelected, I will continue to work on behalf of all the citizens of our magnificent mountain city. I will persevere in my stand on sustainability as well as on equal rights for all our citizens, retaining control of our city water system, support of local businesses and public financing of local elections.”

According to the press release “Bothwell was elected to a four-year term on the Asheville City Council in 2009. In 2012, he ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District.”

Now isn’t that the real reason that Bothwell is running for re-election? Not for the nonsense that he released in his media attention getting propaganda, but because he was unable to get elected to Congress. Really, if he had been elected to Congress there would have been no press release talking about his re-election to the Asheville City Council; he would be up in Washington spreading his brand of “crazy” across the nation instead of just in Asheville.

What kind of “crazy”? Oh, the kind that tries to stop gun shows at the WNC Ag Center when such a proposal doesn’t have a chance of being enforced since state law prohibits gun shows from being treated any different than other trade shows. Bothwell would defend his position by saying, “We’re not treating gun shows any different. We don’t allow guns at other trades shows, and so we shouldn’t allow them at gun shows either.”

Hence, Bothwell’s “crazy.” It’s a special kind of crazy that says to others, something is not quite right about this statement. Of course not! The law means that if you’re going to allow boats at boat shows or baseball cards at baseball card shows or food at food shows, then you have got to allow guns at gun shows.

However, that’s not Bothwell’s only “crazy.” It also extends to his support of a camping permit for the Occupy Asheville group, his lone vote against the US Cellular naming of the civic center deal, his name calling instead of dialogging or his emails showing his contempt of fellow board members; it really doesn’t matter. If you just look at his record the “crazy” shows.

Oh, sure, Bothwell has his moments of clarity, like moving to boost support for local banks by moving the city’s money, his calling for the firing of the Asheville’s ABC Board and his stand against corporate person hood. And he’s a great community organizer (but now that we see that other community organizer in the White House, well…), but those are bright spots that are too few and far between for Bothwell to be elected to any high offices.

No. Bothwell’s brand of “crazy” is just too crazy for most, but just the right kind of “crazy” for the City of Asheville, where it doesn’t get a second notice from most.

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