Last Saturday, the Macon County Republican Party held their annual Convention at the Macon County Community Facilities Building in Franklin. Many Macon County notables were in attendance as well as guest speaker, United States Congressman Mark Meadows who represents the 11th District of North Carolina.
Before the guest speaker took to the podium, N.C. Senator Jim Davis (R-50) gave an energized update of what the North Carolina General Assembly has been working to accomplish in the new session. The first update he touched on was the state's rejection of the Medicaid expansion that accompanied “Obamacare” or the Affordable Healthcare Act which was greeted with applause. Davis then moved on to discuss the bill he pushed through the General Assembly, a bill allowing the possum drop to take place in Murphy, N.C. just as it has in years past to celebrate the New Year.
“That wasn't much of an effort, but it is a big deal for them,” said Davis. “It just shows that we're not going to put up with PETA suing our people for a totally innocuous event, where it’s family friendly and an alcohol free event.”
Davis concluded his comments by describing the administrative functions in Raleigh, praising Gov. Pat McCrory and his appointed cabinet.
“I had breakfast with the governor last Wednesday and I'm telling you, he is on,” said Davis. “He's got some incredibly talented people that are used to running businesses, that are treating government like a business. Aldona Wos, our Health and Human Services Secretary is working—her husband is a multi-millionaire—she doesn't need the job, but she's working for a dollar a year, 14 to 16 hours a day. We have other people. Chris Estes is the Chief Information Officer for the state. He gets half a million or more a year working for a big company, but because of his love for the state and the love for his children, he wants them to inherit a better state. He's working for the governor for $150,000 a year and he's working himself to death.”
Assuring those present that N.C. is in good hands, Davis introduced the newly elected U.S. Representative.
Meadows began the conversation by congratulating Davis and the attendees for their work back in the fall to help usher in political gains for the Republican party, namely in Western North Carolina based on the Republican dominated General Assembly's redrawing of district lines.
“The real reason we have that is because of the work that you've done year in and year out to have a Republican legislature that was able to draw fair and legal districts,” said Meadows. “Now what we've got is good representation.”
According to Meadows, for the first time ever there are offices in each county of his district as well as offices on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. The reason behind this undertaking is that the county commissioners of the district wanted their people to have access to their representative.
“They worked diligently with us to make sure that you had not only a good space, but a space you can find,” said Meadows. “Because we've worked together, we're able to have 18 offices at a cost that is 1/3 that of our other colleagues. Not only are we giving better representation, but we're doing it fiscally more efficiently better than anyone else.”
Moving on to the sequestration that recently went into effect after the U.S. Congress could not reach a deal to determine effective budget cuts, Meadows used the cancellation of White House tours as a segue to discuss the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the predicted 90- minute delays that some officials are expecting as a result of these across the board cuts that will take place as a result of the sequester. Determining that these claims were based on speculation instead of actual interviews with workers and management, he described to the crowd a new piece of legislation that is currently being crafted called the Furlough Reduction Act.
“What we found in the FAA, was that 86 employees who make more than $100,000 a year got $40,000 bonuses,” said Meadows. “One hundred twenty-seven of them got more than $10,000 bonuses. These are not people that are barely eking by. They're all making over $100k a year and so what we're going to do is put forward some legislation that says we're going to cap some of those bonuses and instead of laying off people and furloughing those people who are having a hard time, we're going to reduce those bonuses and make sure that they're no more than five percent of the base pay.”
Meadows ended his address by thanking those in attendance and assuring the crowd that there will be a continuation of hard work in Washington D.C.