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UPDATED: Ashvegas Politcal Hit List Extra: Turner files formal complaints against Moffitt

| March 13, 2014 | Comments (29)

Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.UPDATE March 14: Brian Turner says he has filed complaints with the N.C. State Ethics Board and the N.C. Board of Elections. He declined to provide a copy of the complaints and declined to answer questions about them.

Complaints filed with the ethics board are generally confidential unless, in the case of a public official, there is a hearing. Hearings are open, and all records related to the hearing become open records after the hearing. I’m checking on whether complaints filed with the elections board are public.

WLOS posted a copy of the Board of Elections complaint that Turner filed against Moffitt.

ORIGINAL POST March 13, 20:23: Brian Turner, the Democratic challenger to Republican N.C. Rep. Tim Moffitt in Buncombe County’s House District 116 contest, said Thursday night that he’ll file formal complaints against Moffitt in the wake of growing scandal over a conversation the two had last month.

On Monday, Ashvegas reported details of last month’s conversation between Turner and Moffitt, a meeting brokered by Republican Buncombe County Commissioner David King, who was also present at the meeting. Turner said Moffitt asked him to withdraw from the race. Turner said he declined.

In follow-up stories by other media outlets this week, Turner said Moffitt told him he wanted to focus on a run for speaker of the N.C. House and didn’t want to be distracted by a contest at home. Moffitt went on to suggest that Turner serve the state in another capacity, such as head of UNC TV, and suggested that UNC TV headquarters could be moved to Asheville, though that would require a vote by a separate state board, according to Turner. Moffitt also warned Turner that third party groups would be out to ruin his reputation, Turner said.

Earlier in the week, Turner said he met with state Board of Elections officials, his staff and outside counsel and decided not to file a formal complaint. Turner said he didn’t want to get bogged down in a “he said-he said” battle.

But after the crush of media attention, Turner told Ashvegas Thursday night that he’d changed his mind.

“David and Tim came forward with their statements, and I think it’s one thing to talk to the media and tell your version, and I think it’s another thing to submit in a sworn affidavit what was said,” Turner said.

“I feel very comfortable and confident in submitting that statement,” Turner added.

Turner declined to comment on statements he’d read and heard from other media outlets.

Turner said he plans to file complaints with both the state Board of Elections and the N.C. State Ethics Commission.

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Category: Asheville News, Asheville politics

About Jason Sandford: Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville. View author profile.

Comments (29)

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  1. Jim says:

    Ooh look, the witchhunt for Moffit who “stole” Asheville’s water and “stole” Asheville’s ability to annex and who owns a Hummer. But the sinkhole developing on my street because of months of water leaking due to neglect where monies supposed to be used for infrastructure are “given” , nee actually STOLEN, for purposes that go to CRONIES of people in local government are ignored. But that’s OK since Asheville can’t annex, nee STEAL, from property owners outside if its own border to “fix” things, actually handout more money to the cronies, they’ll just raise property taxes even though they lied when they said they didn’t for years. But they won’t tell you is that those taxes remained the same even though the market popped and the values dropped. But let’s go after Moffit and turn a bind eye to our progressive friends locally.

  2. The thing that’s going to hang Rep. Moffitt:

    ‘Oh sure, I was just flattering him to think that he could become the Executive Director of UNC-TV, I didn’t offer him the job or anything…’

    But then he mentioned somehow moving the UNC-TV headquarters to Asheville. David King confirmed that he said this.

    That took it out of the theoretic, ‘maybe you might do this with your life instead’ realm, and put it solidly into the ‘I’m an elected official with influence, and I can make this happen for you’ realm.

    “Mr. King, could you raise your right hand and put your left hand on the Bible…”

  3. Tim Peck says:

    Does anyone know the difference between slander and libel? I can’t remember. And are there monetary damages involved?

    • luther blissett says:

      Oh, Mouthpiece, Sullivan v. New York Times sets a pretty high bar for defamation when talking about public figures.

      And isn’t it funny how Mr Libertarian isn’t so big on the First Amendment when he shows up on behalf of his lord and master?

      • chris says:

        If I’ve learned one thing about Libertarians, it’s that they’re chock full of love for the Constitution, but they’ll drop it the moment it causes them the slightest inconvenience.

  4. Atticus Finch says:

    The fact is, David King vouched for the details of the conversation between Moffitt and Turner, as reported by Turner, but says that Turner misinterpreted the meaning of what Moffitt said. King didn’t say that Moffitt was just “joking.”

  5. Brian Turner’s complaint, just filed today at the Board of Elections in Raleigh:

    http://wlos.com/images/Turner%20vs%20Moffitt.pdf

    • And here’s a new wrinkle we hadn’t heard before: “You wearing a wire?”

      Insisting that Turner leave his phone somewhere else – that’s not a sign that Rep. Moffitt knew there were bad things to come, is it?

  6. Excerpt from an editorial in the Greensboro News & Record:

    “I imagine what people believe will depend on their political point of view. Turner said he’s going to file a complaint with the State Board of Elections. If it wants to investigate, it can compel testimony under oath.

    “What bothers me is Moffitt’s attitude that he should be granted re-election without opposition because that would help his higher political ambitions.

    “Of course, he wouldn’t worry about Turner if he thought Turner didn’t have a chance to win. So he doesn’t want to give voters a choice.

    “How hard would he press Turner to get out of the way? Why, not hard at all, he insists. He just offered some friendly suggestions about what would be best for Turner and his family.

    “On the other hand, I doubt Moffitt could make Turner the chief at UNC-TV or the queen of Spain. But maybe the question is whether Turner would believe he could. If he withdrew (their conversation occurred before the filing deadline), and then found out he’d been double-crossed, it would be too late to get back into the race.

    “As far as the negative campaigning, well, I guess that’s on now.”

    http://tinyurl.com/kbkg2da

    And let’s not forget who fired the first salvo in that negative race. As we heard from David King, Rep. Moffitt believed that Turner would have no choice but to go negative to unseat an incumbent, so he apparently feels justified in a pre-emptive negative strike on Turner.

    He really is desperate, and the rest of the State is seeing that in spades today. Even if Turner did drop out tomorrow, I think Rep. Moffitt has torpedoed his own chances of ever being Speaker.

  7. They’re talking about it Raleigh,

    Morning Memo: Will push to oust opponent, push Moffitt from speaker’s race?

    http://tinyurl.com/n4jpsz7

    And in Charlotte,

    Rep. Tim Moffitt admits he asked Democratic opponent to drop out of state House race

    http://tinyurl.com/mct9fzj

    And they’re talking about it in friggin San Fransisco,

    NC House member, Democrat disagree on conversation

    http://tinyurl.com/ktftozl

    • hauntedheadnc says:

      It’s hilarious watching Tim Peck running from site to site trying to set the record “straight” about his golden boy boss.

  8. Atticus Finch says:

    Lewis Clay, the Asheville Tea Party endorsed Candidate for County Commissioner against David King R-Dist. 3, got the full “nuke” treatment from Moffitt on-line political operative Tim Peck before the ink was dry on his candidate filing papers.

    http://www.citizen-times.com/comments/article/20140310/NEWS01/303100038/Clay-out-GOP-Buncombe-commissioner-race

    I wonder if anyone met with Lewis beforehand to warn him that “this area is extremely toxic when it comes to politics,” to quote the words of Rep. Tim Moffitt R-ALEC expressing how he warned Brian Turner?

    “I let [Brian Turner] know, without a shadow of a doubt, that his desire to run a positive campaign was just not going to happen because that’s just not the way it works in the Asheville political scene,” [Moffitt] said.

    http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20140313/NEWS01/303130036/King-Here-s-my-take-Moffitt-Turner-meeting

  9. Dave says:

    Today’s GOP certainly features a host of “amazing” characters … nome sane?

  10. JML says:

    Tim Moffitt is a criminal and no friend of the people

  11. It’s statewide news now – Rep. Moffitt has admitted asking his Democratic challenger to drop out of the race. He wants to be Speaker of the House, and a pesky election back in his district might prevent that, so better try to derail that election…

    It almost doesn’t matter what other allegations are true or not – just him admitting that much is going to make people all over the state go, “Gee, I guess I understand now why those folks in Asheville are so upset with Tim Moffitt all the time…”

    • luther blissett says:

      Political legacies are all about the choices you make.

      When people eulogized Martin Nesbitt as an old-school public servant, they were perhaps thinking about the new school of political operators like Moffitt, who’ll be remembered (if he’s remembered) as an ego-driven, self-aggrandizing s**t-stirrer.

  12. Politics Watcher says:

    Why would a Democratic political novice go to a meeting with two experienced Republican professionals and not take along an experienced Democratic operative? Who are Brian Turner’s handlers? Why are they letting him crawl out on this limb alone?

    • Why would a Democratic political novice go to a meeting with two experienced Republican professionals and not take along an experienced Democratic operative?

      I suspect because he’s a decent guy, and he thought that three grown ups don’t need ‘handlers’ over ice tea, to keep things from going off the rails. He underestimated how Machiavellian Rep. Moffitt is. I doubt he’ll make the same mistake twice.

      • Heather says:

        Exactly what I was thinking, Barry. Brian Turner is such a decent guy. That’s the thing that struck me the most when I met him.

        I’ll bet he was thinking, “Well, I’ll meet my opponent in an informal setting before the race starts rather than meeting for the first time at a debate or whatnot.”

        Moffitt couldn’t just have a friendly lunch, could he?

    • One Arm Steve says:

      You have obviously never met Mr King. He is not some sort of seasoned politician. He is a naive bumpkin that Moffitt could easily manipulate to try to further his cause. I am sure Mr Turner went into this meeting knowing that fact as it is very obvious. Mr Turner is a very intelligent person and had to be mystified by Moffitts out of line offer and requests.

    • murphy says:

      An honest and intelligent individual with a true desire to represent his constituents at heart doesn’t need “handlers”…

      “handlers” like Art Pope, ALEC and others who have their hands up the Muppets ass…

      my guess is they are the “forces beyond the Muppets control” who he promised will “nuke” BT and his family.

  13. D.Dial says:

    Popcorn anyone?

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