A new political action committee is taking aim at Congressman Madison Cawthorn, established only with the goal of removing him from the U.S. House of Representatives.
Fire Madison Cawthorn launched June 7, and its “sole purpose is to raise funds to focus on the callous and child-like actions of U.S. Representative David (Madison) Cawthorn,” according to a release.
Cawthorn’s office, through an email from spokesman Micah Bock, called it “an effort to silence his voice” by “embittered liberal activists.”
David Wheeler, a two-time candidate for the NC Senate in District 47 and Col. Moe Davis, who ran against Cawthorn in 2020, formed the Super PAC, saying in the release that it’s the first time a federal PAC has been formed for the sole purpose of firing a sitting member of Congress.
“It’s a way for us to capture the sentiment around Cawthorn on a local, regional and national basis,” Wheeler said, on the decision to form a Super PAC. “We can take small-donor donations and very large donations. … It’s a way to bring that all together.”
The PAC has already raised $5,000 in one donation and is set to speak with “several other five- and six-figure potential donors” in June and July, Wheeler said, and hopes to get significant support from small donors as well.
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“Rep. Cawthorn serves as a champion of free expression, and individual liberty, so it comes as no surprise, that embittered liberal activists have been weaponized by the Democrat machine in Washington in an effort to silence his voice,” Bock said. “Congressman Cawthorn continues to fight for the values of Western North Carolina on the national stage, and he is honored to have the support of so many hard working North Carolinians in NC-11.”
The PAC plans to start buying TV ads, radio ads and billboards this fall, “pointing out some of the ludicrous things that he does and says,” Wheeler said, adding that near the top of that list is the number of votes he’s missed – more than any other freshman member.
“What is he doing in DC? I thought he was there to vote and represent all of us,” Wheeler said. “And he’s certainly not reaching across the aisle to work with any Democrats.”
But Bock said that Cawthorn was one of the first Republican freshmen Congressmen to pass legislation in the [117th] Congress and has “championed the interests of veterans across the district.
“From rural broadband reform, to rebuilding local businesses in the post-COVID economy, Rep. Cawthorn has introduced a number of powerful legislative initiatives that put Americans first,” he said.
According to the House of Representatives website, Cawthorn is the primary sponsor of 11 bills.
One of those is the Veterans Fellowship Act, which would require the Department of Labor to establish a fellowship program for veterans and give the chance for long-term employment.
Bock said the language was included in a larger package of veterans legislation.
Bock said he’s also sponsored a bill “to expand access to electromagnetic spectrum for the provision of broadband service in rural areas,” though details weren’t available on the House site June 7.
“Rep. Cawthorn continues to place the interests of his constituents over the partisan politicking of liberal special interest groups,” Bock said.
In the release, Wheeler says the PAC is determined to make Cawthorn a one-term congressman.
“Cawthorn spent two weeks on vacation in Dubai posting pictures at the pool drinking beer and showing off more skin that was appropriate in a Muslim nation while he was supposed to be working for us in DC,” he says. “What is he doing in DC besides partying? We need a fighter representing all of us in DC, not a party boy.”
In a breakdown of freshmen members missing votes by Axios, Cawthorn tops the list at missing 16.2%. In second place was Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia at 13.4%, and Wisconsin’s Tom Tiffany, at 8.5%. All three are Republicans.
“Rep. Cawthorn married the love of his life on April 3rd of 2021,” Bock said. “Due to his honeymoon, he missed House votes occurring between April 13th and April 16th.”
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Wheeler said Cawthorn is supposed to be representing the district “365 days a year, not just when you choose to,” and that he could have scheduled that trip at a time when Congress wasn’t in session.
“He’s the only employed person in Western North Carolina I know that works three months and gets two weeks off,” Wheeler said.
Davis is set to serve as the PAC’s chair of the advisory board and Wheeler as president, the release says.
“Since his first day in Congress, Madison Cawthorn has been a threat to our democracy,” Davis says in the release. “First, he peddled Trump’s big lie about the election being stolen. Then, he betrayed our country and helped incite the violent attack on our Capitol and our Constitution.”
Current Buncombe County Commissioner and Democratic candidate for Cawthorn’s seat Jasmine Beach-Ferrara also announced a new ad June 7, pointing out headlines Cawthorn’s made for taking credit for COVID-19 relief that he voted against, inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection and missing the most votes of any freshman Representative.
Derek Lacey covers health care, growth and development for the Asheville Citizen Times. Reach him at [email protected] or 828-417-4842 and find him on Twitter @DerekAVL.