So look who showed up to Moogfest in Asheville after all...
You'll recall, Governor Pat McCrory was dis-invited to a Moogfest panel discussion about economic development earlier in the day.
His public schedule did not include his appearance at a rooftop VIP party at the Aloft Hotel in downtown.
The dis-invitation was an embarrassment. It sent the message that people could bully an event like Moogfest into shunning a sitting Governor who is offering support because of un-related political issues.
It unnecessarily politicized the event.
Party crasher or invited guest
So, did the Governor crash the party?
He was scheduled to attend an event Thursday morning at the Grove Park Inn and a source tells me that McCrory was in contact with Mayor Esther Manheimer who suggested he attend the VIP party.
Protesters were declaring victory about an hour prior to McCrory's arrival, and it makes me wonder if they're going to feel they were deceived by organizers, if there was an invite extended to the VIP party.
Rally organizer Andrew Lafiosca said McCrory’s removal from the next door panel discussion was a “victory.”
“Because of our efforts, the governor was told to stay home,” he declared. “The reality is we can make a difference.”
The protestors, Lafiosca said, were “not against growing the economy.” But he alleged that McCrory is corrupt and that protestors didn’t want the governor to “use our city as a PR rest stop.”
From the WLOS story:
"Well I was always going to come to be on the panel," McCrory told News 13 seconds after he arrived at Asheville's Aloft hotel. "But they thought it might add to the security costs due to the protesters and I didn't want anything to disturb this event."
After local activists threatened to protest if McCrory attended the panel last week, Moog organizers asked the governor not to attend.
This prompted local political activist and objectivist Timothy Peck to offer a more positive assessment of the visit:
So, protesters declare victory - but lost.
Moogfest got caught in an unnecessary political poo squall.
Asheville comes off looking a tad childish and not-ready-for-prime-time.
All around ... not exactly an optimal launch to the re-interpreted Moogfest.
I suspect the only party that comes out of this affair looking good is .... Pat McCrory.
Kudos to the Governor for coming to the festival and giving his support - regardless of the local partisans who would cut their collectivist nose off to spite their face. Moogfest can be a great success - but it needs support from more than one side of the political aisle.
The Governor recognized that. The protesters did not.