Madison Cawthorn and Mark Meadows: Congressional Runners
Madison Cawthorn, the 26-year-old Republican congresswoman from western North Carolina, has racked up tickets. In March, a cop arrested him for crossing the center line in Cleveland County. As the officer discovered, Cawthorn was driving with a revoked license. Two months earlier, it had been clocked at eighty-seven in a seventy-mile-per-hour zone in Polk County. A few months earlier he had been arrested for having turned eighty-nine in Buncombe County. Cawthorn didn’t have his license with him on that ride, but a soldier let him take a mulligan for the possible misdemeanor.
“Do your best to make sure you have your driver’s license on you,” the officer said as he wrote out a speeding ticket.
“Is it something I can just walk in and pay?” Cawthorn asked. The soldier told him it was not that simple. Cawthorn faces a court date in early May, followed, a fortnight later, by a Republican primary against seven challengers, who have more than tickets to discuss on the campaign trail.
For example: Cawthorn was recently arrested, for the second time, for carrying a loaded pistol in an airport (possible misdemeanor); he was involved in a possible insider trading scheme involving a cryptocurrency meme (possible crime); and, as Politico reported last month, he once wore “women’s lingerie in a public place.” (Cawthorn tweeted that he did it while “playing on a cruise” before his election, and he invited followers to “share your most embarrassing vacation photos in the replies.”) weeks earlier, a former Cawthorn staffer had remarked, on a secretly taped phone call, that one of the congressman’s district offices has “more liquor bottles than water bottles,” and that staff members drink there “like crazy”.
A few weeks prior, in a YouTube episode of “Warrior Poet Society,” Cawthorn said co-workers he had “admired throughout my life” invited him to “a sex reunion” and made “a bump key”. of cocaine in his presence. He was answering a question about whether Congress really looked like the TV show “House of Cards.” (He called it “savage.”) He wasn’t specific about the identity of the GOP orgy invitees and the cokeheads. Corruption in Congress, Cawthorn gravely explained, “has to do with the fallen nature of man.”
Mark Meadows, who represented the Cawthorn district before becoming Donald Trump’s chief of staff, is the rare North Carolina Republican who hasn’t publicly berated Cawthorn lately. In appreciation, perhaps, Cawthorn didn’t drag Meadows for delivering text messages to the House Jan. 6 committee, or accuse Meadows of voter fraud — which he appears to have committed, in 2020, writing someone else’s mobile home address on their voter registration form. It turns out that the two conservatives from North Carolina have one thing in common beyond their indifference to the rules: a need for speed.
On June 28, 2016, a highway patrolman clocked Meadows, who was then in Congress, doing seventy-two in a fifty-five mph zone: speeding. If found guilty, he faces a license suspension. Patrolman noted the congressman’s confession in the citation’s notes: “DEF SAID HE WAS SORRY FOR GIVING A SPEECH THIS MORNING JUST BEING A FUDDY DUDDY NOT PAYING ATTN.” That day, Meadows was scheduled to speak at a “Faith & Freedom” rally alongside “Georgia Congresswoman Jody Hice,” according to a flyer on her website. (Hice, a Republican challenging Georgia’s secretary of state, is male.) The address listed on Meadows’ citation was the Henderson County Courthouse, where he and Greg Newman, the district attorney who was prosecuting his business, had offices.
Three days later, Newman dismissed the misdemeanor charge and ordered community service. The Meadows case file consists of two pages – the citation and the dismissal order, but nothing about community service planned or completed. “I’ve been very generous, especially to people who have done so much to improve our communities,” Newman said. He didn’t think Meadows had a lawyer for the case. Yet a month after the dismissal, the Meadows for Congress CAP paid over one thousand seven hundred dollars to a local traffic law firm. meadows and sound CAP did not respond to requests for comment. The law firm’s founder, Douglas Pearson, could not say what services he provides, citing a recent fire that destroyed records.
Newman was removed from his post last year following allegations of willful misconduct, including failing to prosecute a child rape case. He found a new job, at the King Law Firm, which, according to the Asheville Citizen Times, may have paid some of Cawthorn’s recent speeding fines. ♦