NC 11th District Prospect’s Claim Creates Misconception – WFAE

12August 2020

The story created by Republican congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn paints a picture of an intense, boy headed to the U.S. Naval Academy up until he was significantly hurt in an automobile crash.

“Madison was homeschooled in Hendersonville and was nominated to the Naval Academy by Rep. Mark Meadows in 2014,”according to the 11th District prospect’s site.”However, Madison’s plans were hindered that year after he nearly died in an awful auto mishap that left him partially paralyzed and in a wheelchair.”But in a 2017 sworn deposition obtained by AVL Watchdog, Cawthorn confessed his application to the Academy had currently been rejected before the crash. The campaign did not comment, despite repeated demands over several days. The Naval Academy reference is a key part of the 25-year-old’s public picture, featuring prominently in his project speeches and interviews. Cawthorn is careful to state he was nominated and that his strategies were “thwarted” by the crash, 2 declarations that when taken together create the impression he was headed to Annapolis to attend the prominent Academy were it not for the 2014 crash.

A congressional election is simply a primary step in an extremely competitive process to go into the Naval Academy. In 2014, more than 17,000 students sought admission by looking for nomination from a House or Senate member, the President, the secretary of the Navy and other sources. In a typical year, according to the Academy’s website, about 5,000 of these candidates are nominated, as Cawthorn was.

However– after strenuous screening by the Academy’s own selection committee that includes physical conditioning, management capabilities and performance in school and on standardized tests– hardly one in 5 of the nominees wins visit and gets in the Academy. Cawthorn was among those declined.

Yet he has not openly fixed the misimpression that he would have entered the Academy in the class of 2018 were it not for the automobile crash. Nor has he tried to correct many TELEVISION job interviewers who, in their intros, often repeat the expression that his goal was “derailed” by his injuries.

His project site and Instagram page consist of a picture of Cawthorn using a Navy sweatshirt and another of him participating in a training workout with others, all in the group using military fatigues and inflatable coats pulling boats onto a beach. Cawthorn calls the group “my squad.”

Crash And Consequences

Cawthorn, then 18, was a traveler in an SUV driven by his buddy, Bradley Ledford, that crashed while going back to North Carolina from a spring vacation trip in Florida. According to the Florida Highway Patrol mishap report, Ledford confessed “dozing off” while driving, lost control of the cars and truck and crashed into an abutment. The lorry burst into flames. Cawthorn spent much of the next year undergoing surgical treatments and therapy. Treatment for pain in his legs continued more 3 years later, he said in the deposition.

Ledford’s insurance provider, Auto-Owners Insurance coverage, used Cawthorn $3 million, the policy limit, to cover his treatments and settle the claim within days of the crash, according to testament and court records. But under the recommendations of his lawyer, Cawthorn at first balked at accepting the $3 million and sued Ledford’s insurance provider for $30 million for acting in bad faith.

A judge ultimately ruled in favor of the insurance company, but the suit resulted in the sworn deposition taken Oct. 12, 2017, and questioning by the insurance provider’s lawyer, Greg Burge.

The attorney asked Cawthorn:” [A] t some moment, you were informed by the Naval Academy that you did not get in?”

“Yes, sir,” Cawthorn replied.

The attorney continued: “Was it– it was before the mishap?”

Cawthorn responded to: “It was, sir.”

Cawthorn did not reply to multiple emailed ask for comment from AVL Guard dog. The project press secretary, Angela Nicholas, replied on Saturday that “we will get you something as quickly as it is prepared.” A follow-up request for talk about Sunday got no reply.

The prospect likewise exposed in the deposition that he had actually been not successful in his later registration at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, a little evangelical Christian school frequently went to by homeschoolers and that has a track record for effectively placing graduates into high federal government positions.

After going into the school in August 2016 to study political science, he left after one term and earned mainly Ds, Cawthorn testified, mainly due to the fact that his injuries hindered his ability to discover.

When the insurance-company lawyer asked him the reason for leaving Patrick Henry, Cawthorn responded with a single word: “Heartbreak.” He added that his then-fiancé left him for another classmate, speculating it was because she “didn’t agree my mom.”

Cawthorn stated he thought about applying to two other schools with online programs, the Harvard Extension School and Liberty University, but didn’t follow through.

The factors for the Naval Academy’s rejection of Cawthorn are private. Among the admission requirements is a trainee’s performance on the Scholastic Ability Test– the three-test SAT of a trainee’s capabilities in mathematics, spoken comprehension and writing– required by many colleges and universities.

A best score is 800. Under questioning from the lawyer, Cawthorn stated he believed he had received a 590 in mathematics, a 620 in spoken and a 650 in composing. Extremely selective institution of higher learnings such as the federal academies normally expect candidates to achieve ratings in those tests of 700 or above.

After his short stint in college, Cawthorn has said he ended up being a little entrepreneur associated with realty and other investments. At the time of the deposition, however, Cawthorn testified that he had no task and that his only earnings originated from a $700 month-to-month Social Security disability payment. When Burge pushed him about investment earnings earned from the insurance settlement, Cawthorn said the investments were managed by his older bro, Zachary Cawthorn, an expert monetary advisor. Cawthorn is the sole owner and staff member of an investment firm called SPQR LLC, created in August 2019. On the financial disclosure type he filed as required by all candidates, he reported no income from it. In the 2017 deposition, Cawthorn said the only jobs he had actually held to that point was as a supervisor in a Chick-fil-A dining establishment while a teen, and after the accident as a personnel assistant in then-U.S. Rep. Meadows’ district office.

Excerpts from Cawthorn’s deposition appeared on the information-sharing app Reddit over the weekend. AVL Watchdog got a full copy of the deposition, which was submitted in federal court in Orlando in conjunction with Cawthorn’s lawsuit versus the insurance carrier.

The lawyer’s questioning about the journey that ended in the crash likewise revealed that Cawthorn and his friend, Ledford, had engaged in the harmful practice of switching seats while driving on the highway, from the traveler seat to the motorist’s seat and vice versa. There was no suggestion in the deposition that the 2 buddies were altering seats when their SUV crashed, and the state trooper reported no evidence that Ledford, the motorist, was hindered by alcohol or other substances.

Cawthorn said the 2 “altered positions” while the vehicle was in motion “to save time.” Asked why, he attributed it to being 18 when he, like others of that age, felt “invincible.”

“But now, recalling certainly, I see that there was some major issues with doing that.”

AVL Watchdog is a not-for-profit news group producing stories that matter to Asheville and Buncombe County. Tom Fiedler is former executive editor of The Miami Herald and a Pulitzer Prize-winning political press reporter. He resides in Asheville. Contact us at avlwatchdog@gmail.com!.?.!. Copyright 2020 BPR News.

To see more, visit BPR News. Source: wfae.org

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