1) In 2013, three different NC legislators spoke out against Thom Tillis, claiming the Speaker of the House was pandering to special interests and his prospective Senate campaign
"It is a huge disappointment that the Governor and the Speaker of the House did not provide the leadership or have the political backbone to fight the special-interest groups, who favor loopholes over a fair tax system."
Republican State Senator Bob Rucho in a letter of resignation from chairmanship of the NC Senate Finance Committee
“You slamming my office door shut, standing in front of me and stating that you have a business relationship with Time Warner and wanting to know what the bill was about. You and I both know the bill stifles competition with MI Connections in Mooresville. MI Connections is being operated just as any other free enterprise system and should be allowed to do so without the restrictions placed on them by the proponents of Time Warner.”
Republican Representative Robert Brawley in a letter of resignation from chairmanship of the NC Senate Finance Committee
“You know, I was proud to vote for Thom Tillis to be the Speaker again, when we got back up there this year. Because last session, he was great! You know, I thought, no one could be more fair than this guy is. But, now he's running for U.S. Senate, or planning to. Things have changed.”
Republican Representative Larry Pittman
2) He called minimum wage an “artificial threshold”
See for yourself.
And in their first debate earlier this month, Tillis told Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan that she was "settling for an economy that's based on the minimum wage."
3) Tillis misled the public about his education
For years, Thom Tillis referred to his alma mater as the University of Maryland or University of Maryland-College Park. In actuality, Tillis attended University of Maryland University College, “an accredited, distance-learning institution affiliated with the state’s university system.” Tills seemed to be hiding the truth about his education, as the mistake occurred on multiple occasions: in a 2012 radio interview, in his biography on the Republican State Leadership Committee website, on a résumé posted to his campaign website in 2011, on his LinkedIn page and legislative website, and in the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research legislative guidebooks (for which “a draft profile is sent to each lawmaker for review ahead of publication”). Corrections were made in March after Talking Points Memo pointed out the misinformation. In the Republican primary, Mark Harris remarked on the incident saying,
“This appears to be another example of why voters don’t trust politicians.”
4) Tillis doesn’t care about the environment, except for when it’s convenient
In February, Duke Energy was responsible for 39,000 tons of coal ash spilling into the Dan River of North Carolina. Tillis pointed a finger at Kay Hagan, saying she had a “cozy relationship” with the energy company. But others are pointing a finger at Tillis; the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters funded one million dollars’ worth of negative ads against Tillis, claiming he has done nothing to penalize Duke Energy or prevent future environmental disasters.
“As speaker of the North Carolina House, he helped lead efforts to reduce regulation of toxic chemicals like ammonia and sulfuric acid that industries wanted to release into the air. He opposed the state’s renewable energy mandates. And he helped lift the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the state — the House even voted to make it a crime to disclose the chemicals used in the fracking liquid.”
David Firestone, The New York Times
5) Tillis blocked Medicaid expansion, and as a result 500,000 North Carolinians were denied coverage
And he’s bragging about it.
6) Tillis wants contraceptives to be less accessible to North Carolina women
Tillis, alongside other Republicans, concurred “the state has the authority to ban contraceptives and favor a ‘personhood’ constitutional amendment that would grant legal protections to a fertilized human egg and possibly ban some forms of birth control.”
7) $500 million cut from education
In 2011 Thom Tillis said, “Teachers don’t care about kids. They don’t care about classrooms. They only care about their jobs and their pensions.” Three years after the fact, Tillis took another stab at North Carolina educators.
“The $500 million budget cut that Thom Tillis made goes so deep that there are not enough textbooks to go around. He even voted to increase class sizes. And educators are leaving the profession. And that’s disappointing and misguided. North Carolina has a long and proud history of having one of the best public education systems in the nation, and is one of a few states that includes as part of its constitution that every child is entitled to a sound, basic public education.”
Karen White, Political Director of the National Education Association (NEA)
(Sources: http://thinkprogress.org/education/2011/06/05/236874/nc-house-speaker-teachers/, http://www.nea.org/home/60334.htm)
8) Tillis’s tax plan will only benefit the wealthiest North Carolinians
“It fails to ensure that state taxes are based on ability to pay, and actually shifts the tax load further to middle-class and low-income taxpayers as a result of changes such as allowing the state Earned Income Tax Credit and dependent care credit to expire, while expanding the sales tax to more goods and services. Wealthy individuals and profitable corporations get huge tax cuts under the plan.”
Cedric Johnson, Policy Analyst
Remember to vote in November! Just as important, remember to say “no” to Thom Tillis!
Written by Halle Mangrum- Student at NC State