Thom Tillis

Freakshow

The Republican US Senate debate last night should have been required viewing for all North Carolinians. With the possible exception of Heather Grant, bless her heart, who actually seemed to be thinking for herself once in a while, the debate was an orgy of hate.

In one corner stood Greg Brannon, an unapologetic con-man of the Rand Paul persuasion, whose well-publicized affair with Glenn Beck shows just how extreme he really is.

In another corner stood Thom Tillis, the self-described architect of North Carolina's "conservative revolution."

Meanwhile, Mark Harris, who was chosen by god to run in this race, watched from the sidelines with Heather Grant, both continuously out-flanked by two of the most arrogant and hateful men you can imagine.

For Tillis, the answer to every question was the same. "It's really very simple," he said on many occasions. "All you have to do is rid of Obamacare, cut taxes on the rich, put more brown people in jail, keep all those women and their vaginas under control. It's really very simple."

For Brannon, everything was constitutional. Article whatever section three. The British are coming. Put on your tinfoil hats.

I hope you'll take time to look at the debate for yourself. Perhaps you'll reach the same conclusion the Greensboro News-Record reached.

The hour-long debate, held at Davidson College and televised by Time Warner Cable, showed the candidates share similar stances. They oppose abortion, the Affordable Care Act, Common Core education standards, government overreach and amnesty for undocumented immigrants. They believe some federal departments — from Education and Energy to the Internal Revenue Service — could be abolished. They don’t believe that climate change is real.

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Republican US Senate debate: Pass the popcorn!

Join us later for play-by-play coverage of the Great Republican Senate Seat Auction, happening tonight here in North Carolina. For those who are TV impaired, you can live-stream the fun at the Charlotte Observer. The N&O has some tips on what to watch for, but you can save yourself a lot of reading and watch for one big thing: lies, lies, and more lies.

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Tillis caves, agrees to participate in debate

Thom Tillis, apparently acknowledging the tightening race for the NC GOP US Senate nomination, hiked up his big boy pants and agreed to participate in WRAL's debate after previously declining.

State House Speaker Thom Tillis says he will participate in a WRAL News debate on April 23.

Tillis initially declined the invitation, citing a scheduling conflict.

What was his scheduling conflict? An earlier story reveals that:

Two-Faced Tillis: a half-million dollars' worth of lies

When the truth doesn't fit your narrative, just change it:

House Speaker Thom Tillis’ claim to have fired two staff caught up in a lobbyist sex scandal in 2012 doesn’t stand up to scrutiny or the public record, and his campaign should remove it from North Carolina airwaves.

The ad, which has more than $500,000 backing it according to Roll Call, contains no backup to the claim that Tillis "fired" his staffers. And Tillis’ own spokesman has repeatedly refused to make the same claim -- that Tillis "fired" the staff in question -- when discussing the ad. The Raleigh News & Observer, upon asking for a justification of the firing claim, was told that Tillis “initiated the action of asking for their resignation.”

If Tillis did "ask" for their resignations, which is not a foregone conclusion, it's only because the affairs were made public and forced his hand. But over and above the parsing of words, the intent of the ad itself is false: to make people believe he dealt with the problem in a rapid and harsh fashion. Here's a little historical context which completely undermines that message:

When Thom Tillis calls the tune

Indyweek's Bob Geary does a great job cutting through the baloney to explain what's happening in the US Senate Republican primary. It's hard to summarize all the points, so go take a look and see for yourself.

Here are two highlights:

A "culture of corruption" surrounds Tillis and makes him unelectable, says Dr. Greg Brannon, the Cary obstetrician and tea party favorite who runs second to Tillis in most polls. Tillis ignores Brannon, who has ethical issues of his own. After a civil trial in February, a jury found that Brannon misled investors about a technology start-up and ordered him to repay $454,631.

Open thread: The Tillis Affairs

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Tillisberger to exercise ownership rights

It goes like this:

  1. Tillisberger & NC GOP pass unconstitutional voucher program.
  2. They get sued.
  3. An NC Superior Court ruling freezes implementation of the voucher program until the various court cases proceed.
  4. Tillisberger goes to NC Supreme Court to get the freeze on vouchers lifted. They promised those taxpayer $ to their private school profiteer buddies and dammit, they intend to deliver!

After all, the NC GOP paid good money to assume ownership of the NC Supreme Court. It's about time for a little bit of profit-taking, right?

Tillis: "I have big boy pants on every day."

Mother Jones is on a roll, this week taking Little Tommy Tillis to task for being ... well ... the arrogant, patronizing jerk that he actually is. Go see the story, and then listen to this amazing video.

This is the real Thom Tillis and, oh my goodness, he is one ugly son of a bitch.

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Tillis got his big boy pants on

Mother Jones has up some secretly recorded audio of Thom Tillis in an encounter with some TeaBagger activists who accused him of not being conservative enough in order to better his chances running against Kay Hagan.

Chairs slamming into tables, angry words and pouting ensue.

Harris unloads both barrels on Tillis for pay-to-play politics

And it's actually a legitimate complaint:

But one of his leading challengers, Rev. Mark Harris, is hoping to stir things up and is planning to repeatedly criticize Tillis's decision to remain as House Republican leader while running for the Senate. Tillis is able to raise money for his Senate campaign from lobbyists with interests before the state's General Assembly, but it's illegal to raise such funds for his state legislative campaigns. Framing the speaker's conduct as "pay to play," Harris suggested the activity was unethical.

"It would have been better judgment for him to step down as speaker. It opens the door for questions of ethics to be raised," Harris told National Journal, arguing that it could become a glaring vulnerability if Tillis wins the GOP nomination against Sen. Kay Hagan. "If I had one thing to do differently [in the campaign], I would have demanded he step down as speaker in October."

Tillis is blatantly taking advantage of a loophole in our campaign finance/lobbying laws by doing this, and it should be an issue for voters (both Primary and General) to contemplate. And unless I missed it somehow, our NC reporters have left this issue alone. Maybe he isn't "breaking the law" in the classic sense, but it is definitely newsworthy.

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