Thom Tillis

Daily Dose: Haters gonna hate

I made the mistake this morning of reading comments on Tim Cook's coming out news in the New York Times. While there were plenty of positive comments, most seemed motivated by a combination of disdain, dismissal, or even hatred. It hurt my soul.

This is the thing that worries me most about North Carolina today: Thom Tillis' divide-and-conquer mindset has gone mainstream. From Amendment One to Medicaid to the gutting of environmental protections, Republican policy seems to start with ridiculing and then demonizing vast sectors of our population. If you are a young woman whose success in life hinges on being able to terminate a pregnancy, you are a murderer. If you are a gay man in a 30 year relationship and want to marry, you are a pervert. If you are a poor person working three jobs with no benefits and no hope, you are a taker. If you are a black man, you are a criminal.

There will always be extremes to contend with in each of these areas. Some people are perverts. Fraud does exist in our welfare system. Some black men are criminals. But most people are not perverts. Most poor people don't try to game the system. And most black men are not criminals. The extremes are, by definition, not the norm. They are a gross and destructive stereotype being perpetuated by conservative Republicans to further the economic agenda of concentrating wealth among the elite. The only other explanation I can think of is even more frightening: they are devoid of empathy and wallowing in hate.

Voting machine swiches Hagan vote to Tillis

And it's unknown how many other votes it may have changed:

The problem occurred at the Craft Recreation Center in Greensboro Wednesday morning. A voter intended to vote for Kay Hagan. But before he pressed the vote button, it switched to Thom Tillis. He tried again, and the same thing happened.

The voter then alerted poll workers. Guilford Elections Director Charles Collicutt says they re-calibrated the machine and now it is reporting as is should be. The error with the Craft Rec Center machine is the only one known to have the problem this cycle. He says there’s no way to know for sure how many times such an error has occurred.

There's one way they can check: Check all the votes for that particular machine, and if a voter chose mostly Democrats in other races but also voted for Thom Tillis, there's a good chance that Tillis vote was incorrect. Especially after what happened with the Pat McCrory fiasco, I doubt there's many crossover Dems voting for Thommy Boy.

Tillis is still toast

I've been away for a month, celebrating my retirement ... and decompressing a bit from the frenzy of politics that has occupied my life for the past ten years. A lot has changed in my absence. Fall has arrived, for example, and North Carolina is more beautiful than ever.

But in the political arena, things look pretty much like they did when I left. Money continues to be a blight on our democracy. Our valiant teachers continue to work for our children, despite being shafted by our Republican government. Duke Energy still calls the shots at DENR. And no matter how much he tries to present himself as a decent guy - and no matter how much national right-wingers spend on his behalf - Thom Tillis can't buy votes from anyone besides assholes and bigots. There are a ton of both in North Carolina, but not nearly enough to give him a victory. Polls continue to show Hagan beating Tillis, just like they always have.

Keep working, vote early, and stay strong. Thom Tillis is still toast.

National Organzation for Marriage drops $100K for Tillis

Why would Thom Tillis would spend state funds defending NC's Amendment One after Supreme Court rulings struck down the law as unconstitutional? Why would Tillis spend those funds to hire a flunkie from the National Organization for Marriage to file briefs on the case?

Was it just pandering for extremist evangelical votes?

Tillis banking on "kitchen table" issues

In other words, he's waiting for Fox News to tell him what to scare people with:

But the political ripples of legislation the General Assembly has passed that reduced unemployment benefits, initiated new voting and abortion restrictions and rejected Medicaid expansion also awakened Democrats into action. And allegations from Hagan and her allies — amped with millions of dollars for television ads — that Tillis harmed public education wasn't easily shaken entering the fall.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Tillis said the path to persuading the undecideds to vote for him runs along kitchen-table issues and increased worries of average citizens that have grown under Democratic leadership. "I will be obsessed with fulfilling the promise that these Republicans running across the country are making today," Tillis said at the Raleigh rally.

What Tillis seems to be forgetting here: Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians are struggling to put food on that kitchen table, and many of them owe that difficulty to the Republican Party's gross mistreatment of the unemployed. And dedicating yourself to serving the desires of Republicans from other states has got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. That statement needs to be part of Hagan's ad blitz, like right now.

Thom Tillis is the worst of the worst

Here is what the Raleigh N&O wrote in this week's Notable Numbers on its editorial page:

66: The percentage of the tax cut passed by the 2013 General Assembly that will go to the wealthiest 1 percent of North Carolinians

$513 million: The original estimate for the cost of that 2013 tax plan

$1.1 billion: The latest estimate of its cost to the state

We have an oligarchy ruling our country. We have to oppose the Koch Brothers and Carl Rove and their minions like Thom Tillis. Under Speaker Tillis there was an income transfer from the typical and lower level taxpayers to the top 1% of NC taxpayers. Republicans are disdainful of any transfer from the wealthy to the poor, but they supported in NC a 660 million Dollar transfer of tax money-- our dollars--to the Oligarchy of the 1%. I can think of dozens of better uses for that money for the majority of North Carolina's citizens.

Debunking the "Stimulus" attacks on Kay Hagan

As usual, Carolina Journal only reports part of a story:

The Carolina Journal report expands on the Politico story, noting that the JDC originally projected spending $438,627 but was later revised downward by more than $100,000 and emphasizing the company "kept all of the savings, sending none back to taxpayers who had funded the stimulus grant."

However, an internal accounting of the project provided to WRAL News by JDC Manufacturing shows that that the project's final costs totaled $503,477. A company spokeswoman said the official project cost was revised downward to show the money actually spent by Dec. 31, 2010, the end of the grant's term. The rest of the money was spent in 2011, and those costs were not eligible to be reimbursed. Other records disclosed by the Energy Division show the total cost of the JDC project inching up to roughly $509,000 over two years, confirming the accounting provided by the company.

And it's a good bet the "researchers" at Art Pope's propaganda-laced "newspaper" were well aware of the total cost of the project, but chose to exclude that information from their report, because it would have completely negated their "pocketed $100,000 of taxpayer's money" smoking gun revelation.

Moffitt, Murry contributions connected to "Biggest Gambling Ring Bust in SC"

NC House members Tim Moffit and Tom Murry received campaign contributions from two South Carolina men who have since been indicted on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering totalling $386 million.

The campaign committee of Tom Murry, NC House District 41, received a $2,000 check from J Michael Caldwell of South Carolina, listed as "President" of a company simply stated as "Gateway", on 1/29/2013, one day before the North Carolina State House reconvened (after a 1/9/2013 organizational session). On the same day, 1/29/2013, the campaign committee of Tim Moffitt, NC House District 116, received a $2,000 check from Bobby Mosley of South Carolina, listed only as "Principal" with no employer notation. Caldwell is Mosley's son-in-law and together they ran a gambling enterprise spanning multiple corporate entities and over 600 internet cafes in multiple states.

On 8/14/2013 an indictment was entered in federal court in South Carolina naming J Michael Caldwell, Bobby Mosley, Sr., Gateway Systems, LLC, Gateway Gaming, LLC, Frontier Software Systems, LLC and Frontier Gaming, Inc, as defendants on one count of conducting an illegal gambling business and one count of money laundering related to the alleged illegal gambling. It has been described as "the biggest gambling ring bust in South Carolina history."

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