Thom Tillis sinks deeper in to pay to play ooze

First he shook down the payday lenders and gave them what they wanted.

Then he skipped out of the legislative session he's supposed to lead to rake in campaign cash in Washington DC.

Now Thom Tillis continues his extortion fundraising by shaking down other parties who want Thom to get legislation passed that favors their interests.

The second largest contributor to his campaign is EUE/Screen Gems, a movie studio company in Wilmington with credits that include “Iron Man 3”, HBO’s “Eastbound & Down” and CBS’ “Under the Dome.”

The studio is lobbying state lawmakers to extend the controversial film incentive program that awarded $77 million in tax credits to production companies in 2012.

Four members of the Cooney family, which runs EUE/Screen Gems, gave Tillis’ campaign a combined $20,800, citing the state tax issue as a factor.

“Every voter and every business has the opportunity to contribute to candidates who share their values,” Chris Cooney, the chief operating officer, said in a statement. “We are working to keep 4,000 film jobs in North Carolina right now. Our contributions go to candidates who share that same pro-job focus.”

Tillis has supported extending the film tax break but others in his Republican caucus oppose it.

This pay to play sleaze would be illegal if Thom were taking it for his NC House re-election, but a loophole allows him to trade legislative favors for cash since he's running for federal office.

Tillis’ campaign received about $21,000 from 15 registered state lobbyists in 2013, according to a News & Observer analysis of campaign finance records – donations he couldn’t accept as a state lawmaker.

North Carolina prohibits registered lobbyists from giving money to state candidates under an ethics law designed to limit the clout of special interests. But as a federal candidate, Tillis can accept the checks, even as lobbyists seek influence ahead of the legislative session May 14, a week after the Republican primary.

Maybe Thom can explain how this is somehow less sleazy than Jim Black's antics.

Then again, maybe not.



There's a word for people who sell themselves for money. Can someone help us think of it?

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014