Even NC’s other Senator, Richard Burr, who usually avoids speaking publicly, found strong words in opposition to Tillis’s primary challenger Garland Tucker. Politico reported that Burr said Tucker’s election campaign was nothing more than Conservative strategist and the late Sen. Jesse Helms aide Carter Wrenn’s “retirement fund.”
“This is Carter Wrenn’s retirement fund. That’s the only reason he’s got Garland running,” Burr said of the race. (Politico, 11/18/19)
Out of 100 US Senators, both of North Carolina’s are in the top three for receiving the most NRA contributions. Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Thom Tillis received almost $7 million and $4.4 million from the NRA, respectively, according to Public Citizen. In the wake of two mass shootings in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX, calls for gun safety reform are increasing. Unfortunately, it is hard to believe Burr or Tillis will betray their financiers and vote for commonsense gun safety reforms.
Tillis recently spoke in support of ‘red flag’ laws, a widely supported method of increasing gun safety, but it’s difficult to imagine he’d take real action on the issue based on his long, twisted history with the NRA.
In 2015, Tillis published an op-ed in the Washington Times graciously thanking the NRA for helping him get elected to the US Senate. In the article, Tillis reaffirms his dedication to gun rights and commitment to prevent any perceived adulteration of the Second Amendment. According to a report published in Politico, the NRA circumvented campaign finance regulations by creating a shell company to donate even more money to Tillis’s Senate campaign.Read More
According to the Washington Post, an attorney advised CA executives to limit foreign involvement in U.S. elections. Despite this, Wiley told NBC news that there were “three or four full-time CA staffers on the ground in Raleigh.” He added that all of these employees were foreign nationals.
NBC News said Tillis’ campaign paid Cambridge Analytica over $130,000 in 2014. The campaign has called this report “embarrassingly sloppy” and “factually false,” saying that because the Tillis campaign headquarters were in Cornelius, not Raleigh, NBC news does not “understand that a candidate’s campaign and a state party are not the same thing.” The Tillis campaign implied that the foreign nationals were not employed by his campaign, but rather, the North Carolina Republican Party.
The NCGOP has also put out several statements about Cambridge Analytica, recently and otherwise. In an interview with WRAL on March 24 NCGOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse said he could neither confirm nor deny that any Cambridge Analytica staffers worked for the party in 2014. Woodhouse added that if CA staffers did work for the party, they would have “no way of knowing” if the staffers had foreign nationality.
However, in a March 25 Washington Post article, Woodhouse said, “No foreign workers worked for us.”
The recent data breach that harvested data from 50 million Facebook users without their consent has garnered international attention and implicated the NCGOP. Yet state party leader Dallas Woodhouse, after a brief window of distancing himself from the scandal, has doubled down in defiance.
Woodhouse explained in a radio interview Tuesday morning “that’s the kind of thing we routinely do.”
Both Cambridge Analytica and Facebook are in the business of selling information, Woodhouse said, “I’m not convinced this company did anything wrong.” Cambridge Analytica has since been suspended by Facebook.
Woodhouse claimed that what Cambridge Analytica did was “not against the law,” despite the apparent use of foreign nationals in campaign work.
Finally, when asked if the NCGOP plans to hold a press conference, Woodhouse responded, “I’m not having no press.”
Not only did Woodhouse fail to acknowledge the violation of the privacy rights of thousands of North Carolinians, but he clearly plans to use similar tactics in the future.Read More
London-based research firm Cambridge Analytica harvested data from 50 million Facebook users without their consent in a targeted campaign to manipulate voters. In a new unnerving development of democracy in the age of big data, Facebook has acknowledged that Cambridge Analytica, a London-b…Read More
US Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) has hosted at least six Facebook Live town halls or Q&A sessions in 2017. He has not hosted an in-person town hall at all this year despite promising in April he’d have one in May or June.Read More
An out-of-state PAC is pitting all-but-announced gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest against U.S. Senator Thom Tillis in paid Facebook ads. The intent of the Florida-based Principled Leadership Fund PAC is unclear. But what is clear is that conservative circles are talking about Tillis making a run for Governor in 2020—only two and a half years into his first term. Being in Washington doesn’t seem to be all Sen. Thom Tillis thought it would be.