#NCSEN: Inside the Tillis fundraising juggernaut

moneycountI had an interesting conversation a couple of nights ago with an old friend of mine who lives on the North Carolina coast.  He’s a successful businessman with a BIG bank account —  a fact which attracts a lot of groveling and butt-kissing from non-profits and politicians. 

One question he asked me in the middle of our conversation:  Have you heard of this Thom Tillis fellow? What do you think of him?  (Obviously, he hasn’t been reading this blog very closely.  Probably too busy being a good capitalist.)

I asked why that question came up.  He told me that his local Republican state House member came to see him at his office.  My friend was friendly with this person before they got elected to the House, and has remained a close ally. My friend says this legislator hit him with a pretty aggressive, passionate pitch to donate to the Thom Tillis US Senate campaign.

Of course, my friend couldn’t ID Tillis in a police lineup — or if he bumped into him on the street.  He did cut a check to the Tillis campaign based on his friendship with this particular legislator.  That check doesn’t necessarily signify a vote for Tillis.  It was really not much more than a wealthy man doing a favor for a friend.  

The establishment and mainstream media have been cooing over the size of Thom’s campaign bank account.  I am sure this incident I just described didn’t happen in a vacuum.  I am sure things like this are happening in just about every GOP-held legislative district in the state.  Fundraising is important — but what you do with those dollars is even more important.

If the size of the campaign account was the deciding factor, we would have had GOP presidential nominee John Connally in 1980, GOP congressional nominee Bernie Reeves in the 13th congressional district in 2010, and a reelected Elizabeth Dole in 2008.  (Dole outraised Hagan by $2 million in the 2008 race.  John Connally, the former governor of Texas, spent $11 million running for president in 1980 and earned only ONE convention delegate.) 

3 thoughts on “#NCSEN: Inside the Tillis fundraising juggernaut

  1. Wonder which groveling little brown nosed soldier this was? These House members make me sick – they are so afraid of losing their committee slots or not being in good favor with the Soeaker, they have become devoid of Integrity.

  2. Wonder which groveling little brown nosed soldier this was? These House members make me sick – they are so afraid of losing their committee slots or not being in good favor with the Speaker, they have become devoid of Integrity.

  3. How is this supposed to work in the general election for these legislators if their money talks and Tilli$ gets nominated?

    First, the Democrats have already been gloating in the media about how they will barbeque Tilli$ with the legislature’s record. Mind you, of course, that this will not be the legislature’s true record, but a distorted ”Blueprint” version of it. Those ads will be on TV wall to wall blasting the record of the Republican legislature, paid for the leftist groups, unions, and the Democrat party groups. It will be aimed at defeating Tilli$, which it will likely do, but caught in the crossfire will be other Republicans, most notably our GOP legislators.

    How will out legislator counter that in order to survive in their own races? Certainly neither the individual campaigns nor the statewide legislative committees will have anything close to what the outside Democrat supporting groups will spend. The Democrat message will overpower what Republicans can put up in response.

    The only hope for the legislators would be that Tilli$ and the groups pushing his Senate candidacy spent some money on defense, but they are not likely to spend much, as if they stay primarily on defense on this issue, they lose. More likely, Tilli$ will throw the GOP legislators under the bus by trying to portray himself as some kind of moderating influence, which will intensify the Democrat message against our legislators.

    Legislators are cutting their own political throats by doing anything to help Tilli$ get the Senate nomination. Their own self interest, if they stopped and thought about it, is to do everything possible to get a candidate who is not in the legislature nominated for US Senate, to avoid that barrage of ads that is sure to come if Tilli$ is the nominee.

    But they are probably thinking in the short term about the legislative short session, where Tilli$’ pay for play encourages them to help fill his kitty so that Tilli$ will allow some of their legislation to get through. I remember last election where a GOP nominee let it slip that Tilli$ was in effect selling committee slots by telling legislators and candidates that the amount they raised for his political committee would influence committee assignments. Tilli$ has been a corrupting influence in the General Assembly, on par with his mentors Richard Morgan and Jim Black, and with Liston Ramsey and Marc Basnight. We need to stop this Corrupt-o-crat in the primary and not let him embarrass our GOP ticket in November.

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