#NCSEN: Lobbyists lining up, placing bets on Hagan, Tillis
Lots of folks are trying to compare this year’s US Senate race with Kentucky’s 2010 contest. But political old-timers like myself can see some similarities to North Carolina’s 1984 contest between Jim Hunt and Jesse Helms. The New York Committee for Jim Hunt, anyone?
Kay Hagan’s reelection effort has drawn a lot of national interest. It’s seen as a race where a party change is possible — thereby helping to facilitate a GOP takeover of the US Senate. Tea Party-aligned ideologically-based groups have already started running ads against Hagan. But special interests — ranging from Hollywood, to insurance and big pharmaceuticals, to abortion providers, to trial lawyers, and even labor unions — are already ponying up big big dollars and hedging their bets on the incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican speaker of the NC state House Thom Tillis.
We found a great site that tracks fundraising events for congressional candidates from both parties nationwide. Its sponsored by The Sunlight Foundation — which promotes transparency in politics and government. On the linked site, you’ll notice a note that points out that the information contained there is supplied by lobbyists who have been shaken down by various politicians and their campaigns.
There are entries for Kay Hagan’s reelection campaign as well as for her leadership PAC, The Longleaf Pine PAC. We’ve covered leadership PACs in a previous post. The site shows only one event in DC — from 2009 — for Kay’s leadership PAC. The entry for the reelection campaign shows ten events going back to 2009 — eight of which were held outside the state of North Carolina. (I don’t see an entry for the NYC / Park Avenue event we detailed in an earlier post. Or this one. )
The entry for Thom Tillis details ten lobbyist-oriented fundraising events — all in 2013. Three of the ten were held in Washington, DC. In July, Tillis was the guest of honor at a DC fundraiser sponsored by The National Association of Wholesalers & Distributors. That was right about the time his Senate campaign was getting flooded with beer distributor contributions AND craft brewers were lobbying the General Assembly to try and win some more freedom from wholesalers and distributors. (That lobbying effort by the brewers failed — surprise, surprise.)
There’s also an entry for a controversial June event hosted by a Greenville lender that drew some scrutiny from the mainstream media. Folks in eastern North Carolina may be interested in the entry for the Tillis fundraiser party co-hosted in November by Henry Hinton — local radio talk show host and fill-in host for NC Spin. In March, Hinton was appointed by Tillis to the UNC Board of Governors.
The site reveals one August event for Republican candidate Greg Brannon — a birthday party event in Raleigh hosted by the campaign.
2 thoughts on “#NCSEN: Lobbyists lining up, placing bets on Hagan, Tillis”
Sock Puppet Hagan and Thom ”Toll Road” Tilli$ are clearly the $pecial intere$t candidates in this race. North Carolina does NOT need EITHER of them in the US Senate.
While Tilli$ finds time to hob nob with every $pecial intere$t in sight, he cannot find time to show up at ANY candidate forums for the grassroots North Carolina voters. It is clear who he would represent in the Senate, and it is NOT us. Tilli$ and Hagan are not all that different.
Yeah, the special interests money is definitely being placed on Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan. Those entities care not about what party wins as long as the candidate is theirs.
You’re also right about the eastern Carolina scene. The Big Hen (Hinton) is the radio propaganda outlet for corporate establishment Republican candidates and causes in the east. For example, the governor’s direct pipeline from Raleigh (via Charlotte) to Greenville brings us things like pro-Common Core swill served as sweet tea for Republicans. Toss in a daily slice of inevitable Thommy Tillis toast and that is the gist of state level “Talk of the Town” morning radio these days. Impressionable Big Hen is relishing his role of propagandist for the corporate big boys- we can hear him for miles hollering ‘yippi, the big boys love me! Er, and they’re rewarding me, too.’
Big Hen’s antics are more than tiring for many of us. As recently as the 2012 District 6 NC House primary, we experienced the free radio broadsides from Hinton when he had his studio interview with Republican candidate Arthur Williams. This is the same Arthur Williams that had served the 6th District as a Democrat and loyal Jim Black flunky for three terms before being deposed in the most previous general election. This is the same Arthur Williams who was bragging about his support from Raleigh Republicans- such as Thom Tillis who as much as said he wanted Arthur as his boy in Raleigh and urged Congressman Walter Jones, Jr. to endorse him in a Republican primary. Needless to say, the Big Hen gave Williams a friendly spoon fed syrupy campaign ad like interview.
Later, the ever gracious (not) Big Hen invited 6th District Republican candidate Mattie Lawson on for a telephone interview for equal time. In this interview, Hinton was in attack mode for the duration, even trying to argue that she did not know where her district was. She handled him pretty well though and corrected him on every count. She actually had his number and that seemed to make him evermore angry.
Unbelievably, Hinton piously proclaims himself to be utterly evenhanded while bragging about a Tillis led state appointment and getting free Panther tickets from his gubernatorial buddy.
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