#NCSEN: NCGA helps Tesla, car firm’s lawyers give BIG to Thom Tillis Senate campaign

thom teslaWe’ve been doing a lot of campaign finance report reading lately.  We’ve found some interesting things about beer and movies on the Thom Tillis Committee’s financial reports.  Our latest find — some large donations from employees of a Massachusetts law firm — had us scratching our heads.

On June 27,  Massachusetts resident Jeanette Campbell, identified on Tillis campaign reports as an employee of the Campbell, Campbell, Edwards & Conroy law firm, gave Tillis $250.  On September 12, she gave $2350 to the North Carolina speaker’s senate campaign.  On September 30, it was reported that Ms. Campbell gave $2,600 to the Tillis campaign.

On September 3, Richard Campbell, of the same Massachusetts law firm, donated $5200 to the Tillis senate campaign.  So, that’s more than $10,000 from two employees of a Massachusetts law firm.  Two people who cannot vote in the May primary for US Senate.  

What’s the tie?  We couldn’t find any evidence of the firm having North Carolina offices.  But we did find this — Richard Campbell is an attorney who has represented Tesla Motor Company.    So, what does that mean?  What’s the connection between Thom Tillis and Tesla Motors? 

At the end of June, state House leaders were instrumental in killing legislation that would have kept Tesla from selling cars in North Carolina without having full-blown showrooms in the state.  House speaker Thom Tillis — now running for US Senate — got a test drive and was quoted throughout the media about how impressed he was with Tesla vehicles.   And NOTHING moves through the House without Tillis’ blessing. 


9 thoughts on “#NCSEN: NCGA helps Tesla, car firm’s lawyers give BIG to Thom Tillis Senate campaign

  1. Not a fan of quid pro quo money in politics (though I do believe that it is possible for a candidate to accept donations without being bound by them), but I am a fan of the free market. Requiring showrooms for auto sales seemed anti-free-market to me in the first place. I’ve been bothered by other establishment supporting actions and comments by Tillis. Not bothered by this one.

  2. Tesla is an Obama-style green boondoggle. Without crony capitalist subsidies, it would be belly up. Driving a stake through its rotten heart would be a supreme act of free enterprise.

    TilliS loves green boondoggles which rip off taxpayers and consumers. He was also instrumental in killing the attempt to end the outrageous renewable energy mandate that raises electric rates to subsidize inefficient solar and wind projects. Of course, TilliS is part owners of a bank that profits greatly from green energy boondoggles, so it is more than just being a special interest spear carrier on this issue.

    Tilli$ is a politician for sale. His corrupt intervention for green boondoggler Tesla shows he is totally unfit for any public office.

    Tilli$ would have supported Solyndra and all the other Obama green boondoggles if he had been in office.

    Local brewers have no legitimate need of distributors, but an out of state car maker should have a local dealership. Otherwise, when there is a recall, their customers have no one local to deal with to get their car fixed. Local dealers for out of state car makers is a lot more defensible in a free market than requiring local brewers to hire third party distributors in their own area. Yet Tilli$, influenced by the money he received, supported the out of state car maker and opposed the in-state brewers. Tilli$ is a politician for sale who represents the special interests who put out the payola.

    I am sure that big media has made notes of all of this, and will wait until after the primary to fire their missiles to shoot Tilli$ down, hoping he makes it through the primary. It is the duty of all conservatives to make sure that he does NOT end of our nominee and vulnerable to these issues.

  3. It just took me less than 5 minutes to figure out Jeanette Campbell is Tillis’ mother-in-law. A+ research Brant

    1. Bingo! So that is how Tesla got the quiet inside track to Tilli$ to do their dirty work on legislation. Corruption is all in the family!

  4. This is what you call some kind of scandal? This is the so-called “dirt” you are trying to come up with?

    At the end of June, state House leaders were instrumental in killing legislation that would have kept Tesla from selling cars in North Carolina without having full-blown showrooms in the state. House speaker Thom Tillis — now running for US Senate — got a test drive and was quoted throughout the media about how impressed he was with Tesla vehicles.

    Newsflash – after the 2008 economic collapse – the automotive industry as a whole (not just GM and Chrysler) – took it on the chin hard. Websites like AutoTrader, Cars.com, etc. – have created a whole new business model that DOESN’T require as many show rooms for cars. Why do you suppose car manufactures would embrace such a beneficial tool as selling cars online? Because it helped them to dramatically drive down costs in order to stay profitable and stay in business.

    Legislation that would force a company to open more ‘locations’ – i.e. showrooms – is massive Government Intervention. The very type of intervention that we conservatives are supposed to be opposed to.

    Try finding some articles on how many dealership have fewer lot sales people and now have large staffs manning computers, chat session windows and other online tools to help with marketing, sales and financing. Welcome to the 21st century!

    So Tillis worked for some companies who are now represented by the same law firm that has now donated money ($10k) to the Tillis campaign – so what? So someone in his wife’s family works for the firm, and they two of them met in New England. So what? That does not mean that it was illegal or unethical – that is not evidence of any wrong doing.

    However- for full context – let’s take a step back and examine the legislation that was NOT allowed to go through the NC State Assembly (that you claim Tillis killed because of his corporate connections). The legislation – if allowed to pass – was specifically designed to give Carolina auto dealers a NC government mandated competitive advantage over other auto manufactures/sellers who would opt to not use show rooms as their business model. If that legislation had passed – then law makers could have been genuinely accused of corporate cronyism. The type of corporate cronyism that chooses the winners and losers – the type of corporate cronyism that interferes with what is supposed to be an unfettered open and free market. This is the very type of legislation and government interference that we CONSERVATIVES are supposed to oppose – not support.

    Perhaps you do not understand how the legislative process actually works. In this case – legislation that would create an unfair marketplace advantage for one industry group over another was BLOCKED. You can only say that Tillis or anyone else in the legislature is “legislating for Tesla” – if they introduced legislation that would have unfairly advantaged Tesla over any competitor. The fact is that no such legislation has been offered by Tillis or anyone else as far as I know.

    So God bless him for not allowing it to pass!

    The Haymaker article is no better than gossip that gets passed around in the hall ways of one of our local High Schools. You will have to offer something much more substantial than this if you expect intelligently minded and thinking people to take your publication seriously.

    I have no idea if you somehow consider this ‘journalism’ or what you are trying to present here. Gossip, rumors and innuendo are nothing other more than desperation. And that fact that two donors are Susan Campbell Tillis’ mother and other is her uncle. These are the very people that any candidate would reach out to for support.

    These are the tactics of the far-left lying zealot progressives – We conservatives should and must be above this.

    1. I have no idea how you consider yourself a conservative when you try to pass off Green crony capitalism as normal free enterprise, which it is not. Green crony capitalists like Tesla can only exist through government special favors. In Tesla’s case, without tax rebates for buying their cars, they would not be in business. Probably without the California carbon trading scheme, they would not be in business. The company with the corporate cronyism as a key part of its business model is Tesla. Without government putting its thumb on the scales, Tesla would be dead in the water.

      When a car recall happens, customers need a dealer they can get their service through that is reasonably convenient. Online buying might be fine, but when it comes to getting the car fixed, that does not solve the problem. What Tesla wanted was a special out so that they did not have to do what normal car companies do to serve their customers. And by killing the bill, Tilli$ allowed them to have it.

      Nothing stops customers from going to a dealership in a nearby state. Some North Carolinians now buy from dealers in Virginia or South Carolina. Take the example of the largest remaining British owned car company, and one with a century old history, Morgan. If you want to buy a new Morgan, the closest Morgan dealer is in Virginia. If your Morgan has a problem, then you at least have a dealer reasonably nearby to take it to. Rolls Royce does not sell that many cars in North Carolina, but it does have a dealer in High Point to take care of their customers. There is no reason that Tesla cannot do what Morgan and Rolls Royce do to service their customers.

  5. My comment was meant to be sarcastic. If you aren’t getting contributions from your family then you have something to worry about.

    1. Did Tilli$ reveal his family connections to Tesla when he killed the bill for them? I didn’t think so! It was a hidden agenda. Are all the law firm members related to Tilli$? No, I didn’t think so. This special interest green boondoggle had a family pipeline directly into Tilli$’ office and Tilli$ pulled strings for them. He did not reveal those connections at the time. Now he is getting the payola for that. That is corrupt, no matter how you slice it.

      But then again, Tilli$, like Obama, is fond of green boondoggles that cost taxpayers or ratepayers money. It is like Tilli$’ killing the bill to end the renewable energy mandate. That mandate jacks up electric bills for customers and only benefits the crony capitalists in the green energy business. Guess what? Tilli$ is part owner of a bank that profits heavily from loaning money to renewable energy crony capitalists, something it specializes in. This is looking out for his own pocketbook, at the expense of the pocketbooks of millions of North Carolina electric ratepayers.

  6. Receiving donations from family members would not be an issue if it were not for apparent favors done for their clients in return.

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