(#NCSEN) UM v. UMUC: Why it DOES matter.

tillis listenThe spin surrounding Thom Tillis’ résumé is reaching near-supersonic speeds.  News broke this week that the state House speaker and US Senate candidate had, um, embellished the portion of his record dealing with his college education.   Tillis supporters and their mainstream media enablers have hit us with a number of memes: (1) people are picking on Speaker Thom for getting his degree late in life, (2) people are getting rather snobby with their attacks on the online, part-time, accept everyone business model of UMUC, and (3) the speaker NEVER actually misled anyone.

Tillis told The Shih-Tzu this weekend that it DOESN’T matter where he went to school.   We beg to differ.

We’re in an era of extreme distrust of government and elected officials.umuc  We’ve been hit time and time again by politicians telling us one thing and doing another (see ELLMERS, RENEE).  People are starving for political leaders who can be trusted.  Playing fast and loose with details of your personal background — like where you went to school — is not helpful in the effort to restore people’s faith in their leaders.

Tillis and his supporters claim the kerfluffle is no big deal because University of Maryland University College is part of the umlogoUniversity of Maryland system.  Well, let’s look at that logic.  Elizabeth City State University is part of the University of North Carolina system.  If you get a degree from ECSU, but tell people you are an alum of The University of North Carolina, are you being forthright? 

Even more disturbing is that this whole thing appears to be part of a pattern where Thom Tillis plays around with the truth or just plain exaggerates.  Let’s take a look at a passage from the Tillis for Senate web site:

[…]  “Tillis rose to the position of Partner in the national business consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers and advised North Carolina’s largest bank and other major national corporations. […]

Sounds impressive, huh?  We think so, too. Landing a position with PwC is nothing to sneeze at.  But throwing around the word “partner” creates an impression among the general public of something that MAY NOT be the case.  People hear “partner” and they think in terms of partners in a law firm or someone who actually has a significant financial stake in a company.  It appears that “partners” with PwC are actually contract employees or consultants.  According to PwC, the company had 9,957 partners as of June 2013.  Saying you are a “partner” can sound a lot better than calling yourself a “consultant.”

(As an aside — I know of a major bank based here in North Carolina that hands out the title “assistant vice-president” to rank-and-file employees ranging from maintenance to tellers and other front-line customer service personnel.  It’s a morale-booster and is a whole lot cheaper than handing out raises. )

Let’s look at the whole Aquesta Bank affair. We found a financial disclosure form Tillis filed with the state where he claimed he and his wife were “owners” of the bank.  Many Tillis supporters attacked us for making this up, but we only passed along the info Tillis himself submitted to the state under his signature.  Other disclosure forms Tillis has submitted reveal that he and his wife have a $15,000 investment in Aquesta Bank.  Does being an investor in a publicly-traded company qualify you to call yourself an owner? In a sense, stockholders are owners.  But it comes off as quite deceptive to call yourself an “owner” when you are mid- to low-level stockholder.  My investment in Apple doesn’t qualify me to call myself an “owner.”

I am actually proud of Speaker Thom for keeping his nose to the grindstone and getting his degree late in life.  I teach at the community college level.  Many of my students are nontraditional — outside the 18 to 22 demographic — and matriculating while holding down a job and supporting a family.  A college degree opens doors for you that may currently be closed and padlocked.  

I know. It’s not exactly shocking to hear about a politician stretching and massaging reality.  But if we can’t trust the details of WHO YOU ARE, how can you expect us to trust that you will have our best interests at heart when you go to DC?



10 thoughts on “(#NCSEN) UM v. UMUC: Why it DOES matter.

  1. Those three talking points are simply smoke and mirrors – when caught, erect straw men and argue against those, and avoid facing the actual charges that matter. That’s called “spin”, and I think by now people are pretty familiar with it. 🙂

    Tillis misled people about his educational background. It’s stupid, because no one really cares about where or when you go to school. Lying about it, though, is certainly something people should care about – especially when it can be shown (as it is here) that one has a track record of playing loose with the facts to make themselves look like more than they.

    With multiple occurrences… well, that shows a lack of character to me. Of course, we already kinda knew that about this guy anyway. IT’s not like he’s ever had a reputation of being chock full of principle anyway 🙂

    1. In 2007, the North Carolina General Assembly approved a measure mandating that energy providers in the state provide a set percentage of their product from “renewable energy” sources. Tillis was one of a number of Republicans who joined the majority Democrats in supporting that measure.

      Thank Thom for your high electric bill!

      1. Then Tilli$ used the power of his office to stop a major GOP effort to end that green energy mandate. Tilli$ wants to profit from his stock in Aceasta Bank which invests in those boondoggles at the expense of the NC electric ratepayers. Green energy is expensive energy and makes rates for customers rise significantly. We do not need scoundrels like Tilli$ in public office.

      2. Yes, the whole green energy scam of home producers selling back to the power companies at 19 cents per kwh while the power company sells power ranging from 8 to 14 cents per kwh. This difference is not simply absorbed by the power companies, it’s passed along to the consumers in one form or another whether it’s direct payment for utilities or tax subsidies we pay for it one way or another. Yes, Tillis is fond of playing with others money and would like to see toll roads all over this state. Tillis is a prime example of bipartisan efforts. Those are always efforts which end with the tax payer getting screwed. Let’s not forget the governor McDaddy promised the green scammers that the programs would not end under his administration. Thanks Tillis and McDaddy for high electric bills and corporate cronyism.

  2. Tillis should read the playbook of Barack so he can be better at hiding certain aspects of his life. Why does he wish to embellish his resume? His real life story seems fine to me. We need more honesty.

  3. * Let’s see if I have this straight. A bank “OWNED” by the House speaker and his wife is making a big deal out of investing in solar energy projects. The speaker votes to implement renewable energy mandates AND leads an effort to kill a repeal of those energy mandates — which, if successful, could have led to a drop in energy delivery costs.

    *Info is obtained from a previous article in dailyhaymaker.com. Great site!

  4. What will hurt Speaker Tillis more is the fact that Maryland left the ACC. The true fans of the ACC will turn their back on Tillis once they learn this Maryland connection. A candidate for a North Carolina Senate seat can do many things and get elected but being associated with Maryland is not one of them. This is the end for Tillis.

    And don’t forget Maryland was a border state during the Civil War. They were not with us back then and they are not with us in the ACC any longer.

    Vote no to Maryland!

  5. I was living in Connecticut during the 2010 Senate race where democrat/progressive candidate Attorney General Richard Blumenthal lied about serving in Viet Nam. Now I never served in the military but don’t you think if you served in that Hell-hole you’d remember it? He was in the Marine Reserves ,received 5 deferments to avoid going to war etc. etc. Of course in the New York tri-state area lying greedy pigs beholden to the illegal alien Mafia get elected and re-elected and Blumie is no exception. But this is North Carolina where your supposed to be smarter than those moron lifetime radical leftists who are gutting their states. Rino’s like Tillis and their progressive counterparts are soooo stupid that they’ve been neutralized by their own agenda of not fighting against Obamacare, Amnesty, and big government. They live in fear of being called racist and homophobic.

    1. You have hit the nail on the head as to why Tilli$ works against conservative legislation. Tilli$ would so often water things down in the House that had to be fixed in the conservative Senate. Take Voter ID. Tilli$ was so terrified of liberal media playing the race card that he forced the bill to be watered down to the point it was almost useless, and it had to be fixed in the Senate. The year before, he had cowardly refused to even bring Voter ID up for an override vote.

      I would not expect a Tilli$ voting record to be much different than a Hagan voting record, which is why we need to work hard to nominate someone else in the primary.

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