RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Thom Tillis, NCGA’s heavy-handed traffic cop

tillis mouth


In the run-up to the 2010 elections, we heard a lot of sob stories from NCGA Republicans about how heavy-handed and unfair the Democrats were to them when they ran the legislature.  A Republican legislator from Cabarrus County has stepped forward to shed some light on how House leaders are badgering conservatives and helping to water down conservative initiatives.

Rep. Larry Pittman (R) made his remarks at a recent Tea Party meeting in his district (fast forward the linked video to about the 12:00 minute mark). 

Some of the more interesting revelations from Pittman’s remarks:

  • Apparently, the speaker’s office has a color-coding system they apply to bills before sending them to committees for discussion.  “Red” means the bill is going NOWHERE.  “Yellow” means its going nowhere FOR NOW.  “Green” means Speaker Thom approves wholeheartedly.  Pittman said all of his efforts to reform the state’s concealed carry law and protect the Second Amendment are currently coded “Yellow.”


  • Remember the whole “official religion” hoopla?  Pittman gave an interesting inside take on the affair.  He told the crowd the bill’s sponsor realized he made some errors — in the wake of the initial publicity — and wanted to amend it to make it a whole lot more kosher.  Pittman said THAT legislator was approached by ” a source close to the speaker” who told THAT legislator he needed to cease and desist with the bill or his future legislative endeavors will NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER see the light of day.   It’s nice to see that an unelected hack pulling in a taxpayer-supplied salary bullying an elected representative of the people.   I guess all that talk about never going back to the iron-fisted dictatorial ways of Richard Morgan, Jim Black, and Marc Basnight was just THATtalk.


  • Pittman told his audience that many decisions within the House majority are made in light of Speaker Thom’s upcoming Senate campaign.  Legislators are seriously and frequently told to back off certain tactics that might cause problems for the Senator-in-Waiting.  Wow.  The lower chamber of our state legislature has been morphed into an arm of the Tillis for Senate campaign.


  • Pittman has been an ardent opponent of common core standards in public education.   Common core is a sore subject among Tea Partiers, conservatives, and other grassroots activists across the country.  According to Pittman, Rep. Linda Johnson — Tillis’s hand-picked education committee chairman — is openly singing the praises of common core.   Again, Tillis does not appear to be saying or doing anything to dissuade her from this position that aligns more closely with lefties than the GOP.   Don’t want to rock the boat for that Senate campaign. 

You have to admire Pittman’s courage. His spirit and passion reminds me of former state Rep. John Rhodes (R) — an outspoken critic of former House speaker Jim Black and his pet Republican Richard Morgan.  Morgan and Black got tired of hearing Rhodes.  Morgan and his cronies went looking for a primary opponent for Rhodes in his GOP-leaning district in Mecklenburg County.  They found their candidate, loaded him up with cash, and sent him after Rhodes.  Morgan and Black’s candidate was successful — knocking out Rhodes in the 2006 GOP primary.  Who was this candidate recruited by Morgan and Black to knock off  the conservative crusader John Rhodes?   THOM TILLIS. 

15 thoughts on “RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Thom Tillis, NCGA’s heavy-handed traffic cop

  1. This is a story that needs to be remembered when this guy runs for Senate. If he makes it to the election then it will be a tough choice between Kay, Tom, and abstain.

  2. Tillis is just Kay Hagan without the skirt. He is a liberal on a power trip and needs to be stopped. We cannot afford to nominate this dufus. That would just hand the seat back to Hagan.

    Tillis is not a candidate I would vote for in the primary or the general. For that matter, neither is Renee Ellmers. We need a better choice.

  3. Pittman is a courageous patriot! Though I don’t live in his district, he represents ME! Tillis stifling him is stifling the people of NC. This will not soon be forgotten.

    Tillis came to speak at the NC 11th district convention the other day. A large chunk of his discussion was joking around about his legislation to protect some possum drop event & a rah-rah mention of them sending back the Obamacare exchange money (though conveniently neglecting to mention anything about those federal exchanges we are going to be on the hook for because of their “red lighting” of nullification legislation!). This is a clear illustration of the difference between the two of them when you then listen to what Larry Pittman has to say & the topics that he considers the most important to inform the people about.

    Keep up the fight, Rep, Pittman!

  4. Tillis Whines, Charlotte Mafia circles the wagons around Jim Black’s hand picked Speaker replacement from Charlotte, and the Tillis goon squad goes into action on Rep. Pittman.

    The Tillis’ goon squad was busy today ringing up the Charlotte Observer to do damage control. And as usual the Sen. “Dick” Burr/Thom Tillis public relations team down at the Charlotte Observer jump into action to protect their own. (Hint: The Uptown Paper of Record loves these two plants, never will they utter a critical word about either of them, it’s a political racket that the Charlotte mafia has going on.)

    Pittman curiously does an about face concerned that he has tarnished Jim Black’s replacement speaker Thom Tillis’ reputation and issues a press release no less “begging forgiveness”.

    “Begging forgiveness?” The question that Pittman needs to answer or perhaps the Federal Government can get around to asking Thom Tillis in the future on this and other matters: Did Thom Tillis (Jim Black’s replacement) or a member of his goon squad threaten Pittman or his family members in exchange for his “begging forgivenes” statement?

    Read more here from the Burr/Tillis waterboy gumshoe down at Pravda and damage control central for the usual suspects:

      1. Once again, the “Uptown Pravda of Record” The Charlotte Observer, surrounds their pet politician Tillis as the “reasonable”, smarter than you candidate. They are building up their political plant Tillis for upcoming elections. The Observer is picking the Republicans candidates again and the Republicans will fall for it “again” like they did for The Observers Big “Dick” Burr and little “Dick-lite” Tillis.

  5. It is so refreshing to see a legislator with a backbone stand up to what Tillis is doing! Nikki is so right–Rep. Pittman is a true Patriot full of integrity, which is a rare commodity these days. We need many more Larry Pittmans in the NCGA!!

  6. As you all start learning the disastrous details of HB 589 (the so-called “Voter ID” bill) please refer back to Brant’s above story. The HB 589 is a turkey…Thom’s turkey…and needs to be amended…as does the short list of GOP prospects for Hagan’s Senate seat.

  7. You want a non establishment conservative? Time to get Greg Brannon to replace Kay Hagan. We do not need another establishment guy representing us!

  8. Representative Pittman has apologized to Speaker Tillis. The Daily Haymaker should apologize both to Tillis and to Pittman for using his speech in ways he never wanted it to be used to trash someone the Daily Haymaker was clearly already biased against. Shame on you.

    1. Well, conservatives are always biased against liberal Big Government Republicans like Tillis. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Tillis is more like his buddy Jim Black or Richard Morgan than his is like Ronald Reagan.

      Tillis should apologize to the Republican voters for running the House like Liston Ramsey or Marc Basnight, in stead of the open manner that Republicans campaigned on and that the Republican base expects. Tillis should also apologize to North Carolina Republicans for watering down conservative legislation or blocking it entirely. Tillis’ version of the Voter ID bill is a castrated joke.

      I am waiting for Brannon to call out Tillis on the crap he is pulling at the legislature on important issues, and the time to do that is now. If Brannon is not going to smack down Tillis when he is vulnerable, then I will start looking for another candidate. Tillis needs to be exposed for what he is and he needs to be exposed NOW.

      1. I’m constantly amazed by the number of “involved” people that don’t see Thom for what he “is”.

  9. This was not new to 2013, but an enhancement to a system of ‘flags’ they they used in 2011. They used the ‘flags’ to give you the runaround and never let your bill land anywhere. The only one who ever had the courage to call a bill up in committee before a real vote was Ric Killian, and that was Firearms Freedom.

    I was all-but physically assaulted because I was demanding that the committee hear my NC Jobs Bill, job growth through regulatory reform. Leadership did not want it heard before any committee and kept an edict on it not to be heard. I managed to hand it round from one committee to the next working to get a hearing on the NC Jobs Bill (HB587). The pressure runs deep in that house.

    Committees exist so that every side of a debate can be heard. Blocking bills from committee is, IMO a violation of proper legislative process. A legislature is supposed to be a representative process, not a policy-churning machine with services to the noisiest and the highest bidders. This is why we are (supposed to be) a Republic and not a democracy.

    Every time I spoke to Thom one-on-one he promised me if i wanted a vote I would get a vote and it wasn’t on him if it made me look bad. I said OK and then went to the Chair and requested a vote, but it was “yellow flagged” so I had to chase down the ‘flagger’ to find out what he didn’t like, only vague indications of the next place to look. So I go back to Tillis and say I want my bill to have a vote, and he says anytime you want a bill voted then have the Chair bring it up; to go back to the chair and now it’s red flagged meaning it will never come up for a vote.

    I pushed so hard that one of the chairs broke under pressure and tried to put me into a shoving match just outside the House Chamber doors. It failed to have the proper effect when I toed-up and refused to participate in the childishness. I don’t really blame him for that, but the people pressuring him. Ric Killian allowed one vote on one of my bills and where is he now?

    The process operating as described in this article is the status-quo from 2011 with some refinements. Lights instead of flags and so forth. To make even more sure that you actually stop when they light up.

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