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Four Things Tillis’ Election-Year Reinvention Ads Don’t Tell You

Tillis’ First General Ad Tries To Depict Him As Looking Out For The “Little Guy,” But His Record Shows Otherwise

RALEIGH, NC — Since Thom Tillis launched his first general election television ad a month ago in an attempt to reinvent himself to North Carolina voters, it’s become increasingly clear that he’s hoping they’ll forget about his actual record. But as Tillis continues with his attempted election-year extreme makeover, here’s four things his ads won’t tell you. 

Thom Tillis filmed his first ad in front of a mobile home, but “voted to hike taxes on mobile home buyers like the ones he grew up with.”

The Huffington Post reported that “when [Thom Tillis] was serving as speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2013, [he] voted to hike taxes on mobile home buyers like the ones he grew up with.” When he says “I’ll remember who needs it the most,” is he forgetting about the time he voted to double the sales tax rate of mobile homes when he was in the North Carolina state legislature? It was a move that mobile home dealers said would impact “the people that have the least ability to pay for it.” 

Thom Tillis claimed the North Carolinians out of work today have been “forgotten by our politics,” but North Carolina has “one of the stingiest” unemployment benefits in the country thanks to Tillis… 

In what was described as the “Republicans’ coming out party,” Thom Tillis voted to gut unemployment benefits, passing “a bill that made the deepest cut to any state’s unemployment compensation in American history.” The result is what the Charlotte Observer calls “one of the stingiest state unemployment programs in the country.” Now, as unemployment skyrockets due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tillis’ decisions have left North Carolina less prepared. 

… And as Speaker of the North Carolina House he blocked Medicaid expansion. 

If that wasn’t enough, he led the charge to block Medicaid expansion in North Carolina, which would cover 634,000 North Carolinians today who fall in the coverage gap and provide much needed support to rural hospitals. Even worse, a little over a year ago he bragged about making it illegal to expand Medicaid. 

Thom Tillis claimed that as we “build this economy back” he will “remember who needs it the most”, but instead of standing up for North Carolina families, Tillis has caved to his corporate donors time and time again.

But what Thom Tillis may be “best known for” is “getting lots of money from big pharma, big oil, big banks and payday lenders, and for pushing their preferred policies.” For example, 80 percent of North Carolinians will pay more in taxes, while four of the largest pharma companies collectively saved $7 billion and used that windfall to enrich their executives and shareholders. And the tax bill he supported — it was estimated that it could save his Koch donors over $1 billion in income taxes. So when he says, “my job is fighting for your job,” he really only means it if you’re one of his corporate backers. 

“From blocking Medicaid expansion to gutting unemployment benefits, Tillis has an extensive record of caving to his corporate backers instead of standing up for North Carolinians — no election-year costume change will change that,” said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for Cal Cunningham’s campaign. “His decisions are now on full display as families navigate the challenges of this public health crisis, and North Carolina voters will hold him accountable for them this November.”