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11.3.20

On Election Day, The Contrast Is Clear: Cal Continues Fighting To Put North Carolina First, While Senator Tillis Has Sold Out Our State At Every Turn

Voters Backing Cal’s Campaign to Put North Carolina First, Fed Up With Tillis’ Long Record Of Caving To Corporate Donors and Special Interests

RALEIGH, NC — In the final hours of the 2020 election, Cal Cunningham is finishing the race the same way he started: putting the issues and interests of North Carolina voters first. Meanwhile, Senator Thom Tillis is following the same playbook he’s used the last six years — caving to corporate donors and special interests at the expense of North Carolina. 

As the final votes are cast, the Cunningham campaign is outlining a variety of ways Cal is prioritizing the needs of North Carolina while Senator Tillis is failing to do the job he was elected to do. 

“Cal is spending the final hours of the campaign previewing the type of Senator he’ll be: focused on the needs of North Carolinians, from their health care and jobs, to getting this virus under control,” said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for Cal Cunningham’s campaign. “Meanwhile, Senator Tillis is on a vanity tour with Washington Republicans, trying to distract from his record of failing our state. Thanks to Senator Tillis, North Carolina’s interests have taken a backseat to special interests in Washington for too long. North Carolinians are fed up, and this week they’re voting to send Senator Tillis home for good and to send Cal to Washington to put North Carolina first once again.” 

The contrast on the issues that matter most to North Carolinians in this election couldn’t be clearer. Read more below:  

COVID-19

  • As North Carolinians work to stay healthy and safe and support themselves financially in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, Cal released a plan back in May to tackle the coronavirus head and get North Carolinians back to work. And Cal has repeatedly called on Tillis and Congress to do their jobs and pass a badly-needed COVID-19 relief package. Last week, Cal reiterated his North Carolina-centered priorities for any future package.
  • Tillis meanwhile has refused to stand up to the White House as it acknowledges the administration is “not going to control the pandemic.” This weekend, Tillis doubled down on his defense of the President’s lack of response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as he “stood by Trump’s pandemic response,” and “agrees with the president’s continued insistence that the country is rounding the corner on the pandemic.” Tillis has also repeatedly failed to secure critical COVID-19 relief, even as enhanced unemployment benefits and federal eviction moratoriums expired more than three months ago and schools and local governments continue to desperately call on Congress for help. 

HEALTH CARE

  • In the middle of a pandemic, North Carolinians understand that health care is on the ballot this year, and that’s why Cal is committed to fighting for access to affordable health care. Cal will fight to strengthen and extend coverage under the Affordable Care Act, expand Medicaid in North Carolina, create a public health insurance option, support rural hospitals, address doctor shortages, support life-saving research to prevent and treat diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS, and ensure no one loses their employer-sponsored coverage who wants to keep it. Cal will also work to lower the cost of prescription drugs through efforts like allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies.
  • Tillis, meanwhile, has voted 15 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act partially or in full, blocked Medicaid expansion as North Carolina Speaker of the House and helped rush through a Supreme Court Justice who is hostile to the health care needs of North Carolinians. Tillis’ own words echoed his offensive record on health care when he recently told a local radio station: “anyone who is trying to scare voters into thinking that they’re going to be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition is lying. They’re either dumb or they’re lying,” at the same time Tillis himself supports a lawsuit that would repeal the ACA in full, including pre-existing condition protections. Tillis has also repeatedly prioritized Big Pharma’s interests over the interests of the people he was elected to serve. In September, WBTV uncovered that Tillis accepted more than $20,000 in campaign contributions just weeks after introducing an industry-friendly bill. 

KITCHEN TABLE ISSUES

  • Cal has spent the campaign talking directly to North Carolina voters, actively listening to them about the issues that matter most and reflecting their needs in a variety of plans to address their needs:
    • Cal has spent his whole career taking on corruption and plans to do the same in Washington. North Carolinians are tired of Washington corruption stifling progress in our country and that’s why Cal has released a plan to fight corruption and big money in Washington.   
    • The COVID-19 pandemic has led North Carolinians to adjust our daily lives as we do our part to prevent the spread of the disease and flatten the curve. And the way we are adjusting highlights a critical, unmet infrastructure need, particularly in our rural and underserved communities: expanded high-speed broadband access. That’s why Cal released a plan to invest in high-speed broadband, especially in North Carolina’s rural communities. 
    • The quality of our children’s education shouldn’t depend on where they grow up, their family circumstances, their race, their wealth, or their ability. That’s why Cal has dedicated his public service to improving education and released a plan prioritizing education from pre-k to post-grad. 
  • In direct contrast, Tillis has put corporate interests over the needs of his own constituents, taking millions from corporate PACs like Big Pharma and oil and gas companies, pushing through a redistricting plan that made North Carolina one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, and passing voter suppression efforts including cuts to early voting and same-day voter registration. One court actually said his law “targeted African Americans ‘with almost surgical precision.” Tillis also impeded efforts to expand broadband internet access in North Carolina communities and slashed millions from North Carolina public schools, increasing class sizes, eliminating teaching positions, and cutting funding for basic needs like textbooks and supplies, while he prioritized giving massive new tax cuts to the wealthiest.

While Cal fights to put this seat back to work for the people of North Carolina, Tillis has made clear he’s only interested in working for special interests in Washington, caving to corporate donors and failing to stand up to his own party. That’s why North Carolinians will elect the kind of strong leader they need: Cal Cunningham.