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RALEIGH, NC — Things aren’t getting much better for Senator ThomTillis this week, unable to escape the reporting on his own staff telling a cancer-survivor that affording health care is like a dress shirt or on-going developments in the alleged straw donor scheme in which he received hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The News & Observer reported yesterday that Common Cause NC, a watchdog group, filed a complaint against Tillis’ donor Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for allegations that he violated a state election law in a campaign straw donor scheme — a scheme in which Tillis was “one of the biggest beneficiaries.”
Tillis’ relation to the alleged scheme, a violation of state and federal election laws, continues to gain traction in local press, as Tillis’ defends the donations he received and calls investigations into DeJoy a “witch hunt” that will “clear Louis DeJoy’s name.”
The Charlotte Observer Editorial Board, Tillis’ hometown newspaper, noted: “Both Democrats and Republicans – including and especially Thom Tillis – should call for DeJoy to explain the troubling contributions. If he is unable to do so, he should resign.”
On top of that, the stunning WRAL investigation which unearthed a recording of one of Tillis’ staffers telling a three-time cancer survivor that affording health care coverage is like buying a dress shirt, has garnered even more national attention, as reporters note how the incident underscores the contrast between Republicans and Democrats on health care.
Huffington Post writes: “The reality is, the staffer came clean about the Republican position on the issue that is uppermost in the mind of many voters. Underneath the exchange with Veals is a philosophical and economic debate about health care.”
The staffer’s response is bad, but Tillis’ failed health care record is even worse. He has spent his time in Washington and Raleigh working to strip North Carolinians of health care coverage, blocking Medicaid expansion as Speaker of the House, bragging about it, and voting 15 times to partially or fully repeal the Affordable Care Act. Senator Tillis tried to contort his opposition to the popular Medicaid expansion proposal, saying “the reason North Carolina is in a position to discuss expansion is because of Senator Tillis’ leadership.” But one reporter noted that Tillis’ votes against the Affordable Care Act would have also taken North Carolina’s ability to expand Medicaid off the table.
Veals’ concern is familiar to many Americans who have lost their health care during the COVID-19 crisis. As Slate reported: “At least 27 million Americans have lost their health care coverage in the pandemic’s economic fallout, according to a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.”