May 8, 2019/Press

Editorial & Columnist: “Price North Carolina is Paying” for Tillis’ “Flip-Flop for the Ages”

Raleigh – Senator Thom Tillis’ weakness with voters across the state has earned him a primary battle that pits loyalty to President Trump – not what’s best for North Carolina – at the center of it. But that weakness has real-world impacts for our state. As a recent editorial and statewide columnist point out, “the price NC is paying for Tillis’s loyalty to Trump” and his “flip-flop for the ages” includes harmful trade wars that exacerbate the “crisis that is really out here in the farm world right now,” “a disastrous and costly federal government shutdown,” and a federal disaster relief package “that calls for elected officials of the president’s party like Senator Tillis to stand up and push back.” Unfortunately for North Carolina, Senator Tillis has made clear that when it’s time to stand up and push back, he’ll spinelessly wilt.

CBC: Truth isn’t partisan. Burr and Tillis need to call out Trump’s lies
By the Editorial Board
May 8, 2019

Key Points:

  • Policies and billion-dollar decisions are being made based on these false claims and the blind loyalty that too many in Congress. That’s particularly true for North Carolina senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis – who bow to partisan expediency above reason and truth.


  • False claims about trade deficits have led to the imposition of damaging tariffs. North Carolina’s hog, soybean and tobacco farmers have been particularly hard hit. “Out of Washington, there just doesn’t seem to be that sense of urgency and crisis that is really out here in the farm world right now. And every little thing that happens just adds to the pain,” said N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. And he’s a Republican.


  • False claims about immigration and the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border led to a disastrous and costly federal government shutdown. Our government has even been separating young children from the parents in prison-like detention camps. Tillis, horrified at the prospect of a GOP primary opponent, knows all-to-well the toll falling victim to Trump gyrations can take.


  • Tillis is now best known for his “flip-flop for the ages” first offering high-profile opposition on separation of powers concerns, the president’s boarder emergency order and then voting to support it.


  • Tillis is so intimidated by a primary challenge that he’ll sacrifice every last shred of integrity. Don’t doubt Garland Tucker will make all that an issue in his primary challenge. North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows, leader of the Trump-loyalist Freedom Caucus, has been tepid in his descriptions of Tillis and withholding an endorsement of his re-election effort.


  • Trump isn’t the party or the nation. Tillis and Burr’s allegiance is to the nation and significantly their constituents – Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated citizens in North Carolina who are owed, above all else, the truth.

Read the full editorial online here.

Policy Watch: The price NC is paying for Tillis’s loyalty to Trump
By Rob Schofield
May 7, 2019

Key Points:

  • The spectacle of Senator Thom Tillis’s spiritless kowtowing to Donald Trump in recent months has truly been something to behold.


  • On other, day-to-day matters of governance, however, Tillis’s weak-kneed behavior is having important and destructive consequences right here in North Carolina.


  • Take, for instance, the issue of federal aid for the relief of natural disasters like hurricanes that ravaged North Carolina last year. If ever there was an urgent matter on which one would think a senator would feel comfortable speaking out loudly and plainly (even if it did run afoul of the administration) this ought to be it.


  • The state suffered more than $20 billion dollars in damage as a result of Hurricane Florence alone (roughly the size of the entire state General Fund budget for a full year) in, among other things, lost crops and livestock, destroyed or damaged structures, and ruined infrastructure. North Carolina still awaits vital aid from Congress to remove debris, repair military installations and support the state’s marine fishing industry. Other states (like Florida) fared even worse from hurricanes, while disasters like the California wildfires also wreaked great havoc.


  • This is clearly a situation that calls for elected officials of the president’s party like Senator Tillis to stand up and push back. As a practical matter, Tillis wouldn’t even have to directly call out Trump’s lies about Puerto Rico; he needs only to speak up for comprehensive relief legislation because of what it would do for North Carolina and leave the Puerto Rico fight to others.


  • Sadly, but not surprisingly, however, Tillis has been all over the map on the issue. Earlier in the year before his high profile flip-flop on the emergency declaration, he was pushing “bipartisan” solutions to the impasse. Just two weeks ago, however, he joined with Sen. Richard Burr to issue a statement in which they both toed the Trump line by blaming Democrats for wanting to help the beleaguered Caribbean island.


  • The bottom line: If there is a single most important function of government, it is to deploy public resources in order to keep the public safe and healthy in times of common peril and to support disaster relief. It is simply a travesty that these basic services are being denied to millions of Americans right now because of the madness of one man and the refusal of others who know better (like Senator Thom Tillis) to confront him.

Read the full column online here.