April 13, 2018/Press

ICYMI: News & Record: Senator Tillis Needs to Explain His Role with Cambridge Analytica

Greensboro News & Record: Senator Tillis did one really good thing but needs to do one more
By the Editorial Board
April 12, 2018

Sen. Thom Tillis has tried sometimes awkwardly to establish himself in the limelight during his first quadrennial in Washington, and this week presented him two unique and divergent opportunities.

But there was Tillis, sitting in Senate chambers as a member of the Judiciary Committee, asking questions of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg about personal data that was scraped from his site by the research firm Cambridge Analytica and used to affect the 2016 elections. Zuckerberg testified to offer clarity about how perhaps illegal work by Cambridge Analytica might have aided the Trump campaign, one of its clients.

Tillis even cajoled Zuckerberg for not mentioning Facebook’s role in providing data for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2012, saying Zuckerberg should look further, a comment that appears both hypocritical and disingenuous. Tillis has some questions to answer, too.

In 2014 N.C. GOP Chairman Dallas Woodhouse hired Cambridge Analytica to help stimulate voters to support Tillis in his race against incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan of Greensboro, whom he beat in a mild upset. Until last month, when its connection to Facebook was uncovered, Cambridge Analytica’s support for Tillis was either obfuscated or overlooked.

The firm has been accused of collecting and employing the data illegally and for deploying foreign nationals to work on various campaigns, which violates election law.

Read the full editorial online here.