November 8, 2019/Press

Déjà vu: U.S. Chamber, Washington Special Interests Prop Up Senator Tillis In GOP Primary… Just Like in 2014

Raleigh – They say history repeats itself… and when it comes to wealthy corporate special interests in Washington having to rescue Senator Tillis’ weak campaign and drag him across the finish line in Republican primaries, they’re right.

This week, yet another Republican special interest group, the U.S. Chamber, launched a six-figure buy for Tillis as he faces “battles on two fronts,” including a serious primary challenge from conservative businessman Garland Tucker. The Chamber’s support comes after earlier reports that McConnell-aligned special interest groups will spend $190 million to “protect McConnell’s most endangered incumbents,” including Tillis, and after a separate group dumped $1.3 million into states including North Carolina.

If this feels familiar it’s because this is exactly how Tillis’ 2014 primary played out: Tillis was “nourished by an onslaught of supportive television ads from outside groups” and “buoyed by a few million dollars in support from mainstream Republican groups” including the U.S. Chamber. The same special interests swooping in now “look[ed] nervously” at Tillis’ lack of in-state support in 2014 and rushed in to save him as he was “scrambling” to beat conservative challengers.

Tillis, in return, put those wealthy special interests ahead of North Carolina families when he got to Washington. Tillis voted to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions and repeal the ACA, which a new report found would result in the richest likely receiving “billions in tax cuts.” He also voted for a “lopsided giveaway” to corporate special interests that has blown up the deficit and threatened Social Security and Medicare.

No wonder Tillis is back to “relying on big-money donors” and outside special interest groups to bail out his struggling campaign.