Raleigh – Over the weekend, we learned that Thom Tillis may have illegally coordinated campaign strategy with the NRA in 2014 through a common vendor. Tillis’ ad maker, OnMessage, created an apparent shell company with the same employees, corporate officers, addresses, and top executives as OnMessage. That shell company’s only client? The NRA.
Tillis has been tight-lipped about the controversy, but back in 2015, Tillis was singing the praises of the NRA, writing that the group “helped tip the scales” in his favor and credited them for his 2014 victory.
A different look back, to a report from earlier this year, shows the extent of Tillis and the NRA’s connections. According to the Charlotte Observer, only three members of Congress have benefited more than Tillis from the NRA’s political spending:
Only one of the 535 members of Congress has gotten more help from the NRA than Republican Sen. Richard Burr, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Only three, including Burr, got more than GOP Sen. Thom Tillis.
And Tillis has gotten $4.5 million in help, including independent expenditures against his 2014 opponent, then-incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan.
In both years North Carolina was a key in the battle for the U.S. Senate. The Tillis-Hagan race saw more than $100 million in spending, making it at the time the most expensive congressional race ever.
Much like how Tillis refused to give the public straight answers on his campaigns involvement with the shady GOP data firm Cambridge Analytica, Tillis has refused to answer questions about this new bombshell report.
Tillis benefited more from NRA money than all but three members of Congress, and according to this weekend’s report, much of it may have been illegal. Tillis needs to be straight with the public about his 2014 campaign.
“Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and there’s quiet a bit of smoke coming from Thom Tillis’ 2014 campaign over the past several months,” said NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds. “North Carolinians deserve answers about Tillis’ shadowy campaign activities and they deserve them now.”