Raleigh – A bombshell Politico report has uncovered potential illegal coordination between Thom Tillis’ campaign, their ad maker and the NRA in 2014. Now, according to WRAL the Campaign Legal Center has filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against the NRA on the matter. This is the second FEC complaint in the last several months that involves the appearance of illegal campaign activity on the part of Tillis in 2014.
Federal elections laws prohibit outside groups that are spending on a particular campaign to coordinate with that campaign or any of its vendors. The Politico story revealed that Tillis’ ad maker was also making ads for the NRA’s independent expenditure effort in North Carolina without any evidence of a firewall between the two accounts.
Tillis’ 2014 campaign manager now works for the ad maker in question. He, Tillis and Tillis’ office are being tight-lipped about the matter now, but back in 2015, Tillis was overflowing with praise for the NRA in crediting them for his 2014 victory. Consider the following excerpts from an op-ed Tillis penned for the Washington Times in May 2015 titled “How the NRA made a difference in North Carolina”:
I know firsthand about the power of the NRA grass roots after receiving the NRA Political Victory Fund’s endorsement in April 2014, which came at a critical time, just weeks before the hotly contested Republican Senate primary. From that moment on, countless North Carolinians approached me on the campaign trail to tell me that I had their votes for one simple reason: my proven record of advancing Second Amendment rights. The reason they knew about my record was because of the NRA‘S peerless grass-roots mobilization, which quickly got the word out and ultimately helped tip the scales for my campaign.
My Democratic opponent had Bloomberg in her corner, but I had the advantage because I had the NRA behind me. Public records show the NRA spent $4.4 million in North Carolina outlining the differences on the Second Amendment, and every penny mattered. The fliers in gun shops, the postcards to gun owners, the TV ads, the Internet ads — they all mattered.
I, like millions of other Americans, am grateful for the tremendous effort and resources the NRA devotes to winning elections and its unwavering determination in stopping the attempts of unelected bureaucrats and out-of-the-mainstream liberal politicians to implement gun control laws that infringe upon the rights of law-abiding citizens.
“Thom Tillis clearly believes the NRA was the deciding factor in his 2014 election and he’s had no problem lavishing the group with praise for their election activities, but now that it appears there may have been illegal coordination Tillis is nowhere to be found,” said NCDP Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds. “Shadowy, illegal campaign activity is becoming a pattern for Thom Tillis, and he owes North Carolinians some answers about this very serious allegation.”