Research: Tillis Skipped Important Legislative Sessions For Fundraisers

Tillis Skipped House Sessions Where Important Issues Were Discussed To Attend Washington, D.C. Fundraisers For His Senate Campaign

Tillis Missed Monday June 30th Legislative Session, He Was Spotted In D.C. Airport Flying First Class Back To Raleigh Monday Evening. According to the News & Observer, “Tillis missed Monday’s legislative session, his third day in a row of skipping all or some of the session. Twitter user @gregflynn found him on a flight from Reagan Airport in Washington to Raleigh and posted two photos just before 10 p.m. He flew first class.” [News & Observer, 6/1/14]

Tillis Was At Off-Site Business Meetings And A Fundraiser During Two Legislative Sessions. According to the News & Observer, “Friday, Morning Memo questioned where Speaker Thom Tillis was last week when he missed sessionsWednesday and part of Thursday. The answer: Tillis said he was at off-site business meetings and a fundraiser.” [News & Observer, 6/30/14]

Tillis Skipped House Session, Including Debates Over Tax Reform And Gun Policy, To Attend Two Campaign Fundraisers In Washington D.C. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, “As the N.C. House debated a sweeping tax bill and a contentious gun resolution Wednesday, Speaker Thom Tillis spent the day raising money in Washington for his U.S. Senate bid. The Cornelius Republican attended at fundraiser at 11 a.m., the same time session started, hosted by two lobbyists at the offices of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, according to an invite. The meet-and-greet invite included information about donations up to the maximum limit of $2,600. Jade West, the association’s top lobbyist and leader of the NAW political action committee, and Kirk Blalock, a lobbyist at Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock, are the hosts. Later in the day, Tillis is expected to attend another event hosted by the America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry lobbying group. The 2 p.m. meet-and-greet is at the Capital Hill Club. Kelly Vgoel, the group’s vice president for federal affairs, sent an email pitching the event. ‘Speaker Tillis has received national attention as the NRSC has identified North Carolina as key race in 2014,’ she wrote. ‘He is considered to be a leader in the North Carolina primary and has strong support from North Carolina Republicans.’ A Tillis spokesman declined to comment on the speaker’s schedule and referred questions to the campaign. Tillis didn’t preside over some of the session Tuesday and was absent Wednesday. The speaker is paid a $38,151 annual salary with an additional $17,000 expense allowance as a part-time lawmaker.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 7/17/13]

  • Tillis Attended Fundraiser Hosted By The National Association Of Wholesaler-Distributors. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, “As the N.C. House debated a sweeping tax bill and a contentious gun resolutionWednesday, Speaker Thom Tillis spent the day raising money in Washington for his U.S. Senate bid. The Cornelius Republican attended at fundraiser at 11 a.m., the same time session started, hosted by two lobbyists at the offices of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, according to an invite. The meet-and-greet invite included information about donations up to the maximum limit of $2,600. Jade West, the association’s top lobbyist and leader of the NAW political action committee, and Kirk Blalock, a lobbyist at Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock, are the hosts.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 7/17/13]
  • Tillis Attended Fundraiser Hosted By America’s Health Insurance Plans. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, “As the N.C. House debated a sweeping tax bill and a contentious gun resolution Wednesday, Speaker Thom Tillis spent the day raising money in Washington for his U.S. Senate bid. The Cornelius Republican attended at fundraiser at 11 a.m., the same time session started, hosted by two lobbyists at the offices of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, according to an invite. […]Later in the day, Tillis is expected to attend another event hosted by the America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry lobbying group. The 2 p.m. meet-and-greet is at the Capital Hill Club. Kelly Vgoel, the group’s vice president for federal affairs, sent an email pitching the event. ‘Speaker Tillis has received national attention as the NRSC has identified North Carolina as key race in 2014,’ she wrote. ‘He is considered to be a leader in the North Carolina primary and has strong support from North Carolina Republicans.’” [Raleigh News & Observer, 7/17/13]

Tillis Missed The Debate On A Controversial Abortion Bill To Attend A Fundraiser At A Charlotte Country Club

Tillis Departed House Chamber Moments Before Debate Started On A “Contentious Abortion-Related Bill” In Order To Attend A Campaign Fundraiser. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, “Moments before the N.C. House began debating a contentious abortion-related bill last week, Speaker Thom Tillis exited for the campaign trail. The leading Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate traveled to Charlotte for a campaign fundraiser where donors paid as much as $2,600 to meet him.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 6/29/13]

Charlotte Observer Editorial: Tillis Missed A Legislative Debate On An Abortion-Related Bill To Attend A Fundraiser At A Charlotte Country Club. In an editorial, the Charlotte Observer wrote: “He is vying for the Republican nomination to take on U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat seeking her second term. She has more than $4 million in the bank. At the end of June, Tillis had raised about $300,000. So the financial pressure on him is tremendous. He knows that without money, and a lot of it, he won’t be able to compete. It was that pressure that brought him to Charlotte last month for a fundraiser at Myers Park Country Club. While he was on the road to Charlotte, the House he presides over was vigorously debating an abortion-related bill.” [Charlotte Observer, 7/18/13]

Tillis Said That “Most People Don’t Follow The Legislature. I Don’t Think It’s Part Of The Daily Lives Of Most North Carolinians”

Jim Morrill: Tillis Said That He Did Not Think Legislative Session Would Have Impact On Voters “Simply Because Most People Don’t Follow The Legislature. I Don’t Think It’s Part Of The Daily Lives Of Most North Carolinians.”According to a column by Jim Morrill in the Charlotte Observer, “Except for cutting into his time on the trail, Tillis downplays the impact of the session on his Senate race. ‘From a time standpoint, it’s a negative,’ he said. ‘I don’t believe it’s had any meaningful impact on where I am in polls, simply because most people don’t follow the legislature. I don’t think it’s part of the daily lives of most North Carolinians.’” [Column – Charlotte Observer, 6/28/14]