Republican senatorial candidate Thom Tillis listens during a televised debate at WRAL television studios in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Pool)
Oh it's on:


UNITED STATES - Sept 24: Thom Tillis (R) North Carolina during an interview at Roll Call in Washington, D.C.   (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
The state House Minority Leader is hauling accusations at Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis.

Durham Representative Larry Hall told media on Tuesday he believes Democrats are being persecuted for not agreeing with the majority party.

Hall points to the fact as Minority Leader Tillis has denied him funding for a chief of staff. He says he was specifically told that it was because of an action he took to question the majority parties' new legislative building rules. - Time Warner Cable News Charlotte, 7/15/14

Here's a little more info:


Hall, D-Durham, also said House Republicans have used "tabling" to cut off debate in the current session more than twice as many times as it was used by Democrats from 2001 to 2009.

"It's a disturbing and destructive pattern of persecuting those who don't agree with whatever the leadership says they want to have done," he said.

Leaders of both the majority and minority caucuses are traditionally allowed at least one full-time staffer to coordinate meetings, communicate with members and help with research and bill drafting. The money for those staffers is allocated in the state budget.

Hall told WRAL News that he, Tillis and other leaders had agreed on a 2014 budget of $85,000 for staff for the Democratic caucus.

However, Hall said, the speaker changed his mind and refused to release the money or approve the caucus' request to hire a chief of staff because of Hall's outspoken opposition to new legislative building rules.  

Hall said Tillis counsel Ray Starling told him that his comments at the Legislative Services Commission meeting on the new rules offended Republicans on the panel.

"I was told that, unless I apologized to the members of the Legislative Services Commission for objecting to the new rules, we would not be funded," he said. - WRAL< 7/15/14

Here's a little more info:


Starling said Tuesday that he did not turn down Hall's request for a staff member, adding he would talk more about it later. Approached later, Starling directed questions to Tillis spokeswoman Anna Roberts. She said in an email they did not usually comment on personnel issues.

Subsequently, Tillis agreed to allow Hall to hire a staffer for one month, Hall said, but that person's term ended in June.

Traditionally, minority leaders have money for a chief of staff that handles research, questions and requests from other members.

Hall distributed salary charts to show the staff budget for his office at about $49,000 a year. In June 2009, the last full fiscal year that Democrats were in the majority, Rep. Paul Stam, who was then minority leader, had a staff with a total annual salary of about $118,000.

The annualized budget for Tillis' staff is about $882,000, according to Hall's calculations.

Hall also slammed House Republicans for using maneuvers to shut down debate on amendments. That's been done more this year than in all of 2001-2009, when Democrats ran the House.

According to his figures, Democrats made motions to table amendments 14 times and were successful 10 times, while Republicans made 51 attempts and were successful 49 times.

Rep. Grier Martin, a Raleigh Democrat, said stifling debate "is a step away from a democratic system and toward something that nobody wants to see." - News Observer, 7/15/14

It's no wonder North Carolina voters are fed up with the General Assembly.  Tillis is blatantly abusing his power and now he's trying to get voters to send him to the U.S. Senate.  But his chances aren't looking good right now:


Things might be looking up for Sen. Kay Hagan in her re-election bid.
Expert political handicapper Stuart Rothenberg of Roll Call has moved the much-watched N.C. Senate race between Hagan and N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis from "Toss Up" to "Tilts Democrat" in the 2014 Election race ratings.

Rothenberg cites a number of factors, among them the extremely poor poll numbers of the Republican held General Assembly.

The longer N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis has to preside over the unending, contentious mess that is the General Assembly's short session, the worse it's going to be for his campaign.

Not only does the fighting within his own party and its apparent inability to come to some budget agreement have the potential to reflect poorly on Tillis' leadership, but it keeps Tillis' attention out of the campaign.

That includes essential fund raising. Hagan out-raised Tillis by $2 million in the second quarter and now has $7 million more cash-on-hand. - Greensboro News & Record, 7/15/14

We defeat Tillis, the Kochs, Art Pope and Karl Rove by getting the base out for Hagan.  Things are looking good for us but we can't take anything for granted.  Click here to donate and get involved with Hagan's campaign:

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 11:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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