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Republican senatorial candidate Thom Tillis is seen prior to a televised debate at WRAL television studios in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Pool)
This guy really is a prick:

North Carolina Speaker of the House, Republican Rep. Thom Tillis of Mecklenburg County, steps down from the podium with a gavel made especially  for him, after closing the legislature's first day back in session. The GOP has the majority in both chambers for the first time in over a century..gcyfs New Speaker
N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, wants fewer taxes and more user fees in North Carolina. If Tarheels wind up paying more out of pocket in fees than taxes, well, freedom.

The NC Department of Transportation project to widen I-26 here in Buncombe County may not be shovel-ready, but in his Mecklenburg County district Tillis supports widening I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville. With toll lanes.

“Lexus lanes,” opponents call them. Other critics call I-77 “Thom’s Tholl Road.”

Residents along the crowded interstate stretching north from Charlotte long anticipated seeing the highway finally widened. Except where citizens expected general-purpose lanes to relieve their daily commutes, Tillis backs a public-private partnership (P3) featuring High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes instead.

Oh, there will be new lanes all right, but to use them drivers will pay tolls to a foreign developer. What Raleigh saves today, Tillis’ neighbors will pay out of pocket for the next 50 years. Or else spend more time in traffic and less with their families or sleeping., a citizens’ group led by small-businessman Kurt Nass of Cornelius, writes, “Tillis not only favors I-77 toll lanes, but is willing to go to the mat to make sure we’re stuck with them.”

Tillis told opponents that with state revenues shrinking (because of tax cuts?) they had a choice: toll lanes “or no improvements to I-77 for 15 or 20 years.” It’s Thom’s way or no highway. - Asheville Citizen-Times, 8/22/14

Tillis is just making himself like a guy who bullies people to get his way. He's also been trying to look like he gives a shit about this:

State House and Senate leaders say lawmakers have reached a compromise on legislation that would make Duke Energy curb pollution from its 33 coal ash dumps across North Carolina.

A statement from House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger said conferees reached an agreement Tuesday that would give the state the strictest regulations in the nation. The statement said the legislation would make the state the first to force the closure of all coal ash ponds.

The statement said the bill sets a 15-year timetable for closing all unlined coal ash ponds. It also eliminates the practice of wet ash disposal. - ABC 11, 8/19/14

But I would take him seriously about that:

Robert Murray, chief executive of Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp
Money from coal companies has been fueling Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis’ race to unseat U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, including $21,100 from the nation’s largest privately owned coal company.

The contributions came from the Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp. The owner and founder, Robert E. Murray, is a major backer of Republican candidates and a fierce opponent of President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency, especially over a proposal that would limit heat-trapping emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Murray Energy is Tillis’ fifth-largest contributor. He has received money from the owner, company officers, employees and family members, and the company’s political action committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group. - News Observer, 8/7/14

Democrats have been spending a lot of money to take down Tillis and since he's the face of the unpopular, extremist GOP controlled General Assembly, Senator Kay Hagan (D. NC) is pushing to make that her advantage:

Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., takes questions from the media in April during an appearance in Durham. Hagan has tried for her first 5 1/2 years in the U.S. Senate to convince North Carolina voters that being in the middle of the road is a good thing
Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan wants voters to punish her Republican challenger Thom Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House, for . Tillis wants to aim anger toward President Obama at Hagan.

It's expected in elections for candidates to run against each other's records, but in purplish North Carolina, Hagan is hoping she has some unusually potent fodder.

Tillis, as speaker of the state House, was one of the guys at the helm when Republicans took over both houses of North Carolina's Legislature and governor's office in 2012 — the first time that had happened in more than a century. Last year they went on a historic lawmaking binge, enacting new voter ID laws, slashing unemployment benefits, cutting taxes, passing new abortion restrictions and allowing concealed guns in bars and restaurants.

erupted across the state, with thousands demonstrating in rallies and hundreds arrested throughout the year.

Gerald Silver, the pastor of Freedom Temple Church in West Raleigh, N.C., was one of those arrested.

"There's always been this undercurrent in North Carolina of wanting to return back to those days of Jim Crow. But they didn't have the political means to do it," said Silver — until now.

Hagan is hoping to ride that anxiety — that feeling that a vote for Tillis is a vote to return to North Carolina's uncomfortable past — to victory. - NPR, 8/21/14

We have to make sure our base comes out and votes this November so please do donate and get involved with Hagan's campaign so she can be ready to defeat Tillis:

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:43 PM PDT.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  What an asshat this Tillis is. (9+ / 0-)

    I find it interesting that "fees" (especially ones that go to private corporations) are OK, but "taxes" is a bad word. That ANY taxpayer buys this shit is just amazing to me.

    "To take another person's life from the bench is no better than to take another person's life from the street"

    by commonmass on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:52:36 PM PDT

    •  He'd doin' it wrong! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, poleshifter

      You need to create a public agency, like the Illinois Toll Highway Authority, BS'ing people that the bonds will be paid off and the tollways made freeways in X years. Only they keep charging tolls.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 03:45:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  here in los angeles (5+ / 0-)

    i have watched over the years as, one-by-one, each freeway converts its diamond lanes to fast track lanes that require tolls.  it's essentially the wholesale profit-grab of our public roads by private concerns.

    what conservatives call politically correct, liberals just call polite.

    by alguien on Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 02:56:20 PM PDT

  •  Dollars are IOUs. Sending them back to where (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they came from (were issued) is bad, letting them stay in the hands of those who earned nothing (the unearned income crowd) is good.

    Unearened income is what sustains predators. They just take (capture) what they want without giving anything in return. Predation is the default for organisms that don't have/produce anything anyone else wants. Most of the humans that fall into that category are male. Females, if nothing else, produce the next generation workforce.
    So, most predatory humans are male.

  •  Yes, the coal ash ponds will be addressed, but the (0+ / 0-)

    cost of the clean-up will be paid for by the rate payers in the end with rate hikes and not Duke Energy.  One little detail of that "new and improved" legislation (read:  worse than the original legislation proposed) that was quietly under reported:

    "One thing the compromise ash bill does not do is say who will pay of the cleanup of the ponds. Duke Energy has committed to paying for the cost of cleaning up the Dan River spill, but company executives have said they may seek rate hikes in order to help pay the disposal costs.

    The measure does place a moratorium on Duke asking for any rate increases associated with coal ash cleanup, but it expires on Jan. 15."

    And now, the "$ numbers":

    "But those voting against the measure cited the cost issue as a major factor in their opposition. Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, said power customers could see their rates rise $20-to-$30 per month if they were asked to cover all the costs."

    Your Tar Heel Teabilly Taliban state government at work....  For Duke Energy, that is.  Good thing our governor sold a good deal of his 401K stock in Duke Energy to make a profit before the crap hit the fan months ago in anticipation of a fallout of the price.

    Just a little bit of conflict of interest in looking out for the citizens of NC...  Maybe?

    Charlotte Observer: McCrory's Duke Energy Stock Was Obvious Conflict Of Interest"

    "That McCrory still doesn’t get it. The governor maintains “we haven’t broken any rules” when that is indisputably untrue. He says he is “amazed” at the questions surrounding his mistake, fully unable to comprehend that it’s a matter most North Carolinians consider newsworthy."

    These people in Raleigh are dirty, but worse yet, incompetent liars and grifters that have ginned the entire election and districting to stay in power until they can be toppled either by legal means, or by the people of North Carolina waking  up and realizing they live in one of the most regressive states in the country run by A.L.E.C. and the John Birch Society Koch brothers.

    Sorry about my rant, but that's my view from the country.

    Forward Together, Not One Step Back!

    "This is our time."

     - Rev. Dr. William Barber, II

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 06:42:21 AM PDT

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