October 2, 2019 / Press Releases

End Citizens United Names Sen. Thom Tillis to “Big Money 20”

Senator Tillis has taken over $2 million from corporate PACs over the course of his political career

A new poll shows ECU-endorsed candidate Cal Cunningham opens up a 7-point lead over a vulnerable Tillis after voters hear the contrast in their records on taking corporate PAC money

End Citizens United (ECU) today named Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) to the Big Money 20, the group’s top targets to defeat in 2020. ECU’s Big Money 20 campaign is focused on defeating incumbents who benefit most from the corrupt establishment in Washington by showing voters how politicians like Sen. Tillis put corporate special interest donors ahead of the people they’re supposed to represent. For the North Carolina Senate race, ECU has endorsed Cal Cunningham, who is rejecting corporate PAC money and running a people-powered campaign. Cunningham is a veteran and previously served in the North Carolina State Senate.

“Sen. Thom Tillis has repeatedly prioritized corporate special interest cash over North Carolinians,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller. “While Tillis skipped a Veterans Affairs Committee hearing to attend a campaign fundraiser this May, Cal Cunningham, an Army veteran and reformer, is proving his commitment to North Carolina families by rejecting corporate PAC money. North Carolinians want a new kind of senator who will work for them, not a politician like Tillis who works for Washington’s corrupt establishment. End Citizens United and our members will work to defeat Tillis and support Cunningham to make sure he wins.”

End Citizens United aims to educate voters about the Big Money 20, incumbents who represent the worst of Washington and rally support for reforming the political system. The members of the Big Money 20 are incumbents who take money from corporate special interests, mega-donors, and industries like Big Pharma and Big Oil and then put those interests ahead of their constituents.

Senator Thom Tillis’ campaigns have been a top destination for big money special interests, having taken over $2 million from corporate PACs and welcoming the help of the single-candidate super PAC, Grow NC Strong, in 2014. Tillis has repeatedly taken the side of corporate special interests in Congress over North Carolinians. In 2017, Tillis voted for the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a Republican attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The BCRA would have cut billions in taxes for big pharma and insurance companies and gutted protections for preexisting conditions, increase premiums, and allow insurers to charge older adults five times as much as younger adults. Tillis also voted for the disastrous Republican tax bill, which cut taxes for corporations but will raise taxes for many middle class families, will add $1.9 trillion to the deficit, and threatens huge cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

A new poll of North Carolina voters, commissioned by End Citizens United (ECU) and conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), shows incumbent Senator Thom Tillis with an all-time-low favorability rating of 33 percent and reformer Cal Cunningham beating the sitting Senator 45 to 43 percent in the U.S. Senate race. The poll also shows that Tillis is vulnerable for his decision to accept special interest money. Voters are tired of the ways that long-time politicians like Senator Tillis rake in millions of dollars from corporate special interest donors in exchange for votes that harm everyday North Carolinians.

ECU is a traditional political action committee (PAC) with more than four million members, including 91,500 in North Carolina. ECU raised $44 million in the 2018 last cycle and helped elect over 150 members to the 116th Congress, including two new U.S. Senators and 58 new U.S. Representatives. In the 2018 cycle, End Citizens United helped defeat 81% of the Big Money 20 targets. ECU will connect its more than 550,000 members to endorsed candidates who are challenging Big Money 20 targets.The reform group is entirely grassroots-funded with an average donation of just $14.

For a full list and additional background on the Big Money 20, click here

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