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Citizens use U.S. Senate debate to honor Speaker Thom Tillis with “Tilly Awards"

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Thom Tillis was the star as progressive partners Planned Parenthood Votes and NC State AFL-CIO turned a planned protest into a chance for private citizens to recognize instead the many noteworthy accomplishments of Speaker Thom Tillis.

Media Release for October 7, 2014

Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director, [email protected], 336-255-2711


NC State AFL-CIO and Planned Parenthood Votes put politics aside to recognize Speaker Tillis’ many noteworthy accomplishments

DURHAM, N.C. (October 7, 2014) – Thom Tillis was the star as progressive partners Planned Parenthood Votes and the North Carolina State AFL-CIO surprised political pundits and campaign watchers alike today by turning a planned protest outside the second U.S. Senate debate into a chance for private citizens to recognize instead the many noteworthy accomplishments of the North Carolina House Speaker and Republican challenger to Sen. Kay Hagan.

Collectively and affectionately known by organizers as the “Tilly Awards”, each unique, tongue-in-cheek award gave Thom Tillis the credit he deserves for using his considerable talents as a politician and his power leading the majority party in the State House to aggressively pursue an agenda that has delivered real results for quiet ideologues, underprivileged campaign donors, and powerless for-profit corporations.

“Sure, working families have endorsed Kay Hagan’s bid for reelection and are working tirelessly to make sure she wins on November 4, but we can’t let that get in the way of comity,” said an official with the state AFL-CIO, which, in reference to his controversial cuts to unemployment benefits, presented Speaker Tillis with a steel-toe boot “to protect him from unnecessary workplace injury when kicking jobless workers while they’re down”.

As advocates for women’s health care walked a picket line behind her in support of Kay Hagan, one protester and motorcycle enthusiast left the pack to honor Speaker Tillis for not passing up the opportunity to combine mandates on helmet use with medically unnecessary abortion restrictions.

“It takes a special kind of guy to deny access to safe, equitable, and affordable health care for women while simultaneously increasing access to motorcycle safety. For being a politician who feels more qualified than women and their doctors to make women’s health care decisions, we present Speaker Tillis the ‘Gynotician of the Year’ Award,” said Melissa Reed, who presented Speaker Tillis with a stethoscope over a motorcycle helmet.

Members of the Triangle’s most irascible singing group, The Raging Grannies, showed up to serenade Tillis and to present the Speaker with numerous Tilly Awards, including a giant pink slip “for having earned the only appropriate award for his many years of service to the big-money, right-wing folks who have made his career possible.”

The list of the 2014 Tilly Awards was as follows:

“Steel-toed” – A steel-toe boot to keep safety first when kicking workers while they’re down by cutting off their unemployment benefits lifeline.
[“A Perfect Storm of Cuts Batters North Carolina's Unemployed” by The Nation, 8/16/13:]

“Gynotician of the Year” – A shiny stethoscope atop a motorcycle helmet for attempting to defund Planned Parenthood, for wanting to overturn the Affordable Care Act, and for cynically rewriting a bill on motorcycle safety into a ‘motorcycle vagina’ bill full of unnecessary abortion restrictions.
["N.C. Legislature OKs abortion limits via motorcycle safety legislation" by MSNBC, 7/11/13:]

“Future Passed” – A torn diploma for cutting $500 million from public education, thereby forcing school systems to layoff teacher assistants, forcing teachers to go underpaid, forcing school kids to go without textbooks, and earning North Carolina the distinction of “Worst state to be a teacher”.
["Vouchers gain ground, public education loses in final budget" by NC Policy Watch, 7/25/13:]

“Extra Constitutional” – A copy of both the North Carolina and United States constitutions, which Thom Tillis swore an oath to defend, for obviously having never read either document, as implied by numerous state and federal court rulings against laws and rules enacted by the General Assembly under Tillis’ leadership.
["Making laws challenge-proof" by The Charlotte Observer, 8/20/14:]

“Monster Voter” – A scary Halloween mask for all the frightening changes Thom Tillis made to North Carolina elections laws that will make it harder for his political opponents to vote and easier than ever for his Big Money backers to bankroll his campaign and his political party.
["North Carolina’s ‘Monster’ Voting Law Challenged in Federal Court" by The Nation, 7/6/14:]

“Toxic Tonic” – A bottle of dirty water, fouled by unknown industrial chemicals thanks to Thom Tillis fast-tracking fracking and making the disclosure of fracking chemicals a felony.
["North Carolina To Lift Fracking Ban And Criminalize The Disclosure Of Fracking Chemicals" by Think Progress, 6/5/14:]

“Rubber Chicken” – Literally a rubber chicken for technically working for all of the people of North Carolina but displaying none of the courage necessary to meet with his opponents.
["14 protesters arrested during Tillis office sit-in" by The Carolina Mercury, 5/27/14:]

“Waffle No More” – A pancake turner to help Thom Tillis keep it together when flip-flopping on his controversial policy positions depending on whether he’s raising campaign cash, trying to out “Tea Party” his Republican rivals, or attempting to convince North Carolina voters he isn’t the extremist his record shows him to be.
["Tillis flip-flops on federal shutdown" by Asheville Citizen-Times, 8/11/14:]

“Pinky” – A giant pink slip shows Thom Tillis how voters feel about his bid for a promotion from Speaker of the State House to United States Senator.


The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is the largest association of local unions and union councils in North Carolina, representing over one-hundred thousand union members, fighting for good jobs, safe workplaces, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and quality public services on behalf of ALL working families.  PO Box 10805, Raleigh, NC 27605.


Thom Tillis was the star at 2014 "Tilly Awards"

Thom Tillis was the star at 2014 "Tilly Awards"