Many, including myself, were surprised that Paul Stam was not elected Speaker of the House. Stam had been a conservative stalwart in the house for many years and many thought that he would lead the conservative revolution in Raleigh after the GOP took both houses of state government. We were wrong. Thom Tillis emerged from out of the shadows and was elected Speaker. Much about Tillis was unknown. We knew that he had had a successful private sector career and that he was in charge of the House GOP Election Committee. Other than that, he appeared to be a mystery.
Yet this past session opened up the eyes of conservatives to the fact that Thom Tillis is a moderate establishment republican who is not about changing the culture as he is tweaking it to his own designs. My friend Brant Clifton who runs the website www.dailyhaymaker.com posted a story about how Richard Morgan is the political "godfather" of Mr. Tillis.
Let me list some of these issues that we conservatives have with Speaker Tillis.
1. The GOP lead House and Senate let the gas tax cap expire. Now the House did come back and take action after the heat got turned up but the fact that Speaker Tillis let the cap expire in the first place is enough for concern.
2. Thom Tillis has stated that he feels the Marriage Amendment will eventually be overturned. This negative and ridiculous statement leads many to question whether he truly supports the amendment at all.
3. The lack of urgency when it comes to reducing the size of government. Speaker Tillis seems comfortable with doing the typical establishment plan of shifting money around and not changing the culture of spending and waste. He also seems very lax when it comes to immigration reform which we desperately need in this state.
4. His unheralded connection to the corrupt Richard Morgan.
When you take into account his background with Richard Morgan, some very questionable decisions in this past session, and his apparent disdain for conservatives, it must be clear that if we want to truly change the culture of government in Raleigh, than we need a new Speaker of the House. Someone who will tackle the issues of reforming our tax code, reforming education, cracking down on illegal immigration, and reducing the scope and influence government has in our daily lives. That someone, at least right now, isn't Thom Tillis.