The 2014 North Carolina Senate race for the US Senate has the dubious distinction of being the most expensive Senate race in history. The Republican Party was determined to unseat Democrat Party incumbent Kay Hagan. Enabled by the Republican-led gerrymandering in 2010, the stage was set. So the money poured in, seventy percent coming from out of state Political Action Committees (PACs). Looming large among the PACs were the Americans for Prosperity managed by the Koch brothers, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At the end of the day, Thom Tillis (formerly Speaker of the House in the NC General Assembly) was elected as one of NC's Senators.
This is his official Senate picture
Senator Tillis became the butt of many jokes recently, following his outrageous and stupid comments regarding hand washing requirements in business. At a recent Bipartisan Policy Center conference Tillis bemoaned the onerous regulations that the Federal Government places on businesses. He might have made a better point had he not taken hand washing as his example of onerous regulation. Really Senator? Hand washing?
He went on to say that "I don't have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says, 'We don't require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom.'" (I guess it didn't occur to him that he was replacing one regulation to require hand washing with another one to require a sign.) Then he went on, "The market will take care of that." Tillis has not responded to any statements regarding his outrageous suggestion. No indication that he thinks it might have been inappropriate or that he misspoke.
You know your Senator is a buffoon when he makes a five-minute slot on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart who gave Tillis the title of "Mr. Ayn Rand of 2015." You can see the clip here
Our Freshman Senator ridiculed by Jon Stewart
The jokes have abounded. Similar to this one from Salon: If you ever see Senator Thom Tillis out campaigning, don't let him shake your hand or kiss your baby."
This will no longer be a common sight.
The truth is not the irony about substituting one regulation for another. The truth is that no matter what Thom Tillis thinks, the public needs to be protected from unclean food and beverage service.
Tillis seems to have forgotten an incident that occurred here in his home state in 2013. Eating at an All American Grill here in North Carolina led to the infection of a hundred people with salmonella. Several health code violations contributed to this outbreak, including the fact that the grill ran out of paper towels and soap and employees could not effectively wash their hands. So the salmonella infected a hundred customers before the market had a chance to take care of it.
A silly and inane statement in any context, considering lifting regulations that employees wash hands after using the restroom makes us ashamed of having elected this man to make the laws of the land.
So Charles and David, I suggest that you do some research before spending your millions on our state politicians. Seriously? Is Thom Tillis the best your money could buy?
[In the interest of full disclosure, I did not approve of Tillis when he led our General Assembly. I actively campaigned for his opponent and definitely did not help elect him to office.]