A new barrage of TV ads criticizing state lawmakers over environmental issues will begin airing this week, this one singling out House Speaker Thom Tillis.
This ad is the opening salvo from the N.C. League of Conservation Voters, and is part of what the organization says is a $1 million drive to hold polluters accountable and win greater protections against future spills like the coal ash pollution of the Dan River this year.
Earlier this year, several state environmental advocacy groups and the national Natural Resources Defense Council kicked off a series of TV ads targeting specific Republican state legislators. The NRDC said more than $1 million would be spent.
The League of Conservation Voters coal ash campaign, separate from the state and national coalition’s campaign, begins with an ad buy of $845,000 airing from Friday to July 24 in the Triangle, Charlotte, Triad and Asheville, the League says.
Titled “Happened Here,” the ad focuses on the Dan River spill and then blames Tillis for coming up with weak legislation to guard against future spills.
“As one of our most power legislators, Speaker Tillis failed to use his clout to protect public health and our drinking water from coal ash spills,” Dan Crawford, director of governmental relations for the NCLCV, said in a news release. “He’s catered to polluters instead of adopting badly needed safeguards, and left the possibility that North Carolina ratepayers will bear the cost of cleaning up this mess.”
The House and Senate have come up with different versions of coal ash legislation, with support from Democratic as well as Republican legislators.
Tillis, a Republican from Huntersville, is the Republican candidate running against U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, the Democratic incumbent.
Daniel Keylin, communications director for Tillis campaign, released this statement in response:
"This is a blatantly misleading attack from yet another one of Kay Hagan's far-left special interest groups that would rather deceive North Carolinians than have an honest debate on the issues. Thom Tillis is the only candidate in this race who has taken swift and comprehensive action to directly address North Carolina's coal ash problem. After the spill, Kay Hagan merely called for more studies to look into the problem, while Thom Tillis showed leadership and took action to make sure future spills don't happen again."
Here’s the ad: