Democrats File Formal Complaint Over Tillis Campaign's Use Of Cambridge Analytica

May 2, 2018

The North Carolina Democratic Party has filed a formal complaint against U.S. Sen Thom Tillis' campaign committee and the state Republican Party stemming from work performed by Cambridge Analytica, the firm alleged to have vacuumed up large sums of Facebook data in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential race. 

Cambridge Analytica was paid a total of $180,000 by Tillis’ campaign and the state GOP during the 2014 elections. 

The complaint alleges that the Tillis and the state's Republican Party knowingly assisted Cambridge Analytica's foreign national employees in influencing the North Carolina Senate race, which would be a violation of federal law. 

The complaint also alleges that the Tillis campaign and the party accepted "illegal and excessive" in-kind contributions from a Super Pac run by John Bolton, President Donald J. Trump's current national security adviser. Bolton's PAC spent close to $1.4 million on the race. 

The Democrats are requesting an investigation and for Tillis and Republicans to be fined the maximum amount allowed by law. 

Tillis’ campaign and the state GOP are calling the allegations untrue.

"This is a frivolous and blatant, politically-motivated complaint that makes a mockery of the Federal Election Commission process," the Tillis campaign said in a statement to the Associated Press, adding it "never employed foreign workers or improperly coordinated with outside groups."

Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director for the state Republican Party, told the Associated Press that state party decisions "were made by North Carolina citizens from our downtown Raleigh office."

Both the GOP and Tillis downplayed the firm's role in the 2014 election. Woodhouse described Cambridge Analytica as one of many direct-mail vendors that provided no social media work.

Stay informed: Sign up for The Frequency newsletter and get WFAE headlines in your inbox every weekday.