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In contrast to the multiple transparency headaches endured by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley since taking office, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis has been getting some pretty good ink lately for simply walking the walk on this issue.

In fact, we ran Loftis’ oped on the subject two weeks ago … just as the Transparency Queen was rocked by yet another scandal involving secret taxpayer-funded meetings.

Needless to say Haley’s office was furious over Loftis’ oped – and responded by getting S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom to send him a not-so-subtle message.

Of course Loftis has consistently found himself in Haley’s cross hairs – dating back to his refusal to endorse one of her initial political appointments last December. The war between Haley and Loftis escalated last month when the governor’s man-child chief of staff fired off a smarmy letter to his counterpart in Loftis’ office – days after Haley held a closed door meeting of a majority of the S.C. Budget and Control Board that excluded both Loftis and Eckstrom.

Once just insider political gossip, the feud is now hitting the mainstream ….

In fact Brian Hicks, a columnist for The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, has picked up the narrative and plastered it all over the pages of the state’s largest newspaper.

In a column published on Monday, Hicks contrasts Loftis’ “do-as-I-do” approach to governing with Haley’s “do-as-I-say” hypocrisy.

“You gotta like this new state treasurer,” Hicks writes. “Curtis Loftis hasn’t been in office two months yet, and he’s already shaken up Columbia enough that the establishment is gunning for him.”

Wait … isn’t that what Haley was supposed to do?

Hicks also criticizes Haley’s office for its “immature jab” at Loftis after he sought info from her closed-door budget meeting.

(To read Hicks’ column in its entirety, click here).

Of course it is the last line of Hicks’ column – in which he assesses Haley’s reaction to the Loftis threat – that reportedly has the governor and her staff fuming.

“With Loftis’ job eliminated, some people might decide to draft a true transparency crusader to run for governor,” Hicks column concludes.

Yowzas …

Not surprisingly, Haley’s office is interpreting this line as a direct threat against the governor – and a sign that Loftis is contemplating a primary challenge against her in 2014. In fact, sources tell FITS that behind closed doors Haley’s staff is accusing Loftis of leaking the specific language to Hicks for use in his column.

Good stuff, huh?

Needless to say, we’ll be sure to keep it tuned to “Days of our Governor” for the latest …

UPDATE: Apparently Hicks has become the latest reporter to be “cut off” by the Haley administration.

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