In a move straight out of Hermann Goering’s playbook, S.C. First Gentleman Michael Haley wanted to use taxpayer funds to chill wine given to the governor’s family by political donors.
According to reporter Jim Davenport of the Associated Press, Haley raised the idea of an “air conditioned and humidity controlled” wine room with Geoff Sandifer – the governor’s executive chef. Sandifer – who was recently busted using taxpayer resources to promote his catering business – agreed with Haley, and began pressing the state’s facilities manager regarding the project.
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and her family have been receiving free wine and liquor at the mansion courtesy of Mike Sisk – a campaign executive with the Ben Arnold Beverage Company. In April, Haley appointed Sisk to the S.C. State Ports Authority. In August, a reception for Ben Arnold executives was held at the Governor’s Mansion.
Pretty cozy, eh?
The wine cellar never materialized, although as recently as early September state officials following up on Michael Haley’s request were working to identify a funding source.
Incidentally, Davenport’s story was unearthed using information obtained from taxpayer-funded emails. Given Haley’s recently-revealed policy of destroying public records, however, it’s not clear whether reporters will be able to expose these sorts of scams any longer. As we’ve noted previously, that’s what makes Haley’s hypocritical lack of transparency so troubling … and potentially so costly.