As we reported exclusively two months ago, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley was working hard to convince one of her wealthy political donors to run for lieutenant governor – a largely ceremonial part-time post with little real power.
Well guess what: Haley was successful. Her hand-picked candidate – Lowcountry real estate developer Pat McKinney – filed paperwork this month with the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC). McKinney also donated $1,000 to his lieutenant gubernatorial campaign.
Why would anyone want this office? Good question … we’ll let you know if anyone ever comes up with an answer.
Why does Haley want someone running for this pointless post? Easy: She’s looking to settle a score with the current occupant of the office, Glenn McConnell.
Haley and McConnell – then the powerful president of the State Senate – engaged in a high-profile spat in 2011 following the first of three totally unproductive legislative sessions for the governor. Upset at lawmakers, Haley attempted to convene an emergency session of the S.C. General Assembly in an attempt to force them to address her agenda items – specifically her watered-down government restructuring bill.
McConnell sued, arguing Haley had no constitutional authority to call for an emergency session – and his lawsuit was later upheld by the S.C. Supreme Court.
The following year Haley and McConnell battled anew after the governor was busted selling our state’s economic interests down the river via the “Savannah River Sellout.” Livid at the governor’s nakedly self-serving act, McConnell referred to her decision – which killed a public-private port in Jasper County, S.C. and diminished the competitiveness of the Port of Charleston – as the “rape of the river.”
McConnell is livid at Haley over her decision to challenge him … in fact sources tell FITS he has commissioned a poll in an effort to determine how feasible it would be to challenge her in a GOP primary for governor.
McConnell actually drew 26 percent of the GOP primary vote in the survey – compared to Haley’s 42 percent. That’s not bad considering she’s an incumbent and he’s never run a statewide campaign.
Of course McConnell is highly unlikely to run against Haley. And he may not run for Lt. Governor either. In fact it’s looking like he will try to paddle on out of Columbia in a government-funded lifeboat – the president’s job at the College of Charleston (assuming he’s not too controversial for the position).
Stay tuned … McConnell must decide soon whether he’s going to let Haley take him out or stand and fight.
Pissing match. Who cares.
And another puppet for her majesty.
Not so fast. Wonder who else will consider running for the second spot. Could get interesting. Maybe Haley would love having McConnell instead of someone else.
Not a McConnell fan, but he knows she’s trash.
Isn’t Mcconnell a homo? If he is he could win a statewide race in NY, NJ or CA but not SC.
Haley is one vindictive witch.
“Why would anyone want this office? Good question …”
Which brings to mind a great unanswered question for me, and I assume most taxpayers of SC…since we pay the bill.
What kind of benefits do statewide elected and appointed officials/agency heads receive, particularly those who have never held a state position before? We learned a year or two ago, from his time away from the job, that Mick Zais comes and goes as he pleases. Are they not required to put in their 37.5 hours a week? Do they accrue sick and annual leave? Can they choose to never show up for work and never have a record made of the days they work to earn their salaries?
Are they part of the retirement system? If they are unelected after 4 years and unvested in the system, can they come back later and buy time to get full benefits based on their ridiculously high salaries?
Same for health care and other insurance coverage. If they are retirement age already, like Zais, will he and others like him be entitled to state health insurance coverage with the taxpayers contributing, i.e. funding their Medicare supplement state coverage?
Whoa, Pat? I know him all too well. Boy, if I could only tell what I know. The past can come back to haunt you, my friend.