On Nikki Haley’s Car Crash

Earlier this week FITS broke the story of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s involvement in a previously unreported single-car accident in North Carolina back in June. “The car ran off the road and hit a pole,” we wrote, an account which the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) later confirmed to other…

Earlier this week FITS broke the story of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s involvement in a previously unreported single-car accident in North Carolina back in June.

“The car ran off the road and hit a pole,” we wrote, an account which the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) later confirmed to other media outlets.

Of course the real story isn’t the fact the governor was in a car crash. The real story is that South Carolina taxpayers subsidized her travel (and the travel of two of her campaign aides) to an overtly political event where she engaged in campaign fundraising.

Haley was in North Carolina to raise cash for her 2014 reelection bid. Pure and simple. In fact she raised an estimated $36,500 on her trip, according to The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper.

That is by definition political activity, which means it is against the law for taxpayer resources to be used. Which is why this accident was never made public – because the governor and her staffers were breaking the law at the time the crash occurred.

At this point Haley should know better, seeing as she previously came under fire for racking up exorbitant security costs on political trips – including fundraising trips. The governor reimbursed some (but not all) of those costs, however her spokesman told The State she’s not reimbursing taxpayers for this trip because she “was not an announced candidate” at the time it was undertaken.


In April 2011, Haley filed a campaign finance report – her first as a sitting governor.  The office she declared for on that report? “Governor.” The year? “2014.”

In other words, she was a candidate. Which makes the use of taxpayer resources in connection with her fundraising efforts illegal.

Will Haley be held accountable for any of this? Of course not …

The governor has skated on much more serious violations in the past … and even if the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) decides to take up a new case against her, we all know how that’s going to end (and why the governor receives such preferential treatment from this agency).

Once again, the law simply doesn’t apply to Nikki Haley …

UPDATE: Looks like the SCSEC agrees with our assessment.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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Smirks August 28, 2013 at 8:45 am

Why is it so hard for her to drive her own car? For fucks sake, just pay the gas bill, it shouldn’t even be that much. It’s North Carolina, not North Dakota.

? August 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm

IMO it’s probably indicative of a pattern. If she constantly uses every taxpayer/state asset, then by the end of the year all the little expenses add up to quite a savings.

It’s probably impossible to get an accurate accounting of how many times she uses state resources at her disposal for things other then official business….but rest assured it’s a big number each year.

??? August 28, 2013 at 8:48 am

You are really watching Nikki’s every move. Am not saying she is innocent or guilty of her actions, but I’ve never seen a blog that is is so anti-Nikki. Is it because she is a woman or a daughter of immigrants?

GaryJR August 28, 2013 at 8:51 am

Aren’t they good reasons?

Same ol' Same ol' August 28, 2013 at 8:57 am

Aren’t Governors supposed to honest and do things the right way? I know, this is SC so we should just give them a pass.

Someone needs to call officials out when the break the rules. If it were most folks, we’d already be up on the rug about it.

Will Folks aka Sic August 28, 2013 at 9:35 am

Yes, that’s it. You’ve got your finger on it now … (TWSS)

CNSYD August 28, 2013 at 10:44 am

Actually you missed the real reason. Ever since Haley closed her legs to Sic Willie he has been on a vendetta against her. Hell hath no fury………..

You know me August 28, 2013 at 10:49 am

No no no, he dumped her…right? Wasn’t she trying to leave her husband for Will?

CNSYD August 28, 2013 at 11:09 am

Its all covered in Will’s book. Surely you have seen it on a news stand near you.

CorruptionInColumbia August 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm

How about because she is a shameless crook?

warren August 28, 2013 at 9:06 am

Haley’s response of not being an announced candidate is BS. She was raising money for her campaign. She was not on official state business. She should pay for the cost of driving the state owned Suburban and the damage done to it.

EJB August 28, 2013 at 9:37 am

The damage to the vehicle shouldn’t be covered by State insurance; it should go against her insurance.

TheCoast August 28, 2013 at 11:19 am

This is great! I would love a state vehicle and driver to subsidize any upcoming run for office that I might consider. When and where can I pick mine up?

You know me August 28, 2013 at 9:47 am

Who was in the car besides this pathetic little girl?

nitrat August 28, 2013 at 9:49 am

Doesn’t the SCSEC have to receive a complaint?
I don’t think this notoriously understaffed and underfunded agency has people to sit around reading every daily and weekly in the state to see what they can find on our state’s corrupt office holders.
Where’s John Rainey when we need him? Maybe, FITS wants to file a complaint; the form is online.
The corruption and complicity of the state’s chief law enforcement officer Keel in this is more disturbing than the corruption of politicians and their hacks. I was listening to a criminologist on MSNBC last week who was talking about how law enforcement breaks down in a community or society when the citizens view it as illegitimate. I believe we have reached that point with SLED.
The first response of everyone here, in the party of Richard Nixon, is to cover up…just to save a few bucks of campaign funds to reimburse the state for the inappropriate use of state resources As always, the cover up is worse than the crime.
Will they ever learn that honesty is the best policy?

CNSYD August 28, 2013 at 10:45 am

John Rainey is busy trying to explain how he saddled SC with Sanfraud.

tomstickler August 28, 2013 at 9:50 am

Care to discuss the discrepancy between the anonymous SLED source in the first post about the wreck claiming that the Suburban was “totaled” and the official SLED spokesman describing the damage as minor and that the vehicle has been repaired?

Good Ole Boy August 28, 2013 at 9:59 am

The State newspaper estimates $36,500 raised on this trip. I bet cost of the trip to South Carolina was much more than $36,500. If Haley’s campaign had to reimburse SC she’d lose money and quit all this out of state fundraising crap!

TontoBubbaGoldstein August 28, 2013 at 10:36 am

TBG notes that the Appalacian Trail runs through North Carolina.

TheCoast August 28, 2013 at 11:28 am

Just points that need clarification:
Which agency owns the state vehicle? Little known fact-agencies other than SLED are expected to provide this Governor with a vehicle and a driver/security person to drive it.

What funding source was used to purchase this vehicle? Depending on the agency & the source of funds used, it could be a diversion of funds to use this vehicle for anything other than the mission of the agency. If so, you are talking about an audit problem for the agency. One that very well could cause the agency to owe its funding source a reimbursement and/or threaten future funding.

Who was driving the vehicle? Not all drivers come from SLED. It is a team being provided from other agencies with a law enforcement component.
It would be the responsibility of the driver and his/her agency to report any accident involving a state vehicle.
As an aside, I would hope that if this is deemed an appropriate use of state resources – the campaign of someone running for Governor – that all candidates would be allowed the same opportunity. Although that surely would get a bit expensive for those of us actually picking up the tab. The Governor’s actions certainly don’t scream “I’m all about saving the State money and reducing senseless spending.”

Smoke August 28, 2013 at 11:48 am

Shame on her. She’ll suffer no consequences, of course.

You should be pretty pissed off at your SLED sources. There were some major discrepancies between what you say they told you and what the
NC accident report said.

CorruptionInColumbia August 28, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Nobody’s sources are 100% accurate, 100% of the time. I appreciate Fits doing what it can to uncover these stories that no one else has the balls to cover and doing what he can with what he has.

Smoke August 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Oh, please. As a result of information from his sources, Fits printed that a state vehicle was totalled while travelling. And it turns out it suffered minor damage in a very low speed bump in a parking lot. That’s just embarrassingly wrong. As soon as Fits ran with the story, out comes the story in The State with the accurate info.
It’s almost like someone at SLED was fucking with him. If I were him, I’d be pissed.

CorruptionInColumbia August 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Okay, so who is parroting inaccurate info now? The State says he struck a “metal pole”, not a “low speed bump”. Also, while it admittedly doesn’t take much damage to run up a $4,000+ damage bill on one of today’s vehicles, that is more than, “it’ll buff right out”. It only takes $2K to qualify for grand larceny if you are talking theft.

Smoke August 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Sorry, I knew it was a pole, just worded it poorly. I should have said a “bump at low speed.”

Anyway. Fits’s original report was *significantly* inconsistent with the NC accident report. Either his sources misled him, or were misinformed themselves, or he carelessly or purposely put inaccurate information in print.
I don’t think it looks good, but what do I know, I’m not a journalist.

Bill August 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

As I have said. Will the bleeding never end from these “conservative” “Tea Party” Republicans. How much must the taxpayers shell out to support the Haley family and their endeavors.

S.C. Fraud Alert Network August 28, 2013 at 11:53 am

“Join the Movement”, vote Haley pou of office.
“It will be a GREAT day in South Carolina”!
She has proven herself to be a fraud many times over.
This is a message of the Fraud Alert Network and we approve this message.


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