Of all the agencies in S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s cabinet, the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – the state’s welfare agency – is by far the worst managed.
Since Haley installed Lillian Koller as its director, SCDSS has done practically nothing right.
In addition to the colossal and ongoing failure of its child support enforcement database project, SCDSS has dropped the ball on a food stamp waiver touted by Haley. Not only that its benefit call center was recently shut down (reportedly pending a federal investigation) and the success of its so-called “welfare-to-work” program is the result of cooked books … similar to touted reforms to its food stamp system.
Then there’s the issue of questionable government contracts doled out to Koller’s, um, “special friends.” And if all that weren’t bad enough, the agency has actual blood on its hands …
Privately, lawmakers of both parties are urging Haley to get rid of Koller … but the governor’s office isn’t budging. And her recalcitrance is about to become a real political liability heading into the home stretch of her reelection campaign.
So … why does Haley continue to stand by Koller’s side? And why do the governor’s aides continue to dismiss the laundry list of allegations against her as nothing but “politics?” And why is Koller still viewed by Haley as a “rock star?”
Good questions … none of which are being asked by the mainstream media, which for the most part has averted its eyes from the unfolding SCDSS disaster.
We originally thought Haley’s unswerving “loyalty” to Koller was a matter of political calculation. After all, Haley has made “welfare-to-work” one of her reelection themes – and firing Koller would be a tacit admission that those gains were completely illusory (something everyone who works at the agency already knows).
It turns out the truth is much worse …
When Haley picked Koller out of Hawaii in 2011, it was a surprise choice to say the least.
“We went across this country to find the best person that we could find,” Haley bragged in introducing Koller to the local media.
The governor praised the 58-year-old effusively for her work in Hawaii – even though it was later revealed Koller faced a federal lawsuit over issues with the state’s food stamp program.
“The list of rock stars grows,” Haley boasted. “She brings a true amount of experience in a time when South Carolina needs it, and a lot of reform and conservatism at a time when South Carolina wants it.”
We’re still waiting …
In reality Haley’s choice had little to do with “finding the best person that we could find” and plenty to do with repaying a political debt – specifically the $900,000 the Republican Governors Association pumped into her 2010 campaign against S.C. Senator Vincent Sheheen.
That money came at a critical time for Haley, who nearly blew a 21-point lead over Sheheen.
“The RGA was pushing her hard,” a source familiar with Koller’s hiring tells FITS. “She was out of a job in Hawaii with a new Democratic governor coming in and they were scrambling to find her a job.”
Numerous sources tell FITS the RGA sent out emails to GOP governors – and incoming governors – pushing Koller’s resume and qualifications.
Only Haley bit …
Several Republican lawmakers have privately expressed frustration to FITS over Haley’s refusal to fire Koller – who makes $154,879 a year (not counting benefits). They have also expressed shock at the extent to which Haley’s staffers – notably chief of staff Ted Pitts and legislative aide Katherine Veldran – defend Koller.
“They have blinders on,” one GOP legislator told us. “They refuse to hear anything negative about her.”
Well guess what … they’re about to hear lots of negative things about Koller in the near future, at which point Haley will be forced to either stand up to the GOP establishment or suffer some serious political trauma.
Maybe she’s licking Haley’s kitty while Captain Cuckold waters plants in Afghanistan?
Don’t you mean Captain Cockhole?
Make that Colonel Cuckold
When the Cuckold went to Afghanistan to teach the Ho’s how to use a Hoe he was promoted
By the time the Colonel cums home he will be a General Cuckold
Or at the least, a cuckold — in general…….
How did he get from Captain Cuckold to Colonel Cuckold without some time-in-grade as a Major Cuckold?
He took some night classes at Heartbreakers and upon completion of his orals he qualified as a Colonel
The national news reported today that poppy production has reached an all time high. Will NIMRATA and her hubby take credit for his added expertise?
Overseas hubby is in charge of poppy production, back home wifey is in charge of poopy production.
Can I watch?
Question – why would the RGA care about her? What’s the connection?
Rumor is that Kollar was a good friend of the prior New Mexico guv Gary Johnson. He changed his affiliation from Republican to Libertarian.
Haley wouldn’t know a rock star if she met one.
The three biggest rock stars in SC are Curtis Loftis, John Rainey, and Darla Moore.
Uh, OK… you seriously need to get out more. Our biggest rock stars are actually curing cancer at MUSC, building world class jets in North Charleston, building the world’s finest automobiles near Spartanburg, etc, etc…. not some political or quasi-political hacks.
Exactly, enough with the pol worship.
A rock star wouldn’t be within 20 feet of her.
What kind of gang signals is the bitch flashing ?
Is she a member of the DTACB Gang or the UTAM Gang or the GIWHTWUAFTBOMA Gang
She can’t even do that right. The proper gang sign for her clan is the V-sign while flicking the tongue in between the opposed fingers.
Like the crips, bloods, etc., her gang also likes to wear plaid.
It’s the UYSCV Gang—-“Up Yours South Carolina Voters”……….
Santiago and Lott would know…..
She is a member of the biker gang ABATE, A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments. She is an intolerable enactment. Vroom!
I also wonder why the RGA would be pushing this skank? What is behind this push for just another bureaucrat who is way over compensated for her inability to produce. Pay back is a POS bitch.
I keep saying and have for three years, it’s get worse and worse with Haley!
Haley is a lying, self serving failure and needs to GO!
As big of a disaster she has been in the first term, please, PLEASE do not make the same mistake with Haley, as with Obama, NO second term. I can only shutter and fear how bad 4 more yeaars of this looser may bring!!!
NO MORE HALEY!….PLEASE
Can anybody say off-shore accounts?
Ted, your mother would be so disappointed.
Look at Abe Turner at SCDEW, an Army General with a Music Degree and NO business experience. He turned SCDEW into ENRON!
What is it with this rock star shit? I don’t want no damn rock star having anything to do with running anything. Hell, they’ll drink your liquor, do your drugs and fuck your wives/girlfriends.
Good god, I just realized I described every politician in SC.
Or, at least, I described the corrupt ones. I think there is a smattering of decent folks.
The DSS Child Enforcement Database system has spanned several governors; it probably stretches back to Carroll Campbell.
And South Carolina can’t put a system in place after that long?! Look at what other states are using and pick one of those systems.
Have a long, hard look.
All Sheheen has to do to win is just run advertisements listing everyone of Haley’s offenses. That’s all. Since I moved from Columbia to the Greenville area, I’ve been shocked at how out of touch with Columbia the UpStater’s are on political news. They have no idea this stuff is going on in Columbia with Haley. All Sheehen has to do is just tell them in plain language what a political hack Haley is in real life.