Why Nikki Haley Isn’t Firing Her Welfare Czarina

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…

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.

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Saran Wrap = Loyalty November 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

Maybe she’s licking Haley’s kitty while Captain Cuckold waters plants in Afghanistan?

Cynthia November 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Don’t you mean Captain Cockhole?

jimlewisowb November 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm

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

shifty henry November 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Or at the least, a cuckold — in general…….

tomstickler November 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm

How did he get from Captain Cuckold to Colonel Cuckold without some time-in-grade as a Major Cuckold?

jimlewisowb November 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

He took some night classes at Heartbreakers and upon completion of his orals he qualified as a Colonel

dwb619 November 14, 2013 at 9:58 pm

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?

IBS November 15, 2013 at 1:32 am

Overseas hubby is in charge of poppy production, back home wifey is in charge of poopy production.

dwb619 November 14, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Can I watch?

What about November 14, 2013 at 11:51 am

Question – why would the RGA care about her? What’s the connection?

Torch November 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Rumor is that Kollar was a good friend of the prior New Mexico guv Gary Johnson. He changed his affiliation from Republican to Libertarian.

miss suzanne November 14, 2013 at 11:57 am

Haley wouldn’t know a rock star if she met one.

You know me November 14, 2013 at 11:59 am

The three biggest rock stars in SC are Curtis Loftis, John Rainey, and Darla Moore.

La Gloria Cubana November 15, 2013 at 7:06 am

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.

? November 15, 2013 at 9:28 am

Exactly, enough with the pol worship.

Unless you're Ted Nugent November 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm

A rock star wouldn’t be within 20 feet of her.

jimlewisowb November 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

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

Anyone know

Licking for a living November 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm

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.

shifty henry November 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm

It’s the UYSCV Gang—-“Up Yours South Carolina Voters”……….

shifty henry November 14, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Santiago and Lott would know…..

Augusta Road November 15, 2013 at 5:48 am

She is a member of the biker gang ABATE, A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments. She is an intolerable enactment. Vroom!

scotty November 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm

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.

Fed Up Republican November 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm

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!!!

You know me November 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Can anybody say off-shore accounts?

miss suzanne November 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Ted, your mother would be so disappointed.

Agnes November 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Look at Abe Turner at SCDEW, an Army General with a Music Degree and NO business experience. He turned SCDEW into ENRON!

Same ol' Same ol' November 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

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.

Same ol' Same ol' November 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Good god, I just realized I described every politician in SC.

Same ol' Same ol' November 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Or, at least, I described the corrupt ones. I think there is a smattering of decent folks.

Ralph Hightower November 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm

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.

cirtapr November 17, 2013 at 10:08 am Reply
ELCID December 10, 2013 at 6:58 pm

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.


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