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Nikki Haley Backs Tax-Hiking Liberal For SCDOT




Of the many disasters created by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, the ongoing debacle at the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is one of the costliest …

For starters, this chronically mismanaged agency is broke … again and this time Haley isn’t going to be able to rely on another federal bailout.

FITS has been exposing South Carolina’s highway funding issues for years. To read our most recent recap, CLICK HERE. Under Haley, bad has gotten worse – culminating in the drunk driving arrest of former SCDOT director Robert St. Onge, who resigned his office in disgrace earlier this year.

St. Onge wasn’t just a drunk, though – he was a pure status quo accommodator. He and Haley did nothing to reform this agency, they just kept pouring billions of dollars into the same failed system – expanding an already bloated network of roads and assigning priority status to totally unnecessary, politically motivated projects.

Is it any wonder the money is once again drying up?

Haley says she won’t sign a gas tax increase … she’s got no problem borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars to keep money flowing into highway boondoggles.

She also apparently has no problem appointing a liberal Washington, D.C. lobbyist to take the place of the drunk who just resigned.

This week, Haley tapped Janet Oakley – lobbyist for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) – to lead SCDOT.

“We are blessed to have somebody that has the expertise to come in and take the department to new heights,” Haley said.

New heights?

Put the crack pipe down, governor. Or whatever it is you’re smoking …

South Carolina is one of the nation’s smallest states – yet inexplicably it maintains the fourth-largest network of roads in the country. Additionally, according to recent data compiled by the Reason Foundation the Palmetto State spends more per mile on highways and bridges than any other state in America.

No wonder our roads are always in disrepair no matter how much money is borrowed and spent.

And yet the boondoggles keep getting funded … 

“Because of her extensive experience, Mrs. Oakley knows the issues at the local level, she understands the challenges at the state level, and she already has relationships on the federal level and we couldn’t be more confident that our state will benefit greatly from having her take over at the Department of Transportation,” Haley continued.

Ah yes … “experience and relationships.”

But what does Oakley believe?

According to a 2014 Powerpoint presentation obtained by FITS, Oakley is a hard core proponent of a gasoline tax increase – arguing that its imposition would not create an “unreasonable burden” on taxpayers.

Really? Tell that to South Carolinians – who pay a higher percentage of their income on fuel costs than residents of any other state (save Mississippi).

Oakley’s Powerpoint presentation goes on to identity “political leadership from the executive branch” as one of the “common themes behind state success stories.”

Her definition of “success?” Raising the gas tax – which has been proposed at the state level by fiscally liberal S.C. Senators Ray Cleary (RINO-Murrells Inlet) and Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence).

FITS has also obtained a 2010 Powerpoint presentation from Oakley in which she touts “Transportation’s Role in Economic Recovery” – and proceeds to praise the thousands of transportation projects “obligated” by U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2009 “stimulus” plan.

“The State DOTs delivered ARRA projects and jobs,” she states.

That presentation also babbles on about liberal buzz themes like climate change, sustainable development and “green DOTs.”

Seriously? This is Haley’s nominee?

Sadly, yes …