SC

Nikki Haley Backs Tax-Hiking Liberal For SCDOT

ANOTHER IDEOLOGICAL BETRAYAL FROM SC’S “REPUBLICAN” GOVERNOR 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…

ANOTHER IDEOLOGICAL BETRAYAL FROM SC’S “REPUBLICAN” GOVERNOR

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 …

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31 comments

GrandTango April 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I’m afraid FITS is way past the “Cried Wolf” syndrome here.

Anybody who would put much stock in these claims at this point, was already on FITS and Pootlian’s side…

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jimlewisowb April 8, 2014 at 12:29 pm

If the Gypsy Queen is in need of another bailout, it does make sense she would hire someone who not only knows where the Honey Pot is located but also someone who can suck off Pooh Bear to get it flowing

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Or Poo porn? April 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Yeah baby! Pooh porn! I’m all about it.

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Thomas April 8, 2014 at 1:34 pm

You are foaming at the mouth again, Fits. Your numbers are wrong.

SC ranks 29th for the largest network of roads in the country. A casual glance at the chart also refutes the largest state-administered road network claim as well.

Reason Foundation ranks SC 7th in state highway system’s performance and efficiency. That is good, no?

Oakley’s appointment makes sense. She knows her stuff at the Federal grant level and state spending level. She will be able to get the funding from D.C. and make sure local hilljack’s stay within budget and on time in finishing open bidded highway projects. The low bidders often will claim increased this or that and milk cost the overruns to put the most money in their pockets. This scam is as old as prison chain gangs.

Our fuel prices are lowest nationally due to our proximity to the Patriot II pipeline connecting us to refineries in the South Central US. A higher gas tax, whether for or against, must be passed and signed. Those who propose a higher tax are outnumbered by those who oppose. Right? A shift towards more efficient spending of current tax revenues is what Oakley brings to the table. She knows a scamming contractor when she sees it.

Federal stimulus plans for road projects do create jobs and do lay the foundation for economic growth. The problems are mismanagement, cost overruns, manufactured delays, and incompetence at all levels of implementation.

If there are no trustworthy, incorruptible administrators at the state level, then bringing in out of state talent makes sense.

My take on Haley’s appointments is the time involved, the human factors in moving appointee’s into new positions, moving their families into new homes, new cities are factors that must be considered. The best qualified may not want the headaches. The other take is if Haley is moving people in based on national political connections as the primary factor in making out of state appointments, she needs to reconsider that strategy.

Oakley is a no-nonsense fresh face who knows her stuff, and if need be, not going along to get along.

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tomstickler April 8, 2014 at 1:42 pm

There may be some hope here in her comments about running SCDOT to take care of all regions in the state and not just the regional interests as in the past.

We can hope that means no regional boondoggles like I-73 and the I-526 extension.

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Craig April 8, 2014 at 1:43 pm

This article is ridiculous. The SCDOT has been wasting money and bankrupt for decades. Meanwhile gas tax revenues are down because of people buying high MPG cars and driving less which is why it got worse. Every state DOT in the nation is having the same problem. If that new director knows how to get more money from grants etc. without hitting the people of SC with yet ANOTHER tax increase, then good for her. The real issue is why no one has ordered an audit of SCDOT to see where the money is going. That would be the first thing to do.

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Smirks April 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Meanwhile gas tax revenues are down because of people buying high MPG cars and driving less which is why it got worse.

I wonder about that.

Gas efficiency hasn’t really improved -that- greatly. Unless you own a really efficient car, a hybrid, or an electrical vehicle, you’re not getting much more than you were a decade or two ago. Chances are, this being a poor state, that most people drive older cars anyways, so chances of them owning an expensive ass hybrid or a Tesla or smart car? Probably not so high.

You need to take into account that people drive a lot of light trucks in the South, a lot of SUVs in general, and, to pull from one of Willie’s points, that most of us drive a lot, at least compared to the average. I don’t think our DOT should be hurting for money that badly.

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Lee Padgett April 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm

And from where do these grant monies come? Hmmmm I will take a stab–are we talking Federal Grant money? i.e. Taxpayer money? Either way Craig YOU and I are paying for it.

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Yep! April 8, 2014 at 3:03 pm

“The real issue is why no one has ordered an audit of SCDOT to see where the money is going. That would be the first thing to do.”

As another commenter put it once, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!”

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nitrat April 8, 2014 at 3:18 pm

It doesn’t help that the SC gas tax has not been raised since 1987 and the federal since 1993…thanks to Grover’s pledge.

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Uh huh April 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm

SCDOT pisses away tons of money anyway.

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ELCID April 9, 2014 at 6:50 pm

The SC gas tax money is going to Yankee states. SC is a net loser on the Federal Gas Tax law, i.e., SC pays more taxes than it gets back. That’s where the problem is, not with the better milage cars. That’s just not happening to any amount, especially in gas hog Southern States like SC.

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Bible Thumper April 8, 2014 at 2:14 pm

“Oakley is a hard core proponent of a gasoline tax increase” and is a
“lobbyist for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)” Aren’t these two statements redundant? Wasn’t the first statement part of her job as a lobbyist?
SIC, if you ever get over your fixation with Haley and give Oakley a chance, you might like her.

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euwe max April 8, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Isn’t that the same black guy that was in the pink SWAT jacket buy?

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nitrat April 8, 2014 at 3:09 pm

South Carolina is one of the nation’s smallest states – yet inexplicably it maintains the fourth-largest network of roads in the country.
Read more at https://www.fitsnews.com/2014/04/08/nikki-haley-backs-tax-hiking-liberal-scdot/#IJzG3zWgEsrSAzpT.99

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Really? April 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm

“I am sick of Libertarian stupidlty.”

Are Libertarians in charge anywhere? Did I miss something?

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euwe max April 9, 2014 at 11:49 am

Do they have to be in charge to be stupid?

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Really? April 9, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Well the assumption is that all his previous statements we are a result of libertarian stupidity.

If he was simply stating, “I am sick of Libertarian stupidity.”, like “I love lamp.”, all on it’s own I would be in agreement with you.

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Really? April 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm

“we a result of”, blah blah, you get it

Fits Aint No Republican April 8, 2014 at 3:46 pm

“Tax hiking liberal”(in Fitsspeak)=Conservative Republican(in reality)

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Halfvast Conspirator April 8, 2014 at 3:54 pm

So, the moufpiece of the road-building cabal. That ought to work out real well.

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Rocky April 8, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Oval Office – President leaning back in chair, watching flat-screen TV on the wall.
Phone Rings – “Ring, Ring, Ring”
President answers the phone – “Yeah Rahm, you watching the Leave It To Beaver re-run too? Wha! – Oh, not Rahm. Nikki who?”
Caller – “Mr. President, this is Governor Nikki Haley from South Carolina. Can I talk with you?”
President – “Sure thing. Hey, isn’t it a Great Day in South Carolina?” Giggles.
Caller – “Mr. President, we have an issue with our Department of Transportation.”
President – “Your not out of money again are ya? We gave you a pretty big lift last time. Is this about that Ice Storm cash you wanted? No can do on that one baby – it was just an ice storm. In Chicago we call those frostings.”
Caller – “No Mr. President, it’s not about the ice storm.”
President – “Well, it’s not about my turning down your advances last time you were here in the White House is it? I told you then, I’m happily married.”
Caller – “No Mr. President. Well, anyway, yeah, we are out of money again.”
President – “Well. Sorry, but I can’t help you this time. Paul Ryan’s all lathered up about spending money again, and I need to keep some cash aside FEMA, and Fat Boy up in Jersey’s been spendin’ like a drunk sailor. But hey, give him a call – maybe he can spot you some cash. Else check with Georgia – I hear they owe you pretty big.”

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miss suzanne April 8, 2014 at 4:46 pm

What do you expect from someone who considers Koller a rock star? The little girl is a pathetically poor judge of character.

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nitrat April 10, 2014 at 9:47 am

Not just character, but what it takes to successfully manage a large agency.
Based on her other appointments, she seems to think that being a lawyer means they can manage anything.
When her anti-trial lawyer Sheheen ads run, I don’t understand why they don’t slap back with that fact.

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M326 April 8, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Haley seems to have trouble finding South Carolinians to appoint to these jobs. What does that mean?

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Henry April 8, 2014 at 9:42 pm

The witch will just take the money from state employees or some other easy target.

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Jack Jackson April 9, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Oakley is a hard core proponent of a gasoline tax increase…or Oakley at AASHTO

guessing the nuances of being a lobbyist/spokesperson and actual beliefs are lost on you

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GoCocks April 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Who cares what are the political leanings of the head of the DOT? Do they have power to set any policies? My guess is that the answer is a resounding no. I would think that the qualifications that matter are whether the person can manage a large agency and whether they understand something about civil engineering, road building, road maintenance, and other mundane crap like that.

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nitrat April 10, 2014 at 9:44 am

Exactly.
Unfortunately, we really don’t know if this lobbyist has any of those qualities.
Just another way that Trikki shows she still doesn’t get it when it comes to appointees.

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ELCID April 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Haley’s former SCDOT director St. Onge, when asked in front of several legislators and State Executives about Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR); which covers many square miles along I-85 in Greenville, SC. St. Onge said he’d never heard of it!!!!! Shocking, the head of the SCDOT had never heard of one of the top transportation research centers in the world, that was located right here in SC. They didn’t even bother to ask him if he had heard of the high quality research going on at USC’s automotive fuel cell research site. Knowing that he had most likely no clue about it either. Just a very nice fellow way over his head that should never ever have been put in charge of the SCDOT. JUST A TYPICAL HALEY TAXPAYER BOMB!!

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Franklin41 April 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Whoever wrote this article clearly doesn’t know Janet Oakley. I do and she is an excellent choice for head of the DOT. She certainly is not a liberal and most of job at AASHTO was working to reduce federal red tape to free up the States so they could get their highway projects built. The author’s obsession and clear hatred for the governor clouds his judgement and leads to an attack on someone he knows nothing about.

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