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Nikki Haley Ally Blocks Vote On Embattled Welfare Czarina




S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s top ally in the State Senate blocked a vote of no confidence in the governor’s embattled welfare czarina this week – the latest drama in a major storm swirling around the governor’s administration.

Former Democrat Larry Martin (RINO-Pickens) used a procedural move to block the attempted vote – which would have likely resulted in a formal rebuke of Lillian Koller, Haley’s scandal-scarred director of the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS).

Lawmakers of both parties – including another one of Haley’s top allies – have called on the governor to fire Koller in the wake of multiple scandals plaguing this agency. In fact Koller has offered to resign … twice.

Why won’t Haley  accept her resignation?

Good question …

For starters, Koller is a political appointee – tapped by Haley at the behest of the Republican Governors Association. In case you’ve been away from your television set for a few months, that’s the group which is bankrolling a barrage of negative ads against Democratic State Senator Vincent Sheheen, Haley’s 2014 gubernatorial rival.

Three Haley cabinet directors have already resigned in disgrace – Abraham Turner at the S.C. Department of Workforce, Jim Etter at the S.C. Department of Revenue and Robert St. Onge of the S.C. Department of Transportation.

Koller ought to be the fourth …

“It’s a shame we’re in this situation,” S.C. Sen. Shane Martin (R-Spartanburg) said in the wake of the blocked vote. “If I was in charge and had a director do the things she’s done – I’d have already gotten rid of her. This isn’t partisan, it’s about the children.”

Absolutely …

At this point, Haley’s refusal to remove Koller from her position is simply incomprehensible … and in addition to the human cost, it’s starting do real damage to the governor politically.

UPDATE – Our associate opinion editor Amy Lazenby – who contributed to this report – still has the best column out there on why Haley ought to get rid of Koller.