GOVERNOR’S TAX RETURNS RAISING MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley recently told The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper that she and her husband made more money in 2013 due to “a spike in income from real estate investments.”
Specifically, the Haleys “collected $70,506 in investment income on real estate last year, up from $3,833 in 2012,” the paper reported.
That’s a nice chunk of change … but where did it come from?
“One investment involves the governor’s father and another is outside the family, said a Haley spokesman, who did not provide any more details,” the paper noted.
Mmmm-kay. Wonder if it has anything to do with this?
In the meantime, though, let’s head over to the public reporting section S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) website, shall we? Because according to 2013 and 2014 statements of economic interest filed by Haley – she’s made no money from real estate investments.
Not a dime …
No wonder Haley has been such a hypocrite on the income disclosure issue.
Cash-related discrepancies are nothing new for this governor.
In August of 2008, Haley – then a State Representative – submitted an employment application to Lexington Medical Center, which wound up employing her for twenty months as a vastly-overpaid “fundraiser.” This job application included a 2007 income estimate which vastly exceeded the amount of money Haley reported to the IRS that year. Specifically, Haley’s application stated that she made $125,000 from her family clothing business in 2007 (a figure that would explain her $300,000 home, Cadillac SUV, etc.).
The problem? On her federal tax returns, Haley reported making only $22,000 from the “family business” that year.
The initial suspicion was that Haley may have lied on her job application – although the much more damaging allegation revolves around the possibility that Haley lied on her tax returns.
Either way, the discrepancy was uncovered as part of an independent investigation launched in February 2011 by former Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) Chairman John Rainey. When reporter John O’Connor of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper busted Haley on this discrepancy a month later – the governor trotted out her chief of staff Tim Pearson to (once again) lie on her behalf.
“She never said that she made $125,000 from Exotica,” Pearson told The State. “The application does not have her signature on it … the governor did not fill out the application that has her making $125,000 a year.”
It was later revealed that anyone fraudulently filling out the application online “would have had to know (Haley’s) social security number, address, job history, past supervisors, job duties, education and other details.” Not only that, they would have had to know the user name and password that Haley (or her phantom) created for the purpose of submitting the application.
In spite of all that, Haley maintained her denials …
“I had no input on that form,” she said. “I did not sit in front of the computer and fill it out online. I did not sign it. And never did I mention the number 125 to the hospital or to anyone else, because that’s not an accurate number.”
Nobody bought Haley’s explanations. In fact, according to a FITS poll published at the time of the scandal, a whopping 96 percent of respondents said they thought Haley was lying. Things got even worse for the governor a few days later when reporter Robert Kittle of WSPA TV 7 (CBS – Spartanburg) caught her in another lie regarding the password to the account that was used to submit the information.
“There was no password. The password was where I graduated from high school,” Haley told Kittle (video here).
Wow … talk about an “insta-contradiction.”
Anyway, over time the scandal died down … giving way to numerous other Haley missteps. But it’s interesting to see the governor’s income-related issues once again bubbling back up …