Nikki Haley’s Transportation Czarina: Not Impressive

SCDOT DIRECTOR DODGES SPECIFICS AT HEARING … We’ve seen the numbers from S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley‘s new uber-liberal secretary of the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) – a.k.a. the bureaucrat who replaced this guy. And we weren’t impressed … Seriously … on behalf of the tapped out taxpayers of the…


We’ve seen the numbers from S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley‘s new uber-liberal secretary of the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) – a.k.a. the bureaucrat who replaced this guy.

And we weren’t impressed …

Seriously … on behalf of the tapped out taxpayers of the Palmetto State, please stop counting totally unnecessary boondoggles as part of your so-called “shortfall,” especially not when there are ways to achieve your desired outcome for one-tenth the cost.

Oh, and please stop maintaining the nation’s fourth-largest transportation system (for a state that ranks fortieth in size).

Anyway … as weak as the data Haley’s SCDOT secretary Janet Oakley has offered may be, it pales in comparison to how weak she  is.

Seriously … we’ve never heard a less substantive bureaucrat in our years of covering Palmetto politics.  And in a state as full of hot aired bureaucrats as South Carolina, that’s saying something.

Oakley testified this week before a recently convened infrastructure committee led by S.C. Rep. Gary Simrill – and she bombed.  Her powerpoint presentation – which might as well have been prepared by a middle schooler – was a textbook display of “bureaucratese,” and her polished but (purposefully?) empty remarks were peppered with hackneyed comments such as “focusing like a laser,” “setting levels” and other such utterly meaningless triteness.

That’s pretty sad for this important position, which Oakley called the “capstone of her career.”

The one time Oakley was asked to comment on a specific project – namely improvements to Interstate 26 (the main artery to the South Carolina Lowcountry) – she responded that she was “not prepared to discuss one project versus another.”


With all due respect, lady, that’s your job .

And this six-figure government bureaucrat has been on the job for four months, people …

Oakley did claim to sympathize with Lowcountry residents frustrated over I-26 because she “has a house on Edisto” (a.k.a. “rich people problems”).

Well that makes it all better, doesn’t it?

Another tone-deaf move on Oakley’s part?  She showed up at a hearing focusing on an alleged multi-billion dollar shortfall with nine – count ’em nine – staffers, including multiple deputy directors (all of whom are making big, sweet dollars at the taxpayers’ expense).

Sheesh …

No wonder fiscal responsibility ranked next-to-last on Oakley’s powerpoint slide addressing agency priorities – behind “diversity.”

Our takeaway from all this?  South Carolinians should expect to continue seeing their transportation tax dollars pissed away …

UPDATE: One item worth noting?  S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman’s top staffer attended the hearing, no doubt to make sure his boss’s multi-million dollar paving contracts weren’t in the crosshairs of this committee.

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Steve September 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm

SCDOT, yet another Haley cabinet agency failure.

Larry September 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm

It does not matter what this lame brain wants. Or what Nikki Haley wants. It only matters what Leatherman wants.

Leatherman wil get 98% of what Leatherman wants. The rest of us with get the other 2%.

Vote Out Haley!!!!! September 17, 2014 at 11:39 am

She just can’t help it She fails at everything.

And, when she fails:


people loose their jobs


have their identities stolen


bank accounts are hacked


jobs and revenues are lost to Georgia


Haley lies, takes bribes from Wilbur Smith


She cheats on her family


Haley lies to gert a position at Lexington Medical Center

Jim C September 16, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Another idiot who is only allowed to say what Nikki Haley lets her say. The cabinet agencies need to falll under the legislature not morons like Haley.

The Colonel September 17, 2014 at 8:29 am

You really want Leatherman, Harrell, Sheheen and their like deciding everything that does or does not happen?

nitrat September 17, 2014 at 8:35 am

At this point, 20 years after the implementation of the cabinet system in SC, you would have to be delusional to think that the Budget and Control Board was not substantially better at the job of managing the HR part of SC state agencies than the governors’ agency head appointees have been.

The Colonel September 17, 2014 at 9:41 am

I disagree – the right gubernor could make it work. Nikki ain’t it but neither are any of the other boobs running this time around, Including but not limited to Gilligan.

ReElect Nikki September 16, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Ultimately the people get the government they DESERVE.

The people of South Carolina DESERVE Nikki Haley.

MM September 16, 2014 at 6:04 pm

No worries.You got her for another term.New poll has her up 12%.

Paula September 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm

God help us all if the witch goes back in.

ervin<3% September 16, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Ooops…Haley is up 21% according too CBS/NYT poll from September 11th…56%_35%

Vote Counter September 16, 2014 at 7:06 pm

They can stick that one where the sun don’t shine.

Good Lord, do they think blacks aren’t going to vote with 3 black Democratic candidates running statewide for Constitutional offices and Clyburn running in the 6th Congressional?

Saluda Rapids September 16, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Thanks for the update, Sandi.

Franko September 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Step away Sandi Moraless…the Haley shrine you have at home will substain ya.

Native Ink September 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm

So is the extra $150 million that was promised for the i-526 extension also included in the so-called shortfall? Does anyone happen to know?

Halfvast Conspirator September 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

That was $558million, but who’s counting. That’s all coming from Bobby’s Bank, aka the broke State Transportation Infrastructure Bank, as would the I-73 money.

Pope-On-A-Rope September 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm

The gap between Nikki’s ears Is wider than a choir-boy’s asshole.

euwe max September 16, 2014 at 10:05 pm

…and in other news..

Toe nail fungus medicine is now available in fashion colors!

Stop Stealing From The People September 16, 2014 at 11:14 pm

….. comments such as “focusing like a laser,” “setting levels” …… Everybody is sick and tired of hearing the factory patent bullshit lines ….. They are used everywhere nowadays by inexperienced, unqualified, talking heads who haven’t a real clue as to what and how to do anything.
SCDOT has got to be cleaned up and out. The days of the same old same old with 4 to 5 government employees doing the work of 1 – all must come to an end. And the way to end it once and for all, kick the worthless employees on Park Street to the curb. Anyone of them reading this that works at SCDOT, you know who they are.

euwe max September 17, 2014 at 3:26 am

“at the end of the day”
“the american people”
“want to hear straight talk”
instead of
“packaged sound bites”
we need to
“send a message”
“the status quo is not good enough”
“we can’t afford to kick the can down the road any more.”

…please give generously.

RogueElephant September 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I get at least one of these “urgent appeals” every day. They ALL end up in the round file.

nitrat September 17, 2014 at 8:29 am

I guess Trikki must think that lobbyists have a little more experience and expertise to take to other jobs than the rest of us do.
Did this job require senate approval? If it did – like Koller – then, once again, the SC senate shows it still doesn’t grasp that ‘advise and consent’ does not mean ‘rubber stamp’ appointees…particularly, from an idiot governor.

RogueElephant September 17, 2014 at 8:29 am

This dept. needs someone from the construction industry running it rather than a politician. (Just like every other agency). The life of the equipment inventory is under utilized. Each piece of equipment or vehicles should last at least one to two years longer than they currently do. A contractor or farmer gets all a piece of equipment has to give before replacing it. The govt replaces it on some schedule dreamed up in a back office, not in reality. The “We have to spend the money or we won’t get it next year” attitude should be changed to “If we don’t get full value from the money we won’t have a job next year.”

The Colonel September 17, 2014 at 8:33 am

While I agree with your assessment that an experienced construction guy should be in charge of the DOT – I don’t agree with your reasoning. The state actually does very little construction believing (correctly) that it is cheaper to contract it out. What we need is a hard ass manager who will take no BS from the “Thrift Brothers” etc of the world and who will actually provide aggressive oversight to the folks (people who do construction work, not Will) we hire to do the work.

nitrat September 17, 2014 at 8:42 am

Of course, you being a contractor, you like the idea of contractors. But, it may not actually be the best or the cheapest way to do things on the federal or state levels:

The Colonel September 17, 2014 at 9:55 am

Was a contractor – I still do some hammer swinging from time to time but mostly it’s volunteer stuff, in fact I’ll be do a little volunteer work this weekend.

I saw the article you linked – I disagree. What you need are some hard assed inspectors with the authority to smack the contractor around. Several years ago I was ordered to a nearby fort to manage some construction projects. Late delivery, shoddy work and poor response to punch lists were rampant. They brought me and another experienced contractor in to “handle the contractors”. We started meeting with each new Foreman and Prime as they began their job. We gave them a list of requirements and inspections. We got smirks and “…yeah rights…” in response – until we showed up for unannounced inspections and shut them down while also cutting off payments.

What they didn’t know is that the basic contract had changed and we had had some new performance requirements written in (The command I was working for could get away with it). By the time our orders ran out we had turned a number of bad contractors into good ones, fired several others and generally gotten what the Commander wanted. it wasn’t all goodness and light but we made the system work like it was supposed to. I was told that they have slipped a bit in the last few years but such is life…

RogueElephant September 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

I’m speaking from a personal level as a farmer. Several years ago I bought a backhoe (89 model) at auction for $.20 / on the dollar. It was maintained to factory condition and has been a great addition to my fleet. It replaced a 68 model that was completely shot. I got thirty years out of the old one which I also bought used. Why can’t the state do the same?

ELCID September 17, 2014 at 11:04 am

What do you expect from Haley???
Her first choice was St. Onge a person with no experience operating a major business or any highway knowledge at all. He didn’t even know Clemson University’s highly regarded International Automotive Research Institute in Greenville: CUICAR, even existed. Then he got canned for DUI while carrying on a sexual affair in Lexington. Which, by the way, is the same place Haley has been carrying on alleged sexual affairs for years.

It’s amazing that the bobble headed Democrats don’t just run Sheheen for Governor Campaign ads just stating one after another what idiots Haley has appointed to lead State agencies. Or, the number of times Haley’s been brought up on Ethics charges. It all just explains why Democrats can’t get elected. Their campaigns heads have the brains of a Coo coo Clock.

No wonder so many SC Citizens are registered Independents. No one wants to be associated with these two party’s of GOP Criminals and Democratic Idiots.


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