NIKKI HALEY RESPONDS TO DAMNING AGENCY AUDIT WITH MORE MISDIRECTION
By FITSNEWS || S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley continues to offer nothing resembling an excuse for the abysmal performance of her Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – which was the subject of a blistering audit released this week.
Haley’s SCDSS is perhaps the worst-run agency we’ve ever seen … which is saying something in a state like South Carolina where incompetent, backward (and increasingly expensive) government is par for the course.
Yet rather than substantively address the rampant problems at her cabinet agency – which include dead kids, questionable consultant payments, allegations of cooked books at its “welfare to work” program, food stamp fraud, etc. – Haley’s administration has decided to attack the lawmaker who initiated the recent investigation of the agency.
S.C. Rep. Jenny Horne – who requested the audit released this week – was the subject of a broadside from Haley’s administration, which is apparently refusing to answer her questions because it believes she is conflicted.
“(Horne) has a personal financial interest in discrediting DSS child welfare services, caseworkers, and officials in the public mind,” a statement from interim agency head Amber Gillum read.
Really? Last time we checked SCDSS was doing a good enough job of that on its own …
Anyway, Gillum goes on to ask S.C. Sen. Tom Young to prevent Horne from questioning agency officials about their multiple failures.
“I ask that you ask her to withdraw and if she will not, I ask that you disqualify her from participation because her private financial interest conflict with her public duties as a legislator,” Gillum’s statement continued.
“Tone deaf,” one S.C. Senate staffer told FITS.
For those of you keeping score at home, Horne does have several child welfare cases before SCDSS – including several she’s working on free of charge.
But all that’s irrelevant … SCDSS’ child welfare division is an unmitigated, demonstrably deteriorating disaster. Horne’s criticism of it is therefore accurate – whatever her motivation may be for leveling it.
“I just wish DSS would stop trying to deflect attention from its epic failure of children in South Carolina and get to the business of cleaning up the agency,” Horne said. “That is why I and others in the House requested the (audit) in August of 2012.”
Of course such a petty political reaction from Haley’s administration is expected … after all this is precisely the same strategy she employed when S.C. Sen. Katrina Shealy, one of the governor’s longtime allies, began demanding change at SCDSS.
Specifically, Haley accused Shealy and another woman of spreading a rumor that former SCDSS director Lillian Koller was an atheist (which last time we checked was true).
“(Diretor) Koller is not an Atheist,” Haley wrote on her Facebook page. “I wish you and Sen. Shealy would quit spreading that lie. She is Jewish and the daughter of Holocaust survivors.”
Unreal … rather than respond to legitimate, substantive criticism, Haley’s modus operandi is to accuse her opponents of being bigots (a strategy she previously employed against GOP donor John Rainey when he raised questions about her myriad ethical issues).
Haley’s attack on Shealy failed … in fact thanks to Shealy’s pressure, Koller was forced to resign her post over Haley’s repeated objections.
Let’s hope this latest attempted misdirection is similarly unsuccessful …