CORPORATE, POLITICAL PRESSURE HELPED MOVE LEADERS …
|| By FITSNEWS || Early Monday morning, this website ran an item on how there was “zero appetite” amongst South Carolina’s GOP leadership to take down the Confederate flag in the aftermath of a horrific, racially motivated shooting in Charleston, S.C.
And there wasn’t. From the governor’s office to the halls of power in the House and Senate, there seemed to be a decided “wait-and-see” attitude toward the flag.
But within hours, things changed …
Nikki Haley – a former flag supporter – announced she was holding a press conference later that day. Shortly thereafter S.C. House and State Senate leaders – who only days earlier had told us the issue would likely be on hold until January – were frantically scrambling to get a compromise placed on their summer agenda.
So … what happened?
Easy: Money talked.
Sources close to Haley, S.C. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas and Senate president Hugh Leatherman have all confirmed to FITS that some of the Palmetto State’s biggest corporate citizens – recipients of billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded incentives – made their views on the controversial banner’s continued presence on the State House grounds crystal clear.
Their unified, unambiguous message?
“Take it down.”
Among the companies delivering this message?
Boeing. BMW. Michelin. Volvo.
“It started up on Friday and was fully magnified by Monday morning,” a source familiar with the corporate campaign told FITS.
Another critical pressure point? National “Republican” party leaders – who were (are) desperate to avoid (another) pitched battle over the flag in the midst of the quadrennial “First in the South” presidential primary election. It wasn’t just GOP leaders pressuring Haley, either, it was 2016 “Republican” candidates – including Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (believed by many to be Haley’s 2016 favorite).
Walker was, incidentally, among the first to praise Haley for her decision to call on the flag to come down.
Haley’s allies dispute the contention that corporate pressure – or political pressure – played a role in her decision.
According to them, Haley made up her mind to call for the flag to come down shortly after news broke about The Last Rhodesian – the since-removed website of confessed “Holy City Massacre” perpetrator Dylann Storm Roof.
The site showed the 21-year-old gunman – who has admitted to killing nine black churchgoers in cold blood – posing with weapons, Confederate flags and other white supremacist symbols.
“That was the game-changer,” sources familiar with Haley’s decision told FITS.
Specifically, we’re told there is no truth to allegations that national “Republicans” were pressuring Haley – including threatening the state’s “First in the South” presidential primary status.
“I know for a fact that’s not true,” a senior GOP operative familiar with the situation told FITS. “Reince (Priebus) was chomping at bit but Haley already had the wheels in motion.”
Obviously the removal of the flag from the grounds is not a done deal … although there seems to be sufficient momentum in both the S.C. House and State Senate to bring the banner down. Also some lawmakers initially viewed as possible swing votes on the issue – like S.C. Rep. Kirkman Finlay – have actually been working behind the scenes to make sure the issue is addressed immediately (i.e. the course of action this website recommended from the beginning).
“A lot of people have been working very hard outside of the spotlight,” one GOP leader told FITS. “And that work will pay off.”