GOVERNOR’S “CLEMSON CONNECTION” ONCE AGAIN RUNNING “TRANSPORTATION TRANSITION”
|| By FITSNEWS || For the second time in as many years, S.C. governor Nikki Haley is turning to her old college roommate in an effort to provide transitionary “leadership” at the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT).
Christy Hall – who roomed with Haley during her time at Clemson University – was the subject of intense criticism back in 2011 after she was promoted to a key position within the chronically mismanaged, cash-strapped agency.
She took over as the interim secretary of the agency last January when Haley’s first choice for the position – retired military man Robert St. Onge – was busted driving under the influence. We’re told she’s assumed similar authority since Haley’s second SCDOT secretary – former liberal lobbyist Janet Oakley – announced her resignation last month.
Does Haley’s appointment – whether on a temporary or permanent basis – have any impact on the state’s infrastructure situation?
No. Because Haley’s not in charge.
Haley had to get rid of Oakley because legislative leaders flatly told her it was a prerequisite for the “Republican” governor retaining appointment power over this position. Which is silly because the SCDOT secretary is already subservient to a transportation commission that’s chosen by members of the S.C. General Assembly – meaning whoever gets this post (and by extension, the governor) has no real authority over the state’s network of roads and bridges.
So let’s get this straight: Haley fired the woman she hand-picked a year ago – a woman who had limited authority in the first place – so she could preserve her right to continue appointing impotent bureaucrats in the future?
What a ridiculous way to run a state, right?
Debate over South Carolina’s infrastructure dominated the 2015 session of the S.C. General Assembly, with fiscal liberals of both parties supporting tax hikes an effort to pump more money into the state’s failed system.
In January, S.C. governor Nikki Haley offered a proposed tax swap – which backtracked on her 2014 campaign promise not to raise the gas tax. Then there was attempted tax trickeration from the S.C. House (which ultimately passed a $427 million hike) – and a proposed $800 million tax hike from the S.C. Senate finance committee.
Senators later introduced a scaled-back tax hike – but all of these machinations were undone by a filibuster from S.C. Senator Tom Davis.
Davis’ argument was simple: There’s more than enough money to adequately fund South Carolina’s infrastructure without raising taxes. And he’s right … although you’d never know it from listening to the mainstream media (which was 100 percent in the tank for the tax hike).
Our view on this issue is simple. Roads and bridges (like cops, courts and prisons) are core functions of government and should be funded accordingly. Unfortunately, South Carolina isn’t doing that.
In fact all of the “Republicans” who supported raising gas taxes have approved billions of dollars in new spending on South Carolina’s worst-in-the-nation government-run school system, its duplicative and inefficient higher education system, bailouts for wealthy corporations, shady ‘economic development‘ deals and … lest we forget … dozens of exorbitantly expensive and totally unnecessary highway projects.
The money is there. More than enough, even. Lawmakers just need to spend it wisely.