SC Gas Tax Flameout: Nikki Haley Rages, “Conservatives” Riled


There was a clear ideological winner in the aftermath of this year’s battle over a proposed gasoline tax hike at the S.C. State House: Palmetto State Taxpayers.  There was also a clear political winner: S.C. Senator Tom Davis, who for the second year in a row successfully stood his ground against this proposed $800 million-a-year tax hike.

The losers?  Legislative leaders, crony capitalists, lobbyists, liberal media, party officials … a.k.a. all of the “powers that be” in Columbia, S.C.

Thanks to Davis’ efforts, the scandal-scarred S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) will be required to make do with what it has … which is a budget that’s doubled over the last six years.  Oh, and add to that another $400 million in annual recurring funding (secured thanks to Davis’ collaboration with S.C. Senate “majority” leader Harvey Peeler).

Eager to take credit for all this, S.C. governor Nikki Haley – who has been wildly inconsistent during the tax hike debate – launched an effort this week to get the S.C. House of Representatives to concur with the Senate’s bill.  Of course this was problematic seeing as the “roads bill” passed by that chamber contained a widely-supported $427 million tax hike.

Would the House insist on raising taxes?  Fortunately, S.C. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas saw the writing on the wall and agreed to cut the tax hike from his chamber’s bill.

So … everybody’s happy, right?

Wrong …

Lucas has made it abundantly clear that he and other House GOP leaders believe the Senate bill is “inartfully drawn.”  As a result they are planning to amend the legislation rather than simply approving it and sending it on to Haley for her signature.

In other words, the bill is not a “done deal” – and House and Senate negotiators will have to iron out a compromise draft prior to resubmitting it to their respective bodies for approval.

That takes time …

Haley – desperate for a quick political victory – was livid over the delay.  In fact she reportedly went to her crony capitalist allies at the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, the S.C. Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) and the S.C. Business and Industry Political Education Committee (SCBIPEC) – asking them to put pressure on the House to accept the Senate bill so she could claim her public relations victory.

Their response?

“They all declined and decided to just stay silent,” one GOP leader in the House told us.

Wait a minute … isn’t Haley South Carolina’s crony capitalist queen?  Aren’t these captains of corporate bailouts supposed to ask “how high” when she says “jump?”

Yes … which is why Haley grew all the more livid when these big business backers decided to sit on their hands.

Furious at the sleight, Haley abruptly canceled an event the S.C. Chamber had scheduled at the governor’s mansion – reportedly telling the organization to “find another venue.”  She also reportedly canceled another engagement with SCMA.  Finally, Haley was a late scratch at this week’s annual Hibernian Society gathering in Charleston, S.C. – an event organized by the local chamber (and a gathering she trail-blazed just five years ago).

Hell hath no fury, right?

We reached out to these groups in an effort to get their take on Haley’s snubs … but nobody was talking (at least not on the record).  A leader of one of the groups did confirm a recent cancellation from the governor’s office, though, while another offered up an explanation for a cancellation notice his organization received.

“Hardly the first time an event has gotten cancelled,” the source told us.  “Governors have crazy schedules.”

True, but in this case it seems as though Haley – whose national political aspirations have evaporated with the collapse of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio‘s presidential campaign – is once again letting her pettiness get the best of her.

(Which isn’t surprising considering that’s exactly what she did back when she was on top of the world with Rubio).

We’re told Haley’s impotent rage is just the beginning of the drama cascading down on the Palmetto political landscape in the aftermath of the gas tax hike’s spectacular flameout.

“Conservative” groups – most notably Americans for Prosperity (AFP) – are said to be irate that they no longer have a wedge issue to hold over the heads of vulnerable incumbent “Republican” Senators.

“They wanted the tax hike to pass so they could run a campaign against the Senators who voted for it,” one lawmaker told us bluntly.

Wow … seriously?

Meanwhile leaders at the S.C. Policy Council – a libertarian-leaning think tank – are apparently unhappy with the structural reforms contained in the Senate version of the bill.  Specifically, they don’t like that the governor is in charge of appointing a commission to approve projects, they want the governor to simply approve them directly.

Are they right?  Yes.  Is this a huge deal?  Not really … but you’d never know it by the ratcheting up of rhetoric.

“It’s bad enough to see our best shot at reforming the transportation system go down in flames last week,” the group’s leader Ashley Landess wrote last week.  “It’s even worse to hear all the celebrating and self-congratulating by politicians for ‘reforming’ the state’s roads system.”

Ouch …

We’re curious: Is there anybody happy an $800 million gas tax hike got killed?



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stumpknocker March 18, 2016 at 5:52 pm

there is no idealogical winner, cross our state lines north or south on 95, the only thought that comes to mind is losers, kinda like that red neck trailer you walk out of and feel the need to wipe your shoes.

Sic Semper Tyrannis March 18, 2016 at 7:16 pm

You been there too?

Lone Ranger March 18, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Haley said Friday…of course I’ve got my panties in a wad (again)…remember how I PC-knee jerked and savaged Southern Heritage and patriots’ flag?

And of course I shilled for Jeb until even I understood voters reject RINOs—so I said…let’s go with Rubio then…whups!…back to incompetence tag

Now I’m holding my nose and backing Cruz—you know—like light-sneakered
Grahamnesty who put his lesbians buds on the high Supremes

And gosh I just don’t know if I’ll get ex-communicated when President Trump is inaugurated but if I get to stay I’ll still try my high school schemes

Now I’ve got to sound like I care if potholes are everywhere and every hard-working HONEST South Carolinian has his front end alignment at risk

So if roads never get paved and I’m still acting brave—be sure y’all note who to NOT elect again and that I’m proudly at the top of THAT list !!!

Aryan Brotherhood March 18, 2016 at 8:23 pm

Forget that rag, there’s a bigger war to fight if you want to save your country and restore white pride and dominance over the black and brown hoard. The pure white, Christian man must join together to save OUR country from the jews, niggers and spics!

Sitting on your ass day after day whining about some sorry ass rag that belongs to a bunch of losers who didn’t get the job done ain’t gonna get it done. Besides, your so called poems are stupid and corny as hell. Get in the Game!

stumpknocker March 18, 2016 at 9:40 pm

there was a time when your talk had power, thank God you are a limp dick joke now, hehe try to reproduce with your limp dick talk, it is like you trying to piss in a corner in a round room, skamper gerbil skamper, maybe somebody will through you some seeds.

Aryan Brotherhood March 18, 2016 at 11:04 pm

Ah yes, another nigger loving neutered white boy. My “talk” still has real power and a strong, well planned revolution is coming. Your kind will be exterminated as an enemy of the pure white man. Crackers like you are not wanted or welcome. You time grows near dickhead!

jimlewisowb March 18, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Not a bad picture of the Gypsy Queen

She almost looks doable

Where is Tank when you need him ?

dwb619 March 18, 2016 at 6:28 pm

She could a top choice for the female lead in a re-make of Tobacco Road.

Tazmaniac March 18, 2016 at 6:34 pm

Wearing something that doesn’t appear to be from the Rug & Home Collection.

Sic Semper Tyrannis March 18, 2016 at 7:14 pm

How can he help you with that?

jimlewisowb March 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm

If Tank responds, you may understand

Sic Semper Tyrannis March 18, 2016 at 8:25 pm

Made me wonder. Sorry.

CorruptionInColumbia March 18, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Fits, FWIW I am happy the tax hike was killed. Perhaps this female bastion of corruption is about to self-destruct or otherwise melt down. Sounds like a win-win for SC taxpayers.

Funny term, “flameout”, though. Sounds like something Lindsey would do.

Sic Semper Tyrannis March 18, 2016 at 7:21 pm

With someone like Davis, Loftis at the helm it would be win/win. Triple win if Haley moves out of state. Hope you idiots have her MO by now.

CorruptionInColumbia March 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Man, you called that

shifty henry March 18, 2016 at 8:05 pm

My suspicion is that she has made some serious promises to some folks who don’t appreciate being left out. She is now acting out of desperation. I wonder if she is a heavy sweater these days and nights.

Sic Semper Tyrannis March 18, 2016 at 8:23 pm

Ask Will, but for some odd reason, she properly sweats and squirts. I could be wrong, heard it somewhere. Forgot.

RogueElephant March 19, 2016 at 8:50 am

A Loftis / Davis ticket would be a win/win for SC. When did you come in out of the cold ? We don’t usually agree on anything.

Sic Semper Tyrannis March 19, 2016 at 9:32 am

I went to school with Loftis. These are the only 2 republicans in SC that are real republicans.

Flip March 21, 2016 at 9:34 am

Loftis isn’t so bad but not a fan of Davis.

RogueElephant March 19, 2016 at 8:47 am

She is pissed because she already had her bags packed for DC. Now she has to unpack and stay in the mess she created. LOL LOL LOL

Thomas March 22, 2016 at 2:41 am

The General Assembly is doing a masterful job at hiding the astronomical costs of the Obamacare mandates on their public employee cadillac healthcare plans and the how the 2008 equity/property price collapses all but tanked the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority’s funding. Having enshrined South Carolina public employee benefits in the state constitution, our tax dollars must go to their wallets before our tax dollars go to our roads. After one more round of counties raising their sales tax a penny with 2016 referendums, I suspect we will see another attempt to raise a billion a year from a new tax increase revenue stream…by raising the state sales tax to 7 or 8% by 2018.

The. South. Carolina. Public. Employee. Benefit. Authority. must be maintained at all costs…it’s the law! The roads be damned…

shifty henry March 18, 2016 at 8:18 pm

I would hope that she doesn’t talk down to her family that way.

shifty henry March 18, 2016 at 8:50 pm

“Potential Vice-Presidential candidacy[edit]
Because of her being a female and minority candidate, combined with high approval ratings and what The Economist calls her combination of “fiscal ferocity and a capacity for conciliation,” Haley was mentioned early in 2016 as a potential candidate for the Vice-Presidency.” (wiki)”

Doesn’t appear that that statement is being respected by some folks these days.

Positivedifference54 March 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

Who can we hold accountable when a state road that is going to be repaved has maybe a dozen patched potholes when there are other state roads that have hundreds if not thousands of patched potholes?

Bible Thumper March 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm

Hulk Hogan awarded $115m in Gawker sex tape case.
Watch out Fitsnews, Kenny Bingham’s case is looking pretty good.

jimlewisowb March 18, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Are you saying that willie has a sex tape of Bingham ?

Do you know who the woman is in the tape?

Do you know who the man is in the tape?

Do you know who the man and the woman is in the tape?

If there was a sheep involved, just keep it to yourself

shifty henry March 18, 2016 at 10:01 pm

A Greek billionaire bought an island upon which to build a palace to honor his family heritage. As he walked with the architect he stopped and pointed to a tree. “That tree must not be disturbed in any way. Under that tree is where I lost my virginity.”

“Aaah, that is so romantic.” replied the architect as he marked it on his papers.

“Also, do not disturb that tree over there,” he again spoke, “because that is where her mother stood and watched us.”

“My heavens,” exclaimed the architect in amazement. “What did her mother say?”


Bible Thumper March 18, 2016 at 10:02 pm

The Lexington Republican lawmaker filed a libel lawsuit in Lexington County last week accusing Folks of falsely publishing in December that libertarian activist Colin Ross had filed an ethics complaint accusing him of using his position for personal gain.

State Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, told Folks no ethics complaint was filed, but the blogger wrote stories anyway that included “false and defamatory” claims, the lawsuit said.

Read more here:

Guest March 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm

What is the status of that lawsuit?

Bible Thumper March 18, 2016 at 10:29 pm

Don’t know.

Guest March 18, 2016 at 10:29 pm

Thank you.

Bible Thumper March 18, 2016 at 10:31 pm

Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem won’t be able to get Will out of this one either.

Earl March 21, 2016 at 7:18 am

it would be easy enough to find out, just go to:

you can look up the case, should give some background and current status

jimlewisowb March 18, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Lighten up BT, just injecting some humor

No doubt Cockroach Bingham feels his honor has been sullied

However Bingham is a Fuckin’ Cockroach and if he pushes his case to the point of depositions he will be the first Fuckin’ Cockroach I know of willingly going under the knife, i.e. taking an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Guest March 18, 2016 at 10:34 pm

So you apparently know the status of this lawsuit?

jimlewisowb March 18, 2016 at 10:36 pm

Nope, that is why I stated “if”

Guest March 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm

You apparently have information that ‘depositions’ haven’t been taken? How would you know that?

jimlewisowb March 18, 2016 at 11:05 pm

“Ignorance is curable, stupid is forever”, bless your heart

Bible Thumper March 18, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Humor is good, like medicine.
I’m hoping the trial will reveal who Will is talking about when he says “We at Fitnews”.

Thank you Capt. Cuckold March 18, 2016 at 10:38 pm

This case is nothing like the Hulk Hogan case douchebag, from your link:

“The blogger has “back-up documentation” in emails and texts from Ross that supports what he published, Strom said.

The odds may be in Folks’ favor, however.

Bingham must prove Folks “either knew (the information he published) was false or had serious doubt about the accuracy of what was published, and published it anyway,” said Jay Bender, a media attorney who has represented The State.

It’s a “very high standard,” Bender said.

Bible Thumper March 18, 2016 at 10:41 pm

He had serious doubts. Quinn told fits that the story was false.

jimlewisowb March 18, 2016 at 10:58 pm

C’Mon Man

Think a minute BT

Do you believe even for a second that Richard Quinn, Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Cockroach Armies of the South, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true Gypsy Queen, Curry Powder, Godfather Emeritus to thousands of other Fuckin’ Cockroaches will allow himself to be put under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Bible Thumper March 18, 2016 at 11:03 pm

LOL! Quinn is lucky. He will be testifying against probably the only person in the state with a worse reputation than he has.

Thank you Capt. Cuckold March 18, 2016 at 10:59 pm

The accused or persons representing the accused are not going to be considered impartial arbiters of doubt in any way, shape, or form.

You’re high if you think otherwise, aside from the lame comparison of a judgement in a case of secretly videotaped sex being mass distributed across the internet.

The two case have zero similarity, other than it’s an actor that sued a gossip site.

Guest March 19, 2016 at 8:19 am

This one does:


In The Court of Appeals

Mark Kelley, Respondent,


David Wren and Sun Publishing Company Inc., d/b/a The

Sun News, Appellants.

Appellate Case No. 2014-001249

Appeal From Horry County

Larry B. Hyman, Jr., Circuit Court Judge

Opinion No. 5375

Heard December 9, 2015 – Filed January 13, 2016


Jerry Jay Bender, Baker Ravenel & Bender, LLP, of

Columbia, for Appellants.

James P. Stevens, Jr. and Natalie Shawn StevensGraziani,

Stevens Law Firm, PC, of Loris, for


FEW, C.J.: David Wren and Sun Publishing Company, Inc. appeal from a jury

verdict awarding $400,000 in actual damages and $250,000 in punitive damages to

Mark Kelley on Kelley’s claims he was libeled by a series of articles Wren wrote

for The Sun News of Myrtle Beach. We affirm.

Thank you Capt. Cuckold March 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

There’s no way a jury is going to find FitsNews guilty of libel assuming he has the evidence he says he does.

Not only that, when depositions finally come around Bingham is going to have to explain why Colin Ross said and wrote the things he did, and also discuss of Ross tried to file an ethics report.

It’s going to be a mess for Bingham. There’s virtually no upside for him. I’ll be fascinating to see if his attorney even allows these shenanigans to get to the deposition stage.

Guest March 19, 2016 at 8:17 am

Mr. Bollea’s team said the verdict represented “a statement as to the public’s disgust with the invasion of privacy disguised as journalism,” adding: “The verdict says, ‘No more.’ ”

FitsNews is next?

Thank you Captain Cuckold March 19, 2016 at 1:27 pm

Hulk Hogan isn’t a political figure and the “news” as reported by Fits wasn’t a sex tape, it was directly related to Bingham’s job as a public figure.

There’s no similarity.

shifty henry March 19, 2016 at 8:41 am

Governor Haley should be made aware that allowing this sort of behavior in a state agency shold not be tolerated:

Tazmaniac March 21, 2016 at 9:36 am

Oh crap! When first clicked the link I thought “look at these two guys, perverts for sure” and that’s when I saw one of the “guys” is named LOIS! Oregon is a really weird, messed up sort of place. From pictures the land looks beautiful though.

shifty henry March 21, 2016 at 9:56 am

I revisited the site, and they strangely look like they could be brothers… wonder what else was going on? But the damage to kids is exactly what happens in SC.

sparklecity March 19, 2016 at 8:42 am

Big fucking deal you can count on not seeing any REAL improvement on no BS repairs to the existing roads for years or maybe ever…………..(especially secondary state roads where it’s bad as hell , let alone stretches of existing interstate & US highways)

Tazmaniac March 19, 2016 at 9:04 am

According to a report on WSOC, Nc has twice as many road deficiencies though their gas tax is much higher. Not sure of exact ratio. The DOT, similar to the school systems, has so much waste at the top and to it’s contractors and then has a low pay rate to the actual folks on the front lines, with virtually guaranteed poor outcomes. As with many things, we have to first figure out how to get our money’s worth. I gladly give money to charities who have great results and am thankful that the Red Cross or UNICEF can’t put me in prison for not paying like Government can.

sparklecity March 20, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Figure getting your “money’s worth” my hillbilly ass…quit making excuses and fix the existing roads then get back to me……………
I ain’t driven near as much fucked roads in NC or Tennessee as I have to endure every damn day in Ser Kackilicky so don’t give me that rationale………
You ain’t nothing but another South Carolinian making excuses and that’s all Ser Kackilacky is good for.
No wonder South Carolina is 47th or near the bottom of just about every parameter except whoring for corporate cronyism or tourism on the coast……………………..
If Ser Kackilicky did not have Charleston as a port or Myrtle Beach and other coastal get-a-ways this state would make Haiti look good………..
And deep down you know that……………

Tazmaniac March 20, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Well it is not my study and I found it interesting because most media reports are trying to push a narrative. This one sounded odd and made me wonder. As for your other stuff, if you pay a contractor the going rate to paint your house and he is taking forever and doing a shitty job, is your next move to pay him more? No, you are going to fire his ass and sue for not getting your money’s worth. Can’t seem to do much of that with the DOT.

sparklecity March 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

all the while the road still ain’t fixed…….while you and your kind are staring at you navel and wanting one more study/investigation…………..

Tazmaniac March 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm

I know of no Law or regulations that keeps smart people like you from writing a check made out to SCDOT. Need me to give you the address? Additionally, the next time you need a contractor at your home check with me and I will help you find the most worthless waste of money possible. It gives me a chance to quit staring at my navel. :-/

shifty henry March 19, 2016 at 8:44 am

fits is screwed up and rejected my original post…..

euwe max March 19, 2016 at 2:50 pm

you were…. moderated ???

Flip March 21, 2016 at 9:36 am

Yeah Disqus’ crappy bugs does a great job of “moderating” innocent comments but seems to let that troll Pogo come here.

Elfego March 19, 2016 at 4:33 pm

The SCDPT has too many folks employed and standing around doing nothing.I have noticed the county in which I live has a lot of SCDOT employees working in cites in the county.
State Government like the Federal Government has very little if any accountability .They do business the way they see fit without any real oversight. Government in America is run amok. From example our Federal Government selling firearms that end up killing American Police Officers,to Hilary and Obama’s Leadership in Libya and Benghazi,Obama’s handling of the IRS to attack his enemies to his handouts to those that contributed to him and the Democrats.Wake up America you can not pay your debt now and government keeps growing. States,counties and cities throughout America are no different.
Up front,I did not vote for Donald Trump in the Primaries but I have noticed these rallies against him. They are being performed by people that are paid by the Rich,George Soros , Rich Republicans and Democrats. Those participating are those that do not work,will not work,in college and someone looking for handouts.If you believe in truth and honesty I feel Trump is our only chance. I honestly have doubt but no doubt everyone else are in the pockets of those that are paying for these rallies. I only ask you to really think about it. Everyone else running has shown they can not do the job!

LouieBuoy March 20, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Perhaps the gov would like a little collection bucket placed at each pump in SC, for a voluntary gas tax? A small label affixed to each bucket would read “Please donate the change from your car ashtray to help repair our crippled roads” Gov Hagley could spend her days driving the smiling back roads of SC emptying these brimming buckets.

CorruptionInColumbia March 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Caption/Nikki To Lady In Green Dress:

I really do think your boobs look better when I hold them together like this. What about you?

david March 21, 2016 at 11:26 am

Is she on her period again?


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