GOVERNOR BLASTED FOR DISRESPECTING THE RULE OF LAW
S.C. governor Nikki Haley is getting blasted by one of the Palmetto State’s legacy media leaders over her latest hissy fit.
And no, we’re not referring to the one she threw over the failed gasoline tax … we’re talking about Haley’s recent broadside against S.C. lieutenant governor Henry McMaster for failing to do her bidding on the issue of “ethics reform” (a.k.a. the “Nikki Haley Do-As-I-Say-Not-As-I-Do” bill).
Specifically, Haley is mad McMaster for issuing a procedural ruling that effectively killed the legislation’s chance of passage.
To be clear: The S.C. General Assembly’s “reform” bill is a joke. In fact, it would actually do more harm than good (as Haley knows very well). Also, the governor’s hypocrisy on this issue is well-known.
Still, the politics of the debate is worth watching …
According to columnist Cindi Ross Scoppe of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper, Haley’s angry rebuke of McMaster was reminiscent of “the Nikki Haley we came to know in her first three years in office. The Nikki Haley who believes that the law applies to other people, to the little people I suppose, but not to her.”
Scoppe went on to list several examples of Haley ignoring the rule of law – including her infamous (and costly) attempt to imprison Occupy protesters. Or her 2011 effort to dictate to lawmakers when they should convene.
“Even our royal governor knows she can’t reverse the ruling of the Senate’s presiding officer – which might be why she got into such a heated argument Thursday as she tried to tell Mr. McMaster how to rule,” Scoppe added. “What she can do is run to her Facebook page and post a tirade against Mr. McMaster. Which she did after her browbeating failed to sway him.”
Yup … ask GOP lawmakers Katrina Shealy and Kirkman Finlay about getting blasted by Haley. She attacked both of them (here and here) for having the audacity to try and fix her totally busted welfare and juvenile justice agencies.
(Haley hasn’t exactly been focused on her home state, you know).
Ethics reform … real reform … matters.
As we noted recently, public faith in the integrity of government is at a new low in South Carolina thanks to the scandal enveloping S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson (for the latest on that click here and here).
What should be done?
First and foremost, the S.C. General Assembly’s ability to “self-police” its own members must be stripped. This arrangement is incestuous – and a key driver of corruption in our state. Second, there must be total disclosure of all income – and strict prohibitions against anything resembling self-dealing. Third, and perhaps most importantly, there must be real consequences for violations of the public trust – meaning jail time for offenders.
No more slaps on the wrist, no more probation … if you abuse your office, steal tax money or illegally steer contracts to yourself or your family members, you go to jail.
Will our state’s notoriously corrupt lawmakers ever embrace such reform? Don’t hold your breath …