SC

Henry McMaster Eyes Leadership Change At SCDPS

DEMOCRATS VOW TO FIGHT FOR EMBATTLED DIRECTOR … It could be a bit too soon to start referring to him as “incoming governor,” but odds are sometime next month South Carolina lieutenant governor Henry McMaster will replace Nikki Haley atop the executive branch of government in the Palmetto State. What happens to…

DEMOCRATS VOW TO FIGHT FOR EMBATTLED DIRECTOR …

It could be a bit too soon to start referring to him as “incoming governor,” but odds are sometime next month South Carolina lieutenant governor Henry McMaster will replace Nikki Haley atop the executive branch of government in the Palmetto State.

What happens to McMaster’s old job remains very much up in the air, but there’s no controversy regarding the top line succession – McMaster would inherit the governor’s office upon Haley being confirmed by the U.S. Senate as president-elect Donald Trump‘s ambassador to the United Nations.

McMaster would enter office undefined – a blank slate.  And in a column earlier this week we argued Haley’s cabinet should resign en masse to afford him maximum flexibility in advancing his agenda.

McMaster obviously doesn’t need them to do that (he can fire cabinet directors as he sees fit) but we argued that Haley’s appointees “ought to do the considerate thing” and step down.

One cabinet director McMaster reportedly wants to see gone is Leroy Smith at the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS).

As we’ve noted in a pair of stories this week (here and here), this agency is in real trouble … and has been for some time.

Will Smith submit his resignation upon McMaster assuming office?  Or will he force the new governor to fire him?

Sources familiar with the situation say that South Carolina Democrats are eager to see Smith – who is black – force McMaster’s hand on this issue.

Why?  Well, McMaster isn’t exactly the poster child for racial diversity – as evidenced by the recent scandal over his membership in a “whites only” country club.

“I dare him to do it,” one black lawmaker told FITS. “In fact I triple-dog dare him.”

Well, well … somebody’s clearly been watching A Christmas Story this holiday season.

Another black lawmaker told us that the firing of a black cabinet official would be a “terrible signal – especially after a governor like Haley.”

Haley has been praised by blacks after calling for the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the S.C. State House (although we’re not sure if they know what motivated that decision).

Clearly the optics associated with McMaster firing Smith – assuming it comes to that – would be bad.  Very bad.  There would be literally no shortage of hay for Democrats to make with their friends in the state’s increasingly liberal mainstream media.

Having said that, we would support McMaster 100 percent in such a decision – although our hope is that Smith and other incompetent Haley officials take this “regime change” as an opportunity to bow out as gracefully as they can.

Ultimately this issue isn’t about race – it’s about an agency that’s been run into the ground (by an individual who has been accused of racism himself, ironically).  Hopefully McMaster recognizes that … and takes the necessary corrective action.

Smith and other Haley officials deserve to lose their jobs not because they are black or white or male or female … but because they have failed to improve our state’s key outcomes.

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