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Tom Davis: Henry McMaster Should Remove SCDOT Commissioners

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GOVERNOR CALLED OUT …

Last week, columnist Cindi Ross Scoppe of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper penned a column discussing the disputed status of powerful status quo South Carolina highway commissioner John Hardee.

Scoppe’s bottom line?  Hardee should be removed from his post by governor Henry McMaster.

Hardee is the son-in-law of liberal “Republican” State Senate president Hugh Leatherman – one of the chief architects (and plunderers) of the Palmetto State’s bloated bureaucratic state.  For years, he’s been among the fiscally liberal members of the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) commission who – despite receiving billions of dollars in additional funding each year – have abjectly failed to prioritize infrastructure spending based on need.

According to Scoppe, Hardee has been on the SCDOT commission way too long and “the only way to be sure his never-ending service ends is for Mr. McMaster to end it.”

We concur … although McMaster isn’t about to do that.

How come?  Well, for starters Hardee’s father-in-law basically runs the state.

Also, as we exclusively reported yesterday, Hardee is actively soliciting campaign contributions for the governor’s imperiled reelection bid.

That’s right … a guy who owes his appointment to McMaster is raising campaign cash for him.

Sound shady?  No … it is shady.  As hell.

This infinitely corrupt arrangement isn’t sitting well with fiscally conservative State Senator Tom Davis – a champion for infrastructure funding reform who is reportedly planning to challenge McMaster in the June 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary.

In a post on his Facebook page Davis rebuked McMaster, saying “this is precisely the kind of business-as-usual our state can no longer afford.”

“I call on Governor McMaster to remove Mr. Hardee from the SCDOT commission – now,” Davis said.  “As far as that goes, he ought to demand resignations from ALL the commissioners and reappoint only the ones who share his statewide vision. All the work done by activists to get the governor some degree of SCDOT oversight power is for naught if he refuses to use it.”

That’s true …

With the stroke of a pen, McMaster could remove Hardee from this commission and replace him with someone committed to advancing the best interests of this state’s citizens and taxpayers.  Someone like former SCDOT commissioner Sarah Nuckles, for example – a true taxpayer hero who frankly ought to be in charge of our state’s entire infrastructure budget.

Indeed McMaster could replace this entire corrupt commission if he wanted to … but that would mean making powerful enemies (and doing without their campaign contributions).

Is he the kind of politician willing to buck the status quo like that?

Guess we’ll find out … although sadly, we suspect we already know the answer.

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