Tuesday, November 29

Is the icing about to be put on the Haley political scandal cake?

Some folks are taking lightly the charge by South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Hartpootlian that Governor Haley is using her chef to handout birthday cakes to pet staff members.  Sure, it might seem small stuff, and it has likely been done before by a Governor.  But, Hartpootlian is an old political pro.  He knows what he is doing.  His press rant about the cakes is the icing on the Haley political scandal cake.

It started with reports about the Governor having her bodyguards fetch drinks for her and her guests.  Then, there was the famous yacht ride.  That was followed by the state paid for trip to Paris.  Wisely, the Haley trip to India was put off.  Then bloggers and others reported that she got free booze from a Columbia liquor and beer distributor and that her husband actually wanted tax payers to pay to keep the wine chilled.  Let’s not forget how Haley waffled on the Amazon development to appease Wal Mart and its power political operation.  The Govenor’s staff has destroyed public emails, and their salaries are frankly very good. 

But, all of that: cakes, booze, trips, it pales in comparison to the allegations being made about the Savannah port deal.   Governor Haley’s freshly appointed DHEC board gave the go ahead for the state of Georgia to dredge the Savannah River to expand the port at Savannah to be a deep water port that rivals that of Charleston. 

There has been a lot of head scratching over that decision by a number of political and business leaders.  Several years ago, then Governor Sanford struck up a deal with then Governor Purdue of Georgia to create a Jasper County port that would bring jobs and revenue to South Carolina.  Governor Haley seems to have broken the unwritten code of Governors of South Carolina, both Democrat and Republican, to keep to their predecessors’ word on things related to economic development for the state. 

Frankly, acting outside of the political box is Haley’s forte.  She is a rebel, have no doubt about it.  But, is she a rebel for good or for herself?  That is the question.  Blogs, such as FITSNEWS, and other sources we checked out have confirmed that Georgia businessmen with ties to the Savannah port held a fundraiser for Haley.  Then, Haley’s DHEC board gives Georgia the go ahead on Savannah, all but killing the Jasper port idea and any notions of expanding business at the Charleston port.   We are not saying there was any quid pro quo.  VUI is just saying that kind of thing looks bad, like deleting public emails does. 

It looks so bad that State Senator Harvey Peeler, (R-Gaffney), the Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the Medical Affairs Committee of the State Senate that oversees DHEC, asked the Governor and her staff to come testify to his committee.  The Governor refused.  She did offer to turn over some emails and things like that. That is either funny or outrageous when one considers the Governor’s email deletion scandal. 

Such events make clear one of two things is going on.  First, the Governor and her people are such true believers and so inept that they keep stumbling into situations that more experienced politicos would avoid.  Or, they have fallen in love with their poll numbers and the handful of jobs they have announced and think that they are above the political fray and can do what they want with no consequences. 

Either scenario is dangerous for the Governor.  After all, the Governor is not even a year into her term and scandal seems to be the talk of politicos. And, make no mistake, Dick Hartpootlian is an old experienced chef who knows how and when to put the icing on the political cake. 

All that said, here is the ad being ran in the Lowcountry against Haley:

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