Nikki Could Be in Deep You Know What

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First, is it true that Nikki keeps a little “Love Nest” in DC?  Darn if she isn’t a chip off the old Mark Sanford block!

What is deeper than the harbor there in Charleston that Lindsey wants dredged to handle larger shipping vessels and improve the economic picture in South Carolina?  Well, the proper answer is the s*t* that Nikki Haley, the ultimate Glam Girl of the GOP is in!  Then again, putting it into perspective, when you consider the history of South Carolina and its various governors, she might not even make the top ten worst governors…. unless you consider the fact that she could be in serious legal and ethical trouble.  It makes Mark Sanford’s little affair look like a walk down the Appalachian Trail!

Charleston Post and Courier

For well over a year, The Pink Flamingo has been telling you that Nikki is a candidate for the one most likely GOP governor to be out before her term is up, and that’s not just because I’m friends with the person she defeated (Gresham Barrett).

FTS

When I first read the post on Voting Under the Influence, I was hooting.  Here in New Mexico, we have a Glam Girl Governor of the GOP who is simply incompetent.  She is not corrupt.  I fear, what McCarty has written is just the tip of the iceberg!

“…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. …”

Harvey Peeler is asking for her email and documents, etc.  But – she’s deleted everything!

FTS

There is the “It’s A Great Day in South Carolina.”  FTS tells us the Dems are after her on that one.

“…A couple of state House Democrats want Gov. Nikki Haley’s cheery “It’s a great day in South Carolina” greeting canned. Reps. John King of Rock Hill and Wendell Gilliard of Charleston wrote a bill that would ban state government workers from using Haley’s widely parodied telephone greeting “so long as certain conditions exist in South Carolina.”

Haley in September asked state workers to use the greeting. “As hokey as some people may think it is, I’m selling South Carolina as this great, new, positive state that everybody needs to look at,” the governor said at the time. Since then, many government workers have incorporated the motto in their phone lingo while others conveniently forget to do so…”

Larry Grooms

“…The governor declined to provide the names of who was invited to the fundraiser, saying it was unfair to the donors and an unnecessary hassle for her campaign aide.

DHEC board chairman Allen Amsler on Tuesday issued a statement on behalf of the board to reaffirm its decision to grant the permit.

“There was absolutely no influence brought to bear upon any Board member in this case, especially in the form of financial payments,” Amsler said in a statement. “That suggestion is offensive to a group of people working very hard to protect South Carolina’s resources.”

Amsler said the board did not overturn a staff decision — but agreed to hear an appeal.

“There’s quite a bit of confusion about previous action or stances the Board took on the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project,” Amsler said in a statement. “… Before the board heard the case, the parties resolved the differences that were outlined in documentation from DHEC staff to the Georgia Ports Authority and the Army’s Corps of Engineers in September. After hearing about the resolution, and determining that the agency’s concerns had been addressed, we agreed to affirm the resolution.”

Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Charleston, said the governor and the environmental board, which she appoints, need to step back and evaluate the situation.

“This does not have to be a South Carolina versus South Carolina fight,” Merrill said. “Right now, Georgia is sitting back with their feet up, smoking a long cigar and enjoying the infighting, all to the detriment of South Carolina.”…”

WISTV

“...What’s behind the “backroom deal” allegation? The Charleston Post and Courier notes that Haley has been fundraising in Georgia, raising thousands of dollars toward her 2014 re-election run. Both sides of the partisan aisle questioned whether those events held weight in her decision. Post and Courier columnist Brian Hicks added that earlier in 2011, Haley re-tooled the DHEC board, filling slots with supporters….”

Huffington Post

In many ways, this whole story of Nikki’s corruption can’t be truly grasped without the screen shots.  There is so much of it, it is difficult to comprehend.  When you take it all in, we’re not looking at incompetence.  We are looking at abject corruption.

The State

“…In her letter to Peeler, Haley said she called the board and asked it to hear the case after meeting with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a fellow Republican. “My office received a request from Gov. Deal that Georgia be permitted to appeal a DHEC-staff level decision to the DHEC board itself,” Haley’s letter said. “I relayed Gov. Deal’s request for an appellate hearing to the chairman of DHEC’s board. Beyond that, any decision made by DHEC was the agency’s own.”
Haley’s letter to Peeler said she was declining the invitation to speak before the Senate committee for “obvious separation-of-powers reasons.”

“I am unaware of any prior governor participating in a legislative inquiry of this nature,” Haley’s letter to Peeler said. “Nevertheless, my staff and I are glad to meet with you and the committee’s staff to discuss our limited involvement in the agency’s proceedings, as well as how to best position South Carolina’s ports for expansion and growth.”

Sen. Joel Lourie, D-Richland, said he’s disappointed that Haley won’t speak at the Senate Medical Affairs Committee meeting next week. The governor could satisfy many concerns with an appearance, he said. DHEC staff members are expected to testify.

“There are a lot of questions about how this process evolved and whether influence or pressure” occurred, Lourie said. “She could come and quickly end all of that. Her failure to do that only leads to more unresolved issues.”…”

Greenville Online

“…Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston County) said DHEC’s decision is a major blow to South Carolina’s economy. While Charleston’s port has suffered from poor leadership recently, the Georgia Port Authority has been moving ahead in modernizing the Savannah Port, Ford said. DHEC’s decision will just make it easier for Georgia to get ahead.

“We’ve gotten further and further behind,” Ford said. “Now our board has given the go ahead to benefit the state of Georgia. We need to build our port, not be looking out for the state of Georgia.”

Ford, as well as members of the commission, are questioning Gov. Nikki Haley’s decision, saying she’s not looking out for the state’s interests.

“Nikki Haley is 1,000 percent wrong,” Ford said, “and all of (the DHEC board members) need to be replaced.”

But Haley defended the Charleston Port Monday during a jobs announcement in Fountain Inn.

“Charleston will be the best port in the country,” Haley said. “I’m not going to stop until it is. I’m absolutely not worried about our competitiveness.”

State senators and commission members are not only worried about the negative economic impact on the state. If DHEC’s decision holds up, South Carolina will see a negative environmental impact as well, they say.

Plus, the deepening of the Port of Savannah “puts the nail in the coffin of the Jasper County Port,” said Sen. Chip Campsen (R-Berkeley and Charleston counties).

“The Jasper County Port is a project that has seen considerable time, funds and effort in recent years,” Campsen said.

Campsen called DHEC’s decision “bewildering.”

“It took me completely by surprise,” he said. “I never would have thought that DHEC would ignore the science on the environmental impact and the negative economic impact and put the final nail in the coffin of the Jasper Port — they did all three.”…”

Buffingdon News

Then there is this…. catering?

Midlands Connect

 “...All of this started after questions were raised about the sideline catering business Executive Chef Geoffrey Sandifer was running at of the Governor’s Mansion. When questions were raised about it, the governor’s office investigated and informed the state Ethics Commission. Sandifer was told to stop sideline catering at the Governor’s Mansion and ordered to repay the state for using linens, cookware and a computer.

And, it was revealed through emails that Haley’s husband, Michael, and Sandifer were trying to get some sort of wine cooler to keep donated wine properly chilled. That plan thankfully faded.

The notion of extravagances like cakes and wine coolers in a state where retirees face an uncertain future because of budget shortfalls is a bit much to stomach.

Yes, like we said earlier, it’s just cake. But it doesn’t look right for teacher facing a class of 40 children in a cold classroom because of budget cuts to be helping pay for a governor’s staffer’s birthday cake….”

WISTV

“…We’ve learned Haley has used the company’s corporate jet since October 2010 to attend at least two fundraisers. “I did not know them prior to the election, but I’ve gotten to know them very well since after the election and South Carolina is fortunate to have them,” said Haley.

Records show Haley used the Kennedy’s plane before the election when she took it to Florida to meet Sen. Marco Rubio. That was 33 days before the election.

Haley’s flight records show she used the Nephron jet a second time just last month when she flew to Dallas and raised $37,000 for her campaign account. Haley says there’s nothing wrong with borrowing the Nephron jet.

“We have people who support what I’m doing across the country,” said Haley. “We don’t use tax dollars to go do fundraising trips. They were kind enough to do that, but let’s be clear, we use those relationships to bring jobs to our state and getting to know the Kennedys, it was a matter of saying we want you to put a business in South Carolina and they did that.”

Four weeks after her last flight, Haley joined the Kennedys Friday to make the investment announcement. Haley brushed off the idea that the flights she took on the Nephron plane gave the company any tax advantages in their deal to build in the Midlands. “There were infrastructure incentives,” said Haley. “It’s no different than what Continental Tire, Bridgestone or anybody else got.”

The deal, according to Haley, is to spend $4 million in tax dollars to prep the site for the plant, then offer further tax breaks when the company starts hiring….”

Evidently Ephron has a history of problems.

“...Beyond the specific ethical questions involving Haley – who has been less than honest and transparent about receiving flights on private jets from Nephron and other companies – is South Carolina’s deal with this company really in the best interests of the state?
Several political and economic development insiders have speculated as to how Nephron – a company that generates an estimated annual profit of $15-20 million – could possibly commit to a $313 million expansion that will create over 700 new jobs (at an average of $70,000 a pop, no less).

Particularly in the existing lending environment …
“Those numbers don’t add up,” a source who tracks economic development deals tells FITS.
Concerns regarding the financial underpinnings of Nephron deal have led some to suspect that the company is seeking inclusion on South Carolina’s preferred drug list for Medicaid – something it allegedly tried (and failed) to do during the administration of former Gov. Mark Sanford.

Obviously that would be worth much more to the company than the millions of dollars in as-yet-undisclosed incentives it is already receiving from the state….”

She’s so secretive she rarely uses the state issued cell, using her own, instead.  Does she think the people of South Carolina are so stupid, that they are going to fall for the bull that she makes very few phone calls?

“…Godfrey said Haley is using her state-issued cellphone along with other forms of communication to do her job. Sometimes, he said, staff members hand Haley their cellphones to make and receive calls, particularly when she and staff are traveling. The governor also does many face-to-face meetings, he said.

“No, the governor does not use a private phone for state business,” Godfrey said. “She is, however, often connected on calls either in the office or via staff. As is evidenced by her public schedule, she’s on the phone a great deal.”

According to cellphone records released by Haley’s office, the governor has made or received 197 calls on her state-issued cellphone during nine billing cycles, from January to September. Most of the calls were to or from other S.C. numbers, including a handful of calls that Haley made while was she was in France for the Paris Air Show.

Most of the calls are to Haley staff members.

Others are to elected officials, including Attorney General Alan Wilson and Adjutant General Bob Livingston, both Republicans; House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, R-Lexington; and Department of Commerce officials.

In its busiest phone-usage period, Haley’s phone was used 54 times from March 29 to April 28. In the slowest period, the phone was used seven times for the July/August billing cycle….”

What about campaign promises?  The state ethics commission has gone after her first class, high flying life-style.

Independent Mail

 “…One of those donors – Chairman Allen Amsler of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control – has provided Haley with several flights on his private jet.
Amsler was recently praised by Haley for his work in speeding up the permitting process for aircraft manufacturing Boeing’s Lowcountry, S.C. facility – although like so much of what comes out of her mouth Haley’s claim was later discovered to be false.

In addition to her numerous ethical issues, Haley has run afoul of state travel guidelines in the past. In fact, she once claimed that she couldn’t remember where she sat on a plane during a 2007 taxpayer-funded trip to China – despite the fact that a pair of sources who were on the plane said that she flew first class.

The S.C. Department of Commerce – which organized the China trip – later claimed that Haley flew business class. More recently, Haley’s exorbitant expenses on a taxpayer-funded “economic development” trip to Paris have drawn criticism – with Haley compounding the damage by referring to the reporter who wrote the story as a “little girl.”

Haley isn’t the first South Carolina politician to encounter these sorts of issues. Former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford also came under fire extensively for his travel practices in the wake of a sex scandal that nearly brought down his administration. For example, in 2009 it was revealed that Sanford failed to report dozens of private flights, obtained improper upgrades to first class seats on numerous state trips and misused the state plane for personal and political reasons….”

The Atlantic Wire

“...What They’re Really Fighting About: Haley’s image. Dudley and the Post and Courier contend that it’s hypocritical for a Republican Governor who was elected on tenets of “financial restraint” to be taking expensive, luxurious “business” trips to Europe. Essentially Dudley paints Haley as an elitist, or at least having “elite” tastes. Haley defends herself by showing her penny-pinching ways (the BMW-sponsored transportation, using the development alliance’s money versus tax-payer money). And there are no mistakes when both parties mention Haley’s food tastes, as the charges of enjoying “delicious French cuisine” and shrugging said cuisine off in favor of “South Carolina barbeque” are loaded with cultural and political implications and insinuations.

Who’s Winning Now:  The Post and Courier with a little bit of help from Haley. Haley may have tripped up in one of her own arguments. In terms of cutting cost, she mention she does so, but also mentions that she and her team were cruising around Europe in (presumably) BMWs, which is a luxury brand in its own right.  And in terms of Haley and her team being evasive versus the Post and Courier’s pass on the trip, it’s more responsible just based on a conflict of interest and journalistic integrity for The Post and Courier to decline the trip. We aren’t sure if The Post and Courier has the budget to independently pay for the trip and would be risking a conflict of interest if Haley’s team picked up the tab. Haley’s and her team’s evasive nature when approached for an interview about their expenses is a little harder to excuse….”

The State

“...The result? No emails prior to Oct. 3. Older emails had been deleted, The State was told.
The emails the paper did receive in response to its open-records-law request were not substantive. They included news clips sent to Haley by staff, a thank-you email from a Hilton Head principal whose middle school the governor visited and three emails from lawmakers, reacting to report-card grades that Haley doled out to them in October. The released emails did not include emails the governor’s office previously had released to the newspaper after an open-records request in March.

Those emails helped shape a story that showed S.C. citizens that Haley’s office was caught off guard by the public’s strong reaction to her decision to replace Darla Moore with a campaign contributor on the University of South Carolina’s board of trustees. The email trail showed Haley and her staff working to craft a message on Moore’s replacement and trying to get journalists to report Moore was unresponsive to the governor’s effort to meet with her, even though there was no evidence Haley attempted to meet with Moore before deciding to replace her.

More recently, The State has filed open-records requests for Haley’s communications concerning her controversial support for the dredging of the Port of Savannah, a competitor to South Carolina’s Port of Charleston. (The deadline to fulfill that request has not yet been reached.)

Often, internal official emails help the public understand the inner workings of a governor’s office. In 2009, for example, open-records requests helped The State and other media outlets piece together then-Gov. Sanford’s disappearance from the state. Released emails showed Sanford’s staff did not know where the governor was as they scrambled to figure out what to say to the media….”

FTS

Today is The Pink Flamingo’s birthday.  This is my gift to myself.

FTS

FTS also reports:

“...Over the last few months, the “open” nature of Haleys’ marriage has been confirmed to us by multiple sources including, but not limited to … our mole in the governor’s office, a pair of state lawmakers from Lexington, a former Haley staffer, a member of the governor’s security detail, two exotic dancers at Heartbreakers (the strip club frequented by Haley’s husband) and three residents of the Governor’s Grant neighborhood where the Haleys continue to maintain a private residence….What remains unclear, however, is whether the Haleys’ alleged “open relationship” was a consequence of one of them being unfaithful.
“We don’t think she and Mike lived together for at least a year (until she started running for governor, then he reappeared at their house),” one of the Haleys’ neighbors noted….”

This leaves The Pink Flamingo asking if Nikki Haley is the most corrupt governor in America?  Let’s face it, she is the GOP’s very own Blago!

Free Times

Over the centuries, South Carolina has managed to produce some of the most corrupt governors in the history of the country.  When I began this post, I was being sarcastic about the corruption issue.  The farther I worked my way into it, the more I realized that we are dealing with someone who may be the most corrupt governor in the history of the state.

That’s saying a heck of a lot.

How’s that Tea Party thing workin’ out for you?

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