As DEAD AIR readers can see, I am running out of anti-Nikki Haley blog-post titles in this harried week before the election, and today's title reflects my desperation. In ohhh so many ways!
Just, please, DON'T VOTE for her.
Last night, the party continued over in Florence:
FLORENCE — Republican Nikki Haley and Democrat Vincent Sheheen are painting differing portraits of the state's most pressing problems and how to solve them with a week to go before voters choose one as their next governor.FAITH BASED COALITION? (((gnashes teeth, slits wrist)))
At their final debate, held Tuesday before a crowd of more than 400 at Francis Marion University near Florence, Haley talked of the state's “cultural problems” that she said are handicapping the state's work force, such as a lack of education skills and drug addiction that causes failed drug tests.
She said she would address the problems if elected governor by using a faith-based coalition that would tutor school children, counsel victims of domestic violence and help those in poverty.
Sheheen said the biggest problem facing the state is its 11 percent unemployment rate and said he would spend his time recruiting jobs and industry to the state.
I don't want to talk to any so-called "faith-based coalitions" that likely include the kind of people (considering that this is South Carolina) who don't believe certain populations even deserve charity, okay?
During their hour answering questions from a panel of reporters, the debate's moderator and two student body presidents, Haley and Sheheen disagreed on how to pay for the $2.5 billion Interstate 73 project, healthcare, education funding and each other's jobs.(((giggle))) Too bad he couldn't sneak in some Will Folks references; if a totally-accurate tax-evader jab brought gasps, imagine what a little joke about climbing into some blogger's SUV for a late-night party might do.
Each found opportunities to attack the other, with Sheheen drawing both applause and gasps as he told Haley at one point: “I'd rather be a successful lawyer, I'd rather have a successful lawyer as my next governor than an accountant who didn't pay her taxes,” a reference to Haley's late payments in recent years.
I say, go for broke, Vince! It can't hurt, at this point.
Sheheen said he has supported I-73and would support tolls on the road as well as the creation of a national infrastructure bank modeled after South Carolina's infrastructure bank to pay for it. I-73 would connect Myrtle Beach to Michigan and run through the Pee Dee and coastal regions of South Carolina.
Haley said she opposes tolls and the creation of the federal infrastructure bank, arguing that as governor she would ask the state's congressional delegation to find the money.
Asked about how they would handle the state's financial troubles, Sheheen said more taxes weren’t the answer and agencies might have to consolidate services. He said he would prioritize economic development and job-related services.
Haley said there was still waste to be cut out of state government, arguing that in most states, an estimated 10 percent of Medicaid funds are lost to abuse and fraud.More jokes like that, Vince!
She once again pointed at amounts spent on education “overhead” at the Department of Education, insisting the agency has more than 1,100 positions, a figure Sheheen said isn’t true. He said the agency told him the number of actual workers is 883, half of which are bus drivers.
“It's important that we talk truth in these debates,” he said. Haley said her numbers come from the state's budget.
Sheheen then asked Haley what positions she thought should be cut from the agency. Haley said she wants bus services privatized, which she said would save the state money in maintenance services. She said more funding needs to go to the classroom, but Sheheen said Haley doesn’t count principals or cooks as core classroom costs.
“You want the teachers to cook,” he said to laughter.
On the subject of the federal government's healthcare plan, Sheheen said he likes parts of the plan, such as allowing children to be covered for pre-existing conditions or preventing women with breast cancer from having their insurance canceled.Ummm, at least he showed up for work!
But Haley said Sheheen “can't split the cow,” arguing the plan will cost the state $1 billion, a cost she said the state cannot afford.
One of the evening's most heated exchanges came after Sheheen was asked about his work as a lawyer representing clients before state agencies.
Sheheen said while Haley has accused him of suing the state, his firm has only defended clients whose property the government wanted to take, identifying a couple in the audience whom he represented.
Haley said Sheheen represents workers before the worker's compensation commission, in effect suing businesses, a practice she said has brought him and his law firm a lot of business and fees.
She said lawyer-legislators shouldn’t be on committees appointing members of the worker's comp board.
“We need to make sure they can't have both their hands in both their pockets,” she said. “He has made hundreds of thousands of dollars being a lawyer-legislator. That's one great part-time job."
Do you believe Haley's chutzpah? (She's something else, no?)
Sheheen talked of Haley's jobs after becoming a legislator working as a consultant for an engineering firm that does government work and as a fundraiser for a hospital foundation.Not bad, Vince, but I still think you need to bring the machete next time and talk about the fact that she has never needed to actually APPLY for a job like ordinary folks, and has NEVER found one the old fashioned way (despite her claims to the contrary).
“It gets a little bit old listening to her preach to me,” he said, “when I follow ethics laws, when I recuse myself from voting on commissioners.”
Haley said Sheheen has spent the majority of his ad campaign attacking her and “every director of the Department of Revenue, every ethics commissioner has said I've done nothing wrong...I've never made money off the state.”
She told the audience in her closing statement that she wants voters to “join the movement,” arguing they have a clear choice and should say no to the “status quo political insider hierarchy” and yes to “real people.”
Sheheen closed by saying the race is about having “government you can trust again.”“I'm not looking for a movement,” he said. “I'm looking for a governor.”Asked at the end by the debate's moderator whether they personally like each other, Haley said, “I used to."
LACERATIONS, please, not little love-nips.
And let me hasten to add that this was not a real "debate" with all sides fairly represented, since Dr Morgan Bruce Reeves, our Green Party candidate for governor, was not included.
As stated above and many times before, please do not vote for this woman.
Stay tuned, sports fans.