Introducing a new, regular DEAD AIR feature, the dreaded HALEY WATCH! Under this title, I will be posting regular updates on the Republican shakedown headed up by South Carolina's new governor. (These posts will be appropriately tagged "Haley Watch" for easy indexing.)
First up, Governor Nikki Haley recently vowed to take away health care from as many people as she can. She's proud of it! This is the official statement her office released at the end of January:
“We have long argued that, among its many other flaws, the national health care law is unconstitutional, something that is now increasingly clear to all. South Carolina must take steps to avoid this unconstitutional infringement – one we do not want and cannot afford. We can improve health care in our state without this massive mandate from Washington, and that’s what our Administration, working with the General Assembly, will do.”Uh-huh. I posted here with details about how she is enthusiastically looting all public health care systems in the state. So, let us be clear: Haley doesn't intend to "improve" shit.
But wait, what's this?!? From FITSNews, I find the following buried news that I haven't seen anywhere else:
With her state facing an estimated $1 billion budget shortfall, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley handed out huge salary increases to top gubernatorial staffers on her first full day in office. She also doled out big salaries to newly-created positions within the governor’s office.And we haven't heard one word about this in mainstream South Carolina news outlets. Why not?
Paying attention, Tea Partiers?
Haley started things off by giving her new chief of staff, Tim Pearson, a 27.5 percent pay raise. Pearson will make $125,000 a year – or $27,000 more than Scott English made while serving as chief of staff to former Gov. Mark Sanford.
Pearson will also have a full-time assistant who makes $60,000 a year.
Haley’s deputy chief of staff for communications and legislative affairs – Trey Walker – will be paid $122,775 a year. That’s a 42.3 percent increase over the second-highest paid staffer in the Sanford administration.
Haley’s top lawyer, Swati Patel, will be paid $102,000 a year – which is a 36 percent increase over the $75,000 a year that Sanford paid his top lawyer.
It gets better:
Lawmakers appropriated $1.8 million to the governor’s office for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2010. It is unclear exactly how much of that money has been spent, although Haley has committed to paying 17 people a total of $1.2 million over the next year.And let me add... FITSNews is a CONSERVATIVE blog, people. A conservative blog.
Whereas Sanford’s office had eight employees making $50,000 a year or more, Haley’s office has twelve – and all of them are being paid more than their predecessors.
Ironically, Haley claimed on Tuesday that she had “streamlined” the governor’s office.
And let me underline the fact: they ain't happy over there.
Giving her stated advocacy for limited government, the fact that Haley would create new staff positions and dole out these sorts of salary increases in any budget environment is startling. Given the current budget situation in South Carolina, it’s absolutely galling.If the Left can't get rid of her, maybe the Right will? How ironic would that be?
These new expenses are totally unnecessary – and totally inconsistent with what Haley campaigned on.
I can dream, can't I?