Eager to prove that she is not a big-spending politician in the traditional GOP mold, Governor Nikki Haley skipped the National Governors Association meeting at the end of February. She has claimed a savings of $100,000 on annual dues to the organization. (This will undoubtedly put heat on other governors to do likewise.) Haley also claims that she has saved taxpayers all kinds of money in hotel and travel costs, etc.
Well, that's true as far as it goes. But Haley's action was widely regarded as a snub of bipartisanship, rather than as a strictly cost-cutting measure. Particularly since she attended a Republican Governors conference instead, which she claimed was "privately funded" and not paid for by taxpayers.
Am I the only one who wonders--privately funded by WHOM, exactly?
From the Charleston Post and Courier:
WASHINGTON — While most other governors huddle with their counterparts in Washington this weekend regardless of party affiliation, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley planned to meet only with Republican state executives....
Haley is skipping the winter meeting of the bipartisan National Governors Association because of her decision not to pay $100,000 for South Carolina’s annual dues to the main policy and lobbying group for the 50 state chiefs.
Haley will meet with the other 28 GOP state heads in concurrent sessions of the Republican Governors Association, a partisan group previously led by former Gov. Mark Sanford and whose members use campaign funds and other private contributions to finance its activities."A donor" has been generous. Well isn't that NICE?!?
“The RGA is covering the costs of the governor’s lodging,” Godfrey said. “A donor has been generous enough to provide transportation, which we will disclose via the governor’s voluntary plane log.”
Who is the donor, and what do they expect to get out of this?
The Columbia State newspaper has given me some ideas, though. It's probably the usual suspects:
$900,000 spent on Haley
Most of the money from GOP governors bought advertising during S.C. gubernatorial race
By JOHN O’CONNOR
A national Republican group spent $900,000 to ensure Gov. Nikki Haley’s election, soliciting donations from tobacco manufacturers, oil companies, health care and pharmaceutical businesses, construction firms and trade groups.This translates to: At some point, she will be foisted on the rest of you. Be advised.
The money was spent by two S.C. political action committees set up by the Republican Governors Association.
The State newspaper and others previously have reported the GOP group was running ads on Haley’s behalf. But campaign reports filed last month, which include donors, show the group spent more than previously thought.
The state-based PACs are part of a new strategy of the Republican Governors Association to influence governors’ races across the country.
Most of the money was spent on advertising during the contest’s final weeks, according to campaign finance reports, including a television ad that declared Democratic opponent Vincent Sheheen to be an “Obama liberal in our own backyard.”
The Republican Governors group prominently has featured Haley, and other newly minted Republican winners, in Web advertising.
Haley’s office declined to comment for this story. However, a Greenville-based Republican political consultant said the ad was the GOP’s way of supporting a possible future star.
“They certainly see her as a rising star,” said Chip Felkel, of Haley’s possible national profile. “They see she has a lot of potential.”
And finally, a bright-eyed young fella at USC, writes an optimistically titled editorial in the DAILY GAMECOCK: Haley must consider others’ views to solve problems. Funny title! (Clearly, this well-meaning student does not yet understand that the definition of conservative rules out such activities.)
Michael Ulmer writes:
Former Gov. Mark Sanford, Haley’s notoriously frugal predecessor, regularly attended the association’s meetings during his time in office and was even open to heading policy panel discussions during his trips to the meetings in Washington. According to an article by James Rosen in The State, Sanford viewed the organization as a very useful group that represented states’ interests to members of Congress and provided in-depth research for governors.Boo-yah governor! Excellent shot, Michael.
During her Washington trip, Gov. Haley did step away from her Republican cronies and chat with TV host Jake Tapper on “This Week,” ABC’s national political show. During her visit to the program, she joined a round table of fellow governors to talk about issues facing the states. She used most of her time to criticize Wisconsin Democrats for avoiding a vote on a budget bill aimed at stripping labor union bargaining rights for public employees. We need our governor to be looking out for the people of the Palmetto State and leave Wisconsin politics to the people of Wisconsin.
And the Haley reign revs up... stay tuned for our next installment.