Since I griped about the lede headline in The State today (and I wasn’t picking on John there, it was just the headline that got me), I want to direct you, with my warm approval, to Cindi Scoppe’s latest today.
The subject: Nikki Haley’s habit of misleading, and just generally saying stuff that isn’t true. After taking Vincent Sheheen to task for HIS misleading question, “When will she release her tax returns?,” when she sorta kinda had, Cindi went on to demonstrate how such misstatements are a regular thing with his opponent.
I’ll excerpt here the last few grafs of the column:
The day after her WLTX interview, Ms. Haley appeared on Greta Van Sustern’s cable talk show and stepped up her usual attack on Mr. Sheheen for “making $400,000 as a trial lawyer” by calling him “a trial lawyer that makes $400,000 a year off the state.”
It’s pretty audacious, in a state with a median household income of $42,000, for someone who made $196,282 last year to castigate someone else for making $372,509. But the more serious sin here is the total fabrication about where Mr. Sheheen’s money came from.
Contrary to what you’d think if you listened to the Republicans’ drumbeat for Mr. Sheheen to reveal the sources of his income, legislators already have to report all the money they receive from state and local governments. In addition, attorneys must report the money they receive representing clients before the Workers Compensation Commission and other state boards.
As our news department noted on Sunday, last year Mr. Sheheen reported receiving $29,000 in salary and expenses as a senator, and his law firm received $13,000 from the Kershaw County Medical Center, $4,700 from the Cassatt Water Co. and $2,400 from the S.C. Guardian Ad Litem Program. That’s a total of $49,100 “off the state.” I suppose it’s possible that he made money that he didn’t report on his economic disclosure statement — you know, like that $40,000 in consulting fees that Ms. Haley didn’t report from a state government contractor who hired her for her “good contacts.” But since there’s no gray area in state law about reporting government income, I seriously doubt it.
Mr. Sheheen also reported that his law firm made about $170,000 in workers comp fees last year. Now, I would like more details about where the rest of his income came from, and I think he probably could provide them without violating legal ethics, say by telling us how much he received in contingency-fee awards, in retainers, in hourly fees. But it’s more than a little misleading for Ms. Haley to demand more transparency from the candidate who has been far, far more transparent than she has about his income as well as his communications on the taxpayers’ computers and e-mail accounts. Unfortunately, that sort of thing is becoming commonplace.
Cindi, by the way, is about the last person in the MSM you’ll ever see mistake feeling for thought. Always has been. Here, she has demonstrated that laudable trait once again.
By the way, you may want to read her previous column, which she links from this one, on the disturbing Jekyll and Hyde quality Mrs. Haley has demonstrated over time.