Have you seen the latest Nikki Haley ad? As I said in a comment yesterday:
The only thing Nikki had to offer as a specific, relevant charge in her weak effort to paint Vincent as a tax-and-spend “liberal” was that he had voted to override the governor on the Orwellian-named “Competitive Grants Program” and Nikki had voted to sustain.
Of course, I take a back seat to no one in my disdain for the grants program. Sure, it’s not much money in the grand scheme, but it’s a textbook example of the wrong way to spend, with no regard for state priorities. The local projects the money tends to go to are sometimes worthwhile, but that money should be raised locally.
So bad on Vincent for going along with the majority on that. But Vincent’s voting with the Republican majority while Nikki voted with the minority says more about the fact that Nikki is one of Mark Sanford’s few reliable allies than it does about who is tighter with a buck.
Especially when you consider the following, which the Sheheen campaign was so thoughtful as to share today:
Nikki Haley’s Slush Fund Hypocrisy
Camden, SC – Nikki Haley’s credibility has taken another hit after she released a misleading advertisement yesterday criticizing Vincent Sheheen for supporting a “legislative slush fund,” a fund that she vigorously supported. Haley requested over $1.5 million in legislative earmarks for her home district from the South Carolina Competitive Grants program but has campaigned boasting of her opposition to the program.
Nikki Haley has been a full-fledged participant in the program, requesting at least $1.5 million in earmarks for special projects in her district and county. She has sponsored at least twenty-four applications for competitive grants including $90,000 for the Lexington Fun Fest.
After she ran for governor, Haley decided that she could score political points by opposing the program, claiming that she objected to state money funding her local Gilbert Peach festival. Yet that same year, 2008, she requested at least $160,000 in other projects.
Kristin Cobb, Communications Director for Sheheen for Governor, had this to say: “Once again Nikki Haley has created an even greater level of hypocrisy with her recent attack ad against Vincent Sheheen. Haley claims she voted against this program but apparently that was because her $1.5 million earmark requests were not approved. She wasn’t against the program, she was just upset she didn’t get her share.”
“The more South Carolinians are learning about Nikki Haley the less they like. If we can’t trust what she says on the campaign trail, how can we trust her to be governor,” Cobb concluded.
Here is a sample of Haley’s Earmark Requests:
West Columbia – Sewer Project $370,600 SC Parents Involved in Education $100,000 SC Office of Rural Health $100,000 West Columbia – Riverwalk Expansion $100,000 Newberry College – Nursing Program $99,000 Lexington County – Web-based Tourism $91,099 Lexington Fun Fest $90,000 Lexington County – Industrial Park $80,000 Lexington County – Clean Water Act $77,700 SC Philharmonic $69,274 Alliance for Women at Columbia College $60,000 Healthy Learners $50,000 Brookland Foundation $50,000 Outdoor Journalist Education Foundation $34,450 Killingsworth $30,000 Lexington Downtown Renovation $26,000 SC Office of Rural Health $25,000 Lexington Fun Fest $25,000 YMCA Adventure Guides Program $24,445 Girl Scout Council of the Congaree $21,520 Lexington County Museum $20,000 Lexington – Video Conferencing System $15,000 Lexington County Museum $10,000 Lexington Community Fun Day $3,500 TOTAL: $1,572,588
They also attached this PDF of supporting documents for your perusal.
That assertion about “She wasn’t against the program, she was just upset she didn’t get her share” reminds me of something. Nikki has a habit of being selectively principled — as in, principled when it serves her ambition. For instance, remember the Tweets Wesley Donehue put out a while back about Nikki’s effort to stop the Senate from passing a roll-call vote bill?
Wesley, who works for the Senate Republicans, was pretty insistent about making sure we knew how hypocritical she was on the subject:
Nikki Haley called me last year angry that the Senate filed a roll call voting bill. about 1 hour ago via TweetDeckNikki Haley told me that she didn’t want the Senate “stealing my issue.” about 1 hour ago via TweetDeckLet me repeat – Nikk Haley asked me to get the Senators to pull the companion bill from the Senate. about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck
I haven’t heard Wesley mention this since the primary — since, that is, she has become his party’s nominee. I’m going to be with him on Pub Politics this evening, and will ask him about it…