How many more ways can this Kitzman thing get weird?

OK, we already knew that Eleanor Kitzman’s main qualification for the job of DHEC director was that she’s a passionately loyal Nikki Haley supporter.

And we’ve seen her be handed another job at the agency so she doesn’t have to wait around on Senate confirmation to start collecting a paycheck. (Admittedly, it’s as a mere hourly employee — one who makes $74 an hour, that is.)

And now there’s this:

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control board did not seek applications from anyone to fill the agency director’s job before voting to hire former state insurance chief Eleanor Kitzman, a campaign contributor to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley.

In response to an open records request from The State newspaper, DHEC said Thursday that while the board talked about several potential candidates, “no applications were requested or submitted.” The department thought Kitzman was the best person for the position, an agency statement said.

The State newspaper’s request, filed under the Freedom of Information Act, sought copies of job applications for the post vacated Jan. 8 by Catherine Templeton.

But agency spokeswoman Cassandra Harris and Freedom of Information Office director Karla York said they did not have any to provide. Only Kitzman’s resume was provided to the newspaper….

How many more ways can this nomination get weird?

10 thoughts on “How many more ways can this Kitzman thing get weird?

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    This appears to be Haley’s standard operating procedure: blatant disregard for proper procedure.

  2. Norm Ivey

    The department thought Kitzman was the best person for the position,

    I see no evidence of thought whatsoever.

  3. Karen Pearson

    There was that story in the paper today about deteriorating water quality in our rivers. It said that testing had been reduced so much that we no longer had reliable data. It also noted repeated pollution problems with a stream that feeds into the Broad River which is the source of Columbia’s water. Do we really need another agency head whose only qualification is loyalty to our governor? Shall we see a repeat of the DSS disaster appear at DHEC? Or better yet, why don’t we reduce taxes more by shutting DHEC down altogether and letting our water supply and our nursing homes take care of themselves?

    1. M.Prince

      You scoff.
      But folks in the William Wallace Caucus (whose members include “my” state senator, I’m not proud to say) probably would endorse such a notion.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I hated that movie. Another one of his films that makes a fetish of the central character’s extreme suffering. Like torture porn or something…

          1. Bryan Caskey

            You hated it? Huh. His suffering at the very end turned you off? So you liked the movie up until the last five minute?

            That scene wasn’t that big of a deal. I don’t think they actually showed anything gory or gruesome with the torture – I just recall him making faces. And the whole point is that he won’t cry out for mercy even when they’re doing horribly painful things to him.

            If you’re talking Gibson movies, I like Payback and We Were Soldiers. Payback is one of those movies where you kind of get to side with/cheer for the bad guy, although admittedly, Gibson’s character isn’t as “bad” as the other guys. But it’s a different character than you usually see.

            Gibson was good in We Were Soldiers, but I think Sam Elliott’s character of the Sergeant Major was the best character in the whole movie.

            Ransom was pretty good, too. I could have done without The Patriot.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              It wasn’t just the very end. I seem to recall his lady love having her throat cut before his eyes.

              It’s not just the Christ-on-the-cross torment of the central character (most literally expressed in The Passion, which featured such bizarre details as every square inch of Jesus’ body being cut by the scourge, as though the man wielding the whip had an obsessive fixation on whipping every part of his victim with perfect evenness).

              His films seem to pose the question, “what’s the worst thing that can happen to a man?” And that’s what happens. And the bad guys are SO evil, it’s ridiculous. Osama bin Laden was more likable than the Tarleton character in “The Patriot.”

              My favorite Gibson film? “The Year of Living Dangerously.” He was at his best in that. I also liked “Conspiracy Theory,” which had elements of self parody. Of course, it was also about a protagonist to whom horrible things happened.

              As did the Lethal Weapon movies, which I pretty much enjoyed nonetheless.

              But my second favorite might be “What Women Want.” Who knew he could play a Cary Grant/Rock Hudson/James Garner-type lead in an old-fashioned romantic comedy? I liked the way he surprised me in that…

  4. Mark Stewart

    I would think it in the Senate’s interest to inform Hailey that it will not confirm any applicant who engages in an end-run around their legislative branch purview.

    I would image Leatherman, or one of his hatchetmen, and Hailey have had some interesting conversations about this bone-headed maneuver. At least I hope they are…

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