By Paul Gable
Gov. Nikki Haley’s defense for alleged ethics violations during her time as a House member became obvious this week when the House Ethics Committee voted to hold a full scale investigation.
Haley’s lawyer has said she did nothing more than other lawmakers do and to investigate Haley’s actions would bring those lawmakers’ actions into question. He said he would provide the committee with a list of lawmakers who work for lobbyists’ principals.
That’s the old ‘everybody’s doing it so it’s okay’ defense.
Haley claimed the original investigation (of which there was none) was dismissed based on fact, but the investigation has now been reopened for political reasons. Haley asked that she be left alone to “do her job”, whereupon she almost immediately left for Wisconsin to campaign for Gov. Scott Walker in his recall election.
Oh yes, it’s all political, the one arena in which Haley does well. However, when it comes to governing, she leaves a lot to be desired.
From the comments we have been getting, however, the public wants an investigation into Haley’s actions. If other lawmakers are doing the same thing, their turn will come.
The general feeling among the public seems to be that nearly everything in Columbia is dirty to some extent and it’s time for a change!
What better way to effect change than to investigate if the governor broke state law while she was a representative.
Haley submitted three affidavits to the committee from her former employers, but she has never submitted her own affidavit about her actions. Whether she can be compelled to testify before the committee will be an interesting battle.
If she manages to successfully refuse to testify, Haley will be considered to be dodging the investigation and questions about what she is hiding will be rife throughout the state.
Her only hope to come out of the investigation with the faith of the public intact would be to cooperate with the committee and explain and justify her actions under oath.
Don’t expect that, however. The way we see it, Haley will rely on what has helped her politically in the past – never explain, never apologize, just attack, attack, attack.
What she may not understand is this is not a political fight.