There’s an old-fashioned tug of war going on in South Carolina. It involves what Republican Glenn McConnell describes as (President of the State Senate) “This is a sledgehammer”.
South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley has been in office for about 6 months now. She came in with hopes of having a better relationship with the SC Republican controlled legislature, then her predecessor, Governor Sanford. Sanford is famous for finding his “soul-mate” during his international travels.
Governor Haley wants certain measures introduced and made law, that would restructure parts of the state government. She is demanding that the rebellious State Senate get back to work and take up four issues.
She wants a department legislatively created that would allow her to manage day-to day governmental operations. Basically, she wants to create a new cabinet position;
She wants to merge the departments that oversee corrections and probation. She believes that consolidation would save money;
She wants to make the Superintendent of Education as an appointed position. No more elections with the Governor having additional appointment powers;
She wants to change the way that candidates run for statewide office. She is asking a change in how candidates run for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. No individuals. A joint ticket of Republicans or Democrats instead.
As a response to her proposals, the legislature is refusing to take up these measures and believes that the Governor does not have power to force them to do so. She told them to get back to work. “Play your games. That is fine. But do it at home and not at the Statehouse”. She then issued an executive order to require the legislators to get back to work and take up her proposed measures.
Remember, those that she is fighting with, are of her same political party. This same discord was occurring with Governor Sanford and, he got so angry that he came to the legislative floor with two pigs under his arm because he was angry that they would not adopt his budget. He claimed that they were not getting rid of all the pork.
Now, you can see that this involves a balance of power argument between the Governor and the Legislature. Then, the South Carolina Supreme Court, by a vote of 3-2 ruled against the Governor and said that Governor Haley’s executive order violated the separation of powers. The Legislature has the right to set its own schedule.
This has been brewing between the legislators and the Governor. She had an end-of-session cookout at the Governor’s mansion. When some of the legislators arrived, they found out that they were not allowed in.
The Governor’s spokesman said that the Barbecue was only an invited event for her supporters. The 10 lawmakers left off the invite list must have left with watery mouths and without the requisite cornbread. Exactly, the pain of no BBQ.
One legislator, according to the NY Times article, stated, “I think she’s lost her mind. She’s hiking the Appalachian Trail”. That was a quick reference to Governor Sanford’s excuse, when he really had gone to Argentina. The political wheel of the balance of power keeps turning. Turning without the BBQ.