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DO I HAVE A CASE?

Nikki Haley’s Lawyer Campaign

     In 1978, a low budget movie titled “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”  hit the Big Screeen.  The concept was that tomotoes had decided to revolt against humanity. It was somewhat driven by the previous Alfred Hitchcock movie, “The Birds”, where angry birds attacked humans.

     In the movie about these killer tomatoes, the government keeps assuring everyone that there is no real threat. The President’s press secretary, meanwhile, assembles a team to go undercover and infiltrate these angry tomatoes. Unfortunately, the team’s cover is blown when one of them, while sitting around the campfire eating hamburgers, asks if someone would pass the ketchup.

     The movie ends with a giant carrot standing up out of the ground and announcing, “All right you guys, they’re gone now”. Of course, there were more captivating sequels with such enthralling titles as “Return of the Killer Tomatoes!”; “The Killer Tomatoes Strike Back!”; and “Killer Tomatoes Eat France!”

     With just a bit of time to go before Tuesday election day, we have now entered the political funny season. Campaigns pull out all stops and overspend to get last minute messages on the airways.  Sometimes you just aren’t sure what to fear. Is that a flock of Birds or a bushel of tomatoes that is headed this way?

     The NY Times just did a book review and discussed that the author has figured out what is the driving force behind the beliefs of our President. In short, he’s a philosopher who simply “has a love for America”.

     Sometimes, when you see certain statements made in politics, like the one in the previous paragraph, you just have to keep on driving; Nothing to see here. I have wanted to do that regarding the political campaigns of Democrat Vincent Sheehen and Republican Nikki Haley, for South Carolina Governor.

     I have not contributed to either campaign. However, I have watched as Haley has sidestepped attacks on being unfaithful to her husband and failing to pay taxes. Haley denies the charges of the two gentleman that make the  intimacy claims,  as being attacks by people who “simply want to get in the news“.   The two who allege the physical relationships, happen to  both be republicans, but they had worked for opponents during the Republican primary. Since, one of the “gentleman” has produced phone records of late night calling between  Haley’s number and his number.

     Haley has faced attacks on failing to personally pay taxes on family income and also repeatedly having tax issues at the family business, where she was the person responsible for the books and the filing. Reports indicate that she has repeatedly paid tax fines going all the way back to her returns in 2004. Her response to all that has been that she understands the difficulties of personal and business hardships. For that reason, she has assumd the role as the pro-business candidate.

     None of that did anything but make for interesting reading to me. I did keep my eyes on the voting poll surveys and it appeared that the people of SC were not bothered by any of these issues, as she held a lead. Her opponent is a lawyer, so it didn’t surprise me that she would attack him as a lawyer; I have seen that political playbook, repeatedly. 

     Then, I saw a story on a Haley ad.   It shows a picture of Sheheen and describes him as an Obama liberal and a trial lawyer. Then, the ad appears to have a picture of him,  with bullet holes in it. 

     Part of Haley’s campaign is to attack the legal profession and portray it as bad for business. As the Pro-Business candidate, one of the items where she is proposing great change,  involves the Worker’s Compensation Commission.

     Currently, the Governor of South Carolina has the authority to appoint those as Commissioners, to sit and hear all job injury claims. Not surprisingly, as each Governor comes in, Commissioners are replaced,  with those that more closely mirror the new administration philosphy. That is exactly what Governor Sanford had done and, there were Commissioners appointmented who have been very Pro-Business in their rulings. Ultimately, though, Commissioners are still required to follow the law,  which still recognizes benefits for getting injured on the job.

     For Haley, that’s not enough. She  states that she wants to get the laws changed regarding how permanent injury is determined. If the legislature goes along with that, then she will be able to change the law.

     More significant is her opinion on the appointment of Commissioners. Because on the job injuries are costing business, she believes that there needs to be something done about that. Her remedy: Only non-lawyer/business persons could be appointed to sit as a Worker’s Compensation Commissioner.  Having “accomplished and respected members of the business community” will assure that these benefits that are paid to injured workers, will no longer be so expensive and part of a “subjective judicial process”,  because business leaders would be viewing the claims with an eye for what is good for business.

      Sometimes Politics can be better than a good book. It can even take you for a better spin than “Dancing with the Stars”. On Tuesday, I guess South Carolina will determine what they want for the future. As to the injured worker, will they end up on an episode of Lost?  Or,  should all those lawyers supporting Sheheen, be viewed as large Red objects that are angry at humanity?


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