Gov. Nikki Haley’s weeklong trip to Europe in June in search of “jobs, jobs, jobs” cost South Carolinians more than $127,000. But the governor and her entourage of more than two dozen returned without any finished deals to bring new employers to the Palmetto State.
Haley, who captured the governor’s office preaching fiscal restraint, spent the cash so she, her husband and the rest of the state’s contingent could stay in five-star hotels; sip cocktails at the Paris Ritz; dine on what an invitation touted as “delicious French cuisine” at a swanky rooftop restaurant; and rub elbows with the U.S. Ambassador to France at his official residence near the French presidential palace.
The South Carolina group also threw a soiree at the Hotel de Talleyrand, a historic Parisian townhouse where they feted foreign employers in hopes they’d set up shop in South Carolina. The Department of Commerce billed the $25,000 event as a “networking opportunity for members of the South Carolina delegation.”
In a statement describing the party thrown using $25,000 in taxpayer funds, South Carolina Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt called it a “great party,” but I can’t help but wonder if spending $25,000 in taxpayer funds on “delicious French cuisine” at a five-star hotel was really a wise investment.
In an interesting sidenote to this story, Gov. Haley, the first woman governor in South Carolina’s history, referred to Renee Dudley, the 25 year-old woman who wrote the article for the Charleston (SC) Post and Courier as a “little girl” during an appearance last week Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
“And all I will tell you is: God bless that little girl at The Post and Courier. I mean her job is to try and create conflict. My job is to create jobs. In the end I’m going to have jobs to show for it.”
No doubt it Nikki Haley was a man and a Democrat, conservatives would be screaming bloody murder, but I suppose the fact that she’s a woman and a Republican makes her immune from criticism by those on the right.