And the saga continues. In Tuesday's issue of The Sun News, the headline reads, “Farmers: Haley's aid bill veto shows she doesn't back them.” While telling the farmers in Horry County and throughout the state that she has their back, there seems to be no visible evidence that the posterior is in her immediate proximity.
The Horry County farmers lost over $9 million in the October deluge which caused crop devastation. The South Carolina Legislature passed a bill week to provide $40 million in state aid to farmers in South Carolina devastated by last year's floods. Gov. Nikki Haley's position on the passage of the bill is that she will veto it when it crosses her desk. She had previously not acted on federal aid for the farmers.
In a previous letter I wrote that on Jan. 22 about 100 farmers met with U.S. Rep. Tom Rice and other Horry County officials at the Horry County courthouse to talk about their concerns and their efforts to collect flood assistance. It was also at this meeting that Rice said, “The governor is our friend. I think she'll make the right decision...I don't think that getting into a war of words is in anybody's best interest here.”
Outside of the meeting there was discussion on how applying for federal funds would impact Governors Haley's chances for a post-term position at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research think tank based in Washington, D.C.
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This Jan. 22 meeting resulted in a Jan. 26 meeting with Rice, state Agriculture Secretary Hugh Weathers, an official with the Farm Bureau, and Governor Haley to discuss the plight of the farmers in Horry County and other farmers in South Carolina.
Her response to this meeting was that she would “consider it.” Only the governor can submit the Community Block Grant application for federal funding for the farmers, and the result of this meeting was that it would only be considered.
So not only did Governor Haley not apply for the federal aid through the Community Block Grant program, she is planning on a veto for state aid for the farmers through the bill passed by the South Carolina Legislature.
Sometimes we take people at their word when they say they will help and trust and honesty become believable when someone is running for public office, but once the oath is taken, short-term and even long-term memory loss may occur. Someday maybe she will find the farmers' back. But not today.
What did we get wrong about Governor Haley?
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.