Influential Republicans Split on Haley Ethics Charge
In our second Red Palmetto survey, one-third of conservatives say they believe the governor violated ethics rules.
Conservative South Carolina insiders are evenly split on Gov. Nikki Haley’s role in current charges to be heard by an ethics committee next week: that’s the finding of this week’s Red Palmetto survey of influential conservatives.
Ninety-five conservatives from the Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston areas were asked using an automated survey tool what they thought of the ethics charges against Haley and what would happen.
Sixty-one responses were collected.
More than one-third, 36.1 percent, say Haley did violate S.C. House ethics rules while serving the body and working for the Lexington Medical Center.
Nearly one-third, 32.8 percent, say Haley did not violate ethics rules.
And the final third, 31.1. percent, are unsure.
The comments from survey-takers are just as split.
“It will be a fair and thorough investigation due to the publicity,” one Republican insider said.
“Waste of time,” said another.
Several respondents said the charges are “politically motivated.”
Regardless of what Republicans surveyed by Patch believe occurred, a majority believe the investigation is a bipartisan effort.
More than two-thirds of respondents, 67.2 percent, say either a small number or a large number of both parties are responsible for the charges.
More than a quarter, 27.9 percent, believe Republicans solely are to blame. The ethics charges have been made primarily by John Rainey, a GOP power-broker.
While little is known about the ethics hearing — including what evidence will be taken into consideration and what witnesses will be called — a large majority of those surveyed (71.7 percent) say “nothing major” will be discovered by the hearing “but allegations will continue.”
Only 16.7 percent of those who responded believe violations will be unearthed by the hearing.
Sixty percent of those surveyed said Haley will emerge from the hearings the same as she entered them. Meanwhile, 20 percent say she will suffer from the hearings and 20 percent say she will emerge stronger.
The Red Palmetto Survey
Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in South Carolina. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this week's questions. Surveys were conducted between June 5 and June 7, 2012.
Patch will be conducting Red Palmetto and Blue Palmetto surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in South Carolina.If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in a weekly surveys that lasts just a few minutes, please email Regional Editor Chris Winston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Palmetto Roster: Aubry Alexander (Charleston City Council-District 9), Thomas Alexander (State Senator), Dean Allen (Tea Party Activist), Charm Altman (President Sea Island Republican Women), Todd Atwater (S.C. Rep. Dist. 87), Rep. Nathan Ballentine (SC House Dist. 71), Bill Banning, Sr. (Vice-chair, Lexington County Council), Bob Barnwell (Richland Co. GOP Spring Valley), Joseph Bates, Jr. (Committeeman/ Richland Co. GOP Dutch Fork), Gresham Barrett (Former U.S. Congressman, current consultant), Eric Bedingfield (State Rep/Congressional Staffer), Rick Beltram (Former Spartanburg GOP Chair), Lin Bennett (Chair, Charleston County GOP), Rich Bolen (Chair, Lexington County GOP), Andrew Boucher (Business consultant and political advisor), Phillip Bowers (Chairman, Pickens County Republican Party), Dan Bracken (President, The Auction Co. & Real Estate Inc.), Edward Britt (Engineer), Joe Bustos (Former town councilman), Jay Byars (Dorchester County councilman), Bob Call (Berkeley County Councilman), Tim Callanan (Berkeley County GOP Chairman), Earl Capps (Blogger), Ed Carter (Small business owner), Erica Christian (Chairwoman of Young Upstate Republicans) Ben Coakley (Investment adviser), Edward Cousar (Executive Director, Black Republican PAC), M. Todd Cullum (Lexington County Council member), Rep. Joe Daning (Statehouse rep.), Smokey Davis (Lexington County Council member), Patrick Donlon (Chair, Northern District, Lexington County Republican County), Dana Eiser (Lowcountry 9.12 president), Linda Eiser (9/12 conservative), Scott Farmer (Richland County GOP Committeeman), Chip Felkel (Political Consultant), Will Folks (Editor, fitsnews.com; spokesman for former Gov. Mark Sanford), Leland Glen (Author), Chris Godbey (Political Consultant), Susan Grady (Republican activist), Randy Halfacre (Mayor of Lexington), Dan Hamilton (State Representative), Larry Hargett (Dorchester County Council chairman), Val Hutchinson (Richland County Council), Johnny Jeffcoat (Town of Lexington Economic and Community Catalyst; Lexington County Council member), Debbie Jones (9.12 Board Member), Joanne Jones (Republican activist), Grayson Kelly (Fundraiser), James Kinard (Banker, Chair, Lexington County Council), Todd Kincannon (Lawyer/former executive director of SC Republican Party), Bob Kouvolo (President/ MaxPt), Jim Lee (S.C. Senate candidate), Mickey Lindler (Chairwoman for Republicans of Lexington and Richland Counties), Chris Mann (City Councilman), Karen Martin (Organizer/Spartanburg Tea Party), Larry Martin (State Senator), Taft Matney (Conservative Political Consultant), James Metts (Lexington County Sheriff), Matt Moore (Executive Director for SC GOP), Susan Morris (Nonprofit executive director), Mike Murphee (Charleston Tea Party chairman), Deborah Myers (Political activist), Brent Nelsen (Professor of Political Science/former candidate for Supt. of Education), Don Nye (Bank employee), Allen Olson (Former Chairman of Columbia TEA Party), Walt Owens (University Professor), Randy Page (President,South Carolinians for Responsible Government), Gregory Pearce (Richland Co. Councilman), Kathy Perry (Charleston County Republican Women), Adam Piper (SC GOP 3rd Vice Chairman & political director for Huntsman campaign), Zach Pippin (GOP Media Consultant), Barbara Pulicicchio (Political activist), Rick Quinn (S.C. Rep. Dist. 69), Jeff Reuer (Vice Chair Goose Creek 9-12), DeLinda Ridings (SC GOP State Secretary/Huntsman campaign), Robby Robbins (Lawyer), Emily Rudolph (Sea Island Republican Women), LaDonna Ryggs (Spartanburg GOP Chair), Michael Sally (Hanahan City Councilman), Dennis Saylor (Chair, Aiken GOP), Lanneau Siegling (State Executive Committeeman), Billy Simons (Conservative activist), Garry Smith (State Rep), John Steinberger (Fair Tax activist), Alex Stroman (SCGOP Political Director), Shell Suber (VP for Public Affairs and Business Development at The Felkel Group, a political public relations company), Mary Ann Taylor (Charleston County Republican Women/Charleston County School Board), Hope Walker (Member Services Director, SCGOP), September Wellborn (State GOP Delegate), Jennifer Willis (County Councilwoman/ V.P. One Tree Hill), Henry Wilson (2011 delegate, S.C. Republican Convention), Kerry Wood (Consultant, former SC Campaign manager for Rick Santorum) Cheryl Woods-Flowers (Former mayor, Republican official), James David Woodard (Professor of Political Science, Clemson University).