Gov. Nikki Haley opened the floodgates on her Facebook page Sunday afternoon, announcing that she would be riding in the car for a while and would be available to answer people's questions and comments.
Predictably, some of the questions were rhetorical in nature, and there was a rush of back-patting from her fans. Haley also worked in a pitch for her upcoming memoir, Can't Is Not an Option, which is set for release April 3 (and by the way, if you're interested, she will be signing copies of the book on April 9 at 6 p.m. at Blue Bicycle Books).
But some of the legitimate questions got illuminating answers. Here are a few of the questions, followed by Haley's responses:
• Do you have interest to become a GOP senator in the future? I have no desire right now to run for US Senate. I am perfectly happy being Governor of the best state in the country!
• Carolina or Clemson? Go Tigers!
• It seems almost daily here in SC where a parent or person is being arrested for child abuse. What can be done to make longer sentences for child abusers? Contact your legislators to push for tougher standards on child abuse.
• How's the SC tax reform coming along? The House did not include our tax reform in their budget. Please contact the Senate and remind them that it is your money.
• Governor Haley, serious question: How do you think other states should improve to be more competitive for jobs? Right to work state's [sic] and fair and balanced tax structures are the key to job growth and retention.
• What can we do to bring good clean prosperous industry to Williamsburg Co? The way we help Winnsboro is the way we help every other part of our state, we have to seriously reform our tax code, increase educational options, strengthen our workforce training so that we match those unemployed with companies that need jobs, and continue to reduce regulations on businesses. all of the things we work on everyday [sic]. thanks!
(As many of our readers have pointed out, Winnsboro is actually in Fairfield County, not Williamsburg County.)
• Just want to know...have you and the kids seen The Hunger Games??? We have not seen The Hunger Games but can't wait!
• I live in NC and am very impressed with your jobs creation. Do you have any plans to meet with Pat McCrory when he is the new NC governor to discuss how SC is bringing jobs to the Southeast? I have already been campaigning some with Pat McCrory and look forward to partnering with him to better the Carolinas.
• What are your thoughts on open carry? I believe SC is one of 6 states that doesnt allow it. As a CWP holder myself, I have and would support open carry laws in SC.
• Why is unemployment so broken, I have had people steal from us and then get benefits. Why can't SC at least drug test people that want or need assistance? I support drug testing FTP receive unemployment benefits.
The questions that Haley chose not to answer were also noteworthy. Here are a few of the queries she left hanging:
• You're doing a great job Nikki! One comment though: our son has special needs (verbal apraxia) and we've recently set up our education plan with our Greenville County School District. They could not provide a special ed classroom for him because of the high criteria, even though he is non-verbal and cannot communicate with the students and staff at his private preschool. There is a gap for children with only communication needs that needs to be filled, and soon!
• What can you do to help the FIRST robotics teams of the state...existing and up and coming...fund their season. Nick Zais actually did show up at our competition this weekend and got to see what we do with our kids first hand. The problem is teams are struggling from lack of funding. This is too good of a program to let slip away.
• Are you a supporter of TFA [Teach For America] and other programs like it, seeking to get the best teachers/leaders in front of ALL classrooms, no matter the ZIP code?
• Why does your budget call for more cuts in spending for education? I'm an educator and with all these cuts on top of local and federal bureaucracy it is making it harder and harder to want to stay teaching.
• Do you have any plans to be more supportive of the teachers and the law enforcement in our state? The retirement bill that is being passed doesn't appear to be showing any support. Taking more money, lowering the benefits and extending the time to work. We haven't gotten any pay raises in a quite a while and the government is talking about taking more from us. The pay raises that were talked about a month ago won't amount to anything if this retirement bill passes. What is your explanation for this?
• When will you run for president? You'd be terrific!
Oh, and our favorite non-sequitir question of the day:
• Why did Russains sell land that did not belong to them i am talking about alaska