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September 30, 2012

The Buzz

It’s not every day The Buzz hears from a real estate mogul-best-selling author-TV star, but Donald Trump rang last week to share why he is a big fan of Gov. Nikki Haley.

It’s not every day The Buzz hears from a real estate mogul-best-selling author-TV star, but Donald Trump rang last week to share why he is a big fan of Gov. Nikki Haley.

When he is not firing celebrities, The Donald is the $5,000 in the $555,000 collected by the political organization backed by the guv’s supporters dubbed The Movement Fund.

So Donald, why did you open your wallet?

“I’ve gotten to know (Haley) over the years. I think she’s outstanding. I think she’s doing great things for her state, and I like how she’s running her state.”

OK, Donald, you think the first-term Republican governor is great and outstanding. But why?

“I think with the budgets, she has gotten them in line and her stance on getting jobs is tremendous. And she wants to take care of people who need help.”

So what do you two chat about?

“We talk about her state and what’s good for the country. Like me, she is not thrilled with how things are going with the country.”

So Democratic President Barack Obama shouldn’t count on your vote. Got it.

Trump said he last saw Haley at his place on Fifth Avenue. He wasn’t sure when.

The guv’s office, which says it won’t talk about The Movement Fund because it has nothing to do with her duties as the state’s chief executive, said Haley dropped by Trump Tower last October during a political trip to the Big Apple.

Trump could not recall who asked him about sending a nibble to The Movement Fund, which received a check from him in February.

Perhaps that could be a task for the next cast of “Celebrity Apprentice.”

The story behind Courson’s ‘nap shot’

Could this be a “snooze you lose” election for state Sen. John Courson? Democrats think so.

The state Democratic Party circulated a picture this week of the Richland County Republican sleeping in the cloak room of the S.C. Senate. Wednesday, that picture landed in the mailboxes of Richland voters beneath this caption: “While Senator Courson was sleeping, he wasn’t dreaming of you.” And Thursday, Democrats paid for an ad in The State newspaper that showed a sleeping Courson with the headline: “Can you triple your retirement while sleeping on the job? John Courson has” – a reference to Courson’s legislative pension benefits.

Courson, one of the last Republican elected officials in Richland County, faces Democratic challenger Robert Rikard in November. Rikard’s campaign did not pay for the ad or the mail piece.

State Rep. Boyd Brown, a Fairfield Democrat who did not seek re-election and will work for a political consulting firm, took the snapshot. Brown said he did not give the picture to Democratic party officials to use in an ad but said he did forward the picture to many people “as a joke.” He said he has mixed feelings about how the picture was used.

“I hate politics has come to that,” Brown said. “I hate it for him, but the toothpaste is out of the tube and you can’t put it back in.”

Courson’s explanation: He hurt his back years ago in the Marine Corps – an injury that required surgery last year – and sometimes takes anti-inflammatory medicine that makes him drowsy.

When Spurrier met Haley

The governor has an autographed helmet from the head ball coach in her office, but until the Missouri game last week, Haley had not met USC boss Steve Spurrier.

They bumped into each other as her family was leaving Williams-Brice Stadium and he finished his post-game radio show.

“He was fun to talk to,” the guv gushed.

Did the Gamecock guru try to convert Haley out of her orange-and-purple ways?

“There’s such a respect there,” she said. “But he also knows I am a Clemson alum and so he knows that my heart is with Clemson.”

Spurrier talked about Haley coming on his radio show before the Georgia game this week. ( Todd Ellis, you can stay home.)

In reality, Haley has more contact with Spurrier’s counterpart to the northwest. She sends regular pre-game texts to Clemson coach Dabo Swinney to “make sure we’re going to win.”

The guv also shoots Dabo a text with her comments after Clemson games.

(No word on whether Haley thought the Tigers should have run the ball more to hold off Florida State last weekend. But maybe she should ask Dabo to deliver the barbecue plate from Hudson’s to Tallahassee to pay off her bet with Florida Gov. Rick Scott.)

Call me ... surprised

The Buzz sometimes needs a little smile and got one Friday with a video that included Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, former Mayor Bob Coble, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce chairman Lee Bussell and chamber president Ike McLeese lip synching “Call Me Maybe.”

Buzz’s reaction? A combination of “We’ve seen enough parodies of this song already” and “How did someone talk these guys into doing this?”

The video, which debuted at the chamber’s annual gala last week, was put on YouTube. One of the video’s first comments was about Coble’s signature dance move: “Heyÿ Mayor Bob - what you fishing for?” Well, it certainly wasn’t a Grammy.

Staff writer Adam Beam contributed

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