Gov. Nikki Haley pledged this week to repay the state for the cost of her security detail when she’s out-of-state, privately raising money for her 2015 re-election bid. But she won’t reimburse taxpayers for a Washington, D.C., trip that she is on now.
The first-term Republican governor is in Washington through Monday, taking part in the Republican Governors Association’s winter meeting and meeting Monday with President Obama along with other governors.
During the trip, Haley also will hold two fundraisers for her 2015 campaign – one with representatives of the hospitality industry and a second with business leaders, said Marisa Crawford, Haley’s fundraiser.
Haley’s office said the fundraisers are add-ons to a trip that she is taking in her official capacity and, as a result, the governor’s campaign will not repay the costs of her security. “There are no additional security costs related to the fundraisers,” said Rob Godfrey, Haley’s spokesman.
Earlier this week, Haley pledged to repay security costs for fundraising-only trips or the costs associated with the fundraising portion of trips. However, Godfrey said Thursday security agents would have to be with Haley in Washington anyway.
Haley’s pledge came after The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported the State Law Enforcement Division had spent more than $16,000 to provide security on 21 trips that Haley has taken since taking office. Those costs primarily were to lodge and feed agents on the governor’s security detail.
Dick Harpootlian, chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party, said Haley is being a hypocrite. “A Republican governor who rails against wasteful spending is using tax dollars for political purposes.”