A political organization led by Gov. Nikki Haley supporters will begin airing television ads today against longtime state Sen. Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington.
“I'm surprised and disappointed,” Setzler said. “I have a lot of respect for Nikki Haley.”
The Movement Fund has spent $37,750 to air an ad 59 times over the next nine days on WIS, according to contracts obtained from the station.
The ad says Setzler “voted to spend millions of our tax dollars on wasteful projects like a green bean museum,” according to a copy of the script provided by the fund. The ad also says Setzler, a senator since 1977, takes a state pension though he still works and takes his hotel allowance despite living near the State House.
These issues are not unique to Setzler. Other senators take a pension and housing allowance.
Setzler is facing Republican Deedee Vaughters of Aiken. Efforts to reach Setzler were unsuccessful Tuesday.
The Movement Fund already sent a mailer and started radio ads targeting Haley’s longtime foe, state Sen. Jake Knotts, who like the governor is a Republican from Lexington County. Haley has blamed Knotts, among others, for the failure of a government restructuring bill she championed in her campaign. The 17-year veteran of the state House and Senate faces petition candidate Katrina Shealy in a rematch of their 2008 GOP primary battle.
“The Movement Fund will engage in campaigns in which candidates are on opposite sides of important fiscal discipline and government reform issues,” spokesman Thompson Kinney said.
The Movement Fund had collected $555,000 in donations through mid-August from four out-of-state donors, including Donald Trump.
Chad Walldorf, Haley-appointed chairman of the state’s Board of Economic Advisors, and Kurt Grindstaff, treasurer of Haley’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, are fund directors.