Republican Gov. Nikki Haley touts moving 20,000 S.C. residents from welfare-to-work in a new campaign ad, featuring a woman who credits Haley’s program with helping her get a job.
The 30-second television spot, released first to The State, is called "Paychecks" and features Paula Martin, a Spartanburg resident and Adidas employee, who credits Haley's welfare-to-work program for helping her get a job.
"There's dignity in work," Martin says. "It’s what I always wanted to do. Governor Haley’s program helped me get there. Nikki Haley makes a difference.”
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The TV spot is part of a more than $250,000 ad buy that starts running statewide this week on broadcast and cable channels and online.
Haley faces four challengers in November: state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Kerhsaw, independent petition candidate Tom Ervin of Greenville, Libertarian Steve French of Charleston and United Citizens candidate Morgan Bruce Reeves of Winnsboro.
The ad is an effort to celebrate what Haley sees as a success in her Department of Social Services. That agency’s child-welfare programs have been the subject of an ongoing Senate panel's investigation following claims from child advocates that the agency missed abuse cases where children later died.
The agency’s director Lillian Koller resigned in June two days before she was expected to testify on why caseworkers were shouldering such high caseloads. Since Koller’s exit, agency officials announced a plan to limit caseloads to levels recommended by national experts. They also said that they would need 202 additional caseworkers and supervisors to meet those limits.
Haley touted Koller’s leadership and the Social Services’ agency’s welfare-to-work numbers in 2012, when the agency more than doubled the number of welfare recipients finding jobs, then again in 2013, when Haley reported that number had reached 18,000.
The ad opens with scenes from manufacturing plants and the Port of Charleston, then shifts to Haley, who says, “I fundamentally believe that people want paychecks not welfare checks. So we started asking people on public assistance what kind of work they could do, and we matched them up with businesses.”
Watch the ad here:
(Can’t see it? Click here.)
As part of the ad buy, Haley also plans to run statewide two economic-development related ads which her campaign released in April and May.