Politics & Government

Dan Cooper, tell us what you really think

The Buzz could be wrong, but we don't think S.C. House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dan Cooper, R-Anderson, is overly impressed with his GOP colleague from Lexington County, state Rep. Nikki Haley. Haley is running for governor as the Sanford candidate, opposing - among other things - federal stimulus spending. But she hasn't always opposed that spending, Cooper noted last week in a letter published in The Greenville News.

"For months I have held my tongue while Rep. Nikki Haley traveled the state touting her 'opposition' to taking federal stimulus dollars, but after reading her Feb. 12 guest column in this paper I felt compelled to set the record straight.

"Here are the facts:

"While the majority of state legislators opposed President Barack Obama's stimulus plan on principle, we realized that if South Carolina did not accept the federal funds then the hard-earned tax dollars of the families we represent would be spent in other places, like New Jersey and California. In other words, we would be paying the price and getting nothing in return.

"Rep. Haley knew that. This legislation was thoroughly discussed, and the issues were very clear. On March 9, Rep. Haley joined 107 other legislators voting for an amendment to the budget bill to accept the stimulus money. The very next day, she voted for the budget bill that included the stimulus money. On the third and final reading of the bill, it passed overwhelmingly with a voice vote.

"It was only two weeks after she announced her candidacy for governor that Nikki Haley changed her tune on the stimulus. She then began to publicly question everyone else who had joined her on multiple occasions in voting to accept these federal funds. And despite all of her double talk, the truth is Nikki Haley's rhetoric just doesn't match her record."

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