Sunday, January 16, 2011

Defending Nikki Haley

Governor Nikki Haley has been criticised by some in South Carolina for giving pay raises to members of her new staff. She is paying her Chief of Staff $125,000 a year. That is close to a 25% increase from the amount Governor Sanford paid his Chief of Staff. Trey Walker her 2nd in command will get a 40% increase and on it goes. Just looking at those numbers you would think Governor Haley had reneged on her promise to streamline government and was giving pay raises to everyone right? Wrong.

While Governor Haley is paying her staff more per person than Governors Sanford and Hodges she is actually spending $944,732 less on them overall. Governor Haley has hired less staff than the last two governors. So while they get raises they will have more responsibilities. This governor's staff will consist of only 16 people. Also while she is paying some of her staff more than Governor Sanford she is still paying them less than previous governors. Her Press Secretary Rob Godfrey is being paid $3,000 more than he was in Sanford's administration, but almost $3,000 less than Governors Beasley and Hodges paid their press secretaries. She also hired Sanford's top lawyer and is paying him $600 less a year than did Sanford.

It appears to me that critics of the Governor are grasping at straws to find fault where there is none. I used the example earlier today of a boss having two employees that each made $10 an hour. He fires one and gives the other guy a raise to $14 a hour the boss still cuts pay by 30% and this is what Governor Haley has done. She has hired less staff, but paid those staffers more while still cutting overall spending. If this is an indication of how she will govern I'd say we're off to a great start.