Monday, July 18, 2011

Do you know where your governor is?

In many professional offices across the state, one finds some variation of a bulletin board that tells the visitor which staff members are present at the moment. Some offices use a magnetic whiteboard, with little magnetic dots in the appropriate boxes: "In," "Out," "Be Right Back," "Gone for the Day."

Because Governor Nikki Haley has not issued an open invitation to the state's educators to drop by and see her office, we can't know for sure if Haley uses one of these bulletin boards to reflect her whereabouts. But it might help to put one out in the hall, before the little receptionist's desk. Passers-by could then, at a glance, know if their governor is in, or if she has gone on another escapade out of state.

This week, Carmen Sandiego visits tony Aspen, Colorado, where she will rub elbows with a who's who of gubernatorial elite.

It's burning up in South Carolina. But Gov. Nikki Haley is headed for cooler weather next week.

Haley is one of five Republican governors who will take part July 22 in the Aspen Institute's McCloskey Speaker Series with Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson in Colorado.

Also participating will be new Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

The Republican Governors Association with pay for Haley's flight, according to her office.

Does the Republican Governors Association pay for Haley's security detail from SLED? And its hotel accommodations and meals?

Is this another "job recruitment" trip, as Paris and Munich were? Or another fundraiser opportunity, as New York was? Or should this be labeled "photo opportunity - leadership" and added to the public relations file for the re-election campaign?

Or is this merely another foray into national politics, to size up future competitors?

The questions are appropriate not only because Haley is paid well to be South Carolina's governor, but also because most of South Carolina's public schoolchildren will be returning to their classes during the next few weeks, and they deserve to know where their governor has been and what their governor has done for them (or to them).

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