Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Duplicitous Gov. Haley, who hates duplication, duplicates.

A parable.

South Carolina has two things in abundance: A history of treating poorly those who earn their living by the sweat of their brow, and governors who look for more ways to treat poorly those who earn their living by the sweat of their brow.

We might as well post signs at the borders: "Abandon hope and your rights, all ye who enter to work here."

First, the record.

Governor Nikki Haley has made it part of her standard fare to rail against duplication of services. If a program provides a service over here, no other program is necessary to provide a service over there. Any secondary or tertiary programs which exist to provide the same or similar services must be annihilated. So let it be written, so let it be done.

The wealthy in Haley's world, it appears, deserve choices (school choice, anyone?), but the poor or the working class deserve only one option, NO duplication of services.

Why is duplication of services to be abhorred? It is wasteful. It is redundant. And it is wasteful, especially of taxpayer dollars. And, it is redundant, which is unnecessary and repetitive. Duplication is unnecessary. Therefore, Haley is opposed to it. For its wastefulness.

On April 1, 2009, when she was just dreaming of a Haley-like state (or hailing a dream-like state?), then-Representative Haley decreed on her website,

In the process, we will consider the economic, fiscal and outside impacts of each agency or program, including management process and structure as well as the extent to which these programs duplicate services, functions and programs administered by another federal or state agency. And in the end, we will eliminate areas of duplication, update missions and goals that need updating, and yes, we will phase out dated and inefficient programs that don’t address the 21st century priorities and needs of the people of our state.

Yes, under a Haley regime, no program or service will exist if another program or service exists. Two programs or services are redundant, which means one of them is wasteful and unnecessary, and the time and resources devoted to it are wasted. So let it be written, so let it be done.

Last June, testing out her veto pen, she trotted out the "duplication of services" trope in her instruction to Speaker Bobby Harrell to undo what he'd allowed to be done, for it was unnecessary and she didn't approve of its necessity, making it unnecessary.

In a polite letter to Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell, Governor Haley exercised her line item veto 35 times. Duplication of services, actions not in keeping with the core function of government and a preference for private funding were the top three reasons the governor listed for vetoing a host of different budget items.

So let it be written, so let it be done.Except that the legislature was apparently more appreciative of duplication of services, and wastefulness, and redundancy generally, for it found fit to override, in some cases, what Pharoah -- that is, Governor Haley -- had decreed and instructed.

Department of Education’s “High Schools That Work” Program ($1.4 million): Intended to help improve students’ transition from high school to college. Haley argued it duplicated programs already used in high schools and colleges. Legislature disagreed. Action: OVERRIDDEN

But Haley is nothing if not repetitive, and redundant, and sometimes exceptionally consistent. This month, she posted on her Facebook page the following bit of imperial gratitude:

Thanks to the members of the House of Reps who voted 76-47 to uphold my veto that stopped the creation of a 19 member council for the 1-95 corridor that would have unneccarily increased state govt, spent money we don't have, and duplicated what commerce already does. No new programs!

You will not speak of the governor's lack of spell-check; no error was made, no lack of awareness revealed. It is, that it is.

Now, what once was spelled "unnecessarily" will be respelled "unneccarily" and the new spelling will take the place of the old spelling in all government documents, though none of these will be duplicated. Or have copies made of them. Old copies will suffice: No new copies! So let it be written, so let it be done.

Haley won an acolyte in Rep. Bill Taylor, who accepted the governor's language and wrote on his own blog on January 20,

On the first day of the new session, the SC House killed legislation that would have expanded government. The House upheld Gov. Nikki Haley's veto of a bill creating a regional council that was intended to improve economic and education opportunities along rural I-95. I was one of a handful of Representatives who originally voted against the bill last spring because it created another needless bureaucracy. However, it passed the House and Senate and Haley vetoed the bill arguing it unnecessarily increases state government and duplicates what the state commerce and education departments already do. The Senate voted to override her veto. This week the House sustained the veto and the legislation failed.

What duplicates is duplicative, and duplication is a vexation. It will not be tolerated.

This is the record of our governor's hatred of duplication and redundancy. So let it be written, so let it be done.

In light of the record, we must assume that the governor is exceptionally weary. Squiring a former presidential hopeful around her state and helping him to peddle his threadbare wares unneccarily to the people has tired her.

And, upon sending her guest bowed and bent into Florida, we must assume that she had no time to rest; finding her right flank uncovered unneccarily, she searched the nooks and crannies of the Governor's Mansion for a doily with which to cover her right flank.

And, in her weariness, this is the doily she found:

Gov. Nikki Haley and House Republicans are joining forces to close loopholes that, they say, unions could use to set up shop and expand in South Carolina.

“Unions are not needed, wanted or welcome in South Carolina,” Haley said during a Tuesday press conference where she and state Rep. Bill Sandifer, R-Oconee, announced a new bill filed in the House that would:

• Require S.C. employers to display a poster in the workplace, alerting workers that they do not have to be union members in order to work.

This is a splendid doily, indeed, with which to cover her right flank in her weariness, except that it is a duplication of services.

State law already gives workers the right to turn down union membership.

No matter. The doily accomplishes very much of a little more:

• Increase civil penalties for those who violate the state’s right-to-work laws

• Allow workers to resign their union membership and stop paying dues at any time. Currently, union members have to wait a year.

• Require unions to file financial information with the state. Unions already must file some of that information with the federal government.

It is a powerful doily, in truth, and entirely suitable for covering an exposed right flank. Except that it is unneccarily a duplication of services already:

Democrats say the bill changes very little. They note less than 5 percent of the state’s workers are unionized, the country’s seventh-lowest rate of unionization.

“We already have some of the toughest anti-union laws in the nation,” said state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg. “Can you say overkill? Our time would be better spent trying to improve the conditions for working people instead of attacking working people.”

But that is not written.

So that is not done.

Haley said the changes are needed because Boeing was threatened with a National Labor Relations Board lawsuit after building a new plant in North Charleston where few workers are union members. Ultimately, the lawsuit was dropped.

“I saw (the lawsuit) as a warning shot,” Haley said.

The National Labor Relations Board saw (Haley) as (unneccarily) opposing (federal) law.

“The more I bring companies in (to South Carolina), the more concerns there are about unions.”

South (Carolina) rejoined the (union) on (July 11,) 1868, which has concerns about (it) still. But Congress held that states had no (right to secede), so (rejoining) the union was (a duplication of services), meaning it was unneccarily.

That was written. That was done.

Furthermore, as the exposure of her right flank was substantial, Haley s t r e t c h e d out the doily and furthermore decreed some more:

Haley signed an executive order Tuesday that prohibits striking workers from receiving unemployment benefits.

Which was a powerful decree and well covered her right flank again.

Except that it was duplication of services and unneccarily.

That already is state law, said Catherine Templeton, director of the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

This is another way of saying that Haley's hand-picked, anti-union director of the state labor department, trained by anti-union textile magnate Roger Milliken, found the governor's decrees duplicative, and therefore violative of her record opposing duplication of services.

But the stretching of the doily to recover her exposed right flank unneccarily was discovered by those who earn their living by the sweat of their brow, who gained a new perspective on the duplicitous governor:

“I don’t know what state Nikki thinks she’s in or what she’s running for,” said S.C. AFL-CIO president Donna Dewitt, “but striking workers in South Carolina can’t get unemployment and unions already fully disclose their financial information.”

Dewitt said Haley’s proposal was an attempt to pander to GOP hardliners “in a desperate attempt to distract attention from her support of Mitt Romney and play to her eroding Tea Party base.”

I think I heard DeWitt also say that the word "unneccarily" should be spelled "unnecessarily," which made perfect sense among readers of English, regardless of what duplicitous governors with stretched doilies covering exposed right flanks may say.

I am confident that I heard those who earn their living by the sweat of their brow say something even more profound in a press release:

South Carolina's union membership is amongst the lowest in the nation and there are no unionized public workers who can bargain for wages.
"With our state's low wages, low taxes and lax environmental regulations, I fear that the only thing Haley can do to make South Carolina more "business friendly" would be to issue an executive order to bring back slavery," Dewitt observed.

And the people stood and said, "Let that be duplicated, copied, printed, mailed, emailed, linked, friended, cutted-and-pasted, tweeted, posted, re-posted and shared again and again and again."

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