Haley's Cabinet complete; some not pleased

By Jack Kuenzie - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The picks for Governor Nikki Haley's Cabinet were completed. Her choices reflect a lot of her campaign rhetoric on things like cost cutting and job creation, but not everyone is pleased.

With Thursday's announcement of Duane Parrish to head Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Governor Nikki Haley has finished building her Cabinet. It's composition was not to the liking of Legislative Black Caucus members who slammed the state's first minority governor for naming only one black nominee in 13 opportunities.

Haley instead chose agency leaders who fit in with her priorities for state government, such as reducing red tape for the business community. It's what Haley's nominees for the Department of Revenue and Labor Licensing and Regulation talked about. "We look forward to straightening everything up so that you can have your licenses renewed properly so that businesses can keep their employees safe," said Director Catherine Templeton.

Haley promised for smaller, cost-cutting or consolidated government, and at least a half dozen of her Cabinet picks have signed on with similar themes. "There are opportunities that are being overlooked," said DDS nominee Lillian Koller, "I'm confident of that. And we will succeed in balancing the budget and improving government services at the same time."

In a couple of cases at the DOT and DMV, Haley said she wanted leaders who would not be likely to cave in to political pressure. Those agencies will be headed by career military officers.

Richland Representative Leon Howard repeated his claim Friday that Black Caucus members provided Haley with what he called a "pool" of black candidates for Cabinet positions. But Howard said he still couldn't recall names or specific agencies.

Haley has said she asked for resumes when she met with caucus members weeks ago but never received any.

Meanwhile, Howard blamed Democratic voters for failing to turn out in enough numbers to defeat Haley and open the door for more black appointees. He also pointed out the caucus had the same problem - not enough black representation in leadership positions - when Democrat Jim Hodges held the Governor's Office. Howard said Haley's predecessor, Mark Sanford, did much better on that issue.

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