Haley criticized over 'Army Wives'
COLUMBIA -- Gov. Nikki Haley made a cameo appearance on "Army Wives" Sunday night, despite voting against incentives last year that the cast said were needed to keep the production in Charleston.
Haley voted in June to uphold a veto by then-Gov. Mark Sanford that would have canned filming incentive increases for the Lifetime show, which contributed more than $120 million to the local economy since filming began in 2006. The House voted 104-7 to override the veto.
Haley's Press Secretary Rob Godfrey said the governor was happy to make the appearance. She was not paid for the cameo, which was filmed in Charleston on Jan. 7 before she was sworn in as governor.
"The governor absolutely enjoyed the opportunity to appear on Army Wives -- as she would any chance to showcase our great state and highlight our military families on national television," Godfrey said in an e-mail. "The governor has said she will do whatever she can to showcase the great things going on in our state, especially those things that aren't and shouldn't be on the public dime.
"As is the case in any economic development situation, the governor will always look at film incentives from a cost-benefit perspective. If incentives going forward cost the state more than they bring in -- as they have in the past -- then she won't support them."
Phil Bailey, spokesman for the Senate Democratic Caucus, said Haley's appearance on the show is an example of her "hypocrisy."
"She votes against the economic incentive package to keep this show here in South Carolina -- which is a vote against the show -- but then she makes an appearance on the show," Bailey said. "It's obviously only an attempt to increase her own celebrity."
"Army Wives" actresses Catherine Bell and Kim Delaney traveled to the Statehouse in June to urge lawmakers to override Sanford's veto. Without the level of incentives offered in a budget provision, the drama might have moved the production out of state, the actresses warned then.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.