Much ado about Haley
There is evidently animosity for Gov. Nikki Haley among her former colleagues in the General Assembly, and the governor hasn’t helped matters by taking the Legislature to task when the opportunity presents itself.
Of course, that’s not an impeachable offense. If it were, Gov. Haley’s predecessor Mark Sanford might not have survived his first term in office, after he brought the squealing piglets, “Pork” and “Barrel,” into the Statehouse to ridicule legislative spending priorities.
But apparently there is talk about impeaching Gov. Haley wafting through the Statehouse and the nearby legislative office buildings.
Based on unnamed sources cited by our columnist Brian Hicks, there is speculation that the House Ethics Committee is looking into a complaint that could become a case for impeachment.
The committee’s activities are not open to public scrutiny, so that speculation might be no more than wishful thinking by her critics. Nevertheless, a state judge last month tossed out a complaint that Mrs. Haley lobbied her fellow legislators while in the House, saying it was a matter to be handled by the Ethics Committee.
The governor has denied any wrongdoing.
The responsibility for advancing an impeachment case belongs to the House of Representatives, based on offenses committed in office.
Presumably, that means a governor would face proceedings related to wrongdoings committed while in the governor’s office. But Mr. Hicks’ column suggests that Mrs. Haley’s adversaries in the Legislature might be willing to make an exception, assuming the opening presents itself.
Impeachment should be undertaken on the basis of cause, not on pretext. The Legislature should be reluctant to override the will of the electorate through the impeachment process absent a compelling reason.
And it shouldn’t matter a whit that Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, a highly regarded former senator, is now situated to succeed her.
Say what you like about Gov. Haley, she’s been willing to go on the record in her criticism of the Legislature. There’s been no whispering campaign emanating from her corner of the Statehouse.
The governor’s legislative critics should be willing to speak their minds as openly — and maybe even publicly stand by their remarks.