Sheheen campaign hits Haley on silence around DSS issue

Sen. Vincent Sheheen, Democratic candidate for governor.

COLUMBIA - The campaign of the Democrat running for governor is asking why Gov. Nikki Haley declined an interview request about the Department of Social Services for a national ABC News report recently.

In a web video released Tuesday called "Crickets," the campaign of Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen intersperses several of Haley's appearances on national news networks with the ABC News report that said Haley's office declined requests for an interview. The video asks the question, "What would it take for Nikki Haley to say 'no' to a national interview?"

The ABC News report focused on anonymous DSS workers who said the department had sent children back into unsafe situations, where some have been injured and died, the subject of much local media scrutiny over the last year as a Senate panel has investigated the department. The video also flashes the web headline from a Sunday Post and Courier story, "Turmoil continues at DSS despite added staff, change in leadership."

Chaney Adams, a campaign spokeswoman, pointed to several local media clips from May when Haley put out a corrective plan for DSS. "Governor Haley has done numerous interviews about DSS," Adams said in an e-mail. "We're still waiting for Vince Sheheen to do his first interview about the violent criminals and child molesters whose jail time he tried to get reduced."

Adams was referring to defense attorney work Sheheen has done, a consistent line of attack for Haley and the Republican Governors Association. Sheheen, a general practice attorney, has said that he does little work as a defense attorney now and that he shouldn't be judged for actions of past clients.