Sheheen hits Haley on hacking in new TV ad

This screen capture is from gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen's latest TV ad, which criticizes incumbent Gov. Nikki Haley's handling of a data breach in 2012 at the Department of Revenue.

COLUMBIA - The Democrat running for governor launched a new statewide television ad Thursday, hitting Gov. Nikki Haley on the 2012 hacking of the Department of Revenue.

The Haley administration waited 16 days to tell taxpayers that their private information may have been exposed, a frequent theme for the campaign of Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen. "When it comes to protecting us we just can't trust Nikki Haley," the ad says. The campaign said the advertisement, called "Protect," will start running as part of a six-figure advertising buy across the state.

At the time, Gov. Haley and other state officials said that law enforcement officials requested time before making the hacking public. "Even a politically desperate trial lawyer like Vince Sheheen should know better than to obstruct a criminal investigation," said campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey, in a statement. It's shocking that Vince, as governor, would disregard the request of SLED and the Secret Service and compromise the effort to arrest the criminal hacker."

Democrats see it as a transparency issue.

"Nikki Haley has proven time and again that she cannot be trusted to do the job of governor well or to be honest and open with the public when things go wrong," said Andrew Whalen, Sheheen's campaign manager, in a statement.

The gubernatorial race's primary candidates, including Haley and independent Tom Ervin, have all launched advertisements recently.