Haley heads to California to raise cash, speak

Gov. Nikki Haley

COLUMBIA -- Gov. Nikki Haley is in California this week, her second trip to the Golden State in a year, to speak to several conservative groups and raise cash for her 2014 re-election bid.

The first-term Republican is scheduled to appear this afternoon at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel as a guest speaker for an event with the New Majority.

On Wednesday, the governor's schedule shows speaking engagements with the Orange County Lincoln Club and the California Women's Leadership Association in Irvine. Also listed is a speech at a Congressional Club meeting, also in Irvine.

The Lincoln Club, which supported Ronald Reagan's first gubernatorial and presidential bids, promoted Haley as a "rising Republican star."

The governor's schedule lists nothing for Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Haley's campaign aide Marisa Crawford said the governor will raise cash for her campaign fund while on the trip, but she did not provide any other details.

Haley's spokesman Rob Godfrey said the governor is frequently invited to speak to business, trade, conservative and cultural organizations, but she accepts only a small percentage of those invitations.

Godfrey said the visit will not interfere with Haley's gubernatorial duties.

"Like most people and businesses, the governor is capable of carrying out the duties of her job when she happens to be traveling out of state," he said.

Mark Tompkins, a political science professor, said Haley should limit her travel if she wants to quiet speculation that she is more interested in national politics than South Carolina matters.

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"You have to believe that she is nurturing ambitions that lie outside of South Carolina," he said.

Haley has denied an interest in the vice presidential nomination, although the 2012 GOP candidates have courted her for an endorsement.

A recent analysis by The Post and Courier showed the governor has flown more than 50 times since the election last November and has spent at least a month and a half outside South Carolina. She accepted about 20 flights from people with potential business before the state, including from three men Haley appointed to influential government positions.

Following inquiries into Haley's travel, the State Ethics Commission is expected to decide later this month whether to change the way politicians disclose the value of flights on private airplanes.

Haley is flying commercial to and from California. She visited San Diego shortly after her election.