The crowd around Governor Nikki Haley argues that the state of South Carolina elects too many officers in the Executive Department. For years now they have fought to make more South Carolina officers in the Executive Department appointed instead of elected. They tell us that people do not really pay attention to those elections and that appointing those offices will lead to more efficient government.
Maybe they are on to something. Maybe South Carolinians can not choose leaders wisely. After all, the track record for the two highest offices in state government is dismal. Former Governor Mark Sanford's famous AWOL tryst and open 2006 campaign account come to mind. As does former Lt. Governor Andre Bauer's lead foot. Now, South Carolina has a Governor who has alleged sex affairs and now allegations she lied on a job application. South Carolina also has a Lt. Governor who just seems boneheaded in dealing with his election campaign account and faces 106 charges from the South Carolina Ethics Commission.
With the track record for the past two Governors and Lt. Governors, why should we stop at appointing officers like Agriculture Commissioner, Adjutant General and Superintendent of Education? Maybe it is time to truly revamp the state constitution and go back to having the General Assembly choose a Governor and Lt. Governor. After all, using the reasoning presented by the “restructuring” crowd, the past two office holders in those two highest state offices beg for the notion that the people can not handle the decision as to who holds such offices.
It has happened before. Until the Civil War, South Carolina chose its Governors and Lt. Governors via the General Assembly. Before the American Revolution, such officers were selected by the British Crown. Such a measure would truly get back to what the state's founding fathers wanted. It would also mirror how executives are chosen at the county and municipal levels around the state.
Of course we at VUI offer this suggestion with our tongues placed firmly in our cheeks, but it is something to think about. If the argument against electing so many Executive Department officers is that the people choose unwisely, then the state's choice of the most recent Governors and Lt. Governors must be questioned in an honest debate on the issue.
Of course, in all frankness, we at VUI believe that such an honest debate about such will happen right after the phantom identity thief who allegedly altered Governor Haley's job application to Lexington Medical Center is brought to justice. When that happens, news will come to us about the Devil being iced over.