Haley Blasted for Calling Rape Crisis Centers 'Special Interests'

S.C. Democrats and victims' advocates outraged; apology demanded.

Editor's Note: Although the veto concerning sexual assault and rape crisis centers was referred to as "domestic violence" by Gov. Haley, the funding at issue was for the 15 sexual assault centers across the state. Domestic violence agencies are funded elsewhere.

S.C. Democrats and victims advocates are demanding an apology from Gov. Nikki Haley after the first-term governor posted a comment on her Facebook page referring to the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as “special interests.”

Shortly after the House unanimously overrode Haley’s Veto 51, which cut funding to rape crisis centers throughout the state, she said: “veto of SC Coalition of Domestic Violence $453,680. Special interests made their way into the DHEC budget. This is not about the merit of their fights but the back door way of getting the money. It's wrong and another loophole for legislators and special interests to use. Defeated 111-0”

Democrats are demanding she apologize to rape victims for calling them “special interests." Haley’s office reportedly told Adam Beam of The State “that’s not what the governor said.”

Haley's spokesman Rob Godfrey said: "To argue that the governor isn't supportive of victims is, on its face, absurd and shows how far political opponents will go to criticize the governor regardless of the facts..."

Godfrey said that Haley "signed off on increased funding for both rape centers and domestic violence prosecution in the budget because it's the right thing to do."

He added: "Each of them needs to put their political drama and distractions away and start explaining to their constituents why they spent so much money."

Rep. Bakari Sellers said he will make known Haley's comments if she does not retract them.

"This is one of the most offensive things I've ever heard a Governor say. Rape victims are not distractions and they are definitely not a special interest group," he said. “To say otherwise is downright shameful. The Governor needs to take a long look in the mirror and decide whether or not she stands by these comments.”

Sellars added: “If she does, then I will make sure every single female voter in this state is aware of it. That’s a promise.”

Joyce Hart, executive director of Rape Crisis Center in Myrtle Beach, said Haley’s comment illustrate her lack of compassion.

“You know, every time she opens her mouth, she puts her foot in it,” she said. “She appears very non-compassionate. Unfortunately, maybe that’s the way it is.”

Rep. Boyd Brown, a Democratic lawmaker who is not seeking reelection from Fairfield County, said Haley’s comments were a “disgrace.” On his Twitter page, Brown wrote, “Governor @nikkihaley refers to rape crisis services as 'special interests.' This is the most idiotic thought I have ever heard.”

Rep. Leon Stavrinakis said: "Haley has become so extreme, she now considers rape victims acceptable political fodder."

Minority Leader Harry Ott said that Haley’s comments were "... entirely inappropriate and Gov. Haley should apologize immediately."

Haley’s Veto 51 . One center, People Against Rape of Charleston, will likely have to close its doors if the funding is not returned to the budget.

The S.C. Senate will vote on the vetoes Wednesday.

Women's groups were also .

Ken July 18, 2012 at 01:54 AM
The more that woman speaks, the dumber she proves herself to be.
Wade July 18, 2012 at 02:51 AM
As usual another stupidly spun "story" with a headline that people take on faith without even reading eh entire article. The Gov. has nothing against helping rape victims, just against the government stealing from all of us taxpayers under the guise of help they don't actually give! They weren't helping rape victims, they were making rape victims of us all!!!!
Hal Millard July 18, 2012 at 03:15 AM
"They weren't helping rape victims, they were making rape victims of us all!!!!" Really, Wade – SERIOUSLY???? I don't begrudge you your opinion on this matter at all, but that statement, and how you could even equate the two things at all, borders on disgusting.
reg July 18, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Um, Wade? SC has the 7th highest total of rape incidents in the USA. How, exactly, was this program stealing from taxpayers?
bargeman July 18, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I hink we need to take the funds and give every rape victim a free course for a CWP and buy each one a light weight stubnose 38 and 500 rounds of ammo and turn them loose. Do not lock up the rapist, just tell the victim where they are located every day. Justice Done
Laura July 18, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Special interest group? Where does she get off! They do not make money off the victims, they help them! She needs to look in the mirror. She will see a special interest person! Haley, look deep inside you, look at the person you have become. It is not pretty. Every thing is about you, your career, the money you can make, how you can get polictical exposure, and where up the ladder you can move. Start working for the people of South Carolina! The rich, poor, uneducated, the senior, children and yes, victims. Start to show compassion as a person. Do not alway think in the way of money. It does not buy happiness nor friends. Do the right thing does! You were voted into office to serve the people, not yourself!
Charles Ossa July 18, 2012 at 10:59 PM
To make matters worse, she is equally very ugly with a long face like that of a space alien
jane marian July 19, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Who let the dogs out ????
jane marian July 19, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Did somebody give the Republicans free rein to dish out all this meanness and nastiness....OMG. Haley and even worse Bachman and her latest antics. What's going on ? Who let the dogs out ?
Robert Kelly July 19, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Haley has united the Dems and Reps in an incredible show of defiance. Wouldn't it be great if the two sides simply united in passing legislation that benefited the people of SC, and the governor simply became irrelevant? Send her abroad to recruit business, and leave the governing of the state to those who have a vested interest in the well-being of the state.
TheTruth July 19, 2012 at 02:55 AM
So, first the so-called progressives push to move women out of the "homemaker" role into the workplace because being a mom isn't a real job. Then, they push to lower the morale standards of the nation, always making criminals out to be 'victims' of something (he was abused, she used drugs -- anything as long as the person didn't have to accept responsibility). Now, they want people to believe that they support the victims of the garbage that they helped create? These "progressives" are the ones that have ruined this nation. They've created a cesspool out of our society. They push for more lenient sentences for the scum that rape women but now, some how, they want you believe they "support" the victims. Sure they do - they want that victim to recover. Sure they want that person to recover - so they can be raped by the next person that believes the liberal crap that they are 'entitled' to whatever they want.
Michael Davidson July 19, 2012 at 06:43 AM
It's really pointless to ask a Repub to apolgize for offensive speech. It's what the are. It's what they do. They're a bunch of thugs, and it's time the media stopped treating them as a legitimate group.
Michael Davidson July 19, 2012 at 06:45 AM
IN all my years on this type of website, I've never seen a stupider post than yours. It's almost criminal that you can vote.
Sun Shine July 19, 2012 at 07:27 AM
Do ya'll know those two stupid females Republicans ( Michele Bachman and Sarah Palin) that always making headlines news because they actions are insane and reckless? Well, just put Trikki Nikki Haley into the same category of dumbness and recklessness. Trikki Haley has 2 year-olds on the staff (Godfrey) with breast milk still around their mouth spewing out advice and agreeing with Nikki because they don't know any better. This too shall pass, which means Trikki is a one-term governor impersonator.
donniemac July 19, 2012 at 10:09 AM
This ole liberal does not see Gov. Haley being opposed to the Rape Crisis Centers but opposed to the way that the centers are funded by the legislative bodies. The special interests comment was about the beneficiaries of the funding method and in this case was kinda in poor taste. But I don't like it when the Republicans take something out of context to make a political point and I expect more from the Democrats! To me if you are going to complain about those kind of tactics from your opponents, you surely have no business engaging in the same behavior.
Robert Kelly July 19, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Support any of your hate-spewing with examples of progressive leaders who have done any of the things you ranted about. Names and actions? Why do you make up such vitriol? What happened to you to make you so irrationally angry?
Cara DePalma July 19, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Wade, you may have written one of the most ignorant comments I have witnessed on a comment board, and that's saying a lot. Do you mind when, as a taxpayer, you subsidize oil companies' profits? Do you mind , as a taxpayer, when the wealthy can plop money in offshore accounts to avoid taxes, leaving the rest oof us to pick up the tab? Do you mind when, as a taxpayer, you pay for lifetime healthcare benefits and pensions after one serves just 6 years in Congress? So you mind when, as a taxpayer, you pay for a defense budget that exceeds the next 10 industrialized nations combined? Are you are too dense to realize what a small percentage this $500,000 is to your state budget. I sincerely hope you never have to deal with a family member who is a victim of rape or sexual assault. Your lack of compassion is appalling.
Cara DePalma July 19, 2012 at 01:48 PM
The only truth you are spewing is that of a mysogonistic idiot.
Louise Wilde July 19, 2012 at 01:56 PM
You seem to have some knowledge of Scripture. Why would you use "The Truth" as your moniker? "I am the Truth," Jesus said. None of us comes anywhere near close to that. Here is some truth spoken by Paul, who is quoting from Old Testament sources in Romans 3:12-18. Paul writes, "All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." So we humans do not need liberals or anyone else to teach us among other things to "shed blood," verse 15. According to The Truth", Christ, we will only produce good fruit when we remain in him, receiving life and nourishment through him, the Vine while we are the branch. If anyone deserves blame for lack of goodness in America, it is those who have neutered the power for righteousness by forsaking the message of Christ to teach the message of law.
Roy Cameron July 19, 2012 at 02:02 PM
the scary thing about this story is, it is not the first ( or the last ) time that an attack has been made on women for the sake of politics.there appears to be a systematic attempt to de-rail any, and all, social programs for people in need. it is no coincidence that the GOP calls for budget cuts are aimed solely at social programs and not at corporate subsidies,war chests and bank bale outs. Look behind the political rhetoric and you will see an attempt to yet again cut spending for a valuable service.
Kathy Smelser July 19, 2012 at 03:29 PM
i would think her latest purchase of a new crystal ball would fall under special interest after all in her strange mind it is always close to Halloween and thats the closest thing to her heart
Mimi July 19, 2012 at 03:48 PM
You mean Wade by stealing from all of us Taxpayers to payout her corporate welfare under the guese of helping employment or maybe you mean her expense vacations at the tax payers expense under the guise of bring jobs to the state?? This woman is one of most ignorant people I have ever heard open her beak. I was attending a covention this week where she decided to open her trap any nothing but nonsense spewed out. I was embarrassed to even admit I was from SC. This woman is blaming China for the price of gas and the taxes on cigarettes, she blames the unemployed for her inability to pass legislation that actually help add jobs. This woman is not qualified to be a hair dresser clueless drone.She stands up there boasting because South Carolina is pretty much last at every single comparison to every other state. I can't wait to get this woman out of our Gov. Mansion and replaced by someone with a brain. I bet you are all missing Vincent Sheehen about now. This is what you get when you allow corporate interest to buy elections with the dumbest drone available to give them complete control of the state economy.
Dale courtney July 19, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Sounds like one option. What about very young, babies and elderly-disabled? No lie. Rape happens to all ages, sadly.
DaveIsLib July 19, 2012 at 04:38 PM
"What you've just said ... is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul." from the movie "Billy Madison"
Mikaela July 19, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Hey, many people feel the same way about our governor, Paul LePage, here in Maine! Hoping this November we can render him a lame elephant so he can simply limp his way through 2013/14 on his WAY OUT THE DOOR! I truly feel for you guys in SC.
Mim July 19, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Godfrey added: "Each of them needs to put their political drama and distractions away and start explaining to their constituents why they spent so much money." Is Godfrey ignorant or what? I guess rape and domestic violence victims are a distraction to the Governor and her staff. The reason so much money must be spent is because there continues to be an unacceptable number of rapes and domestic violence incidents and hence victims needing a wide variety of services. Once the state takes a position of zero tolerance with regard to rape and domestic violence and backs that up with severe consequences, the need for victim services with decrease proportionately.
Robert Kelly July 20, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Just a note to mention that despite our governor's attitude, the local law enforcement people seem to be quite responsive. Many years ago I called Richland County Sheriff's office about a domestic beating down the street, and they were very responsive, even telling us we could press charges for threats made against us when my wife and I intervened. Recently Lexington County Sheriff's department showed up two houses down the street because of a domestic problem, and they showed up in force! Local deputies and law enforcement people do a great job, despite the fact that so many of the current governing class despise government employees and want to deny them a good wage and benefits. These posters who gripe about "government employees" do a horrible disservice to law enforcement, firefighters, teachers, and a whole host of other good people who make our government actually function regardless of who was elected.


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