While a team of state officials met the media on Friday to take questions about the data breach that resulted in millions of South Carolinians having their private information hacked into, it is Gov. Haley who is getting much of the criticism
State Sen. Vince Sheheen (D - Kershaw) who was defeated by Haley in the governor's race in 2010 said (via Facebook):
"State leaders have a responsibility to inform the public of news like this in a timely manner. Whether its good news or bad news, like this, the public deserves to know.
“I often refrain from criticizing the administration, but enough is enough.
“For Gov. Haley and her administration to withhold news from us for sixteen days that our personal identity information has been stolen from state computers is completely unacceptable. And to wait until a Friday afternoon to release this information is nothing more than a slick public relations trick trying to minimize political damage."
Dick Harpootlian, never at a loss for words with respect to Haley, claimed she has put the good of the state behind her political priorities:
"Nikki Haley today contradicted the Nikki Haley of yesterday – or maybe came down with a case of Romnesia, which I’ve heard is contagious.
"Haley surrounded herself with federal officials today while telling the people of South Carolina that more than a third of the state’s social security numbers and credit card numbers were stolen from her Department of Revenue by a computer hacker. This is a different story than the past year where we’ve heard Haley stomp her feet and shout that the federal government has no place in our state when it came to the Voter ID law, Medicaid and education funding.
"Just two months ago, Haley said in her National Convention speech, 'The hardest part of my job continues to be this federal government.'
"Maybe if she spent more time doing her job in South Carolina rather than traveling around the country raising money and playing politics, someone would have been paying attention and not let more than a third of our state’s personal information be compromised.
"If she were the CEO of a company that had a third of its data hacked especially after all the public warnings of the danger of hackers, she would be fired. Too bad she has two more years on her contract."
On the Republican side, the reaction was more circumspect. Matt Moore, Executive Director of the State GOP said:
"Political opportunists including Dick Harpootlian can send out all of the snarky press releases they want, but South Carolinians aren't laughing today."
House Speaker Bobby Harrell, who has often clashed with Haley said:
“Along with all South Carolinians, Legislators in the General Assembly were shocked to learn of the cyber hacking infiltration of some of our citizens’ most sensitive personal information. We commend the Department of Revenue, the Governor’s Office and federal authorities for taking quick action once alerted of this data security penetration. As our state addresses all the concerns that this security infiltration raises, the General Assembly is prepared to act in any fashion necessary to assist in remedying this situation.
“There are several things that must now take place, many of which are already in motion. But first and foremost we must ensure that our citizens’ identities are protected from fraud and we must take steps to better insulate sensitive data to help prevent future attempts to bypass our security measures.”