by William Moultrie
Columbia – The economy is hitting everyone hard — including Republican donors — and Governor Nikki Haley is trying to help them out.
Donations to the governor’s campaign fund have been slowing amidst an array of scandals including allegations that campaign contributors have been given special consideration in appointments made at the governor’s discretion.
“Governor Haley is an innovator in the use of social media,” said Juliette Paxton, Haley’s director of new media. “We’ve been very successful with Twitter and Facebook so this seemed like the next most likely place to go. To our knowledge, this will be the first time Groupon has been used for political contributions.”
Groupon specials are typically used for food or services, giving added value for the price customers pay. The discount is contingent on a set number of people “buying” into the deal.
Groupon had no official comment, but a source at the company said that the special would be $5,000 of “credit” with the governor for every $2,500 donated to the campaign fund. The source, who asked not to be identified, said that he had no idea what “credit” would mean in this situation.
When asked, Paxton confirmed the details of the deal.
“That’s absolutely correct,” said Paxton, referring to the $5,000 credit. “This is a win-win situation for everyone. The donors get more value for their donations, and because the deal requires 200 participants for it to go into effect, the governor’s war chest is going to get a cool half-million dollar infusion. I don’t understand why anyone would have issue with that.”
Haley came under fire earlier this year for appointing campaign contributors to various boards and posts around the state. Most controversial was the appointment of Tommy Cofield – who had contributed $4500 to Haley’s campaign — to the board of the University of South Carolina, replacing Darla Moore, who had contributed $70 million to the university.
Paxton refused to comment on exactly what the extra “credit” for contributions could be used for, only saying that “the governor has a very good memory.”