by William Moultrie
Columbia, SC – The public may have seen the ongoing feud between Republican Governor Nikki Haley and Democratic Rep. Boyd Brown as just another political impasse, but behind the scenes the truth was much more complicated.
With Brown’s final legislative session coming to an end, Haley surprised Columbia insiders by unveiling a portrait of Brown (D-Fairfield) to be hung in the State House.
“Boyd and I don’t agree on much politically, but I feel there’s a special bond between us that I just don’t have with any of the other legislators,” Haley said in remarks at the unveiling ceremony. “He’s the yin to my yang, the frank my beans, he’s… well, in another time and place, he might have been something more…” Haley trailed off and appeared to wipe a tear from her cheek.
Brown, 25, chose not to seek reelection this year, opting instead to go to law school.
One of Haley’s most outspoken critics, Brown never shied away from publicly questioning the governor’s policies or motives. When Haley started handing out her “Legislative Report Cards” giving failing grades to a number of lawmakers including Brown, he was famously quoted by The State saying: “She’s been busy F-ing the rest of the state, I’m not surprised that she F-ed me.”
Last summer, Brown was specifically excluded from attending a party at the governor’s mansion that’s been historically open to all state lawmakers.
“The truth is that after a while I found it difficult to be in the same room with him,” said Haley. “I was constantly on edge, worried that people would guess the truth. It was easier to just put as much distance between us as possible.”
Brown was unable to attend the unveiling but released the following statement: “Seriously? What an F-ing psycho.”