Nikki Haley on Government Reform



Offer "term limit pledge" to all candidates for Congress

Q: Will you bring forth term-limit legislation of the House and Senate?

HALEY: Absolutely. I mean, I have been a term limit proponent for as long as I can remember. The reality is that Congress has never going to vote for term limits, right? What we do instead is I will have a Haley term limit's pledge. And everyone, when they file for office, incumbent or otherwise, has the option to either sign the term limit pledge or not And then I'm going to put all of that out for you so that you know exactly which candidates are for it, and which candidates are not. And that way you are empowered with the information. And when we get enough of those individuals to sign the term limits pledge that get into Congress, then we will go and say, "it's time to vote on it and hold them to account on that." So, we'll do it from the outside, and I always think the best way to move reforms forward is when you work with the people to push it from the outside in and force Congress to do the right thing.

Source: CNN Town Hall: interviews of 2024 presidential candidates , Jan 18, 2024

Take many federal programs and send them to the states

So we'll stop the spending. We'll stop the borrowing. We'll eliminate the earmarks. And I will veto any spending bill that doesn't take us back to pre-COVID levels. That will save us trillions.

And then we're going to go and take as many federal programs as we can and send them down to the states. That will reduce the size of the federal government, but it will empower people on the ground. Think health care. Think welfare. Think education -- if we started doing that.

Source: CNN Town Hall 2024 pre-Iowa caucus , Jan 4, 2024

Clean up weaponized, politicized Department of Justice

Q: Do you trust the Department of Justice yourself?

HALEY: The first thing we're going to do is clean it up from the top and all of senior management. They have weaponized and put politics in the Department of Justice over years. That needs to end, that's not the role of the Department of Justice. Don't hide certain things, don't push out certain things. That's what people want from the Department of Justice. That's what they want from the intelligence agencies.

Source: CBS Face the Nation on 2023 Presidential primary hopefuls , Jul 30, 2023

States passed election integrity laws which we needed

So when you look at what happened, you know, you had mail out balloting that we know was happening. We know that there was harvesting that was happening. And then you had secretaries of state that did things without approval from their legislature. Those are pretty serious. And so what we've seen happen in states is they've started to pass election integrity laws, which we need to have. And I think that's really important.
Source: CNN Town Hall: interviews of 2024 presidential candidates , Jun 4, 2023

Signed law requiring politicians to disclose private income

When Nikki was first elected to the state legislature, South Carolina was a transparency mess. Taxpayers couldn't hold politicians accountable because much of the legislating happened in secret. She took on the establishment in both parties by introducing and ultimately signing a bill that put votes on the record. Nikki also signed an ethics reform package that created an ethics commission to investigate legislators for misconduct and required politicians to disclose their private income.
Source: 2024 Presidential campaign website NikkiHaley.com , May 7, 2023

Fought back attempts to block state voter ID law

Nikki is a vocal advocate for voter ID and signed a voter ID bill into law early in her first term as governor. The law required South Carolina voters to show a photo ID to vote. When liberals attacked the bill, she offered to drive anyone who didn't have a photo ID to the DMV. When Barack Obama's Justice Department sued, trying to block the voter ID law, Nikki fought back, and the court sided with South Carolina.
Source: 2024 Presidential campaign website NikkiHaley.com , May 7, 2023

Register all lobbyists; speed up FOIA

Source: The State newsmagazine, "Commission on S.C. ethics reforms" , Jan 28, 2013

Full disclosure of campaign funding & fines for violators

Source: The State newsmagazine, "Commission on S.C. ethics reforms" , Jan 28, 2013

Legislative mission: get "voice votes" on the record

One of the worst parts of the political culture in the legislature was the practice of not voting on the record when important pieces of legislation came up. Instead of calling the roll and recording each member's vote, the vast majority of the time the House and Senate would pass bills by voice vote. That meant legislators would simply shout their votes, and he louder voices prevailed. The taxpayers had no way of knowing who voted for what. Most of the voters weren't even aware this was happening, but it was a fundamental violation of what we were supposed to be doing, which was representing the people. How could the voters judge us without knowing how we voted? How could we spend the taxpayers' money without being accountable for our choices?

Unlike most states, S.C. had no constitutional or statutory requirement that legislation be passed with a roll-call vote. It was at that point that I discovered my mission: making it possible for the voters to know how their legislators voted.

Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p. 63-64 , Apr 3, 2012

Real-time online check registers for government spending

Another accountability gospel I preached until I was blue in the face was the need for state and local government to show the taxpayers how their money is being spent through online check registers. These are online databases--Web sites--that provide real-time government spending information to citizens. I knew most of South Carolinians were too busy with work and family to go online and check on their government's spending habits, but just knowing the check register was there would keep elected officials on their toes. I compared it to having a teacher in a classroom. If the teacher is around, students behave. If the teacher leaves, the kids cut up, not because they're bad but because they can. Online check registers keep the teacher in the classroom and make legislators more responsible for how they spend.
Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p.112 , Apr 3, 2012

Term limits force real change in leadership

I learned in the legislature was that I am for term limits. I didn't think I was when I came in, but by the time I left, I knew there needed to be a limit on the time politicians can spend in government.

I believe that public officials go to Columbia or Washington with the best of intentions. But along the way people with energy & good ideas got broken. They were told not to step out of line. From business I was used to the idea that you put your most qualified, best people in positions of authority. Government didn't work that way. The people who got the plum assignments in the legislature were the people who had gone along with what the leadership told them to do. I didn't think that was right, and term limits would fix that. With only a certain amount of time to spend in government, legislators wouldn't have time to play the leadership's games. They would work harder at leaving a legacy of accomplishment and real change for the people rather than at satisfying the leadership.

Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p.112-113 , Apr 3, 2012

Weakened governorship today set up in Reconstruction

I had promised to return government to the people of South Carolina. That meant wholesale reform of a system that was still very much stuck in the 1800s. The structure of South Carolina's government had been created during Reconstruction following the Civil War. Back then, the (needless to say, white) powers that be had weakened the governorship out of fear that a black man might be elected governor. The result was a system of waste, duplication and lack of accountability that has survived to this day
Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p.183 , Apr 3, 2012

Fought S.C. House leadership for roll-call voting

Lt. Gov. Bauer attacked me for missing the vote when the bill to require voting on the record had been passed in the house a few months earlier. "With all due respect," he said, directing his remarks to me, "if you're going to push for roll call voting, you ought to be there to vote on it."

I almost laughed. Then I explained how the leadership had deliberately forced through the vote on an afternoon when they knew I wouldn't be there. Still, I said, "I applaud the general assembly for moving forward to make all its votes on the record."

I had fought for two-and-a-half years to get to that point. "I lost every position I held in the House in this fight to get legislators to vote on the record--long before there was a gubernatorial campaign," I said I felt my emotions begin to rise. I'm not going to get caught up in the fact that you're picking on the day that I wasn't there. The two-and-a-half year fight was the reason that the House overwhelmingly voted to have every single vote on the record."

Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p.146 , Apr 3, 2012

Good old work replaces pork-barrel politics

The one thing I wasn't willing to do to keep our legislators happy was play pork-barrel politics. This meant I had to find other ways to build support for my agenda. Mostly this effort just meant my staff and I had to do a lot of good old, time-consuming work. one legislator desperately wanted a Walmart in his district, but the company didn't seem interested at all. So we called Walmart and asked the company to take a look and see if it was interested. It sent out a site unit and talked to the legislator. We didn't spend anybody's money or promise anybody anything. We just put in a little extra effort, and we built a good relationship with that legislator.
Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p.204-205 , Apr 3, 2012

Voter ID is a no-brainer to protect election integrity

We passed a voter ID law this year. My thinking on this was pretty straightforward. If you need to show your ID to buy Sudafed or get on an airplane, it's a no-brainer that you should show your ID to protect the integrity of our elections. The critics said requiring ID would disenfranchise thousands of voters who would have trouble getting identification. The doomsayers confidently predicted that thousands of people would lose their right to vote because they couldn't get an ID. So I told the people, "If you are having trouble, give me a call; we'll help you out." I even said I would drive them down to the DMV myself--and I meant it! We ended up driving 25 people to the DMV, all of whom we helped get their ID.
Source: Can't Is Not an Option, by Gov. Nikki Haley, p.219-220 , Apr 3, 2012

We capped lawsuit damages; next tort reform is loser-pays

Until 2011, South Carolina was the only state in the southeast that did not cap damages on lawsuits. Thanks to the people in this room, that is no longer the case. That was a huge first step. Remember that there is always more to be done on tort reform. Looking at the states we compete with--the Tennessees, the Alabamas, the Virginias--it would be načve to think they will settle for playing second fiddle to South Carolina in the economic arms race. They will scrap for jobs every bit as hard as we will. And the greater the protection we give our people and businesses from frivolous lawsuits, the better positioned we will be to capitalize on other assets. The next step in tort reform is a loser-pays system, so that there is a real cost to suits that waste the time and money of our businesses and our courts, and that our companies understand that South Carolina won't stand for trial lawyers playing games with their bottom line.
Source: 2012 S.C. State of the State Address , Jan 18, 2012

Require photo ID, and inspection of ID, in order to vote

Excerpts fromH3003 legislative records:

Status:Bill passed Senate, 26-16-0; passed House 71-36-17; signed by Governor, May 18, 2011.

Source: South Carolina legislature voting records:H3003 , May 18, 2011

Endorsed as commonsense conservative "Mama Grizzly"

In Alaska, the only thing we take more seriously than a grizzly bear is a mama grizzly with cubs to protect. I call the new generation of American women leaders--many of whom I've met on the campaign trail and in the towns and cities of America--mama grizzlies. These are tough, serious, formidable women like Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Susana Martinez of new Mexico, and Carly Fiorina of California. These women are at the forefront of a new wave of strong, confident American women who are positively affecting not just the Republican Party, but America itself. They're building businesses, leading men & women in government--and, while they're at it, raising families.

Nikki Haley has captured the nation's attention as an Indian American woman who's also a pro-family commonsense constitutional conservative eager to take back her country. She's a sister.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.127-128 , Nov 23, 2010

Strongly in favor of term limits at all levels of government

Term Limits: I am strongly in favor of term limits at all levels of government. I have introduced legislation to place limits on legislators: 8 years in the House of Representatives or the Senate, no more than 12 years total.
Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, nikkihaley.com "Issues" , Nov 2, 2010

Other candidates on Government Reform: Nikki Haley on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Ryan Binkley (R-TX)
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

External Links about Nikki Haley:

Page last updated: Feb 16, 2024; copyright 1999-2022 Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org