Nikki Haley - South Carolina
Gov. Haley has been toeing the ethical line since her days in the state legislature, and brought the same pay-to-play politics to the governor’s mansion.
For much of her term, Gov. Haley faced an ethics investigation and lawsuit focused on her outside employment while serving as a state representative. The complaint alleged the governor illegally lobbied on behalf of her former employer. Gov. Haley also earned $40,000 in consulting fees while serving in the legislature, which she did not disclose until her campaign for governor. The state House Ethics Committee ultimately cleared Gov. Haley of all charges.
According to a 2011 report, 26 of the 59 people Gov. Haley appointed to state boards and commissions were donors to her campaign, contributing $74,000 in total. Between November 2010 and October 2011, Gov. Haley regularly accepted trips on private planes belonging to people with potential business before the state, including an executive whose company received $4.5 million in state funds.
- Elected in 2010; eligible for re-election in 2014
- Investigated by the House Ethics Committee for allegations of illegal lobbying while serving in the state legislature
- Appointed donors to state boards and commissions; accepted private plane trips from people with business before the state