Democrats criticize Haley for state plane use

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Democrats have accused Gov. Nikki Haley of misusing the state's planes by taking her campaign-paid videographer with her on flights around South Carolina.

Democrats said Thursday that Zach Pippin accompanied Haley on taxpayer-funded flights 17 times in the last year.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey says it's perfectly legal for Pippin to be on the plane to film Haley at official functions. An opinion from a state Ethics Commission attorney confirms that. Attorney Cathy Hazelwood says the videographer can fly at the governor's invitation.

Godfrey says Pippin films and posts video so taxpayers can see what she's doing and hear what she says.

Sen. Joel Lourie says even if it's legal, it's inappropriate for Haley to fly someone filming for her political commercials on taxpayer-funded resources. He said Haley should reimburse taxpayers.

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