COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Ousted USC board member Darla Moore plans to speak out.
Moore will offer her first public comments since being removed by Governor Nikki Haley Thursday. But before that happens, Moore's supporters rallied at the State House Wednesday.
There was a lot of buzz about the rally online and a modest turnout for the event itself. The crowd was mostly USC students who wanted to make it clear that they resent the removal of South Carolina business legend Darla Moore from the board of trustees.
Governor Haley cited that her main reason for replacing Moore with Tommy Cofield was the fact that Cofield's vision more clearly aligned with her own.
Rally-goers signed message boards demanding Moore's reinstatement, thanking her for her service and asking Haley appointee Cofield to quit. One organizer said Haley has ignored the issue of diversity in removing Moore. "You can't have a board full of white males," said organizer Seth Miller, "That's not diverse. That's where we're going with it."
Haley told WIS News 10 this week she appreciated that students were getting out and taking action. Her spokesman added Wednesday that the governor wanted to make it clear "board positions are not lifetime jobs." Spokesman Rob Godfrey said, "There must be no sense of entitlement to public office, whether for legislators, governors or public university board members."
Moore has made no public comment since being removed from the board, nut that will change Thursday when she is scheduled to attend a town hall meeting on the USC campus.
Several state lawmakers, including Haley's opponent last November, were also on hand at Wednesday's rally. "I think that at the end of the day, she's got to justify to the voters the appointments that she makes," said State Senator Vincent Sheheen, "And I think people are going to look at them with a critical eye, and I think that's appropriate. And then we'll see how it plays out."
Darla Moore is set to hold a town-hall meeting at USC Thursday. It starts at 12:15pm and will be held in the Russell House University Union Ballroom.