Dems mock Haley over lack of Amazon signing; new jobs posted

Empty bill signing desk mocking Gov. Haley at press conference. / Fraendy Clervaid

COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- Amazon wasted no time in posting job openings for a South Carolina operation as a tax break for the company became law without Gov. Nikki Haley's signature.

The company issued a statement early Wednesday that it has posted hundreds of job openings for a plant in Lexington County.

Haley had opposed the plan to make the company exempt from collecting South Carolina's sales tax in exchange for a promise of 2,000 jobs. But she had said she would let the measure become law without her signature. The deadline was midnight Tuesday.

"Governor because of your lack of courage and your lack of conviction, we almost lost the biggest economic development opportunity for the Midlands in almost a decade," says Senator Joel Lourie, (D) District 22.

Senators Brad Hutto and Joel Lourie, Representative James Smith and other supporters of the legislation discussed the final step of the Amazon incentive package becoming law and the impact this debate will have on future economic development projects Wednesday at the State House.

The group also mocked Gov. Haley for refusing to take any action on the bill by using an empty desk to simulate a bill signing. Milk cartons were also created displaying Haley's face on a missing person ad. The satirical props showed the text, "Can't be found at the signing of Amazon Tax Credit Bill."

"Had this been an unfair playing field it would be another issue but I didn't see it that way. Initially I had some of the same concern. The bottom line is do you believe in economic incentives," says Senate President Glenn McConnell (R) District 41.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey says such political stunts don't interest her. He says the lawmakers should take their jobs more seriously.

Amazon officials said Wednesday the jobs will include medical and dental coverage for workers and a number of other employee benefits. To apply for jobs with Amazon click here .

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The new law says Amazon doesn't have to collect sales tax from South Carolina online shoppers until 2016.

Do you think Amazon's jobs in the Midlands will provide a noticeable boost to the state's economy?

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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)