Haley spokesman: Nothing improper about party

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A spokesman for Gov. Nikki Haley says there was nothing improper about an end-of-session cookout at the governor's mansion to which some legislators were not invited.

Spokesman Rob Godfrey said Friday that drinks for Wednesday night's gathering were donated by the state Republican Party, Ben Arnold Distributors and Southern Wine and Spirits. He said the mansion's chef cooked the barbecue, and the $1,000 spent on food came out of the budget for the state property.

A state Ethics Commission attorney says that while state law bars lobbyists from cherry-picking legislators for a function they host, there is no law prohibiting the governor from throwing a party for select lawmakers.

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About 10 Democratic House members were not invited to the cookout. One was turned away at the gate.

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