- - Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SOUTH CAROLINA

Haley demands cheerful ‘great day’ phone answer

COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s governor is ordering state workers to cheerfully answer phones with the phrase “It’s a great day in South Carolina.” Never mind that the state’s 11.1 percent jobless rate and the fact that one in five residents are on Medicaid.

Republican Gov. Nikki Haley issued the order at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, saying the phrase will put workers in a better mood and remind them that they work for the public. She also says the public will feel better, too.

While Mrs. Haley wants South Carolina residents feeling upbeat, there’s no word yet whether workers who refuse to use the greeting will suffer any consequences.

State Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian called the greeting juvenile and, in many cases, inappropriate. He says it’s a great day for someone living in the governor’s mansion.

CAMPAIGN 2012

Romney, Perry, Paul lead GOP money race

Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Ron Paul have banked millions, but the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls are struggling or broke four months before the first nominating contests take place.

Ahead of a critical fundraising deadline Friday, the GOP’s contenders are courting donors in Texas, Georgia and New York in last-minute attempts to pick up final dollars. The push comes before they have to file a three-month summary of their finances.

Mr. Romney’s campaign says he could raise as much as $18 million. Perry donors claim he could hit $10 million. Mr. Paul’s campaign asked supporters to celebrate the Texas congressman’s Aug. 20 birthday with a donation — and they gave him $1.6 million just that day.

The rest of the field, though, lags far behind, putting their candidacies into question.

ARIZONA

Initiative would switch state primary to ‘top 2’

PHOENIX — A group led by former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson on Tuesday proposed a major redesign of Arizona’s election system, launching a ballot-measure campaign to ask voters to replace the current separate party primaries with a single ballot.

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