The Sleazy, Scummy Scandal-Smearing of Nikki Haley

(Crossposted at your flippant and irreverent source for Ohio politics and humor, Athens Runaway)

Oh, silly South Carolinian Republicans!  One of my very first blog posts was about South Carolina politics, namely Mark Sanford’s sex scandal.  Now, we have another alleged South Carolina gubernatorial sex scandal—well, almost.  It doesn’t involve a sitting governor, but it does involve someone running for governor.  And, on the surface, it is a sex scandal.  But is it really?

First, some background.  There are four Republicans running for the South Carolina Republican nomination for governor: State Representative Nikki Haley, current Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, State Representative Gresham Barrett, and state Attorney General Henry McMaster.

Haley, who has had impeccable conservative credentials throughout her career, has been lagging in the polls for almost a year now, until she was recently endorsed by Sarah Palin, which catapulted her from last place to first place in the polls.

Just as soon as it was reported by the South Carolina media that new polls showed that Haley was now the frontrunner in the race—and really, I mean, there were like 48 hours between Haley taking the lead and the the bombshell—South Carolina blogger Will Folks accusing Haley of cheating on her husband with him.

In a post on Folks’ blog, FITSNews.com, the former Mark Sanford press secretary wrote “Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki.  That’s it.”

Some people in the blogosphere are tossing Haley under the bus, but I’m not as quick to believe this guy.  Why?  From what I can tell, he’s a complete scumball and has no credibility.

Here’s the case for Haley, and by extension, against Folks.

  • Folks has… a bad attitude towards women.  And that’s understating it.  To give an example, he stalked a close personal friend of mine, Ashley Herzog, creeping on her Flickr picture and making lewd blog entries about her, in which he talked about how Herzog, whom he described as a “20-something blonde Republicans [wearing] green eye shadow, black lace tops, pink dirty nothings and too much blush” made him “pull wood.”

    Creeping on her again, Folks wrote about her “toying seductively with her ice water. Which according to a quick check of our dirty imaginations is… yup, even hotter.”

    Fitts went on to imagine having sex with the object of his perverted imagination, my closest friend ever, writing:

    Oh alright we’ll admit it, Ashley Herzog could be doing pretty much anything and it would still be hot. Like getting caught in flagrante delicto with our founding editor, for example.

    Also, as if that wasn’t enough, Folks is a criminal wife-beater. He pled guilty to criminal domestic abuse in 2005, for shoving his girlfriend into furniture during a domestic dispute.

    I could go on, but if this is how he treats women he doesn’t even know—stalking them online, talking about how he wants to have sex with them, posting their private photos online in a sexual context, hitting and shoving girlfriends—is he really that credible of a source?  Hell no.

  • Folks argues thatt the fact that someone tried to sell this story to a small-town tabloid a year ago, as if that has any bearing on the truth of his rumor. It does not. In fact, I’d argue that—yes, a tabloid did break the John Edwards story—but no, that does not mean that tabloids are reliable sources of news.
  • As I noted above, the timing is incredibly jinky. Literally as soon as anti-establishment candidate Haley took the lead, an establishment GOP operative started the rumor.
  • Plus, as noted by Politico, Folks used to work for Haley, but quit before the Palin endorsement. Could this be a case of sour grapes? It’s not outside the realm of possibility.
  • The South Carolina Democratic Party seems… oddly eager to volunteer themselves as witnesses.

    As noted in the admittedly uncredible Free Times article, Democrat Rep. Todd Rutherford is quoted as saying “it’s not a secret.  [The rumor]‘s been going around for about a year.”  Now, what motive would a Democrat have to torpedo a rising-star in the Republican Party?  Hmm…

  • Also, once you get down to it, Folks is a blogger. Bloggers need blog hits. What better way to knock one out of the park by making up a juicy story that will gaingui national attention? Yeah.

As I see it, Folks and the tabloids, are not credible sources. Based on the facts as I see and know them, Folks is a scumball misogynist who has everything to gain from smearing a strong conservative woman, as seems to be his predilection. Thankfully, the South Carolina State GOP is standing by Haley against this vile little man.  South Carolina GOP Chair Karen Floyd wrote today that it was the official position of the SC GOP that:

“South Carolinians deserve a higher level of political discourse than this, and they frankly deserve a press corps that focuses on real, substantive issues rather than on internet rumor mongering. No candidate deserves to have to defend themselves from these kinds of attacks, and South Carolinians are frankly tired of being fed unfounded gossip. I repudiate this attack, and I will defend the integrity of any of our gubernatorial candidates in the face of personal attacks of this nature.”

Good for you. Many people feel threatened by strong women in the Republican Party, and will do anything it takes to take them down. But this is just lower than low.

In short, if you think Nikki Haley really cheated on her husband for this guy, you’re either really gullible, or a Democrat.  But, I repeat myself!

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