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The South Carolina Governor's race thread

Old 06-04-10, 01:35 PM
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The South Carolina Governor's race thread

Things are getting pretty wild in South Carolina. The current governor is, of course, Mark Sanford -- he of the Appalachian Trail and the Argentine mistress. There's a primary going on to see who will be the Republican nominee to replace him when his term ends at the end of the year. The front-runner is a woman named Nikki Haley. She's got the support of the GOP establishment and is, I believe, ahead in the polls.

But wait! Is this a scandal brewing?

Sex, scandal again in South Carolina political air
By JIM DAVENPORT (AP) May 25, 2010

GREENVILLE, S.C. Sex and scandal are again in South Carolina's political air.

A year ago, it was Gov. Mark Sanford's tearful confession of secretly skipping out of the country to rendezvous with an Argentine woman he called his soul mate. On Monday, it was a political blogger's claim of an affair with a rising star in the governor's race: state Rep. Nikki Haley. Three years ago, it was the state treasurer whose affinity for cocaine had him facing federal charges and prison time.

At a debate Monday night, Haley offered what she expected would be the final volleys in a he-said, she-said match that started 13 hours earlier when Will Folks wrote on his blog: "Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki."

"It is absolutely not true," Haley emphatically told the crowd. She'd said the same much of the day in a statement after Folks' allegation spread around the political sphere: "I have been 100 percent faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage. This claim against me is categorically and totally false."

And as reporters pressed her on the evidence that Folks claimed existed or why he would make a false claim, Haley appeared to shut further questions down.

"I'm telling you there is nothing there," she said. "I'm not going to let this distraction to get to me. It's not worth my time."

She was on at least three talk shows with big audiences in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston denying Folks' claim. Sympathetic callers filled lines in the hours that followed with praise for how she handled the matter.

Folks is a fixture in the state's rough-and-tumble politics and has worked for Sanford and Haley, an accountant and three-term legislator in a tight race for the GOP nomination with Congressman Gresham Barrett, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and state Attorney General Henry McMaster.

Folks was Sanford's spokesman in his 2002 campaign and when he took office. Folks left in 2005 and not long after pleaded guilty to a criminal domestic charge involving his fiance.

He is a political consultant and runs FITSNews.com, a conservative site that features occasionally insightful commentary, thinly sourced stories of state political intrigue and photos of women in bikinis. Haley hired him in 2007 to write speeches and news releases. Folks said that's when the vaguely described "physical relationship" with Haley took place. He offered no proof and refused to give details.

"I'm not going to paint pictures," he said.

It was only a year ago that Sanford famously vanished from the state for five days, claiming to be on the Appalachian Trail and reappearing from a trip to Argentina to admit to an extramarital affair. It destroyed his marriage, which ended in divorce, and likely his political future, which had at one time seemed to include presidential aspirations.

Sanford is term-limited and leaves office in January; in years past he had backed Haley's political aspirations, and his ex-wife campaigned with her earlier this month.

Political scientist Neal Thigpen said he thinks most political activists won't believe Folks, but some tea party supporters could be swayed to support another candidate.

"It seems to me the whole thing is designed to stop Rep. Haley's momentum," said Thigpen, a Francis Marion University professor. "If it's Nikki's word against Will Folks', I know who I'd believe. ... But something like this can do her great damage."

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, on Facebook denounced Folks' claim, and said she had warned Haley that she and her family would be targeted. Palin, who has publicly supported Haley, said she spoke with the candidate and told her to hang in there.

"That, unfortunately, is the nature of the beast in politics today especially for conservative 'underdog' candidates who surge in the polls and threaten to shake things up so government can be put back on the side of the people," Palin wrote.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...NouvwD9FTTMFO0

That's not the only man Ms. Haley is alleged to have cheated on her husband with -- as an aside in this article about an unrelated fiasco, a second affair is alleged:

S.C. GOP state senator calls gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley 'a raghead'

By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 4, 2010; 12:32 PM

The drag-down brawl for South Carolina's Republican gubernatorial nomination just got nastier.

A GOP state senator called front-runner Nikki Haley, the only woman in the race and a daughter of Indian immigrants, "a raghead" on a political talk show Thursday night.

"We already got one raghead in the White House," John M. "Jake" Knotts Jr. said on the Internet talk show "Pub Politics," according to The State newspaper. "We don't need another in the governor's mansion."

Knotts, a supporter of one of Haley's opponents, later apologized and said his comment was made in jest.

After former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) swept into the Palmetto State to endorse Haley a few weeks ago, the state lawmaker has rocketed in the polls to a sizable lead in the four-candidate race. Since then, her opponents and their allies have attacked her personal character relentlessly in the closing days of the campaign. Voters will go the polls Tuesday.

Two Republican operatives have claimed they had sexual encounters with Haley. She has denied both accusations and said she has been faithful to her husband through their 13 years of marriage.

On the talk show Thursday, Knotts discussed Haley's religious upbringing. She was raised as a Sikh, but married a Methodist man and is raising her children as Christians. She has said she attends services of both faiths.

Haley, responding to Knotts's comments after a Thursday campaign stop told The State: "What the race in 2010 will prove is the goodness of the people of South Carolina, that there [are] fewer people of the Jake Knotts [ilk] and that there are a lot more good, educated people [who] want their voice heard in government."

Knotts is a longtime ally of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, one of Haley's opponents, and has been an antagonist of Gov. Mark Sanford (R) in the legislature. Haley has been one of Sanford's closest allies in Columbia.

South Carolina Republican Party Chairwoman Karen Floyd called on Knotts to apologize in a statement Thursday night. "The South Carolina Republican Party strongly condemns any use of racial or religious slurs," Floyd said. "Senator Knotts should apologize for his inappropriate comments, so that we can put this unfortunate incident behind us and focus on issues important to moving our state forward."

In a statement to local reporters, Knotts said: "Bear in mind that this is a freewheeling, anything-goes Internet radio show that is broadcast from a pub. It's like a local political version of 'Saturday Night Live.' Since my intended humorous context was lost in translation, I apologize. I still believe Ms. Haley is pretending to be someone she is not, much as Obama did, but I apologize to both for an unintended slur."

Earlier this week, Bauer fired one of his campaign consultants, Larry Marchant, after Marchant told Bauer he had a one-time sexual encounter with Haley in 2008. On Thursday, Bauer challenged Haley to a "lie-detector test" to determine whether she had cheated on her husband. Haley denied Marchant's claim and accused Bauer of "fishing" the story to the media to gin up attention.

Last week, a blogger and former Republican operative, Will Folks, claimed he had a sexual relationship with Haley, which Haley also denied.

The GOP campaign has become the nastiest South Carolina political race in years -- at least since the 2000 presidential primary between George W. Bush and John McCain, who fell victim to a whisper campaign alleging falsely that he had fathered an illegitimate multiracial child.

All of this has Democrats watching from the sidelines, almost giddy.

"If these guys keep behaving like juvenile delinquents, then we'll elect a Democrat in November here," said Dick Harpootlian, a former chairman of the state's Democratic Party. "It's a no-holds-barred, eye-gouging free-for-all. We've never seen it like this before. This is the worse it's ever been. Ain't it grand?"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...?hpid=politics

The primary is on Tuesday, so we've still got all weekend for another affair allegation, racist slur, or other exciting incident to pop up!
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Old 06-04-10, 01:52 PM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

Ben Smith, Politico

The latest front opened on the embattled frontrunner in the South Carolina Governor's race concerns her religion, as opponents are, her spokesman said, pushing questions about how recently she fully converted from the Sikh religion of her birth to Christianity.

The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody posted a story today noting, accurately, that her public persona and campaign website had taken a progressively "more Christian" tone, and raising some of those questions.

But in the nasty game of South Carolina politics, in which Haley has already been accused twice publicly of infidelity, the religion story has a clear political charge. Brody told me in an email that his story was prompted by "a tip from an anonymous source," and Tim Pearson, Haley's spokesman, said the story was "being shopped" and that Brody wasn't the only reporter to call him about it.

A source close to the campaign of one rival -- Rep. Gresham Barrett, who touts his Christian faith in his ads -- said the Barrett campaign has at least discussed playing the religion card. The source said his aides sometimes refer to her by the Indian name with which she was born, "Nimrata," in the campaign office.

"They always thought that the relgion thing would be what would save Gresham in the end against Nikki," said the source, an outside adviser to Barrett who said he was speaking to a reporter because he disliked the notion of attacking Haley on her faith.


The adviser didn't know whether Barrett's campaign had in fact pushed the story.

Barrett spokesman Luke Byars denied the account in an emailed statement.

"This is absurd. Anonymous attacks blaming us for anonymous attacks. Only in South Carolina," he said.

Haley meanwhile has -- without clear evidence -- blamed another rival, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, for the allegations of infidelity.
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmi...gion_card.html

Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, she does promote her Christianity as a playing card for political office, which makes it fair game to question her about. Ethically, thought... I wasn't fond of the whole "Obama's a secret Muslim!" argument, as I felt it was more of a scare tactic than a genuine political question.

BTW, this is the guy alleging the affair... really? Watch around the 1:10-1:30 mark.

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Last edited by DGibFen; 06-04-10 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 06-04-10, 04:27 PM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

I didn't realize Haley was brown. Jindal might have a little competition for the brown vote

She sits on the board at her church (not sure what board means). I don't see any reason to doubt her faith
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Old 06-04-10, 04:30 PM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

btw, this is the first guy that claimed an affair: http://www.fitsnews.com/about-2/
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Old 06-08-10, 09:50 PM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

9:44 PM ET: Breaking right now: AP saying the SC GOP gubernatorial race will go to a runoff. That means they project that Haley will not break 50% and will have to run again against Barrett on June 22nd.
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Old 06-09-10, 08:38 PM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

Starts around the 4:30 mark:

<table style='font:11px arial; color:#333; background-color:#f5f5f5' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' width='360' height='353'><tbody><tr style='background-color:#e5e5e5' valign='middle'><td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;'><a target='_blank' style='color:#333; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com'>The Daily Show With Jon Stewart</a></td><td style='padding:2px 5px 0px 5px; text-align:right; font-weight:bold;'>Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c</td></tr><tr style='height:14px;' valign='middle'><td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'<a target='_blank' style='color:#333; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-7-2010/thank-you--south-carolina---the-race-to-replace-disgrace'>Thank You, South Carolina - The Race to Replace Disgrace<a></td></tr><tr style='height:14px; background-color:#353535' valign='middle'><td colspan='2' style='padding:2px 5px 0px 5px; width:360px; overflow:hidden; text-align:right'><a target='_blank' style='color:#96deff; text-decoration:none; font-weight:bold;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com/'>www.thedailyshow.com</a></td></tr><tr valign='middle'><td style='padding:0px;' colspan='2'><embed style='display:block' src='http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:311738' width='360' height='301' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' wmode='window' allowFullscreen='true' flashvars='autoPlay=false' allowscriptaccess='always' allownetworking='all' bgcolor='#000000'></embed></td></tr><tr style='height:18px;' valign='middle'><td style='padding:0px;' colspan='2'><table style='margin:0px; text-align:center' cellpadding='0' cellspacing='0' width='100%' height='100%'><tr valign='middle'><td style='padding:3px; width:33%;'><a target='_blank' style='font:10px arial; color:#333; text-decoration:none;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/'>Daily Show Full Episodes</a></td><td style='padding:3px; width:33%;'><a target='_blank' style='font:10px arial; color:#333; text-decoration:none;' href='http://www.indecisionforever.com'>Political Humor</a></td><td style='padding:3px; width:33%;'><a target='_blank' style='font:10px arial; color:#333; text-decoration:none;' href='http://www.thedailyshow.com/videos/tag/Tea+Party'>Tea Party</a></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table>
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Old 06-09-10, 08:49 PM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

Why is the scary puppet from Saw looking over Jon's shoulder?
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Old 06-10-10, 01:50 AM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

Originally Posted by DGibFen View Post
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmi...gion_card.html

Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, she does promote her Christianity as a playing card for political office, which makes it fair game to question her about. Ethically, thought... I wasn't fond of the whole "Obama's a secret Muslim!" argument, as I felt it was more of a scare tactic than a genuine political question.

BTW, this is the guy alleging the affair... really? Watch around the 1:10-1:30 mark.

<object width="429" height="295"><param name="movie" value="http://vp.mgnetwork.net/viewer.swf?u=ce584c2cc04a102da6fd001ec92a4a0d&z=CBD" ></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://vp.mgnetwork.net/viewer.swf?u=ce584c2cc04a102da6fd001ec92a4a0d&z=CBD" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="429" height="295"></embed></object>
I would be more inclined to believe he had an affair with her husband.
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Old 06-10-10, 02:36 AM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

It IS a scandal brewing! Thanks for the thread!
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Old 06-22-10, 09:00 PM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

Haley Wins South Carolina GOP Runoff For Governor

Good for her. I always like to see a woman I have had sex with do well.
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Old 06-22-10, 11:57 PM
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Re: The South Carolina Governor's race thread

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
I would be more inclined to believe he had an affair with her husband.
Seriously. Haley is actually pretty attractive and obviously successful, I don't buy for a minute that if she were to have an affair, it'd be with a loser like that dude.
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