S.C. candidate Haley denies affair with blogger

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COLUMBIA --- Tea party favorite Nikki Haley, a Republican candidate for governor whose campaign gained momentum with recent endorsements from Sarah Palin and Jenny Sanford, vehemently denied allegations Monday that she had an inappropriate relationship with a political blogger in 2007.

Folks  Associated Press
Associated Press
Folks

Haley, a legislator vying to become the state's first female chief executive and replace disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford, called the claim posted on the blogger's site Monday a smear. She questioned the timing two weeks before the primary, saying it was an attempt to derail her campaign, once considered a long-shot.

"I have been 100 percent faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage. This claim against me is categorically and totally false," Haley, a 38-year-old mother of two, said in a statement. "It is quite simply South Carolina politics at its worst."

The claim came from Will Folks, a conservative blogger who previously served as Sanford's spokesman. Folks said the relationship took place in 2007 when he did communications work for Haley, including writing speeches and news releases. He offered no proof of it and refused to go into any details.

"I'm not going to paint pictures," he told The Associated Press on the condition his statements would not be published before the allegation was posted on his blog.

Folks pleaded guilty to criminal domestic violence in 2005 and left the Sanford administration around that time. He is now a political consultant and runs FITSNews.com.

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."

Haley, a three-term legislator, is in a tight race for the nomination with Congressman Gresham Barrett, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and state Attorney General Henry McMaster.

As word of the purported relationship spread, Haley went on at least two talk radio shows. Callers mostly backed Haley and liked her forceful denial. They talked about South Carolina's dirty politics and its reputation for what's been called a "good ol' boy" network. Internet comments were similar, though Folks' Web site had more support for him.

Folks said he owes apologies only to Haley and her family, and to his own wife for not revealing the relationship earlier in their marriage. He wed in 2008.

Folks left the Sanford administration about the time he received a 30-day suspended sentence for domestic violence. He kicked open the door at a home he shared with a lobbyist and shoved her into a piece of furniture, police said.

Folks

What was said

"Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki," Will Folks wrote on his site, FITSnews.com. "It is what it is, and aside from the Haley family -- Michael, Nikki, Rena and Nalin -- I feel no need to apologize or explain myself to anyone. People are human. We make mistakes."

-- Associated Press

Comments (14) Add comment
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sjgraci
2
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sjgraci 05/24/10 - 11:15 am
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Buh Bye tea partier Nikki, we

Buh Bye tea partier Nikki, we hardly knew you.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 05/24/10 - 11:18 am
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Please, if an affair ended a

Please, if an affair ended a political career then we would hardly have any politicians.

baronvonreich
0
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baronvonreich 05/24/10 - 12:38 pm
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Quite sad that the Republican

Quite sad that the Republican machine is trying to chew up one of their own, though a bit of a maverick, ever since she recently rose to the top of the most recent polls.

142
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Dan White 05/24/10 - 02:11 pm
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Innocent until a confession

Innocent until a confession is made.

CorporalGripweed
0
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CorporalGripweed 05/24/10 - 03:31 pm
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If she were a Dumocrat, an

If she were a Dumocrat, an affair would be a resume enhancer.

GAterp
2
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GAterp 05/24/10 - 03:40 pm
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I'm really beginning to think

I'm really beginning to think that we need more women in politics at higher level offices. Maybe that's why Palin is wearing the leather outfits now. I'm all for it.

purmkinhed
27
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purmkinhed 05/24/10 - 05:55 pm
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I highly doubt that is true.

I highly doubt that is true. Just some liberal spreading more lies because they wish to dethrone her and because she poses a threat to liberals. She's going to win this time guys so get used to it!!!

The Knave
24
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The Knave 05/24/10 - 06:01 pm
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Well, well, another

Well, well, another right-wing-nut rabid religionist reactionary hypocrite bites the dust. Naughty Nikki's web site says she always follows be-jesus, so he must have taken a wrong turn, and she followed right along. One of those evil leftist liberals must have whispered in their ears, and they were led astray.

Riverman1
84082
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Riverman1 05/24/10 - 06:09 pm
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What a great, stand-up guy

What a great, stand-up guy Will Folks is.

Riverman1
84082
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Riverman1 05/24/10 - 06:10 pm
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"Maybe that's why Palin is

"Maybe that's why Palin is wearing the leather outfits now. I'm all for it."

We figured you would like that.

corgimom
32581
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corgimom 05/24/10 - 07:06 pm
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If she did have an affair

If she did have an affair with Will Folks- convicted of domestic violence in 2005- then she has rocks in her head. Forget about the morals part, it's the common sense part.

dwb619
93784
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dwb619 05/24/10 - 07:35 pm
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If the FAMILY VALUES party is

If the FAMILY VALUES party is going to fight like this amongst themselves, October should be a real barn-burner.

Paper Rose-Aiken
0
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Paper Rose-Aiken 05/25/10 - 01:53 pm
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Folks should have stayed

Folks should have stayed under the rock from which he strayed. He and his resume smell. Dirty politics-I AM NOT FALLING FOR IT ANYMORE.

flipa
35
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flipa 05/25/10 - 06:35 pm
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The first words on this

The first words on this slanderers site are "Unfair" "Imbalanced". When someone admits they are unfair and imbalanced i think we should take their word for it. The guy is a TYPICAL Looney Lefty SPAMMER we all have to put up with all over the internet. This many SUCKERS in America who beleive this idiot do not bode well for our future. Be afraid America, be very afraid. Remember this. If a Looney Lefty slanders a politician, be they a man or a woman, then they might just be the best man or woman for the job.

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