Candidate Haley denies second affair accusation

COLUMBIA --- A South Carolina lobbyist resigned from a rival political campaign on Wednesday and then became the second man to claim he had a tryst with a Republican lawmaker trying to become the state's first female governor.

Lobbyist Larry Marchant admitted he had no proof to back up his allegation of a one-night stand with state Rep. Nikki Haley in 2008 and her campaign vehemently denied the allegation. Earlier in the day, Marchant resigned from the campaign of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who is competing with Haley for the GOP nomination in the June 8 primary.

"This is a false and outrageous desperate attack from a losing candidate's paid campaign consultant in the final week of the race," Haley campaign manager Tim Pearson said in a statement.

"As Nikki Haley rises in the polls, the good old boys in Columbia see their taxpayer-funded fraternity party coming crumbling down, and they will say or do anything to hold onto their power," Pearson said. "This is South Carolina politics at its worst. The people of our state deserve better, and when Nikki Haley is governor, they'll get it."

Marchant's claim is the second leveled at Haley in as many weeks. Last week, political blogger Will Folks said he and Haley had an "inappropriate physical relationship" in 2007. Despite dribbling out days of innuendo on his Web site, including some text messages and phone records, Folks has yet to prove his claims. He was not married at the time of the alleged relationship.

Haley, a 38-year-old married mother of two who vows she has been faithful over 13 years of marriage, is a tea party favorite in the four-way race for the GOP nomination to succeed term-limited Gov. Mark Sanford. She has been endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her rivals privately say their internal polls show her with a lead in the race.

The Republican candidates were expected at a forum in Charleston on Wednesday night. The three Democrats were holding a debate in Spartanburg.

On Wednesday, Haley was preparing to strike back with a television ad set to air today. In it, Haley references the rougher side of campaigning.

"I've seen the dark side of our state's politics, and I know the bright side of our state's people," Haley says in the ad as images of her, husband Michael and their two children appear. "I have a vision of what South Carolina can be."

Before the debate Wednesday night, Haley's husband said "the allegation is absolutely false."

Marchant is a well-known lobbyist who has led efforts to pass school choice legislation in South Carolina. He told The Associated Press that he and Haley had a one-time sexual encounter in her room in a Salt Lake City hotel where they attended a school choice conference in June 2008.

He said he decided to go public after old rumors about a liaison were rekindled by Folks' unsubstantiated claims, which have been published on his Web site since early last week.

"I did not have any intention of going public," Marchant said Wednesday. "I kept getting calls from different people. I just felt like I owed Andre to disclose it to him. I did not do it until two days after I disclosed it to my wife."

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/03/10 - 05:03 am
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I don't care how many trysts

I don't care how many trysts she has had as long as she doesn't disappear "hiking on the Appalachian Trail" for a week while Governor. Niki for Governor. Nikki, call me if you are in N. Augusta anytime and need a "friend."

curly123053
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curly123053 06/03/10 - 07:45 am
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I have decided I am voting

I have decided I am voting for Nikki after these 2 "dirty political attacks". This type of politics is the lowest I have ever seen in SC, and there has been no condemnation from her opponents on this crap. The "boys" in the campaign want business as usual and Nikki has been calling for positive changes in how the state house oprates. I hope this propels Nikki to a no runoff upset in the primary!

fish2
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fish2 06/03/10 - 07:45 am
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Dont worry Nikki they are

Dont worry Nikki they are digging their own hole, and you are pulling ahead every day.

glassrinkmaker
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glassrinkmaker 06/03/10 - 07:59 am
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Nikki, this is a primary. If

Nikki, this is a primary. If you have comitted the offenses, withdraw now! Don't wait until you win the primary and then it comes out as the truth! That will only ensure your democratic rival will win the mansion!!!!

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 06/03/10 - 02:25 pm
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Somebody's sexlife has no

Somebody's sexlife has no bearing on their ability to do a job. The hypocritical religious nutbags need to at some point in time come to this conclusion.

AGR354
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AGR354 06/03/10 - 03:54 pm
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Don't let Nikki defeat

Don't let Nikki defeat herself after the Primary, If she comes out and says she did what she is accused of after the Primary the gop can kiss the Governorship good by. Why in the world would two separate people come out with the same thing. THey both are already ruined, so what do they have to lose. ASK YOUR SELF THAT ONE PEOPLE. IF you think that the personel live of a Canidiate is not important. IF they will screw around on a person they love, they will do it to the people who elect them.

Riverman1
84889
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Riverman1 06/03/10 - 04:54 pm
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Nikki Haley will be the next

Nikki Haley will be the next Governor of South Carolina. Larry Marchant was arrested for DUI in December. He has been married 3 times. He was banned from the Woodlands Club and the Reserve.

nofrills
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nofrills 06/03/10 - 05:10 pm
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He is a lobbist! He is doing

He is a lobbist! He is doing it so the people who are paying him can knock Haley out of the race. Guess what its back firing! I will vote for Haley now for sure!!!

faithson
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faithson 06/04/10 - 12:35 pm
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This second accusation sure

This second accusation sure seems to have a little creditability to it! I mean the guy 'fessed' up to infidelity, leaving HIS character in disrepute. His motivation for 'falling on a sword' sure seems reasonable, considering the other allegation against Ms. Haley. Not being a South Carolinian, I leave it up to those who go to the voting booth to discern the outcome. good cheer

Brad Owens
4583
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Brad Owens 06/04/10 - 03:29 pm
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The lady says it is not true

The lady says it is not true and I would take her word over a sleazy lobbist any day of the week. I don't support rightwing nutjobs, but I see this as an attempt to smear this lady and I don't like it.

I really hope she wins now.

This REALLY is low,

Brad

robelenj
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robelenj 06/04/10 - 03:56 pm
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If she is innocent then why

If she is innocent then why not file a slander suit against the accusers?

spurge
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spurge 06/05/10 - 07:46 am
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How do prove that you did not

How do prove that you did not do something. Unless someone proves she did something wrong I will vote for Haley.
Spurge

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 06/05/10 - 01:30 pm
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" IF they will screw around

" IF they will screw around on a person they love, they will do it to the people who elect them".--I think we all have been screwed by those we love and those we have voted for, in the literal sense, not necessarily in that order, but you get my drift.

KatieLou
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KatieLou 06/05/10 - 10:56 am
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Without proof, it's slander,

Without proof, it's slander, and she should sue for all her campaign costs plus damages--$1M for each percentage point change in any direction on an average of all public opinion polls regarding her candidacy.

It's the only way to "prove a negative": force the slimy weasel to prove his accusation or pay up. She doesn't have time to do it right now, but it absolutely should be done later.

And if she has been unfaithful, she should acknowledge it and then have the private lives of each and every opponent and both accusers thoroughly researched and reported to the public.

I definitely think flaunting one of the Big 10 should disqualify a person from public office, but the baron's opinions give a good overview of the general moral expectations of public servants these days. Soooo...

what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

AGR354
7
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AGR354 06/05/10 - 01:23 pm
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don't elect a republican that

don't elect a republican that could get a Democrape Elected in November.

dwb619
94831
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dwb619 06/05/10 - 07:59 pm
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Write in- RITA JENRETTE!

Write in- RITA JENRETTE!

corgimom
33158
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corgimom 06/05/10 - 08:46 pm
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She's a public figure, the

She's a public figure, the slander rules are different. Malice has to be proven, and it's hard to prove.

She has to prove that it's a lie- and that's hard to do, too. The burden of proof is on her.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 06/06/10 - 08:06 am
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Politics is a tough business.

Politics is a tough business. There's big money out there buying these allegations. Haley sure must have the power base scared. It's not the slander these men need to worry about, it's the libel.

Dixieman
15304
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Dixieman 06/07/10 - 05:03 am
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I like her principles and

I like her principles and programs as a good conservative Republican and would vote for her if I lived in SC.
Also, she is hot!

burninater
9627
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burninater 06/07/10 - 10:36 am
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At this point, if these

At this point, if these accusations are true, it's not so much an issue of adultery. It's an issue of a demonstrated ability to perpetrate bald-faced lies to her constituents. SC's national reputation for the dirtiest of dirty political tactics only makes this whole thing that much murkier.

Little Lamb
46390
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Little Lamb 06/07/10 - 11:25 am
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Yeah, but they're not true.

Yeah, but they're not true.

texred
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texred 06/07/10 - 01:48 pm
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Haley file a slander suit

Haley file a slander suit against the pert, that way he will either shut up or come up with evidence.....

freeradical
1093
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freeradical 06/07/10 - 06:32 pm
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What kind of spineless sleaze

What kind of spineless sleaze publically proclaims himself to be a

spineless sleaze in hopes of making someone else look bad.

Did he have anything to say about his dead grandmother while he

was at it?

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