Ethnic slur adds to governor's race controversies

COLUMBIA – A GOP lawmaker hoping to be the state's first female governor is getting publicity for all the wrong reasons.

State Rep. Nikki Haley applauds during a stop in Greenville, S.C., her final Upstate campaign appearance.  Mykal McEldowney/The Greenville News/Associated Press
Mykal McEldowney/The Greenville News/Associated Press
State Rep. Nikki Haley applauds during a stop in Greenville, S.C., her final Upstate campaign appearance.

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First a political blogger said he and Rep. Nikki Haley had an inappropriate physical relationship when he worked for her in 2007. Then a lobbyist said he had a one-night stand with her in a Salt Lake City hotel room during a school choice conference.

On Thursday, state Sen. Jake Knotts used an ethnic slur to refer to Haley, whose parents immigrated from India.

"We've got a raghead in Washington, we don't need a raghead in the Statehouse," Knotts said on an Internet political talk show. He later apologized, saying the remarks were meant as a joke.

Haley, who was born a Sikh and describes herself as a Methodist, called it another shameful attack. It's not clear if the flaps are damaging the tea party favorite, who has been endorsed by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Her rivals had privately said internal polls show her with a lead going into Tuesday's primary.

"You get in the last couple of weeks in a political campaign and all kinds of zany stuff goes on, and much of it is all about trying to throw up as much mud against the wall, hoping that something will stick," said Gov. Mark Sanford, a Haley supporter who is term-limited. "By and large people can see it for what it is."

Haley has vehemently denied the allegations of inappropriate relationships with blogger Will Folks and lobbyist Larry Marchant, and she said in a statement Friday that she would resign if she is elected and anyone finds proof she had an extramarital affair. She refused in e-mails to say what would constitute proof, calling that moot. Her campaign declined an interview request Friday.

The married mother of two has made government transparency her key issue, but she has refused to release her Statehouse correspondence records, which are exempt from public scrutiny under the state Freedom of Information Act.

"She's not going to waste a minute of time on any of this – the state has been dragged through enough of this kind of political junk over the last year, and she is not going participate in it," said her campaign spokesman, Tim Pearson.

The allegations come a year after Sanford, Haley's political mentor, famously ditched his security detail to rendezvous with his Argentine mistress and returned to tearfully confess his affair.

Sanford's ex-wife, Jenny, who divorced him over his affair, also defended Haley on Friday.

"I have watched with revulsion the spectacle that is now surrounding the governor's race. Our state is better than this," she said in a statement.

Raghead is a derogatory term used for people of Middle Eastern or Indian descent.

Folks, a former Sanford spokesman who had championed Haley's candidacy, has released some of his text message and phone records. An AP analysis showed most of roughly 700 calls dating to 2006 were brief, but some were noteworthy, including one in summer 2007 that started at 2:24 a.m. and lasted 146 minutes. The longest call was 207 minutes, starting at 11:28 p.m. Pearson dismissed them as Haley talking to an employee.

Marchant resigned Wednesday from the campaign of one of Haley's three opponents, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. He conceded he cannot prove he had a one-night stand with Haley but denies accusations that Bauer is behind the claim.

Marchant said he spoke up after rumors in political circles resurfaced following Folks' claims, and Haley's statements that she had been faithful to her husband of 13 years prompted him to confess to his wife.

"It was eating me alive," Marchant said. "At the end of the day, my conscience is clear."

Haley in Aiken on Saturday

Gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley will be in Aiken on Saturday for a meet and greet event.

The gathering will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Alley on the patio behind Aiken City Hall, according to a release.

Free barbecue and drinks will be provided.

Comments (21) Add comment
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corgimom
36685
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corgimom 06/04/10 - 05:37 pm
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Nobody cares about what Jenny

Nobody cares about what Jenny Sanford thinks about anything- except for Jenny Sanford. No wonder her husband found someone else.

Jenny Sanford is a self-absorbed woman who doesn't get it that her job as the governor's wife ended when the divorce was granted.

cleanup
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cleanup 06/04/10 - 06:17 pm
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Typical Republican lack of

Typical Republican lack of ethics, on all counts.

OnlyinAgs
1
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OnlyinAgs 06/04/10 - 06:35 pm
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Have you seen what he looks

Have you seen what he looks like OMG just nasty looking. He has no room to pick at anybody. No shocker here.

Sargebaby
4693
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Sargebaby 06/04/10 - 06:55 pm
0
0
Typical total liberal

Typical total liberal response, cleanup!

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 06/04/10 - 07:22 pm
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wow, this guy is a real

wow, this guy is a real throwback, a real dinosaur. First of all, Indians do not wear turbans.. Sikhs traditionally wear turbans, but they represent a tiny fractiuon of the population of India. It seems to me that Nikki Haley embodies the American dream. Knotts embodies the nasty stereotype of the racist Southern redneck, which thankfully he is in a small minority.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 06/04/10 - 07:51 pm
0
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glassrink: I have no idea if

glassrink: I have no idea if you are a redneck or not (btw, since when has the word redneck been censored? I guess someone should tell Jeff Foxworthy.. he's made a living off the word) But I can certainly tell from your comment that you are indeed something else which I am sure would be censored.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 06/04/10 - 08:09 pm
0
0
The ongoing bovine feces

The ongoing bovine feces appeals to the liberals. Lies are their stock in trade and sexual impropriety excites them. Of course, they're all to ready to project their morals on any they wish to bring down. Same ole AP writing, same ole myrmidons in the choir. Nikkie will do well as the liberals take it in the ..... no, they'd like that. Anyway, we'll hear these lies repeated by the AP daily until the Dems are flushed.

Nightwing
0
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Nightwing 06/04/10 - 08:27 pm
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When you cannot win with the

When you cannot win with the truth start telling lies. Apparently Nikki Haley's opponent cannot just win on the issues for SC and has to start relying on rumors and innuendos. How pathetic?

themaninthemirror
0
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themaninthemirror 06/04/10 - 08:38 pm
0
0
He conceded he cannot prove

He conceded he cannot prove he had a one-night stand with Haley- I think if I was going to say I had a sexual romp with a woman as fine as Nikki Haley, I would have pictures and the T-shirt to prove it.

Just My Opinion
6069
Points
Just My Opinion 06/04/10 - 09:06 pm
0
0
"Raghead"?? I've never heard

"Raghead"?? I've never heard of "Raghead"! You know, that might be politically and socially incorrect, but that's pretty funny right there!

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 06/04/10 - 09:45 pm
0
0
She's a slut?? Oh really??

She's a slut?? Oh really?? how so? So because some wanna-be Daily Kos crackpot says it, it makes it true? I hope she sues for libel, slander and everything else they can think of. Remember when that idiot Ryan B accused Sheriff Strength of being a murderer?? Well Strength took them to court and won a big judgement.

soldout
1280
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soldout 06/04/10 - 10:30 pm
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Why are folks so concerned

Why are folks so concerned about what they are called. Most segments of the general popoulation have done things in the past that created the names they are called. The Bible says to not take offense at anything. If we have an outward focus instead of an inward one we can't be offended and as a side effect you also can never be depressed. Being self centered is the source of all grief and all depression.

teharper428
2
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teharper428 06/05/10 - 05:50 am
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johnston- it's republicans

johnston- it's republicans who have the smear campaign against Haley, not the Democratic party. Where have you been, SC republicans are notorious for their dirty politics against their own opponents.

55 F-100
1
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55 F-100 06/05/10 - 07:21 am
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If I had had a one-night

If I had had a one-night stand with Haley, I most assuredly would not be making it public knowledge. I would be investigating to find out what she placed in my drink, because one would have to be blotto to........................with her.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 06/05/10 - 07:47 am
0
0
It is interesting when

It is interesting when someone comments on an article on name calling by calling someone a name who comments on the article. I was making a general comment that has helped a lot of folks about being offended and the choice of inward and outward focus being such a help in life. I love comments from the Biblical view because they stand the test of time (always true) where other views change from generation to generation based what feels good or seems right..

bettyboop
7
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bettyboop 06/05/10 - 08:41 am
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"Palinized" by the

"Palinized" by the media.....hang in there Nikki..................................

njslibby
0
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njslibby 06/05/10 - 09:57 am
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soldout why are you so

soldout why are you so concerned with my comments? no need to respond to them.

corgimom
36685
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corgimom 06/05/10 - 11:15 am
0
0
You have to laugh at the idea

You have to laugh at the idea of Mark Sanford talking about other people lying. Now that's downright funny. Guess he knows what he is talking about, doesn't he?

Little Lamb
47949
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Little Lamb 06/05/10 - 11:19 am
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Senator Jake Knotts revealed

Senator Jake Knotts revealed his bigotry by the use of the "raghead" term. He is appealing to South Carolinian bigots who must believe they are better than someone else merely because of the ethnicity or national origin. Use of the term "raghead" is analogous to the "N" word. It shows bigotry in the heart of the speaker.

Geistlich
0
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Geistlich 06/05/10 - 12:00 pm
0
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"the woman is a tramp, you

"the woman is a tramp, you can quote me on that" Well cncrnd, if you would just tell us who you are, I'd be happy to quote you. But I like to get the attribution right.

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