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Fight The Smears—The Vicious War On Nikki Haley Continues

Posted on October 20 2010 10:00 pm
Jesse Hathaway survived the progressive re-education camps of Ohio University and the People’s Republik of Athens, and now lives and blogs in beautiful Myrtle Beach, SC. Follow him on Teh Twitter, and become part of his Right Turns Only posse.

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Nikki Haley and Will Folks

Politics is a contact sport.  But what happens when the players make illegal hits?

A political punchline, and not a very witty one at that, Palmetto State politics have long been a morass of intrigue and corruption, with a secret society-type culture, not entirely unlike the Shriners.  But this year, with the rise of the Tea Party and the downfall of insider politicians, the otherwise stagnant South Carolina political well has been whipped into a frothy hot mess over Nikki Haley, Republican candidate for governor.

Mere weeks before the primary election, Haley was publicly endorsed by Sarah Palin, sling-shotting her from last place to first place in public opinion polls.  And that is when the saga of the War on Nikki Haley began—a war fought not with sticks and stones, but with blog posts and notarized affidavits.

Enter one Will Folks.  Folks, a blogger and former press secretary for outgoing South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, began to scream that Haley had committed adultery with him, and that he was doing her a favor by announcing it now that she was the likely winner of the rapidly approaching primary.

As if it wasn’t apparent enough that Folks was — and this is being generous — an unreliable witness, he pleaded guilty to criminal domestic violence in 2005, when he injured his fiancée during a domestic argument.

On his website,, there are multiple posts where Folks fantasizes about committing sex acts with Townhall columnist Ashley Herzog, of whom he writes: “[She’s a] 20-something blonde [Republican wearing] green eye shadow, black lace tops, pink dirty nothings and too much blush” and how looking at her pictures made him want to “pull wood” as he thought of her “toying seductively with her ice water.”

Such is the caliber of scumminess that is Will Folks.

His story didn’t hold water, though.  Folks trumpeted the existence of text messages between him and political consultant Wesley Donahue as proof that Haley is a whore, but, as CNN reporters wrote in May, “there is nothing in the correspondence proving Folks’ claim.”

Undeterred, he tried again.  According to Folks, South Carolina education reform activist Larry Marchant and Haley had a liaison while they were on a business trip together.

At this time, Marchant was working as a campaign adviser to current lieutenant governor Andre Bauer, who was also running for the Republican nomination.  Bauer had the most to gain from Haley stumbling in the polls, as he was polling in second place.

Marchant was also employed by a political consulting firm owned and founded by Folks.

A third time, Folks announced that “anonymous sources” were informing him that Haley had slept with yet another man who wasn’t her husband, State Representative Thad Viers (R-Myrtle Beach).  Viers responded to the claims, saying:

It’s completely and totally untrue.  It’s really not even worth commenting on… not even a story.  I can’t say as to why [people would start this rumor]… who knows?  Attention?  […]  People make stuff up all the time.  I mean, look at the sources… unnamed lobbyists? Really?

Fast-forward to October.  Haley was leading in the polls by more than 10 percentage points, it seemed that South Carolina was finally ready to elect its first-ever female governor, and politics down here were starting to seem less backward.  Boy, was that ever wrong!

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