Letter to the Editor
Sunday in Aiken was a great time for gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley. There was an afternoon picnic-style reception at the Gem Lakes Pavilion, and as usual by the time she departed for home with her loving and supportive husband Michael and their sweet 11 year old daughter she left behind a thoroughly convinced group of new supporters. This is no surprise! It happens every time she meets with a group.
I was preparing to write a letter to the Aiken Standard about the event which had also been well covered by the Aiken Standard and Channel 6 of Augusta when I received news of a scurrilous and I might add spurious claim that Nikki had a “relationship” with an infamous blogger and political operative by name of Will Folks (also called “sic Willie”). Folks’ blogsite presents an artful piece that makes him sound like a hero confessing his sins, but in fact he is just another hack who will do anything to survive in his dog eat dog profession. He really is a sick Willie.
Will Folks is a just another player in the cohort of political operatives, good old boys and Statehouse leaders who have dominated South Carolina politics for many years. In the beginning they felt confident that the relatively unknown Nikki Haley was no threat to one of their own being elected. When the most recent poll placed her well ahead of her opponents, they concocted a scheme to bring her down. According to Folks’ website, he “conducted” an interview a week earlier with AP reporter Jim Davenport who he knew would gleefully spread the tale while Folks himself “has no control over the release of the information.” Now that Folks has dropped his bombshell, his wife announced he will not be available for further interviews – or to provide proof or answer questions.
It should be noted that quickly after the blast email from Folks blogsite, Nikki Haley issued a clear response in her usual straightforward manner as follows:
"I have been 100% faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage. This claim against me is categorically and totally false. It is sad, but not surprising, that this disgraceful smear has taken form less than a week removed from the release of a poll showing our campaign with a significant lead. It is quite simply South Carolina politics at its worst.
“These attacks - and those sure to follow - are an effort at distraction, but I will keep my focus on what matters, and that is delivering South Carolina's government back to our people. That’s a fight I have fought for the last five years. That’s why I entered this race for Governor. And that’s what I will continue to do, despite any outrageous and false claims that are thrown at me."
Gutter politics threaten our government at every level and as I have said previously, career politicians are a big part of the problem. The longer they stay in office the bigger their campaign war chests. They and their operatives will say or do whatever it takes to stay in power. Unscrupulous bloggers and a biased media fuel their fires. We desperately need new faces and fresh thinking in government. Nikki Haley has already proven that she is not simply a pawn of the political establishment, and that she has the brains, integrity and backbone to stand up for the people of our state as its Governor. Please vote for her in the primary on June 8 and the runoff on June 22 to help bring the kind of reform we need in South Carolina.