Blogger's claims stir doubts in S.C. primary

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As the uproar continues over claims by conservative blogger Will Folks that he had “an inappropriate physical relationship” with South Carolina GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, the case keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. Haley categorically denies Folks’ claims. Her opponents deny that they had any part in the matter (wink wink). And, according to a reporter at The State newspaper in Columbia who talked to us on condition of his anonymity, many in S.C. political circles also doubt Folks’ story. Rumors swirling in Columbia include stories of Folks being paid by one of Haley’s foes to wreck her campaign; Folks being blackmailed into lying about Haley; Folks having “some kind of breakdown”; and Haley asking Gov. Mark Sanford to investigate Folks’ connections with her opponents.

Folks initially said he would have no more to say about the alleged relationship after yesterday’s claims. Today, however, Folks claims to have four-and-a-half years worth of voicemails, e-mails and text messages from Haley. Although he doesn’t detail what is included in the communications, he tells readers to “stay tuned.”

This is where I would usually bemoan how many people actually care about politicians’ sex lives, but the fact is that in South Carolina it’s a very hot topic, especially coming after Sanford’s public affair with his Argentinian "soulmate." The saddest part of the story, in my mind, is that even though Haley is part of the Sanford-TeaParty wing of the S.C. GOP, statements and behavior by her main opponents, Lt. Gov. Andre "Still not gay" Bauer, and Atty. Gen. Henry "Yo' Guvnah'" McMaster, reveal Haley as by far the most sane of the bunch.

Folks said he and Haley had their “inappropriate physical relationship” in 2007, while he worked for her, writing speeches and press releases. Obviously, I have no idea whether Folks and Haley had sex, and, again, I find it ridiculous that anyone would think it should be a political issue. Now, I know physical attraction can be a funny thing, but — and I’m just sayin’ — take a look at these photos of Haley and Folks and tell me if you think it’s likely that these two hooked up.

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