Monday, September 1 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:31:17 GMT
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morning.Troopers say the crash occurred on Bookman Rd. about three miles west of Elgin at about 6 a.m. The motorcycleMore >>
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morningMore >>
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS/AP) - Nikki Haley took to the airwaves Monday afternoon to "emphatically" deny a political blogger and former Sanford aide's claim that he had a romantic relationship with the Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2007.
Haley appeared on Keven Cohen's radio show Monday afternoon to deny the affair with blogger and former Gov. Mark Sanford spokesman Will Folks.
"They don't realize they've just unleashed a tiger, because I'm probably more motivated and fired up than I've ever been," said Haley.
"Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki," said Folks. Folks said political opponents of Haley and himself were leaking evidence of the affair to the press, and claimed the story would've come out this week no matter what.
"I will not be discussing the details of that relationship, nor will I be granting any additional interviews about it to members of the media beyond what I have already been compelled to confirm," Folks continued. The blogger gave no proof of the relationship, which he claims took place when he worked for Haley in 2007.
"I have been 100% faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage," Haley responded in a statement, following up with an appearance on a Columbia radio station. "This claim against me is categorically and totally false." Rep. Haley called Folks' allegations "South Carolina politics at its worst," though Folks and his website have often supported Haley and her political aims in the past.
Online campaign records show Folks was on Haley's payroll in 2008, according to Politico. Haley's campaign for state senate paid Folks' consulting firm, Viewpolitik, over $1,200 in January and February of 2008. Folks said he did communications work for Haley, including writing speeches and news releases in 2007.
Haley recently rocketed to the front of the polls in the Republican race for governor after being publicly endorsed by Republican icon Sarah Palin and former first lady Jenny Sanford. Ms. Sanford, who divorced her husband after the governor announced an extramarital affair of his own, has not commented on the affair allegations or said whether she still supports Haley..
Haley was once a close political ally of Gov. Sanford, but distanced herself from him after Sanford's affair came to light. Haley said the governor had "fallen short" in his behavior, but refused to join calls for his resignation. The Sanford-affiliated group ReformSC recently spent $400,000 on pro-Haley ads, and Jenny Sanford even compared Haley to her former husband in her endorsement of Haley.
The Columbia Free Times has "been investigating a story involving an alleged affair between Haley and Folks for several weeks," and on Monday cited an unnamed source who claimed Folks privately admitted the affair in 2009. "Furthermore, the source ... says former Haley staffer B.J. Boling told him Haley had confided in him about the affair around the time Boling was working on her House reelection campaign in 2008," the Free Times reported.
State Republican Party Chairwoman Karen Floyd criticized the media for covering the story at all, saying in a statement, "South Carolinians deserve a higher level of political discourse than this, and they frankly deserve a press corps that focuses on real, substantive issues rather than on Internet rumor mongering." Palin also lambasted the "lamestream media" as she defended Haley on Facebook Monday afternoon.
"I've been there," Palin wrote. "Any lies told about you will strengthen your resolve to clean up political and media corruption. You and your supporters will grow stronger through things like this."
Haley and the other candidates for governor recently participated in a debate sponsored by the Palmetto Family Council where they spoke about being maritally faithful while serving in politics. "You are being held to a higher standard and so you have much more service you have to give and you're a role model to everybody that follows you," Haley said during the debate.
Folks said he owes apologies only to Haley and her family, and to his own wife for failing to reveal the relationship earlier in their marriage. He wed in 2008.
Folks left the governor's administration in 2005, around the same time he pleaded guilty to the criminal domestic violence charge and received a 30-day suspended sentence. Folks kicked open the door at a home he shared with a lobbyist and shoved her into a piece of furniture, police said.
Folks had little political experience before joining Sanford's 2002 campaign. When Sanford won, the governor made the ball-cap wearing, alternative rock band-playing son of a college professor his spokesman.
His website refers to him as "Sic Willie," sports the tag line "Unfair. Imbalanced," and often promotes Haley's campaign. Besides running his website, Folks has worked on several successful political campaigns.
"I can sleep at night knowing I handled this the best way I knew how (the way my wife and I decided together that it needed to be handled), which was to simply tell the truth," Folks said in the article.
Haley, an accountant and three-term legislator, is in a tight race for the GOP nomination with Congressman Gresham Barrett, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and Attorney General Henry McMaster.
Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon said the allegations may affect some of Haley's high-profile support, though Palin wasn't budging.
"There's literally no way to disprove a negative and that is going to stick to her no matter how hard she tries to shake it off," Huffmon said.
Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:12:10 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University. Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universitiesMore >>
Dozens of videos are all over social media from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:21:29 GMT
An Alexander County woman is facing charges after deputies say she molested a four-year-old at a church while services were happening. According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old CarolMore >>
According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Carol Diane Britto, of Taylorsville, was charged with one count of first degree statutory sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:35:14 GMT
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.Prices are about $3.11 in the area on Labor Day, which, when compared toMore >>
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:32:26 GMT
With a severe thunderstorm moving its way through the Midlands, customers across Richland and Lexington counties currently find themselves without power. South Carolina Electric & Gas is reporting overMore >>
Over 4,000 outages have been reported across the Midlands according to SCE&G.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:54:12 GMT
Whitney Hempsey remembered what doctors told her before she gave birth to her second child years ago. "It's like, 'Hey, are you tired of being pregnant?" Hempsey recalled. "'We can give you this and youMore >>
Mothers come together at Improving Birth Rally in an effort to stop rushed births.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:34 GMT
Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes. Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while.More >>
Boaters and law enforcement officials provide safety advice when making waves on the lakes.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:55:16 GMT
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing. Among those heroes are the thousands of troops who brought Hitler's EuropeMore >>
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing.More >>