Posted by Curt on 2 June, 2010 at 10:53 pm. 11 comments already!

Lots of strands in this web of deceit but I’ll do my best to sort it out for everyone with the help of Palmetto State Politics and Redstate.

First the players in this South Carolinian drama:

There is Nikkie Haley who is looking to become the first female Governor of South Carolina. She has most definitely messed up the good ole’ boy network going on in that state, which then has us come to the second player. Will Folks. Former speechwriter for Mark Sanford and the man behind this quote:

“The problem is that any time you have a largely uninformed and uneducated electorate, that kind of lowest common denominator mudslinging can be effective.”
– Will Folks.

Erick Erickson:

A campaign consultant for one of the campaigns for Governor of South Carolina began approaching groups [in spring 2009] that were viewed as likely to be influenced by Governor Mark Sanford. Why? Because South Carolina politicos knew Rep. Nikki Haley was viewed as Sanford’s choice to replace him.

This campaign consultant began informing groups that a blogger named Will Folks was peddling a story that he had a relationship with Rep. Haley.

Multiple sources in South Carolina confirm that the political consultant in question denied his campaign would be responsible when the story came out, but the consultant was also adamant that if Haley was in the lead before the primary, Folks would drop the story.

So, the story WAS dropped last week but never really got much traction because folks has no evidence. Just his word. Oh, he has phone records showing he called Haley WHILE he was getting paid on Haley’s staff to write speeches. Big deal. Put up or shut up right?

Well, now that’s where these other players come in.

Rod Shealy – Longtime negative political consultant involved in South Carolina politics. Convicted of violating campaign laws in the past and author of numerous negative attacks against his clients opponents. Said to be the driving force behind Will Folks admitting to the affair with Nikki Haley, reportedly having all the pieces of the puzzle including photo Jake Knotts had a PI take.

Larry Richter – Candidate for Lt Governor and Rod Shealy’s boss when it comes to pay. Has paid Shealy over $31,000 in last few months, evidently for just this purpose. Richter hopes that by killing Nikki Haley’s chances that her voters stay away from the polls on June 8th which means Richter’s opponent Bill Connor will suffer as Haley’s supporters are nearly 100% Connor supporters as well. Richter also no stranger to the immoral and unethical as he was forced from his position as a circuit judge amid cocaine issues and a serious affidavit involving Richter betraying clients in the Charleston Catholic Diocese abuse case

Jake Knotts – Leaked Folks arrest for domestic abuse in 2005, later had a private investigator look into Folks and reportedly has an incriminating w/Folks and Nikki Haley. Has endorsed Larry Richter, one of a very few that have and has used Rod Shealy and Wesley Donehue in the past for various things. Harsh opponent of Mark Sanford so would seem to be a critic of Nikki Haley as well.

Andre Bauer – Said by many to be the beneficiary of all this. Rod Shealy is a Bauer adviser and consultant from way back and was a huge part of Bauer being elected Lt Governor. Andre Bauer, according to campaign disclosures, is not paying Rod Shealy anything during this election cycle. Larry Richter would be the only candidate that is actually paying Shealy, A large amount of money for a few months work at that.

Wesley Donehue – Has worked for Rod Shealy, Larry Richter and Jake Knotts and appeared to be pushing Will Folks to release the story via text messages while trying to pretend not to.

Larry Marchant – Longtime partner with Rod Shealy and Andre Bauer campaign advisor/consultant. Also owns the building the Bauer campaign is housed in along with the SC Club for Growth

(check Palmetto State Politics post here for more)

That last name in that dirty dozen is Larry Marchant.

Back to Erick Erickson:

Will Folks and Larry Marchant are connected and both are connected to Andre Bauer. Will Folks shops around a story that he and Nikki Haley had an affair.

For a week he dribbles out inconclusive proof of nothing more than what appeared to be an employer-employee relationship — something that in fact existed.

At the end of the week? Nothing. Not even the alleged picture which may or may not be a picture of Nikki Haley’s car parked in front of his house wherein he had his office in which he worked as Nikki Haley’s speechwriter.

Come this week, nothing.

Enter, stage sewer, Larry Marchant. He tries to get a newspaper to run a story that he too slept with Nikki Haley. The media does not take the bite. Andre Bauer fires him.

But in Andre Bauer’s statement, he says something curious — something revealing.

Bauer says, according to the press “he had become aware of a situation several days ago, and reached the conclusion that decisive action was dictated.”

I wonder what happened several days ago that caused him to become aware of the situation. Hmmmmm . . . .

As Nikki Haley notes, Bauer only fired Marchant after the press refused to pick up the story.

The video of the debate tonight that has Haley firing both barrels into Bauer is below:

…Nikki interjects into Bauer’s self-serving, passive-aggressive no comment on the games played by his staffer by pointing out that said staffer was paid by Bauer. Bauer thinks he’s deflected it by saying that he fired the guy (while trying to insinuate that maybe it was because he didn’t want a dirty adulterer around).

Then Nikki lowers the boom.

“Y’all were fishing the story last night and you didn’t fire him yesterday,” said Haley. “Only when no one would take it seriously because he’s a paid consultant that you decided to fire him today.”

So we basically come down to the nitty gritty of this story. Bauer doesn’t want to lose the race, nothing else is working, so lets call Haley a whore and hope it sticks.

Period.

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