Blogger Claims Affair with GOP Gov Candidate

May 24th, 2010 at 11:01 am | 32 Comments |

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Has it finally happened?  A female politician involved in a sex scandal?

Rumors had been swirling for some time among Palmetto State Politicos about leading gubernatorial candidate State Rep. Nikki Haley.

Today, former Gov. Sanford aide turned-acerbic-and-randy-blogger Will Folks claimed that he had an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Haley, a family-values Republican, Tea Party favorite and endorsee of Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Jenny Sanford.

Folks stated on his blog that “within the last forty-eight hours several pieces of information which purportedly document a prior physical relationship between myself and Rep. Haley have begun to be leaked slowly, piece by piece, to members of the mainstream media.”

After the Palin endorsement, Haley currently has a huge lead in the polls of 11 points.  Haley is a strong pro-lifer, having received a 100% rating from the S.C. Citizens for Life.

Even an occasional glance at his daily postings shows Will Folks has a thing for the ladies: his blog is famous for the Carolina’s Hottest Lawyer Contest where lusty legal-types submit names and pictures of the comeliest female attorneys in the state, with a final vote determining the “Hottest.”   But Folks has been a real force in S.C. politics.  He worked as spin-meister for Gov. Sanford for several years before becoming a blogger, then distanced himself after the famous(ly weird and awkward) Argentinean-mistress sex scandal rocked the news.  His blog —, which he calls “Unfair.  Unbalanced.” — is ubiquitous in South Carolina politics.  His cranky, sarcastic commentary and insider scoops have made his blog a daily read among the powerful.  And politicians have treaded lightly around Folks . . . at least until now.

Take away: there is a critical mass of women who are now in politics, maybe enough in fact for them to possibly have A Sex Scandal Of Their Own.



Nikki Haley’s campaign has just released a statement denying the affair.

Is Folks to be believed?  Well, he’s widely read because his scoops are largely on point.  Plus, he’s got nothing to gain from lying — if he’s read because rumors/predictions he posts come true, and if he’s made this whole thing up, his credibility is in shreds.

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • rbottoms

    What is it with you guys?

    It’s fun to watch of course but only because of the constant moralizing from the God party. Otherwise, most people wouldn’t give a sh*t what the woman did with her private life.

  • mpolito

    Hypocrisy does not mean anything as it relates to the propositions one is hypocritical about; anyone who has taken Logic 101 knows this. Just because someone who claims to adhere to standards cannot do so does not mean that those standards are bad. Lefties use it as a license to excuse their own sexual improprieties. Incidentally, the same is true of righties who yell about Al Gore’s big, carbon-emitting house and jet. Hyprocrisy tells us about someone’s character; that is all.

  • TerryF98

    The GOP is supposed to be the party of “Family Values ™”

    The fact that these bible thumping moralists often fail miserably is a constant source of amusement to people on the Left who do not moralize.

    The moral of the story is don’t covet thy neighbors wife/husband ( unless you cant resist bonking them).

    Please right wingers, stop all the family values bullshit. You have no family values, it’s all a lie.

  • Rabiner


    While your Logic 101 seminar is true that a position can be preferred even if the person supporting that opinion can’t live up to that standard, it is also true that this particular position is silly and preferred for society in many minds. “Family values” encompasses more than just adultery (I agree adultery is not ideal) but also abortion, religiosity, gay marriage and abstinence only education just to name a few issues. The reason this is a story is because by running as a ‘family values’ candidate you are elevating your own personal piety as an issue. Its a lot easier to be a role model for particular issues if you actually adhere to those positions and practice them through and through.

    The second reason this is a story is that the candidate is a woman and that is quite uncommon for female politicians to be caught in story such as this.

  • easton

    mpolito; “Hypocrisy does not mean anything as it relates to the propositions one is hypocritical about; anyone who has taken Logic 101 knows this. Just because someone who claims to adhere to standards cannot do so does not mean that those standards are bad.” No one is claiming the standards are bad, at least as it relates to marital fidelity, so I am not sure who you are talking about.
    You state “lefties” but who specifically, at least who is a respected politician, claims the standards are bad? Frankly, everyone who breaks their marriage vows is guilty of hypocrisy, but you and I know that is not the issue. It is the extreme hypocrisy that is bothersome, the people who go around at every opportunity condemning the actions of some all the while they are doing it themselves.
    Generally, this extreme hypocrisy is more a product of the Republican right since they claim all virtue as belonging to them. Democrats, generally, are more modest and humble as to their own sinful nature. (ha, of course I know this last line is rubbish, but I just wanted to repeat a Republican style of unsupported allegation).

  • Slide

    I don’t need politicians to be telling me about what they view as moral or immoral. They were not elected to be religious leaders but to legislate. They do it of course not because they have this strong moral code that they just have to share with us all, but as an electoral ploy. To try and be more “moral” than their opponent. The right is always trying to convince everyone that their “side” is more moral, more patriotic and even more “normal” as Newt Gingrich once famously said. Real America, they always claim to represent, unlike us heathens that live on the coasts. It really is so tiresome. So when one of them gets hoisted by their own petard well there is a certain amount of enjoyment in that.

  • Carney

    Terry, the Left moralizes all the time, on race especially, but also about the environment, economics, and more. It’s as eager, if not more so, to impose its personal, private morality on others as any social conservative – did you catch the huge Rand Paul dust-up recently?

    In any event, the “don’t legislate” morality trope is as empty-headed as many who parrot it. The existence of law is a reflection of a moral belief that liberty and order are preferable to tyranny and chaos. Every single law forces people to do something they would otherwise not do, and/or imposes a punishment for non-compliance; otherwise laws would be non-binding suggestions.

    I think the importance of hypocrisy is overrated. I usually don’t waste a lot of energy or time in amusement or indignation that Teddy Kennedy tried to block windfarms off the Nantucket Coast, that Al Gore is a huge energy hog whose family wealth is built on oil, or that the Clintons and Obama sent their kids to exclusive private schools.

  • Slide

    Carney, the difference between private morality and public morality should be self-evident even to you but judging from your post, apparently not.

  • LFC

    Terry, the Left moralizes all the time, on race especially, but also about the environment, economics, and more.

    There is a difference on moralizing about personal behavior versus policy that impacts all citizens. Gay marriage? That really has zero impact on heterosexuals. Being “God fearing”? That’s certainly personal. Cheating on your spouse? I think Easton pretty clearly pointed out that neither side approves of that, though the left is more likely to tsk, tsk it while the right is more likely to scream about it … at least if it’s done by a Democrat. For an example, think of David Vitter and his double standard between Bill Clinton’s affair and his own behavior.

    Contrast that to your examples. Race? I’d say that barring a group of people from participating in society (jobs, property rent/purchase, clubs, associations, etc.) is far from a personal choice. Environment? Ask the people downwind, downstream, or down aquifer about that. Economy? Well that impacts everybody. The lack of “moralizing” by the right set the stage for the current collapse. You could easily throw in universal health care onto your list.

    There is certainly left-wing moralizing, and some of the leftiest wanted to make various forms of expression they didn’t like illegal, but the right seems to currently be the biggest driver of their own form of political correctness.

  • TerryF98


    But these Conservative sex scandals are so much fun. All these people bonking some other guys wife husband or male friend. The diaper wearing Vitter was especially hilarious, then we had the foot tapper in the John that was great. And so many more inventive ways to destroy your “Family Values(tm)” reputation. The bondage Lesbian strip club was a hoot.

    That’s the thing about the sexual moral scolds. When they fail, and they do fail spectacularly it’s so much more newsworthy than some boring Democrat burning a bit too much oil.

  • RightKlik

    Flashback: Will Folks pleads guilty to criminal domestic violence………

    P.S. What the hell is “private morality?” Is domestic violence a question of private morality?

    Even “private” sex and family issues can have societal ramifications.

  • Slide

    RightKlik // May 24, 2010 at 2:28 pm: “Even “private” sex can have societal ramifications.”

    Really? I must be doing something wrong.

  • gmckee1985

    This guy/blogger is full of shit.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    mpolito wrote: “Just because someone who claims to adhere to standards cannot do so does not mean that those standards are bad. ”

    It doesn’t mean the standards are bad, but it probably means the standards are impossible and that we should no longer judge our politicians by them. If those persons who are the strongest believers in a standard are not, despite their best efforts, capable of meeting the standards, how can we reasonably expect others who are less committed to meet the standards?

    Basically, the GOP should quit trying to get voters to select a politician based on that politician’s commitment to some moral standard that no one is keeping. Instead, the GOP should try to attract voters based on the GOP’s governing policies. Oops, that won’t work either.

  • EdCoughlin

    Infidelity is actually at least as high (in some cases higher) among women then among men, women are just more clever in hiding it. Over 50% of women admit at one point or another cheating on their significant other. If you add in the likely respondent bias (since it is shameful to admit you’re a cheating woman many people likely lie) it is almost certainly well over half in reality.

    I bet this woman did cheat, an offense that is extra damning because she is so “pro family values” in public. I have no problem with infidelity unless its my wife, people can do what they want. I do have a problem with hypocrisy though which I see as a huge character issue. I care very little that she slept with some blogger (and I mean seriously, who worse to sleep with then a blogger? I mean on the list of people who can’t keep a secret aren’t bloggers near the top along with administration officials?) but I care a great deal that she is lying about it.

    She should admit it and take time off from politics to spend more time with her family, its the only honorable thing to do especially given her off the charts level of hypocrisy.

  • Slide

    gmckee1985 // May 24, 2010 at 2:56 pm: “This guy/blogger is full of shit.”

    He is a conservative blogger so you are probably correct.

  • Slide

    For those that are interested, there is a story in the Columbia Free Times which seems to confirm that they were working on the story for some time as Folks had indicated.

  • Sunny

    EdCoughlin wrote:

    “but I care a great deal that she is lying about it.”

    You know, it bothers me a great deal that it’s assumed true. I don’t know one way or the other, and neither does anyone else (except the parties immediately involved) but the nasty thing about this kind of accusation is there’s no way to refute it. It stands as gospel, irrespective of its actual truth value. And just two weeks before the primaries, too.

    On another Frum forum, Massa is saying Cheney and Petraeus planned a coup, despite that Petraeus has been consistent and unambiguous about having no intention to run for office. Does that stand as gospel as well?

    I don’t know whether it’s true or not. I do live in SC, and was leaning strongly toward Ms. Haley (though there’s another candidate I like as well, and a couple of decent Democratic candidates to boot), so I’m a little befuddled and looking for better information — which may not be possible to find, frankly. It’s just lousy either way.

  • sinz54

    No one knows their history anymore.

    In the 1980s, Helen Chenoweth, a married congresswoman from Idaho, admitted that she had had an affair with a rancher in her state for about six years.

  • Home come stuff like this doesn’t happen to me? | Political Byline

    [...] Air, National Review, CNN, RedState, No More Mister Nice Blog, The American Conservative, Mediaite, FrumForum, Talking Points Memo,, The Other McCain, Daily Kos, The Hill, The Daily Caller, [...]

  • How come stuff like this doesn’t happen to me? | Political Byline

    [...] Air, National Review, CNN, RedState, No More Mister Nice Blog, The American Conservative, Mediaite, FrumForum, Talking Points Memo,, The Other McCain, Daily Kos, The Hill, The Daily Caller, [...]

  • ltoro1

    He’s got nothing to gain from lying? Uh, did you see the Nikki Haley’s picture? Sounds more like Folks’ wishful thinking to me.

  • anniemargret

    There are too many ‘adults’ out there today, in and out of politics, who have the morals of an alley cat.

    Adultery is serious business. I don’t know squat if she did or not, but I’m taking the social conservative view on this, even though I’m liberal on most other issues.

    To me adultery is not a ‘mistake’ or ‘can happen to anyone’ nonsense. Adultery is a decision. Either you are committed to your marriage or you are not. Being attracted to another person is normal. Acting on it is another story . It also is about trust. Trust. Without it, no relationship can survive. A child trusts their parent to love and protect them and discipline them. A wife and husband trust each other. Adultery destroys trust. It destroys marriages. It destroys families.

    What are we giving to our children? What kind of flip of the wrist ho-hum idiocy is this? If she or any other politician runs for office and an adulterous affair is let out of the bag, then good riddance.

    Yes, I’m a minority of one these days about this. I’m sick of the me, myself and I’s who give no thought but to themselves and what they want, and then worry about the harm and hurt they’ve done to other after. It stinks.

  • ottovbvs

    ltoro1 // May 24, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    “He’s got nothing to gain from lying? …….. Sounds more like Folks’ wishful thinking to me.”

    …….well then you’d be rather naive…….he wouldn’t make this kind of a claim without some substance…’s only importance is that it reveals the hollowness yet again of the whole family values bs we get from the GOP……otherwise it’s an entirely private matter…..would that Republicans would lose their intense desire to involve themselves in people’s private affairs.

  • Sunny

    “…….well then you’d be rather naive…….he wouldn’t make this kind of a claim without some substance”

    That remains to be seen.

    As of yesterday afternoon, he was broadly hinting that emails and texts would verify his claim about an affair — which post immediately followed his post saying he wasn’t going to say any more about it.
    Also posted was a defense of his claim that mainstream news outlets were going to start leaking evidence — which defense was aknowledgement by a free, small, online newspaper that they were investigating rumors confirmed by anonymous sources. Which means the news story didn’t even come close to *becoming* a news story until he wrote about it. And the free online paper, it turns out, has apparently been used by Mr. Folks before to gin up a “news story” — which “news story” (generated by him) he could then spend a long time discussing on his blog.

    As to his defense that he’s been a supporter of Ms. Haley as the best person for the job, juxtaposed with his suitably contrite mea culpa to preserve his _integrity_, the best comment I’ve read on that pointed out that Mr. Folks called on Gov. Sanford to resign when the Argentinian affair came to light, saying he’d become a liability to the conservative cause. So if the allegations are true, it means Mr. Folks promoted Ms. Haley as the best person for the job, knowing she was vulnerable to the same kind of scandal for which he’d asked Mr. Sanford to resign.

    Whether it’s true or not, at this point Will Folks is nationally known, and his ad-selling blog is generating exponentially more hits, starting with the day of the confession when a huge banner ad by one of the *other* candidates for governor was displayed across the top.

  • Rob_654

    At least this Conservative committed adultery with a person of the opposite sex who was not a prostitute – I think we can all admit that that is at least a step-up from the usual Conservative who breaks the Seventh Commandment.

  • jquintana

    “I’m sick of the me, myself and I’s who give no thought but to themselves and what they want, and then worry about the harm and hurt they’ve done to other after. It stinks.”

    Well said, Annie.

  • easton

    From the Free Times (and it ain’t a cheesy blog, this looks like a legit paper)
    “In 2008, when Free Times asked Haley about her connection with Folks for a story about her House re-election bid, Haley became defensive. She said their relationship was strictly business. Folks did writing for her House re-election campaign when Boling left to work for John McCain’s South Carolina presidential primary effort, she said.

    Allegations of an affair between Haley and Folks have been swirling around the State House for more than a year, but until today nothing about it has been published.

    “There have been rumors about that,” said state Rep. Annette Young, a Dorchester County Republican, May 13. “I heard [it was Haley and] Will Folks.”

    Young wouldn’t say how she felt about the validity of it beyond confirming she’d heard it at the State House about a year ago. She said she wasn’t alone.

    “Ask anybody in the women’s caucus,” Young said.

    Other House members have confirmed they’d heard about an alleged affair between Haley and Folks, but did not want their names to appear in this story.

    “It’s not a secret,” said Columbia Democratic Rep. Todd Rutherford on May 13 while in the lobby of the legislative chambers. He added that other House members told him they’d heard such things, too.

    “It’s been going around for about a year,” he said. ”

    Nothing in this article is inflammatory, it is well written and sourced. I don’t believe Folks would have started the rumor a few years ago just in case Haley would one day run. It is likely people saw Haley and Folks together in such a way that sent up red flags but nothing conclusive (talking, laughing, standing a little bit too close together, etc.)

    The sad thing is it doesn’t mean she is guilty, women can enjoy flirting without ever doing anything, but she can’t admit even this. So she is either guilty (in which case she is likely going to be toast unless they were very, very careful in their assignations) or she is not guilty of anything more than being flirty (in which case she will be dogged by this from here on out)

    As to the likelihood of their being no relationship besides “strictly business” I don’t buy it at all.

  • Slide

    oh, oh…. the dreaded text messages might be a problem for Haley.

    “The website of the prominent South Carolina blogger who claims he had an “inappropriate physical relationship” with gubernatorial front-runner Nikki Haley is claiming in a new post that there are five years worth of emails, voicemails, and text messages between the two — though the site, FITSNews, isn’t saying much about what the correspondence reveals.”

  • LFC

    Over in “the hotbox” on the right, the lead headline is “Palin Defends Haley Over Affair Allegations”. That means Palin is speaking strongly and authoritatively about a topic for which she does not have the facts. What a shock. That only describes just about every other subject she’s ever spoken about.

  • anniemargret

    Thanks, jquintana. Glad you agree.

  • MaxTwain

    Seems like a rumor that Folks has been cultivating for a while.

    He has a strange stalker obsession with her, including a youtube video he made a year ago where an animated version of him talks about assaulting Haley.

    the fact that the press would run with allegations with ZERO evidence shows how desperate old media is becoming to stay ahead of blogs, to the detriment of our society.

    can’t imagine that the AP would take the word of a blogger with a domestic violence background over the word of a Democrat candidate. Would never happen in a million years.