Friday, January 13, 2012

Haley Watch: More More More

For the record, I am ambivalent about linking Will Folks' Republican blog, FITSnews.

Folks is the blogger who claims he got into [South Carolina Governor] Nikki Haley's pants, before she reached her current levels of megastardom. I tend to believe him, simply because I want to... and because he and the governor were "good friends" and close political associates at one point (he didn't invent this out of whole cloth). I certainly haven't seen this accusation bring him any goodies. Quite the opposite. As a Republican blogger, you don't print sex rumors about a beloved Republican rising star without encountering a lot of conservative anger. The subject of haters throughout the state, Will Folks has had to stand up to the kind of scrutiny that makes most accusers melt into a puddle... and he hasn't. Instead, he has been emboldened. He continually threatens a tell-all book about their affair, and has stayed on Nikki's trail like the proverbial bloodhound. (Hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned!) As a result, FITSnews has all the goods on our governor. Will has stepped into the breach and made Haley-watching his CALLING.

Unfortunately, another result: Will has found it necessary to double down and get dirty, which is too bad. There is a rather disgusting, old-boys-network, locker-room vibe in the comments on Will's blog, and for that I heartily apologize. Like me, he rarely deletes anyone, even the people who hate him, so it's all right there, including the nastiness. The guys like to make nasty sexual remarks about Haley, and although Will himself rarely does, his claims about Haley have been the overall catalyst. Like most bloggers, he seeks high-traffic, so he allows it. He shouldn't, but then, it's his blog. But the continued tolerance of nastiness DOES say something about him, which I don't think he quite realizes: It compromises his account of events. Would designer-clothes-clad Nikki crawl into an SUV and copulate with such a FRAT BOY? The more the pesky frat boy-vibe triumphs at FITSnews, the less believable Will Folks' account is.

And yes, I WANT people to believe him. I think he is telling the truth. I think he felt USED by a candidate, who screwed him primarily for political support and good press. And she then left him twisting slowly, slowly in the wind, and he was furious as a result. So, he decided to go after her and make her his raison d'être. In his position, I might have done the same.

This has made for a great blog, with tips coming in across the land, but it has also made for a blog with too much sexual (and sexist) innuendo, which sometimes tips over into racism as well (since Haley is Asian, the first nonwhite governor in SC). He needs to get a handle on that shit if he wants to be taken seriously and go nationwide, which he could. GO BIG OR GO HOME, Will. Grow up and leave the locker room, and muckraking fame could well be yours.

Having said all that, I will now link FITSnews, with the appropriate CAVEATS. Beware misogyny in comments, or just skip the comments. Will's reporting itself is not offensive, except of course for his subject matter: Nikki Haley herself is plenty offensive.

Bold type is from FITSnews.

:: Federal probe into Nikki Haley "Family Temple" Expands - A federal investigation into the finances of the Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina – the temple where S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s parents, Dr. Ajit S. “Doc” Randhawa and Raj Randhawa worship – has expanded to include the governor’s personal and campaign finances, multiple sources familiar with the ongoing probe tell FITS.

Specifically, agents are said to be investigating whether Haley and her husband, Michael, received improper payments from the temple – allegations which have revived lingering questions about discrepancies between the couple’s meager pre-gubernatorial income and the lavish lifestyle they enjoyed.

Haley is a former Sikh Religious Society board member as well as the former accountant for the temple. Randhawa, her father, is the current president of the congregation.

In addition to a 2010 scam in which Randhawa allegedly doled out tax receipts to donors in excess of the amounts they actually contributed to the temple, agents are also said to be investigating allegations of possible financial “co-mingling” between the temple and Haley’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

:: The Nikki Haley “Family Temple” Files - FITSnews managed to get their hands on the actual pdf files. ((applause))

:: More “Haleynomics?” - The original FITSnews story about the Sikh temple, right before the 2010 election. Prescient as always, Will correctly informs us this won't influence the election, but "could possibly have far-reaching implications beyond it." We can only hope.

:: Sources: Feds Investigating Randhawa - The temple’s poor fiscal management is nothing new. According to Richland County court filings the Sikh Religious Society has been sued four times since March 2010 – including actions to foreclose and debts totaling $116,000. In a court filing dated October 15, 2010, the temple was given a twenty-day notice of an impending lawsuit regarding a lien placed on its property by Hardaway Concrete Company – one of several contractors that is suing the temple for non-payment of invoices.

In addition to failing to pay its debts, there are also questions about how “Doc” Randhawa has managed the temple’s books.

Until last October, shortly before FITS began making inquiries regarding the temple, contributions earmarked for the project were sent directly to Ajit Randhawa’s residence, however in recent months the congregation has been asked to “make a deposit direct to BB&T” and “call your friends and relatives to donate.”

Speaking of donations, one of the sources we spoke with told us that Randhawa has a history of providing donors with tax receipts that are in excess of cash contributions made to the organization – which if true would be highly illegal.

Also – and this is the most damaging allegation – several congregation members claim that Randhawa may have illegally funneled money intended for the temple into his daughter’s gubernatorial campaign.

Needless to say, this story has not really hit the major press AT ALL, except for some passing mentions here and there. The Republican star-machine is busy prepping Nikki for Italian Vogue, and seem to regard this little investigation as just that, little.

We'll see, won't we?

Good work, Will.


West said...

C'mon man,... I got a name for this... It is called Haleyating... Pronounced Hay-Lee-ate-ting...You are just a hater...

Danny said...

Hold up. So a female politician seems to be tied up in a sex scandal and she hasn't been ruined as some would say happens to women politicians?

(Fun fact: My verification word is slyme.)

DaisyDeadhead said...

Danny, yes... I think being Republican and Family Values blah blah, seems to be intrinsic to that, can hardly imagine a Democrat emerging unscathed. (of either gender, in this state)

Just a Metalhead said...

Danny, Danny, Danny... it's not about gender... it's about political affiliation. Republicans can do it, no problem, but Democrats will not escape it and their own party will throw them under a bus.

How else do you explain how Newt Gingrich, who likely cheated on, then divorced his wife when she had cancer, can still be a "respectable" public figure, but John Edwards has become a nationwide pariah? Or how Anthony Weiner was pushed out of his seat (with Democrats saying "if I were him, I'd resign" until he did), just for posting pics of himself naked to other people.

Laci The Dog said...

Kama Kama Kama Sutra with me!
Kama Kama Kama Sutra with me!
Kama Kama Kama Sutra with me!