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A conservative political blogger says he banged South Carolina Republican candidate Nikki Haley — a Tea Party sweetheart endorsed by Sarah Palin — while serving as her speechwriter and communications specialist.
Will Folks claims the affair happened in 2007 but Haley says she never slept with Folks and calls his allegations “quite simply South Carolina politics at its worst.”
Folks publishes FITSNews.Com, a blog that features politics, scantily clad women and other news. He was charged with criminal domestic violence in 2005 and cut a deal with prosecutors. At the time he worked for former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford but left the administration and became a political consultant in addition to starting his conservative blog.
The truth in this case is what it is. Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki.
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.
It is what it is, and aside from the Haley family – Michael, Nikki, Rena and Nalin – I feel no need to apologize or explain myself to anyone. People are human. We make mistakes. And as I have learned from experience, the key to life isn’t the mistakes we make, it’s how we choose to handle them.
Folks claimed he went public because Haley’s political enemies had uncovered the affair and were ready to go public.
Haley says the whole thing is a smear.
“I have been 100 percent faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage,” Haley said Monday. “This claim against me is totally false.”
Folks’ web site is frequently attacked for what opponents call “thinly sourced” stories about South Carolina politics and for its fondness of photos of women in bikinis and revealing attire.
Political scientiest Neal Thigpen told The Associated Press that most people won’t believe Folks because of his reputation but said the allegations can still hurt the candidate.
“If it’s Nikki’s word against Will Folks, I know who I’d believe, but something like this can do her great damage,” he added.