Yesterday I mentioned the rumors sweeping South Carolina political circles that Gov. Nikki Haley might be the target of a federal indictment for tax fraud in connection with her family’s handling of contributions to build a Sikh worship center. Here’s what Haley had to say in denying the rumors:
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s effort to put down rumors of an imminent indictment on tax charges entered a new, more aggressive phase late Thursday when she sought to frame the furor as the byproduct of unaccountable, unethical new media.
“Sorry fellas. I’m not going anywhere no matter how many lies you put on a blog,” Haley wrote. “The days of dirty blogger politics will come to an end when people stop paying these guys to spread trash.”
Presumably, Haley is referring to a series of reports published by The Palmetto Public Record, a left-leaning political blog that few people had even heard of until this week.
The website – run by a former WIS TV 10 (Columbia, S.C. – NBC) new media editor – rocked the Palmetto political world on Thursday with a post alleging that Haley was about to be indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on tax charges.
Ironically, the only source I’ve found for Haley’s shot at “dirty blogger politics”–in which I am presumably complicit even though I went out of my way to say I had no idea if the rumors had any basis in reality–is FitsNews, run by Will Folks, the very blogger who threw Haley’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign into turmoil by alleging he’d had illicit relations with the candidate back when he was on her payroll.
As it happens, in an interesting twist of timing, Haley is releasing an autobiography next week that among other things provides her side of the story about her relationship with Folks.
But what I find most noteworthy about Haley’s response to “dirty blogger politics” in the current furor is the principal complaint she makes about the impact, according to Gina Smith of The State newspaper:
“When I go out to meet with companies and try to bring them to this state, these are the stories they’re reading. They’re reading the stories you write. They don’t need to read about possible indictments,” Haley said, referring to unsubstantiated Web reports Thursday that indictments were imminent in the tax matter.
It seems that Haley’s pledges to make her state union-free, and to get rid of corporate taxes, just aren’t enough to lure “investors” to South Carolina if they suspect the executive offering them inducements might not be in office for very long.
Well, I can’t speak for all the “dirty bloggers” of America, but Lord knows I’d hate to complicate Haley’s brave efforts to make South Carolina the race-to-the-bottom capital of the country. I’ll shut up about her unless indictments come down, and let her get back to her noble work of selling out the people of her state.