We’re so used to seeing powerful men, especially “family values” conservatives, caught having affairs that it comes as something of a surprise to hear a woman accused of it. The woman in this case is Nikki Haley, Republican candidate to replace Mark Sanford, who has his own adultery scandal, as governor of South Carolina. A blogger/journalist named Will Folks claims he had a long affair with Haley, who has been married for 13 years.
Haley, currently a state rep in South Carolina, is a religious right, family values conservative all the way. Sarah Palin has endorsed her candidacy and a commercial they cut together invokes the idea that “through the grace of God all things are possible.” Including, perhaps, cheating on her husband.
Haley firmly denies the affair, but Folks now says he has 5 years worth of text messages, voicemails and emails to prove it.
Here’s what the new post on FITSNews — written with no byline — claims about the text messages: “All we can tell you for now is that the record of correspondence between the two of them began on November 20, 2005 – with an email sent at 8:33 a.m. from Haley’s State House email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to Will Folks’ personal address (email@example.com) in which Haley complimented Folks on an article he had written praising her gubernatorial ambitions.”
It continues: “That four-and-a-half year record of correspondence ended on Saturday, May 22, 2010 – three days ago – with a text message sent from Folks’ cell phone to Haley’s cell phone at 1:04 p.m. alerting her to the fact that he had been placed in a position where he felt that he had no choice but to address the rumors regarding their relationship on his website.”
The site claims “a lot” happened in the period between those two dates, and that Haley “even refers to herself as the ‘Texting Queen,’ a reference to her favorite band, Abba.”
I imagine Folks is waiting for the best offer to come in to release those records. But if and when he does, Haley’s career could come crashing down. Palin, however, is sticking by her:
“South Carolina: don’t let some blogger make any accusation against your Nikki if the guy doesn’t even have the guts or the integrity to speak further on such a significant claim,” wrote Palin.
If he does speak further, this could look pretty bad for Palin too.