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We’ve had our fun over the years with Wesley Donehue, the bow tie-wearing RINO hack who runs the website Process Story as one of several web-based services for his client roster.

Wesley is a friendly, funny enough guy – once you realize you can’t trust anything he says or writes (case in point – his website’s “big scoop” last week about former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee).

People who haven’t come to grips with Wesley’s innate aversion to honesty tend to dislike him immensely … but we’ve come to view him as a most entertaining liar. A political contortionist of truth, if you will, whose antics can be enjoyed (and occasionally even used to your advantage) provided you’re willing to “suspend belief.”

He’s also got a compelling personal story that he milks for every drop of value  … something about growing up on the wrong side of the tracks and being a self-made man.

Anyway, our founding editor has been a semi-regular target of Wesley’s over the years – although the caffeine-addled, iPad-toting operative can’t seem to stop praising Sic Willie effusively even when he’s supposed to be slamming him.

What is it they say on Twitter? “#Subtlemancrush?”

To wit …

“There is little doubt that Will Folks is the king of South Carolina’s blogosphere …”

“Will dominates Palmetto State politics, often framing the debate on issues and controlling buzz around the state house …”

“Everyone at the State House reads him. Every legislator, lobbyist and staffer. I go on the floor of the Senate and at any one time at least 10 legislators has FITS pulled up on their laptops.”

Damn, dude … we usually have to pay extra for that kind of reach-around.

Of course the web traffic that Donehue gets every time he references “Will Folks” or “FITSNews” doesn’t distinguish between praise and criticism… and it makes perfect sense for Wesley to pick fights with larger websites like ours (every time we respond, he gets hits).

Seriously, if only Sic Willie could grasp the virtue of not responding …

Anyway, the latest skirmish in this battle of unevenly-matched combatants involves a rumor (peddled by Donehue) that FITS was paid not to publish a story about a decade-old affair involving Bill Connor – a former candidate for S.C. Lt. Governor (and current candidate for SCGOP chairman).

In fact one of Donehue’s “reporters,” Wes Wolfe, contacted us last week investigating this rumor.

“Hey – I’m working on a post for Process Story that’s regarding Katie Parham asking on you to sit on a story, and that you’re being compensated for sitting on that story,” Wolfe emailed us. “Do you have any comment on that?”

Katie Parham, for those of you who don’t know, is the woman who engaged in an affair with Connor nine years ago. She’s married now, and out of respect for her new family we chose not to drag her name into our previous coverage of their relationship – a rare exercise of discretion on our part that has now landed us at the heart of an elaborate conspiracy.

Wait … “previous coverage?” Isn’t Donehue alleging that we are being “compensated” to “sit on” this story?

Yeah … the only problem with that theory is that FITS first broke the story of the Connor affair rumor nearly a year ago. Since then, we have referenced the rumor in no fewer than three stories, the latest of which specifically indicated that we had received “first-hand confirmation” of its veracity.

Donehue must have missed all of that, because he Tweeted on Tuesday that his website was “chasing down claims that (FITSNews is) sitting on a story for money.” Not only that, an even more malicious follow-up rumor alleged that our founding editor was having an affair with Parham himself (which is the alleged back story for why he declined to publish her name).

Good heavens …

Both rumors – like previous “pay to say” allegations lobbed at FITS – are false. In fact, we said as much on the record to both Wolfe and Donehue in response to their inquiries a week ago.

Why are these rumors being lobbed at us?

As far as we can tell, the allegations are designed to influence Saturday’s vote for SCGOP chairman – a particularly nasty contest that our website has covered sporadically but refused to opine on (owing to the fact that we’re not Republicans and don’t really care who Republicans choose as their next party chairman).

Frankly, we’re just sad that Karen Floyd (and her assets) are stepping down from this otherwise forgettable post …