National Politics - 2016

Marco Rubio Versus Nikki Haley

DRAMA IN THE “REPUBLICAN” ESTABLISHMENT There’s an interesting column in Buzzfeed this week by reporter McKay Coppins seeking to revive a narrative that’s been pretty much dead during the 2016 election cycle. Coppins’ column is all about South Carolina’s reputation for dirty politics – which has (so far) been flying under the radar…

DRAMA IN THE “REPUBLICAN” ESTABLISHMENT

There’s an interesting column in Buzzfeed this week by reporter McKay Coppins seeking to revive a narrative that’s been pretty much dead during the 2016 election cycle.

Coppins’ column is all about South Carolina’s reputation for dirty politics – which has (so far) been flying under the radar in the run-up to February’s “First in the South” presidential primary election.  Specifically, his focus is on the various operatives working for (or in support of) the presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.  Among them?  Warren Tompkins, Terry Sullivan and Wesley Donehue.

During the mid-2000s, these operatives combined to comprise the most potent political force in South Carolina – and in 2010 they appeared to have hitched their stars to the next governor of the Palmetto State, then-U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett.  Appearances were deceiving, though.  Barrett’s gubernatorial bid was undone by the sudden rise of then-S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley – whose long shot campaign received a key financial boost from then-S.C. governor Mark Sanford.

As she rose in the polls, the knives came out for Haley … who at the time was campaigning as a Tea Party leader on her staunch fiscally conservative legislative record (yeah … how times have changed).

Specifically, Haley’s enemies seized upon … us.  Well, our founding editor Will Folks.

In May 2010, under intense pressure from pushy operatives and prying media, Folks confirmed what everyone in Palmetto political circles had known for years – that in early 2007 he had engaged in an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Haley.  He later provided text messages confirming the extent to which Haley’s political enemies – and the media – were pursuing the story.

This is where Coppins’ narrative picks up …

But while Folks got most of the blame — and attention— for the anti-Haley “smear” at the time, five South Carolina sources told BuzzFeed News that rival GOP operatives were aggressively circulating the rumors for weeks before the blogger went public. They said the driving force behind the gossip during that frenetic stage of the race was the Gresham Barrett campaign — where Sullivan was working as a consultant.

“There was no doubt among the political establishment in Columbia that the Barrett campaign — through Terry Sullivan’s witchcraft that he practices — was getting [the rumors] out,” said one former state party official.

Asked about these claims, Sullivan denied that there was ever a coordinated effort by the Barrett campaign to smear Haley. He conceded that their campaign spokesman, B.J. Bolling, was caught gossiping about the rumors off the record with politicos in the state — including at least one reporter — but Sullivan said he immediately benched the aide when he found out.

“I told him he would be fired if he discussed it with anyone else. … Not surprisingly, pretty much every reporter who called wanted to talk about it,” Sullivan said. “Everyone in the state was talking about it. But to my knowledge he never proactively discussed it with reporters. The campaign put him on paid leave and turned his duties over to someone else.”

(A former Barrett campaign official described Bolling’s efforts to disseminate the adultery rumors as somewhat more calculated, but added that Sullivan — who spent much of the 2010 election cycle consulting for a second, out-of-state campaign — was likely never looped in on those plans.)

Interesting …

What Coppins’ report neglected to mention (which is pretty curious considering how deep in the weeds he went on all this 2010 mudslinging) is that B.J. Boling (it’s spelled with one “L,” dude) was in a unique position to know about the Haley affar.

How come?  Easy: He worked for Haley while it was happening, and she reportedly confided in him about it.

(Boling vanished from the Palmetto political scene almost immediately after the Haley affair story broke).

Of course Coppins can’t even spell Boling’s name correctly, so we probably shouldn’t have expected him to make that sort of connection.

Anyway, here’s more from Coppins on Team Rubio’s connections to the 2010 “smear …”

Meanwhile, Donehue was more deliberate in his attempts to dig up dirt about the supposed Haley affair and hype his “findings” to reporters and GOP insiders, according to sources. He wasn’t working directly for the Barrett campaign, but he did work at Sullivan’s firm and he functioned like a super-charged volunteer for Haley’s opponent — working the phones, gathering intel, and dangling the latest rumors in front of other politicos.

Donehue admits now to “gossiping about the rumors,” but insists, “I certainly did not start them, or intentionally spread them.”

But in a series of text messages he exchanged with FITSNews’s Folks in May 2010 — days before the blogger published his allegation — Donehue seemed to suggest he had more control over the rumormongering than he now lets on.

In one of the messages (which were first published at FITSNews, and have since been authenticated by BuzzFeed News), Donehue wrote to Folks, “Here my promise to you, man to man. If you tell me that a story will fuck your marriage, I’ll do everything in my power to kill it.” In another, Donehue said, “I didn’t start this. I just told too many people that it was happening.” And in yet another, he boasted, “If I wanted [Haley] gone I would have already done it.”

“I was just trying to help,” Donehue says now of those texts. “But the truth is there was nothing I could do to kill the rumor because I wasn’t the one spreading it and I didn’t know who was.”

The text messages also feature an ongoing exchange between Folks and senior Haley adviser Tim Pearson from May 2010. At the time, Folks was still on good terms with Haley and appeared to be working with her aides to debunk the rumors. The messages clearly show that Haley’s camp believed that the strategists who now work for Rubio were fueling the infidelity rumors at the time — and the resulting contempt isn’t difficult to discern.

At one point, after Folks warned that Donehue was threatening to release evidence of the “affair,” Pearson replied, “Can you fuck donehue up?”

Hmmm …

Obviously the most interesting part of this story isn’t the revival of rumors about Haley’s affair with Folks, it’s the box she finds herself in as the 2016 race unfolds.

South Carolina’s governor – who is enjoying a surge in popularity in recent months – has been on the leading edge of the GOP establishment’s attacks against Donald Trump.  She’d hoped to endorse the presidential bid of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker – but his campaign imploded.  Meanwhile the establishment’s top choice – former Florida governor Jeb Bush – also appears to be dead in the water.

That leaves Rubio as the only credible establishment option for Haley – who is eager to boost her national profile by playing kingmaker in South Carolina this election cycle.

***

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41 comments

jimlewisowb October 26, 2015 at 10:22 am

Lost the story line about three paragraphs in –

Lost track of which Cockroach was out Cockroaching the other Cockroaches

Fuckin’ Cockroaches

Reply
well-i-am into it October 26, 2015 at 10:33 am

Yep, I lost the storyline in two paragraphs. Sounds like Mr.Folks’s brain gets drenched in a rush of hormones each time he reminisces about the now world-famous Haley-Folks “physical relationship”. There is too much excitement in the prose, without much sense of direction in the post. Say I am right, Will.

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Let’s give Will some credit – – he may be back to working on his “book” ..!!

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 12:09 pm

yep …

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Memo to Will: Never let a computer know you’re in a hurry.

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The Colonel October 26, 2015 at 10:24 am

“…Haley’s enemies seized upon … us. Well, our founding editor Will Folks…”

“Seized upon…us” ah, the “plurals of majesty” or is it “delusions of grandeur”?

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YallCalmDown October 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

Thanks, Colonel. That sums it up quite nicely.

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Satan October 26, 2015 at 11:57 am

Nikki is enjoying a surge in popularity, because she’s started doing things that are popular with most people. Like ditching that silly flag. Believe it or not, most people don’t like racists.

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The Colonel October 26, 2015 at 12:04 pm

I’d agree that her leadership on the flag and the flood is helping her political capital, I’m just wondering where she got the backbone for the flag issue… I voted for her – twice. I’ve just been real disappointed with her on fiscal issues, infrastructure and providing real leadership in the governance of the state.

We didn’t hire her to run for other offices, we hired her to lead the state.

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

– – – from the guy holding up her rear?

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Satan October 26, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Why would a smart woman with ambitions stay in SC? There’s no challenge or great reward to be had by staying in a state that is nothing more than an afterthought or joke. The only thing the people of SC have to offer Nikki is a stepping stone to better things. Good for her.

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The Colonel October 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm

I’m all about ambition and wanting to seek bigger and better challenges – but the normal way you do that is by working hard at the job you have and doing the right thing regardless of the circumstances.

Satan October 26, 2015 at 1:31 pm

We’re talking about American politics.
The ‘normal way’ is for the voters to live with.

The Colonel October 26, 2015 at 1:36 pm

sadly…

Rocky Verdad October 26, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Davis and the Senate.

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Columbia Insider October 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm

That’s pretty much true. Davis and a couple others came out strong for it to come down and the next day Haley did, too.

shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 12:07 pm

The article could have told all in about 100 words, I think. That Chinese intern must be back (WLTX – State Paper – Fitsnews – – – )

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The Colonel October 26, 2015 at 12:12 pm

My version is 125 words, leave out the snarkiness and you’re at 100 easy.

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 12:15 pm

thanks… sort of like the State Paper reporter who was so intellectually superior that his articles had to be constantly cut down. So he finally figured it out for his headline about the guy who escaped from Bull Street and raped a woman in the neighborhood. The headline read:

“NUT BOLTS SCREWS”

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 12:51 pm

There was a young man from Japan, whose poetry would never scan;
when he was asked why, this man would reply,

“Well, I try to squeeze every significant
syllable into that tricky last line that I possibly can”.

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Rocky Verdad October 26, 2015 at 1:09 pm

I still can’t figure out what the flippin’ story is really supposed to be about. Rubio is “the kid” and Haley is the “whatever” – ?

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The Colonel October 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm

I think “Us” (Will) felt the need to remind us that he once got a “Lewinsky” from the gubernor (at least in “their” mind). The gist of the real story is that HRH Will, thinks that Rubio is the only real Republican candidate.

9" October 26, 2015 at 10:33 am

Like most PTSD victims,Fits is reliving his episode w/Haley over and over.My God,the woman is a piranha

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 2:20 pm

I cut Will some slack on his book, because I have the same problem with osme of my writing. Sometimes I just can’t follow through on the thought at hand — here’s an example:

—————————————————————————–

WHEN BROADS WERE BROADS (page 265) …{ DRAFT #9 }

————————-
The door was opened by a glamorous blonde in a negligee. Her eyes were blue and her breasts substantial.

He showed his badge. I’m Detective Ripper from the 21st
Precinct. Are you Miss Thricejoy? I heard you have some information for me.”

“Yes. Please come in. Would you like a drink?”

“I don’t drink on duty.”

“Do you sit down on duty?”

He walked across the room and sat on the sofa. “What’s the information?”

She sat opposite him on a chair, and when she crossed her legs he could see she wasn’t wearing underwear. She wasn’t a real blonde either. “Actually I wanted to talk about Clarence, who you arrested last night. I wonder if
you’d consider dropping your charges against him.”

“What’s he to you?”

She looked him squarely in the eye. “He’s my boyfriend.”

“You’d better find another boyfriend, because he is going away for a long time.”

She stood up, pulled a piece of lace, and her negligee fell away. She was naked as hell and beautiful as heaven.
“Are you sure there isn’t anything I can do to change your mind?”

He reached down and unzipped his fly. “I don’t know. What can you do?”

She walked toward him tantalizingly, dropped to her knees, and reached for his

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Today I received a short review of a bootleg copy of Will’s book (such as it is to date) from my friend Rod Serling, who writes ……

“ My honest opinion is that it is the recollections of one Will Folks with appropriate flashbacks and soliloquy. Or more simply stated, the evolution of a losing lover. The cycle of going from dessert to dust. The metamorphosis from
being a potential “Beau Ideal” to an ingredient in someone’s soup. Henry, this can only happen …… in the Twilight Zone.”

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Worked there too October 26, 2015 at 10:50 am

I worked at the Capitol in2007-2012. Everybody was aware of the Haley/Folks affair. No one thought much about it, she was a bland, below average Legislator and “sport sex” is the norm.

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teddy October 26, 2015 at 10:58 am

Rubio can’t win shiite, I mean shit.

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LOL October 26, 2015 at 11:06 am

Got to love these republicans and their family values.
CDV. Sleeping with a married woman.
Stay classy, guys.

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The Buzzman October 26, 2015 at 11:26 am

All the carping from the carping crew here aside, this is pretty much an understated post from Will. No doubt, though, that it won’t be the last one on the subject — as more details emerge.

He buried several possible ledes, within the text of the post. As the headline and lede stand, they could pass for any other post on any other day, about SCGOP pols, their operatives, and the ravenous mainstream press (here and nationally) playing politics as the blood sport that it is.

Geez, give him credit for some restraint, why don’tcha?

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Superfly October 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Tard Terry, BJ (aptly initialed) Boling, and Bowtied fag Donehue, who is desperate to outrun his genetic coding. Not to mention one of the scummiest of all scumbags to ever walk the planet, who takes the elevator up every morning to crawl out of the gutter, in Warren Tompkins. What remains beyond me, is why anyone would *want* to spend time with any of those douchebags, let alone *pay* them, and have to interact with those losers. I know they all think they’ve all got the world by its tail, and think themselves to be uber-successful, that demonstrates of course, just how small their world, and world-view really is.

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm

You have some interesting phrasing there, bro, which I like. Is that you on the right doing a Mr. Bojangles imitation?

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Superfly October 26, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Thankfully not me doing the dance, but the nitty gritty is that I’ve had the unfortunate experience of spending some time around them. Those days I was doing some work for others that likewise employed them to conduct certain aspects of their political ventures. Ultimately I had to tell them that they’d have to find someone else to polish those turds.

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Sometimes reputation and pride is more valuable that “sure $$$” – I’ve been there…..

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The Buzzman October 26, 2015 at 12:43 pm

You are pretty harsh on my distant cousin several times removed, Warren Tompkins. That branch of the Tompkins/Thompkins clan just never were right in the haid. The boy cain’t hep it.

You nailed it on bowtie boy and the others

Barrett found The Lord, of course (I think he was at the bottom of a gin bottle, he’s tricky like that) — so by SC Law, and the SC Christian Conservative Republican Confederacy Code of Retroactive Sanctification, he has been Bathed In The Blood and cleansed of all heinous political bugfuckery.

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Bible Thumper October 26, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Haley took care of Barrett, Bower and Folks. It’s just a matter of time for any others that may rise high enough to concern Haley.

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Superfly October 26, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Warren is too clever by half. The other three stooges are still in training, but with their low character, all they need is continued opportunity to inherit his clients, and riding his coattails to others, all the way to the gates of hell.

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shifty henry October 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Re comments and criticisms about the structure of the article:

It doesn’t bother me at all because I always have with me one of my favorite books —

“How to Speed Read by Strobe Light”

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TroubleBaby October 26, 2015 at 2:25 pm

How funny is it that a guy named “BJ” was spreading rumors about the affair?

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Lindsey October 26, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Marco can be my houseboy anytime.

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Bible Thumper October 26, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Ole Abe doesn’t appear to be to impressed with that group.

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Mickey October 26, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Donahue takes lithium everyday to keep him stable. He misses many days.

Reply

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