Nikki Haley says she’s victim of ‘dirty blogger politics’ again

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says she’s being smeared once again by another blogger posting “lies” and spreading “trash” about her online.

“Sorry fellas,” Haley wrote on her Facebook page Thursday. “I’m not going anywhere no matter how many lies you put on a blog.”

Haley’s comments are in response to a report by The Palmetto Public Record, a South Carolina political blog, that she could be indicted in a federal investigation soon. She has denounced the post as totally false.

The blog said she could be indicted in federal court over the finances of the Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina, a worship center her family is involved with, “as early as this week.”

The Republican governor and possible vice presidential nominee in 2012 described the blog report — sourced to “two well-placed legal experts” and a “highly ranked federal official” — as “trash.”

The Daily Caller was among the outlets who reported on the blog post Thursday.

“The days of dirty blogger politics will come to an end when people stop paying these guys to spread trash,” she said. (RELATED: More on Nikki Haley)

In an interview with TheDC on Friday, Tim Pearson, Haley’s chief of staff, elaborated by saying that the indictment rumors can’t be true because federal authorities haven’t contacted Haley about an investigation. He also told TheDC that Haley has not received any sort of target letter that would be typical of such a federal investigation.

“No one has asked to sit down with her and interview her,” Pearson continued. “There’s been no contact because the investigation doesn’t exist. You can’t have an indictment without an investigation. So all of this stuff is just totally false.”

He also added that federal authorities have not contacted Haley’s parents, either.

After outlets reported on the post and it spread across the Internet on Thursday, Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey told TheDC that it’s a “sad in this day and age when anyone can post un-sourced nonsense on blogs and the mainstream media runs with it.”

“No truth to this whatsoever — it’s as real as the tooth fairy,” he said.

Rumors have spread since the Internal Revenue Service sent a letter in March 2011 to the Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina informing them that they would audit the organization.

Haley told The State newspaper in Columbia that she’s never been involved with the society.

“I have never kept their books. I’ve never made deposits. I never signed checks. I never did financial statements,” Haley said. “This is a church that I don’t go to. There are no issues related to me and that church.”

Asked about Palmetto Public Record editor Logan Smith — who wrote the story — Pearson told TheDC that his information is likely coming from someone who has “manufactured” the issue to try to hurt Haley.

Smith, a former web producer for a Columbia news station, did not return repeated requests  to respond to these comments from TheDC.

Haley has a history of battling it out with bloggers in the Palmetto State: During her campaign for governor in 2010, a well-known blogger took to his website to write that he had an affair with her, though he could never prove it.

Haley called the allegations false, suggesting it was the product of dirty politics.

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