Conspiracy theory: He’s trying to get Nikki elected

First, let me answer a question of Bud’s:

THAT’s how fed up I am with tawdriness.

Then why do you keep writing and talking about it? It’s your blog, you can ignore it.

Simple: No more important question lies before this blog than that of who will be our next governor. It is of supreme importance that we do a much, much better of choosing than we have in recent elections.

And there is one candidate who will come closest to exactly duplicating what we have now. That is Nikki Haley. Nikki Haley becoming governor is the single worst likely outcome we could have in this election. So anything that bears upon her chances is important.

And you know what? I think this sordid nonsense is helping her. Which brings me to a rather silly conspiracy theory: What if this is Will Folks’ way of helping Nikki Haley get elected?

Frankly, I don’t believe Will is capable of that kind of sublety, that level of subterfuge, “a feint within a feint within a feint.” So put me on record as not believing what I’m supposing here.

But the weird thing is that nothing else fits the facts — nothing other than simply believing Will when he says he was backed into making this revelation by The Free Times, and didn’t intend for it to cause such a splash.

Nikki says he’s lying. She denies the revolting allegation categorically. And when it comes to a “he-said, she-said” contest between Will Folks and a lady, I choose to believe the lady.

But that creates another problem. If she’s the one telling the truth, that means he’s lying outright. And answer this: What would be his motivation? I do not doubt for a moment that Nikki Haley IS his preferred candidate; no one else would even come close. Will might not seem to believe in much, but near as I can tell, to the extent that he believes in anything, it’s the anti-government extremism that Mark Sanford and Nikki Haley embody.

So why would he lie (if indeed he is lying) to harm her? I can’t imagine why.

But what if lying helps her? What if telling a loathsome lie, one meant to be seen through, is intended to play to the paranoia of her base, the people who cheer loudest for Sarah Palin when she’s cheerfully complaining about how elites pick on her? Those folks won’t distinguish between Will and the “liberal media.” They won’t care that the MSM is being led along as helpless as a child on this (they can’t ignore something that affects Nikki’s viability any more than I can), by someone who can only be credibly described as a Haley ally — someone who is, indeed, a “conservative” by their definition of the word.

Nikki loves playing Joan of Arc at the stake, the pure one being persecuted by the corrupt powers that be. This is her idiom, her strong suit. Not to mention the fact that this has sucked up all the political oxygen for two days at a critical time in the campaign, and right as she is at the height of her strength.

Anyway, bottom line: I don’t believe in this conspiracy theory, even as I present it to you. (And it will be easily exploded the minute Will presents credible support for his allegation, if he has any.) But I don’t believe in any of the other explanations, either. Maybe by throwing this one out there, it will cause someone else to think of an explanation that truly fits the facts, one that makes us all go, “Oh yeah!” and set this thing aside.

So that we can go back to considering Nikki Haley on her merits. That way, I think South Carolina comes out ahead.

29 thoughts on “Conspiracy theory: He’s trying to get Nikki elected

  1. Michael P.

    One thing that I found interesting while reading the entire text conversation which is Will’s “proof” and which said absolutely nothing and sounded like two high school school girls was… (and this was pointed out by someone else first). Will Folks received an SMS text message from someone who dropped the bombshell. The message was something like 222 characters long… and everyone knows SMS text messages are limited to 160 characters. So how did Will get a message with an additional 62 characters… unless he just typed it in his blog the way he wanted it to read.


    SMS Text

    From: Michael P.
    To: Brad Warthen


    Hi Brad, this is just a random text message that I wanted to send you to say I think that Will Folks is an idiot who doesn’t know anything about how SMS text messages work. But that shouldn’t matter because he’s dumb enough to think that just because he writes it in his blog that it’s an actual text message from Haley’s campaign manager.

    Had I actually sent this message it would have come across like this:
    Hi Brad, this is just a random text message that I wanted to send you to say I think that Will Folks is an idiot who doesn’t know anything about how SMS text mess

    with characters numbered 161 – end of message cut off.

    So the proof is that Will Folks is as dumb as he looks.

  2. Matt

    I’d love to hear someone blog on this:

    Even if it is true, is it right that it was used as a hit on Haley by a rival campaign?

    If this is traced back to Gresham Barrett’s people and people their connected with, doesn’t his becoming governor represent a pretty bad outcome for this election?

    I’ve seen you advocate for taking the high road in politics before. We shoudl examine what this says about her opponent(s). But it looks like one in particular has his campaign’s prints on this.

  3. jfx

    I noticed some of those text messages posted today were to/from Jim Davenport, AP.

    Brad, do you know him? (I’m betting yes)

    Have you talked to him?

    I had the weird thought that Will Folks is MADLY IN LOVE WITH Nikki Haley, that something did happen, and this is all his weird crazy way of acting out and trying impossibly to bend destiny back around to somehow bring them back together. You know how us dudes can ultra-rationalize and twist the craziest self-destructive actions into our own perfectly convenient arc of truth and martyrdom. All for love.

  4. Brad

    Michael, are you sure about that? Because Twitter is limited to 140, but you can exceed it using Twitlonger. Is there a way to exceed the limit on SMS? I don’t know why not. I get unlimited-length e-mail on the same phone (and yeah, I know they distinguish between phone and data service, but to what extend is that division real? I truly don’t know).

  5. Karen McLeod

    Funny, Brad. I had the same ‘conspiracy theory’ thought you did. Is any media attention better than not having media attention?

  6. murraywood

    Like this slant, Brad. Keep it up ! I agree, JFX : School boy infatuation is Mr Folks problem.

  7. Kathryn Fenner

    or Dav is being “holier than Brad”

    Will’s half-baked releases seem to muddy the waters more than shed light. The stuff he released overnight just corroborated that there was a rumor. Since he’s releasing stuff after saying he wouldn’t, why not release the good stuff if he has it.

    That crowd does love seeing itself persecuted, doesn’t it?

  8. j

    This is the only technical comment I’ve seen on SMS (short messaging service) and it was from a comment on by Brian in response to the word limitation for texting.

    “By Brian on May 26th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    My phone allows you to type an SMS (text) message that contains more than 160 characters. When you send the message, it breaks it up into individual SMS messages and sends them all at once. The recipient receives multiple messages simultaneously. It is kind of annoying because the last part of the message appears first in some instances and if you don’t realize there is a first part to it, it can be confusing.”

    After a Google search I found a technical site explains: “A standard SMS text is 160 characters long. Text-Connect can send messages up to 640 characters long. Long messages are delivered as multiple texts with 1 message credit used per 160 characters.”

    This supports Brian’s comment. I would think that those messages that Will posted, if correct, were a copy and paste from the original(s).

  9. Michael P.

    It’s possible, I’ve never tested texting that long, if I have that much to say I go to e-mail. Others seem to have done more research on this that sounds possible… but I’d think that the multiple messages would be sent with individual headers not recombining everything back into one message. So if Will cut-and-pasted the messages, why are they one 222 character message?

    We’re now hearing that Folks is trying to do forensics on his hard drives to retrieve data and that he’s contacted his ISP. Well I hope he realizes that most public ISP’s might keep backups of e-mail for about 30-60 days, I seriously doubt that one would keep e-mail backups from 5 years ago. Even the state of SC doesn’t keep mail that long. Plus if it’s received and deleted between backups it’s also gone forever because there’s nothing to back up.

    The guy may be right, but with his record of lying I wouldn’t trust a word he said.

  10. Burl Burlingame

    I don’t know these characters like y’all do, but — but why is the notion of Haley and Folks doing the mambo so revolting? Are they that awful and monstrous?

    It’s the TeePee/Republican thing these days to play the victim, but really.

    Maybe Haley should fess up by shrugging, “Oh — was that Will Folks?”

  11. Wes Wolfe

    If you really think Haley is telling the truth, you’re more naive then I’ve ever thought. Grow up a little and realize state politics are a tad more messy than your Flanders brain may think. Thinking like this is why the big papers get beat all the time, unless they’re served up the story on a silver platter and don’t have to do the necessary investigation.

  12. bud

    Has the theory that Will Folks merely want more blog hits been discredited? I don’t see why that’s so far-fetched.

  13. Bart

    I posted this on another thread.

    Some emails have been released in the Folks/Haley story. Looks like there may be a little smoke coming out of the gun barrel.

    If it is true, I would vote for the most radical leftist running before I would vote for Haley. Why? Not because she had an affair. It would be because she exercised amazingly poor judgement in who she slept with.

    Will Folks? C’mon man! The sleaze of all sleazes on the internet? How could anyone in their right mind vote for someone who would allow this guy to, pardon my language, screw her? He is truly trailer park trash with a blog site. And

  14. Libb

    Since we have “permission” to go a little X-Files, what if Will Folks was bluffed into jumping ahead of the story thereby starting this firestorm that threatens to make toast of him, Haley, & Barrett (someone(s) thinking 3 birds w/ one stone?). I heard about the “alleged” affair over a year ago and that is was common knowledge “under the Dome”. And that most folks under the Dome will tell you Will Folks is a lot of things but a liar on this one he is not.

    What bothers me (and should bother us all) is the glimpse these messages provide of how these hired “political hitmen” conduct business and what does this say about the politicians they “work” for.

  15. Phillip

    Haley endorsed by a pathological liar. Barrett endorsed today by a probable war criminal. What a circus. And read this week’s Free Times if you want to see our own Kathryn Fenner take down Henry “Slumlord” McMaster….way to go, Kathryn. As the owner of the only single-family house on my street between Devine and Millwood (I’m pretty sure), I’m acutely aware of that issue of cramming in too many roomers into rental houses.

  16. David

    Which way did coverage of the actual gubernatorial election go? Did anyone see it?

    I groaned through every Sanford affair story. People tried to tie in the using-taxpayer-funds aspect of it so they could shamelessly gossip about sex. Fine, whatever. Sanford brought it on himself by never shutting up about it. But there are no taxpayer-funded trips to another country with the Haley rumor. What did or did not happen is strictly personal. No policy will be changed. No taxpayer dollar has to be wasted. Hell, it supposedly happened years ago. Yet this thing has taken over the coverage of this race. Even places where you’d look for refuge from it all. It’s nice to know that issues can be swept aside to make room an attention-whore with a blog. Great. Way to go South Carolina. Nice to know you have your priorities straight.

  17. Ralph Hightower

    I am not going to vote for any candidate for Governor of South Carolina who is campaigning against Washington/Obama or wants to reform Washington DC.

    If the gubernatorial candidates want to reform DC, then they ought to run for the House or Senate. Governors cannot do squat to reform Washington DC!

    I wonder if Gresham Barrett will build a fence on the North Carolina and Georgia border to stop illegal aliens from entering South Carolina.

  18. Kathryn Fenner

    @ Burl– She’s the stylish, attractive daughter of the owners of a very very high end boutique–looks about a nine on local standards, maybe even a ten. She’s very “sincere” and clean cut.

    He’s a baseball cap-wearing punk rocker who pled guilty to criminal domestic violence with his previous fiance (that’s not his current wife, right?), and prides himself on being as snarky as possible. Personally, I’d give him a three, maybe a four, tops.

  19. Kathryn Fenner

    You can never be too rich or too thin, especially the latter if you’re a modern female, alas for me, Brad, dear.

  20. Kathryn Fenner

    Look, Christina Hendricks doesn’t live here. So among local–say current SC residents, maybe excluding TV persons, who’s better-looking than Nikki?

    Hannah Horne is very pretty in person, but she’s TV. Susan Aude still looks good (and is supporting Nikki), but she’s on a par,I’d say.

    Giulia Dalbec-Matthews, a local theater person–

  21. Brad

    Nahhh. Both of those numbers are a bit high. Nikki’s very presentable, quite pretty even, but a bit too much on the thin side to be a 9. And Will… well, I’ll take your word as a gal on that.

    Here, Burl, judge for yourself. Here’s a good likeness of Nikki. Not bad, huh?

    And here’s Will — not only that, but it’s a picture he chose to run of himself. And not, as far as I can tell, as self-mockery the way I sometimes do. It, too, is an accurate likeness.

    You do the math.

  22. KP

    That’s an interesting side note. I’d love to be 15 pounds thinner, but I’ve never met a man who thought I needed to be. Wonder why it is that women can never be too thin, even though men like them with a little more meat on the bones.

    I’ll say it again, though — I care about the Haley mess because a) I don’t want to spend the next four years doing what we’ve done for the past 12 months (we don’t have time), b) I still think it’s possible to elect people to public office who actually practice the beliefs they say they have, and c) it might just stop her from being elected, saving this state from four more years of crazed Club-for-Growth ideology.

  23. Kathryn Fenner

    Heck KP–I could lose 50 lbs and still not fit into a single digit size, and I have been assured of my attractiveness by many men–I think for a lot of men, God bless ’em, women are like pizza. It’s other women who attach most of the value to extreme thinness.

    I do think women can be too thin, actually–osteoporosis is a big issue for our leaner sisters, for one thing. Another is the ability to deal with a wasting disease.

    I guess a third would be you attract the attention of snarky PR/blogger guys,

  24. Bart

    It is nice to look at the attractive women’s photos. However, for me, looks will fade away, as we age, we gain weight in all the wrong places, all of our good looks and beauty start to fade from the surface but the really beautiful people are the ones whose beauty keeps sinking further and further into the soul.

    Liberal or conservative, I give more attention to the soul of a woman than the external. Kathryn.

  25. Burl Burlingame

    I will state here categorically, and will continue to deny, that I have ever been been involved with Nikki Haley, either vertically or horizontally. Whew. Glad that’s off my chest.

    When this hit I actually Googled her. Interesting person, but I note with alarm that her parents are “foreigners.” Has Haley produced a birth certificate yet?

    Brad’s pictures of her and Palin reveal two of a kind. Well-groomed and scary.

    As Brad used to say, “I wouldn’t **** her with YOUR ****!”

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