By Kathleen Parker
“Inarguably, the governor’s charges, made publicly and aimed at a citizen, are far more damaging than whatever Rainey said during a private meeting.”
CAMDEN, S.C. — South Carolina politics never fail to bemuse. A recent ethics imbroglio between Republican Gov. Nikki Haley and GOP activist John Rainey is a case in point.
The squabble would be of passing interest if Haley weren’t a rising star often mentioned on lists of potential vice presidential candidates. And had she not called Rainey, a nationally recognized philanthropist and community bridge-builder, a “racist, sexist bigot.” Such charges deserve clarification and context.
Haley made the remarks during a state House Ethics Committee hearing that was prompted by a complaint Rainey filed alleging that Haley had lobbied illegally while she was a legislator. (Haley has been cleared of any wrongdoing .) Her invectives toward Rainey, though perhaps understandable given an exchange between them (about which more anon), are contradicted by his record. Rainey is anything but racist, sexist or bigoted.