The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

According to Palmetto Public Record, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley — a rising Republican star whose name has been tossed around as a possible vice presidential running mate for Mitt Romney — is under federal investigation and could even be indicted as early as this week.

The Department of Justice has apparently been investigating Haley in relation to the Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina, which is run by her father, Dr. Ajit Randhawa. According to Palmetto Public Record, the organization has been sued at least 5 times, alleging that it stiffed contractors out of almost $130,000 for the construction of a new temple. Haley was in charge of the temple’s finances through at least 2003, and Palmetto Public Record’s sources suspect that Haley’s indictment would focus on what became of the missing money.

Haley’s legal mess only reinforces the sense that high-profile Republican vice presidential candidates are deeply flawed. Bob McDonnell has been politically wounded by his support for an invasive ultrasound bill, and Marco Rubio was revealed to have attended a Mormon church as a child — raising concerns that he shouldn’t share the ticket with Romney.

This wouldn’t be the first scandal connecting Haley and her father’s temple. Since last March, the Internal Revenue Service has been investigating whether the temple illegally supported Haley’s campaign for governor. The temple sent out newsletters promoting Haley’s candidacy and held a fundraiser on her behalf, both of which would be a violation of the organization’s tax-exempt status.

Haley has also faced scrutiny in the past for listing her income on a job application as being over $100,000 more than her federal tax returns indicated.

If the scandal compels Haley to leave office, she would also not be the first member of her administration to be forced out by legal problems. Former Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard resigned earlier this month amid a corruption scandal, leaving Glenn McConnell — who once described efforts to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state house as “cultural genocide” — as next in line for the governorship.

Should Haley be indicted, it would put an immediate end to the speculation that she could be added to the Republican ticket as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Yesterday, Republican strategist Nicole Wallace told Buzzfeed that Haley is “the most effective surrogate Romney has” and that she “should be picked [as the vice presidential nominee] for a broader purpose, a messaging purpose.” That message would go out the window if Palmetto Public Record’s report is confirmed.

 

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Rep. Tony Gonzales

Photo by CQ/Roll Call

The Republican House member who represents Uvalde, Texas, where 19 kids and 2 adults were shot to death in an elementary school on Tuesday, has said in the past that he will vote against any gun safety legislation in Congress.

In September 2021, Rep. Tony Gonzales tweeted in response to a provision on firearms included in that year's annual defense spending bill, "I will fight against any attempt to restrict our 2nd Amendment right, which is why I joined in urging the stripping of red flag laws from the final version of the bill." Gonzales was one of 161 Republican House members who signed a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in October of that year urging that the provision be removed.

Keep reading... Show less

Beto O'Rourke, back to camera, confronts state officials over Uvalde school shooting at press conference

Not long after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his entourage showed up on a stage in Uvalde, Texas, to offer the usual thoughts and prayers that follow a gun massacre, Democratic rival Beto O'Rourke suddenly strode up to confront him.

Pointing a finger at the governor, he yelled: "You're offering us nothing!"

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}