COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has appeared before a state House panel and attacked the man accusing her of ethics violations as a "racist, sexist bigot."
The House Ethics Committee is investigating a complaint by Republican activist John Rainey that Haley improperly lobbied while serving in the Legislature before her historic 2010 election as the state's first Indian-American governor.
Haley testified Thursday night that she did nothing improper while serving in public office and also working as a hospital fundraiser and in business development for a highway engineering firm. And she attacked Rainey for allegedly saying to her during the 2010 campaign that he didn't want to back her for governor, only to discover later that she was related to terrorists.
Rainey has said there was a broader context and that he wanted to avoid a situation similar to that with former Gov. Mark Sanford, whom he backed but who later resigned after admitting to an affair.
Christopher Kenny, who represents Rainey, said in an email that his client had no comment about Haley's statement. But he noted that Haley wrote a thank-you note to Rainey after the meeting in question.
The House panel will convene Friday to begin deliberations.
Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP