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IRS Targeting SC Gov. Nikki Haley’s Family for Delinquent Taxes, Money Laundering, Supporting Her Campaign Illegally

UPDATE (just minutes after the original!): IRS will not investigate Haley. Haley will address the matter on ABC tonight, April 3.

The news is not good for Nikki Haley as political blog The Palmetto Public Record has obtained public records showing that the IRS is investigating a Sikh worship center run by the South Carolina Governor’s father, Dr. Ajit Randhawa.

Haley is said to have run the finances at the temple until 2003, a suggestion she refutes. The aforementioned public records show that the IRS has been investigating claims of delinquent taxes, money laundering and tax fraud, much of which has direct involvement with South Carolina’s Governor. The temple is also being accused of illegally supporting Haley as she ran for South Carolina’s highest office, violating their tax exempt status:

As a registered nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the Sikh temple is “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for elective public office.” According to the IRS, even written statements of position in favor of a candidate “clearly violates the prohibition against political campaign activity” and may result in revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

But documents which appear to be the temple’s own newsletters clearly advocate for Haley’s election, asking (and later thanking) members for their political and financial support. The organization also seems to have held a September 2010 fundraiser for Haley’s gubernatorial campaign, with four of the five organizers listed on the temple’s board of trustees.

Based on the strict rules governing the political activity of tax-exempt non-profits and religious organizations, it’s hard to see how the Sikh society’s flagrant support for Haley’s election could be construed as something other than advocating for a political candidate. And while losing its tax-exempt status could bring a host of financial penalties upon the Haley family’s temple, its political advocacy is actually the most tame legal allegation that could be uncovered by a federal investigation.

Also under investigation is a missing $130,000 that contractors never received for new construction on the temple. Five lawsuits against the Sikh Society of South Carolina since 2010 make these claims.

Reports of a forthcoming indictment are likely untrue, but Haley has nonetheless taken a break from her war on workers to create a new war on “unaccountable bloggers”:

It’s incredibly frustrating when unaccountable bloggers will take money to smear trash about somebody, and the mainstream media will pick it up and run with it,” Haley said.

No, Nikki. What’s frustrating is having a party queen for a governor. Even more, I don’t get paid for writing facts.I have been “smearing trash” as you call it for years. What’s true is the lack of leadership you’ve provided this state. You’ve gutted public education, partied across the country and overseas, raised campaign funds in New York when you neglected the ports in our state and have just turned out to be a flop – even by teabaggers’ standard. Ouch.

I applaud “unaccountable bloggers” like Logan Smith for holding unaccountable politicians like you accountable. Look who had to issue a report to counter the wave of news. You.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Right? I guess we will see.

“I don’t want to get in a war of words,” Smith said. “I’m just asking questions and she can call me all the names that she wants, but that doesn’t make these questions invalid. The fact that three reputable sources would tell me that they expected something to happen, that says quite a bit about the trust that South Carolina has in its governor.”

It’s strange that Haley has time to tackle the blogosphere when she hardly has time to govern. Haley’s schedule this week “lists only one activity,” according to liberal blogger, Jamie Sanderson:

Haley is scheduled for “a tremendous amount of media” during the next week, according to a spokeswoman with Haley’s publisher, the Penguin Group, including appearances in USA Today, People and Time magazines, and on Sean Hannity’s radio and TV programs, ABC’s “Nightline” and “Good Morning America,” “The View” and “Fox & Friends.” She also was scheduled to appear on “The Colbert Report” tonight at 11:31 p.m. on Comedy Central.

I will likely spend an equal amount of my workweek deciphering exactly what this book could be about. If you’ll excuse me…


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