A few weeks ago I cited the ridiculous assertion by Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach that it was somehow wrong for his Democratic opponent Manan Trivedi to accept money from…Indian Americans. Well, a noteworthy portion of Republican Nikki Haley’s haul in South Carolina may be coming the same way:
More than 30 percent of Nikki Haley’s campaign cash came from outside South Carolina, more than three times what her opponent Vincent Sheheen has raised out of state in their race for governor.
Sheheen’s campaign quickly seized on the news.
“The truth is Nikki Haley claims to be an outsider, but more than 100 PACs have bought and paid for her vote,” Sheheen campaign manager Trav Robertson said of the Republican state representative. “No other candidate who has run in South Carolina history, to my knowledge, has ever gotten as much money from outside the state as Nikki Haley has…”
Among donors who listed their occupation in Haley’s most recent campaign finance filing, about 6 percent were attorneys.
Lakhwinder Singh, who lives in Jamaica, N.Y., was one of several Indian-Americans across the country to send a check to Haley, whose parents emigrated from India to build a new life in South Carolina. Singh contributed $1,000 after he met Haley at fundraiser in his state.
He said he has friends in South Carolina, but Haley’s campaign is most important to him because of their shared heritage. He said Indian-Americans also rallied around Bobby Jindal in his successful run for governor of Louisiana…
An article in the Hindustan Times noted Haley has attended at least half a dozen galas organized by the Indian-American community and estimated she may have raised $250,000 at them. At one event in New Jersey, Haley told the audience that she wanted to open up avenues for business ties between South Carolina and India.
Sheheen, whose ancestors emigrated from Lebanon in the late 19th century, has experienced similar support on a smaller scale, receiving contributions from both the Arab-American Leadership PAC and Dr. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute.[link]
That’s great. Apparently all you have to do is tell some uncles that you want to “open up avenues for business ties between South Carolina and India” and that is good enough to fill ‘em coffers. All you aspiring politicians take note. Do you think Haley admitted to them that she does occasionally go to gurdwara? Maybe if she becomes governor on Nov. 2nd she can accompany President Obama to Amritsar? I am just putting that out there for the internet to pick up. It would make for good symbolism (but would cause some tea baggers to suffer a stroke).