It is usually not fair to look at a candidate’s family’s business when judging the candidate for office. But, in this year’s Governor’s race, Nikki Haley goes around touting her work for her family business. So, we thought we would take a look at that family business and see what we could find. After all, being a part of running her family’s business is what Nikki Haley claims give her the experience to be Governor.
First, let’s start with the rumors about Haley’s family business. There are all sorts of them about the true nature of her family’s business. The problem we at VUI have had is that no one can or will go on the record, even anonymously, about those rumors. Which, of course, will probably lead to more rumors.
But, let’s look at the facts. The family business Haley refers to Exotica. It is business that sells, according to its own website, high end fashion sportswear and formal wear to women. The website refers to “Raj”, which we assume is the mother of Nikki Haley. The registered agent is Ajit S. Randhava, and the listed owner on the business website www.manta.com is Raj Randhawa, who we assume is the Raj the Exotica website touts that “people enjoy her worldly wisdom as well as her sense of elegant style to stay fashion forward.”
And, enjoy Mrs. Randawa they must. Because according to MANTA, Exotica, a clothing store tucked away in small Lexington shopping center, generates between 500,000 to one million dollars a year. Not bad a for a clothing store with less than four workers and that operates from 10 til 5 Tuesday through Saturday.
Where things get confusing is trying to track all the business associations down. Like finding out about Governor Sanford and his Brick 21, LLC that deals in real estate, it takes some homework. And, frankly, with Haley’s family, even after the homework, it is still confusing.
Exotic International, Inc., lists Ajit S. Randhava as its registered agent. (No misspelling, that is how the Secretary of State’s record’s have it listed.) The address is in Bamberg. The store touted on the website is in Lexington. Though Raj Randhawa is listed on the business website as owner, the Secretary of State shows her as on the registered agent of RAJEE,Inc., a business with the same Bamberg address what was dissolved by the state in 1998.
Then there is the Lexington address of the Exotica store. It seems that a Simran R. Singh was the registered agent at a business there called Exotica Women’s Fine Apparel. Singh only had it there for a few months, as it was incorporated in February of 2006 and dissolved in August of 2006. Singh is also the registered agent for three other businesses at a Lexington residential address.
Believe it or not, VUI started its look into Haley’s family’s businesses to bust the rumors about them. We at VUI hate rumors. But, frankly, we cannot do that so far. What we found via the public records is a confusing web of business filings and whatever. That would be none of our business, save for the fact that Haley claims that her work in her family’s business ventures is what qualifies her to be South Carolina’s next Governor. Of course, a hint of a sex scandal will keep the major press away from such things. But, VUI is going to keep digging. South Carolina comes first.