Photo of our esteemed governor is from WJBF-TV.
In the continuing (and always entertaining) Governor Mark Sanford saga, Lt. Gov Andre Bauer (who just moved into the Thornblade neighborhood, which is why I've been seeing him everywhere lately) asked him to resign, and he refused. No quitter he! And now, he sets up a podium in an empty field (!), across from the office of his chief critic, state Senator David Thomas (R-Fountain Inn) and commences preaching.
Thomas is running for congress using Sanford as his "let's clean up this joint" object lesson, which totally flips out Sanford.
Gov. Mark Sanford attacks travel probe as 'pure politics'
Sen. David Thomas denies charge, says he wants governor to answer questions
Gov. Mark Sanford went to the doorstep of one of his critics to defend himself Thursday, declaring in Greenville that state Sen. David Thomas is attempting to advance his political career by questioning the governor's travel practices.
“If you look at sort of where people are coming from, some people think it's in their best interest to drum up some of what's been going on because they think it'll help them climb to the next ladder in politics,” Sanford said. “With other folks, they think it's payback time. They didn't particularly like where we've come from on restructuring or spending or some other things.”
Said Sanford: “There's something wrong with selective outrage.”
The state's embattled chief executive chose to make his stand in an empty field across from the Wade Hampton Boulevard law office of Thomas, who is the chairman of a Senate panel examining the Republican governor's travel.
Thomas, R-Fountain Inn, also is running for Congress. He refused to back down from the travel investigation, telling reporters, “I'm not on a witch hunt.”
He said he has asked the governor to appear before his subcommittee after Labor Day to answer its questions, but “there's no response from his attorney to that question.”
“We can, hopefully, get a lot of things answered,” Thomas said. “But there are many things on the table that haven't been answered, and I requested his presence to accomplish that.”
Thomas, who was working in his office as Sanford spoke from a hastily erected podium across the street, said afterward, “I wanted to join the governor, but it seemed such an odd, strange situation.”
“I've been in public office a long time and I've never seen anything like this,” Thomas said.
The governor preaching from a field? You've never seen anything like it? Ah come on, Senator Thomas. How odd can that be?
A field. Set up a podium IN A FIELD.
Sanford's travels and use of state aircraft have been under scrutiny since the governor disappeared from Columbia in June and returned to admit an affair with an Argentine woman.[...]
There have been calls for an ethics investigation and some lawmakers say Sanford could face impeachment proceedings.
Thomas has said he believes some of Sanford's foreign flights violated a state law that requires state employees to choose the least expensive method of travel. He has focused on six overseas flights made by Sanford in which he said the governor flew business class.
Sanford, who is in his second term and can't run for re-election, told reporters in Greenville that calls for investigations of his actions and related media accounts are “pure politics.”Usually, that sorta thing comes OUTSIDE of your own party, though, doesn't it?
When your own party is gunning for you, time to leave.
Do you believe this?
“Let's not make decisions based on hyperbole, on simply media” reports, Sanford said.
“Let's make decisions on facts,” he said. “When one looks at the facts, we have a compelling record in terms of watching out for the taxpayer.”
Some House GOP leaders said even if Sanford's contentions about other governors and officials prove true, it will not impact impeachment talk.
“Two wrongs do not make a right,” said House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham.
House Speaker Pro Tempore Harry Cato of Travelers Rest said Sanford's argument reminds him of the rationale used by his children.
“Everybody else was at the party, why couldn't I?” Cato said. “I don't think the ‘me, too' argument is going to hold much weight.”
Cato said more problematic for the governor is that he has chastised lawmakers and other officials over the years for not being frugal enough in travel.
“Probably the thing this governor is most guilty of is just being a hypocrite,” he said.
Rep. Nathan Ballentine of Irmo, one of Sanford's closest allies in the House, said Sanford laid out his travel arguments and facts when he met with him earlier this week to ask him to resign. He said while Sanford believes his side of the story hasn't gotten out to the public, Ballentine believes the most important question is a larger one.
“The decision shouldn't be about what's best for what individual,” he said. “The decision ought to be about what's best for our state. And I think in order to have our officials refocus on what's important, the story has to change.”
Michael Sponhour, a spokesman for the State Budget and Control Board, said the travel regulations referred to by Thomas were first created in 1981 and then amended in 1992 to change prior approval of foreign travel by the agency to reporting such travel after the fact. He said the regulations are designed to be used in granting employees reimbursement for travel, not prior approval by his agency.
Also Thursday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dwight Drake told reporters he believes four of the state's constitutional officers should act immediately upon a state constitutional provision for removing the governor by declaring him unable to carry out his duties.
“It's crystal clear,” Drake said. “This fellow is not able to do his job.”
Drake said unless at least three of the four officers — the state attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller general and treasurer — act, the issue will be left to the Legislature and impeachment hearings, which could drag on throughout next year.
But all four constitutional officers said they disagree with Drake's interpretation of the provision, which is referred to under the heading of disability.
“We don't have a matter of physical or mental disability here,” said Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, a Sanford ally. “We have a lot of political hysteria.”
Treasurer Converse Chellis said it would be inappropriate to use the section “without some real documentation of either a mental or physical disability that would hinder Mr. Sanford's ability to govern.”
Secretary of State Mark Hammond said his counsel's advice is that the provision does not apply.
“Being unpopular and ineffective is not necessarily a mental or physical disability,” he said.
Mark Plowden, a spokesman for State Attorney General Henry McMaster, a GOP candidate for governor, said McMaster was asked about the provision earlier this summer and does not believe it applies.
“The attorney general believes it's written quite obviously as if the governor has fallen ill or is somehow incapacitated, not anything else,” he said.
Meanwhile the State Law Enforcement Division announced the arrest of a Hilton Head man on charges of threatening Sanford. According to the warrant, Brian Joseph Macdermant, 39, is accused of telephoning the governor's office and conveying a threat to Sanford through a staff person.
Macdermant is charged with threatening the life of a public official, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Also on Thursday, Sanford continued to his push for public forgiveness with a luncheon stop at the Greenville County Republican Women's Club.
He apologized for his “moral failure” for the extramarital affair, but told the club it's time to move on from the scandal.
Sanford said he has “an incredible opportunity” to make his last 16 months in office the most productive because he has no remaining political ambition.
“This is it,” Sanford said.
Why are we stuck with this arrogant dick?
I don't believe he has no remaining political ambition...why else would he be hanging around, unless he thought he could do some powerhouse thing to redeem himself?
Certainly, he has no political power in the state right now, to accomplish anything.
Some folks think he just can't give up the office, he LIKES it too much.