View Full Version : Governor Sanford goes AWOL!

06-24-2009, 08:46 PM
Just resign.

This guy votes for impeachment of Clinton and subsequently goes AWOL from his gubernatorial duties for seven days to have an affair with an Argentina woman leaving his whereabouts unknown.

I suppose he's a Christian who is all about family values.

He didn't spend Father's Day with his wife and four sons because he was in Argentina tending to his mistress.

What a bunch of hypocrites.

FYI, Sanford married a millionaire.

SC Gov. Sanford admits affair after going AWOL - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090625/ap_on_re_us/us_sc_governor_where)

SC Gov. Sanford admits affair after going AWOL

AP By JIM DAVENPORT, Associated Press Writer 57 mins ago

COLUMBIA, S.C. After going AWOL for seven days, Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Wednesday that he had secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he was having an affair. Wiping away tears, he apologized to his family and gave up a national Republican Party post, but was silent on whether he would resign.

"I've been unfaithful to my wife," he said in a news conference in which the 49-year-old governor ruminated on God's law, moral absolutes and following one's heart. He said he spent the last five days "crying in Argentina."

Sanford, who in recent months had been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2012, said he would resign as head of the Republican Governors Association.

By leaving the country without formally transferring power, critics said he neglected his gubernatorial authority and put the state at risk. It wasn't clear how his staff could reach him in an emergency.

At least one state lawmaker called for his resignation. As a congressman, Sanford voted in favor of three of four articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, citing the need for "moral legitimacy."

The affair is now over, Sanford said, describing the woman who lives in Argentina as a "dear, dear friend" whom he has known for about eight years and been romantically involved with for about a year. He said he has seen her three times since the affair began, and his wife found out about it five months ago. A newspaper published steamy e-mails between Sanford and the woman. He did not identify her.

"What I did was wrong. Period," he said. His family did not attend the news conference, and his wife Jenny Sanford said she asked the governor to leave and stop speaking to her two weeks ago. The governor said he wants to reconcile, and his wife's statement said her husband has earned a chance to resurrect their marriage.

"This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage," she said.

Sanford denied instructing his staff to cover up his affair, but acknowledged that he told them he thought he would be hiking on the Appalachian Trail and never corrected that impression after leaving for South America.

"I let them down by creating a fiction with regard to where I was going," Sanford said. "I said that was the original possibility. Again, this is my fault in ... shrouding this larger trip."

Questions about Sanford's whereabouts arose early this week. For two days after reporters started asking questions, his office had said he had gone hiking on the trail.

Cornered at the Atlanta airport by a reporter from The State newspaper, Sanford revealed Wednesday morning that he had gone to Argentina for a seven-day trip.

When news first broke about his mysterious disappearance, Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press she did not know where her husband and father of their four sons had gone for the Father's Day weekend. She said he needed time away to write.

Sanford emerged Wednesday afternoon at a news conference, where he mused openly of his love of hiking and how he used to guide trips along the Appalachian Trail, and eventually tearfully apologized to his wife, his staff and his friends but without yet saying what he was apologizing for.

"I hurt a lot of different folks," he said, occasionally choking up throughout the news conference that lasted about 20 minutes.

With those watching still wondering what he was admitting, Sanford said: "The odyssey that we're all on in life is with regard to heart."

Excerpts of e-mail exchanges between the governor and his mistress were published online Wednesday by The State. The governor's office wouldn't discuss the e-mails with The Associated Press, but told The State it wouldn't dispute the authenticity of the messages.

One from the governor read: "I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night's light but hey, that would be going into sexual details."

Several residents said they were disappointed in Sanford.

"He shouldn't have lied to us. He should have been up straight," said college student Gerald Walker, 19, in downtown Columbia. "It's very embarrassing for someone in a leadership role that we are supposed to respect, especially me being a young guy."

Glenn Mitchell, of Columbia, said he felt Sanford's absence showed a lack of concern for the state.

"He left the state unattended," said Mitchell, 54, out of work recuperating from surgery. "He just hasn't been there for us."

But Warren "Cubby" Culbertson, a longtime friend who said he has been counseling Sanford, said the governor was accepting responsibility for his actions.

"Any man can fall. But it takes a real man to get up and honestly, from his heart, confess that he was wrong," Culbertson said. "And he's going to try to change."

Others were less forgiving. State Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, called for Sanford's resignation.

"There is nothing left to save," Rutherford said. "There is no reason for him to remain as governor."

Sanford, a former three-term congressman, was elected governor in 2002. He has more than a year remaining in his second term and is barred by state law from running again.

Sanford was elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association this year after he helped raise a record $10.6 million at the group's 2008 annual dinner to help elect GOP governors. The association said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour would assume the duties as chairman.

The libertarian-leaning Republican was seldom a firebrand. But he was known for salting tales of family life into policy discussions.

He criticized the $787 billion federal stimulus law and efforts by legislators to claim a share of it by saying in tough times a family would sit around the table and find ways to cut spending.

His vocal battle against the Obama administration over the stimulus money won praise from conservative pundits, but ultimately, a state court order required him to take the money.

Jenny Sanford, a millionaire whose family fortune comes from the Skil Corp. power tool company, has been central to Sanford's political career. She ran his congressional campaigns and his first race for governor. She was an almost daily fixture at senior staff meetings, and often could be seen driving a minivan away from the Statehouse in the mornings.

The two met when Sanford, who has an MBA, was trying his hand on Wall Street. She was working at a brokerage house when he entered a training program.

As governor, Sanford has had seemingly endless run-ins with the GOP-dominated Legislature, once bringing pigs to the House chamber to protest pork barrel spending. He also put a "spending clock" outside his office to show how quickly a proposed budget would spend state money.

Sanford's announcement came a day after another prominent Republican, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, apologized to his GOP Senate colleagues after revealing last week that he had an affair with a campaign staffer and was resigning from the GOP leadership.


Associated Press writer Allen G. Breed contributed to this report.

06-25-2009, 08:33 PM

You're a disgrace.

Chasing your mistress out of the country and leaving the state of South Carolina without a transfer of power while you went AWOL.

Obviously, your mind is not on your duties, but elsewhere.

Politicians call for disgraced governor to resign - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090626/ap_on_re_us/us_sc_governor)

Politicians call for disgraced governor to resign

Wait. Is this a mistake? The year has been provided with the date by the AP!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

By JIM DAVENPORT, Associated Press Writer 40 mins ago

COLUMBIA, S.C. A day after his stunning confession that he cheated on his wife with a woman in Argentina, a chastened Gov. Mark Sanford sought to do damage control Thursday at home with his family while many politicians urged the South Carolina leader to resign.

Fellow Republicans issued sharp calls for the disgraced Sanford to step down a move he indicated he was not considering. And at least one campaign donor was drafting a letter asking for his money back.

One county GOP leader said the governor "talked about how our leaders have stepped away from our core values, and said one thing on the campaign trail or out in the public and did something different in the background."

Glenn McCall, a local representative to the Republican National Committee, said the GOP "can recover from this if we hold him accountable and the governor does the right thing and resigns for the sake of the party."

Sanford emerged briefly Thursday from his family's home on Sullivans Island, off the coast from Charleston, and rolled down the window of his car to talk. Asked if he planned to resign, he shook his head no.

Sanford also issued a statement promising to reimburse the state for an economic-development trip he took to Argentina last year that included time he spent with his mistress. State Commerce Department records indicate more than $8,000 was spent on airfare, lodging and meals, though Sanford did not say how much he will pay back.

After disappearing to Buenos Aires for almost a week, Sanford returned Wednesday to reveal the affair and publicly apologize to his wife and four sons, his supporters and constituents. He also resigned as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

His emotional news conference had even harsh critics holding their fire, saying they were praying for the family to reconcile.

But the gloves started coming off Thursday as it became clear that Sanford had used state resources on at least one trade trip that included a tryst with his lover.

Sanford donor Al Hill of Dallas-based AG Hill Partners, an investment firm, was having a letter drafted Thursday requesting that money given to the governor's campaign be immediately returned. The company gave $3,500 for Sanford's 2006 race.

"And now we are asking that it be sent back," said Joy Waller, an assistant to Hill. "Do you even have to ask why?"

Former Sen. Fred Thompson, who waged a failed GOP presidential bid last year, took Sanford to task on his Web site.

"I don't have any sympathy in a situation where you've got a wife and four fairly young kids ... don't play it out in public," Thompson said of Sanford, who had been seen as a potential candidate for the 2012 GOP presidential ticket.

Even the first lady, Jenny Sanford, seemed inclined to let her husband fend for himself, a departure for a woman who has served as his closest political adviser for years.

"His career is not a concern of mine. He'll have to worry about that," she told reporters as she drove away from the family's beach house Thursday afternoon with children in the car. "I'm going to worry about my family and the character of my children. I'm going to take it a day at a time, and right now I am going out on the boat."

The state's top senator questioned whether Sanford broke the law when he disappeared without transferring power to the lieutenant governor.

Sanford said he left his staff with the impression he was heading off for some solo hiking on the Appalachian Trail, a bogus story that they relayed to reporters who began asking where the governor had gone.

"I would think that if the evidence indicates that there is a willful effort to circumvent the constitution, I think there would be a chorus of calls for him to resign," said state Sen. Glenn McConnell, a fellow Republican.

"It's over. He ought to resign," said Furman University political scientist Donald P. Aiesi. "First, he was derelict in his duty obviously. And secondly, if he's going to make this marriage work, that needs to be his full-time job. He doesn't need to be serving the people of South Carolina. He needs to serve his family."

Sanford, barred by state law from running again, leaves office in 2010. If he were to resign, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer expected to run for the top spot steps into the office.

The two men are not allies candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately and others are also jockeying for the job.

There are deep misgivings about Bauer, who spent much of the 2006 campaign recovering from injuries suffered when a plane he was flying crashed. He was also injured politically by news that he had been let off for speeding after troopers stopped him. He was elected the nation's youngest lieutenant governor in 2002 at age 33.


Associated Press writers Katrina Goggins in Columbia and Bruce Smith on Sullivans Island contributed to this report.

06-27-2009, 08:45 PM

"Spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said the information provided so far indicates Sanford met his mistress on private time during a legitimate business trip."

Kindly explain what legitimate business the governor conducted while in Argentina?

Questions swirl over legality of SC gov's tryst

Questions swirl over legality of SC gov's tryst - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090628/ap_on_re_us/us_sc_governor)

AP By SEANNA ADCOX, Associated Press Writer 20 mins ago

COLUMBIA, S.C. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admits he used bad judgment when he secretly visited his mistress during a state-funded trip to Argentina last year. But did he break the law?

As calls mounted for a criminal probe of the trade mission, a spokeswoman for the state's law enforcement division said it doesn't appear Sanford did anything illegal.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Timmons said the information provided so far indicates Sanford met his mistress on private time during a legitimate business trip.

"Perhaps his judgment was clouded, but he did not have criminal intent," Timmons said Saturday. "The situation would be completely different if he'd asked Commerce to set up the trip to Argentina with the sole intent to set up an extramarital affair."

Sanford and his wife Jenny, who a day earlier said she was headed out of town for the weekend with their children, answered the door of their Sullivans Island home Saturday evening. The scent of dinner was in the air and they declined to speak with a reporter.

After going missing for days, the married father of four admitted Wednesday he'd been back in Argentina to see a woman with whom he has been having a yearlong affair. His staff had said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

In a tearful, rambling press conference, the two-term Republican asked for forgiveness and explained that a long friendship with the woman had blossomed into romance a year ago, around the time of the trade mission, when he saw her in Buenos Aires.

On Thursday, Sanford agreed to reimburse the state for part of the more-than $8,000 tab. Exactly how much he needs to pay back has not yet been determined, Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said Saturday.

The state Commerce Department says the trip itinerary originally included only Brazil, but the governor later asked for economic development meetings in Argentina.

State Democratic Party Carol Fowler called Saturday for legislative leaders to set up a bipartisan committee to investigate and criticized law enforcement, particularly the attorney general, for not launching a probe. Others calling for a criminal investigation include Sen. Jake Knotts, R-West Columbia, and government watchdog groups.

"Mark Sanford abandoned his official duties, deceived the public and misled the family. He has even admitted to using public funds to support his extramarital affair," she said. "But in spite of 10 days of full national humiliation, South Carolinians still don't know the whole truth. Is Mark Sanford simply an irresponsible public official or guilty of something criminal?"

Timmons said the State Law Enforcement Division is considering requests for a probe, but Attorney General Henry McMaster, who is expected to run for governor himself, has not committed to one, instead saying he will take his cue from state law enforcement.

"The only thing Attorney General McMaster has refused to do is act in a reckless and politically motivated fashion," his spokesman, Mark Plowden, said Saturday.

Sawyer declined to comment on Fowler's request, and Republicans accused her of playing politics. Sawyer did say, "The governor has owned up to the mistakes he's made and he's apologized for them. He's going to spend the next 18 months looking forward, not backward."

An investigation by state lawmakers would be premature, said Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell.

"This is being sufficiently vetted out by the media and his admissions," said McConnell, R-Charleston. "Why waste public money on doing the same thing? An aggressive media is doing a good job of developing the facts."

If Sanford resigns or if forced to step down, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer would take his place. Sanford has given no indication he intends to resign.

"None of the other candidates want to see Andre Bauer have a year and a half auditioning as governor," said Scott Huffmon, a political scientist at Winthrop University.

Meanwhile, Jenny Sanford, who told The Associated Press she learned of the affair in January when she stumbled across a letter from Sanford to his mistress, has been living at the couple's beach home in Sullivans Island while the governor stays at his official residence in Columbia.

Mark Sanford's mother, Margaret, said Saturday she is praying for her son.

"I love him and support him," Sanford, 83, told The Associated Press while sitting on a wooden picnic bench overlooking the Coosaw River outside her home in Beaufort. "I love him and I pray for him."

Margaret Sanford said she had just returned from Columbia but would not say whether she spent time with her son or say much beyond acknowledging that the two have spoken since the scandal broke.

"I just say I love you and that's it," she said.


Associated Press Writer Tamara Lush contributed to this report from Beaufort.