Bid to impeach Gov. Mark Sanford begins Tuesday
A state Republican lawmaker will introduce a resolution Tuesday to begin impeachment proceedings against South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.
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On Tuesday, a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Greg Delleney (R), will introduce a resolution to begin impeachment proceedings against the governor. The measure is expected to be referred to the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, which would postpone any action until January.
Once thought to be a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, Governor Sanford was reduced in short order to a late-night punchline. Now, if anything, talk among state residents centers on whether he and his wife can reconcile. In August, Sanford’s wife, Jenny, decamped with the couple’s four sons to the family home on Sullivan's Island, 120 miles away from the capital, Columbia.
Before considering impeachment, state legislators have said they want to wait for a report from the state’s ethics commission on the governor’s use of state funds. The commission is focused on his use of state aircraft, private travel expenditures, and campaign funds.
Distracted second term?
So even if Sanford is not on the verge of losing his job, the impeachment move has reignited attention to his damaged governorship. In addition, South Carolina’s biggest newspaper, The State, published an article Monday detailing how Sanford has essentially lost interest in governing.
Analysis of Sanford’s calendar shows that while in 2004, his second year in office, he held amost nine staff meetings a week, this year he is holding just over four. When Sanford took office in 2003, he “typically packed more than a dozen events into his daily schedule,” the article says. The second term shows a clear “focus elsewhere, not on South Carolina.”
To be fair, most chief executives – including presidents – wind down their activities as their tenure draws to a close. But the State article conveyed a clear message to Sanford’s constituents: “Sorry, people of South Carolina, he’s just not that into you,” says Chip Felkel, a Greenville-based GOP consultant. “We’re in a state of limbo.”