TLP: Mark Sanford Unwittingly Becomes One-Man South Carolina Stimulus Package
Mark Sanford, who spent last year making "stimulus" a dirty word in political and not-so-political contexts, will provide a tiny bump to the South Carolina treasury. The governor agreed to pay $74,000 in fines to settle ethics charges related to campaign spending and travel paid for by the state.
The fines total one one-hundredth of one percent (check me, we're not mathletes over here) of the $700 million in federal stimulus funding that Sanford initially rejected back in March. Hey, March was a busy time, with an Appalachian Trail adventure in the offing and all.
The Associated Press:
Sanford was considered a potential 2012 presidential candidate until the bombshells about the affair, which also cost him his marriage. Ensuing AP investigations questioned his use of state, commercial and private airplanes and bruised his image as a penny-pinching politician who once required staff to use both sides of Post-it notes.
After those investigations, the ethics panel charged him with improperly buying first- and business-class airline tickets, violating a state law requiring lowest-cost travel; improperly using state-owned aircraft for travel to political and personal events, including a stop at a discount hair salon; and improperly reimbursing himself with campaign cash.
Among the mistakes the commission alleged were:
• approving the purchase of four first- and business-class commercial airline tickets for a June 2008 trip during which he met with his mistress in Argentina.
In other Sanford news on Thursday, a judge granted Jenny Sanford's request for a divorce. Just in time for a springtime hike.