Friday, April 10, 2009
Why is the Sanford for Governor campaign still operating?
It has been been nearly two and one half years since Governor Mark Sanford was re-elected to a second consectutive term as Governor of South Carolina. As such, Governor Sanford can not seek the Governor’s office again in 2010. However, the Sanford for Governor Campaign is alive and kicking.
Looking over the Sanford for Governor’s campaign discloures from 2008 forward, it is apparent that the Governor is using his campaign for a November 2006 election for political purposes now. The Governor’s campaign has spent thousands on mail and printing since his re-election, including $6993 to the Lukens Company of Arlington, Virginia, on December 5th, 2007, and similar sums to other printers and mailing houses. The Governor’s campaign has maintained campaign mobile telephones and computer services.
Red Sea, LLC is the most notable name in direct payments. Since May 2nd, 2008, Mark Sanford’s campaign for the November 2006 general election has paid Red Sea, LLC $29,315 in consulting fees. The Mark Sanford for Governor campaign has also reimbursed various people for expenses and travel. Among them, now state senator Tom Davis, who the campaign reimbursed $681.99 on November 30th, 2007, more than a year after the election the campaign was formed for.
Senator Davis is not alone. Since November 21, 2007, Governor Sanford has been reimbursed $1,667.47 from his operation set up for the 2006 election. What is interesting is that Governor Sanford is not hurting for travel and expense money. According to his 2008 financial interests statement, he gets use of a state car for $1.00 and the state plane for $1.00. Further, the Governor got his travel to Aspen, Colorado paid for by Forstman Little Co. on September 22, 2007 and a by Koch Industries on July 8, 2007. Though Sanford’s folks try to tell us that the Club for Growth and Sanford are not closely intertwined in political moves, Club for Growth did pay $417 for Governor Sanford’s travel to speak in Manlapan, Florida on March 30th, 2007.
The money funding the continuing campaign from 2006 seems to come mostly from interest payments on the nearly 1.7 million dollar campaign fund. Though, two odd contributors should be noted. On June 17th, 2008, David B. Chittock of Hiram, OH, gave the 2006 Sanford for Governor campaign $500. On June 30th, 2008, Stanley Rumbough, Jr., of Palm Beach, Florida, gave $100. One has to wonder why someone in Ohio and in Florida would give money to the Governor of South Carolina’s campaign that was over in 2006? There are no debts to pay off. Why would people donate so?
Indeed, the entire continuing operation of the 2006 Sanford for Governor campaign smacks of hypocrisy. While it is probably legal, (several thousands have been paid to reputable accountants from the campaign), it does show that Mark Sanford is not the clean guy he portrays himself as.
Sanford and his people like to portray him as a Mr. Smith goes to Columbia type. They try to create an image of a man who is above normal politics. Well, by continuing to raise and spend money from a campaign fund meant for an election over two years ago, Sanford appears as the guy who says “do as I say, not as I do.” There is simply no credible way that Sanford can justify, using his own professed code of ethics, raising and spending money from a campaign fund that finished its public purpose over two years ago.