Sanford spins stimulus stunt

SANFORD SPINS STIMULUS STUNT…. Of all the far-right officials who’ve taken a firm stand in opposition to economic recovery, none of the Neo-Hooverite voices have been quite as forceful as South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R). As his state’s economy has deteriorated, Sanford has led the charge to reject any effort to improve conditions in South Carolina.

Even as the conservative Republican chief executive of a conservative Republican state, Sanford’s antics have not gone over especially well in South Carolina. Apparently, Sanford’s unemployed constituents aren’t impressed by their governor rejecting unemployment aid for ideological reasons. Imagine that. Sanford conceded yesterday that he’s been “beaten up pretty bad” for embracing an anti-economic growth agenda.

It’s apparently become such a political problem for the governor that he’s now taking his anti-growth message to the public with a minute-long television ad. Speaking directly into the camera, Sanford argues, “Going further into debt will not solve a problem that was caused by too much debt.” That Sanford believes debt is the cause of the current economic crisis only helps reinforce how deeply, embarrassingly confused he is.

The ad, not surprisingly, invited the DNC to once again hit the ball that Sanford placed on the tee. “It’s not surprising that Governor Sanford feels he needs to spend a quarter of a million dollars defending himself in a television ad after rejecting millions in funding for his state,” said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan. “Then again, if I had rejected $700 million for schools and public safety, I’d feel the need to go on TV and defend myself too, but that doesn’t excuse Governor Sanford for putting his political ambitions ahead of the needs of South Carolinians.”

One additional twist that shouldn’t go overlooked, however, is that the governor’s ad is actually financed by a group called Carolinians for Reform, which is chaired by Jim Kuyk, a South Carolina attorney and Sanford supporter. This is raising ethical concerns given Sanford’s political ties to the non-profit group, and the fact that he directed more than $100,000 to Carolinians for Reform after a recent National Governors Association conference.

All in all, the ad is a bust that reinforces the fact that Sanford has dug himself into a hole. Instead of defending his absurd policies, the governor really ought to stop digging.

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