About Mark Sanford, Governor
Marshall Clement "Mark" Sanford, Jr. (born May 28, 1960) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party. He currently serves as the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 1st congressional district after winning a special election on May 7, 2013. He previously represented the same district from 1995 to 2001, before being elected Governor of South Carolina, a position he held from 2003 to 2011.
In 2002, he was elected the 115th Governor of South Carolina, defeating Democratic incumbent Jim Hodges, and was reelected in 2006. As governor, Sanford had a contentious relationship with the South Carolina legislature: notably, he made public statements that he would reject stimulus funds for his state from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Following a subsequent battle in the South Carolina Supreme Court, he was forced to accept the funds.
On June 24, 2009, Sanford resigned as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, after he publicly revealed that he had engaged in an affair with María Belén Chapur, an Argentine woman whom he is now engaged to. He was later censured by the South Carolina General Assembly following a State Ethics Commission investigation into allegations that he had misused state travel funds to conduct his affair.
Sanford is also a real estate developer and a medical administration officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
On December 22, 2012, Mark Sanford sent an email to supporters, confirming rumors that he intended to run for Congress in 2013, seeking to fill the seat left open by Representative Tim Scott, who was appointed to fill Senator Jim DeMint's seat.
Marshall Clement Sanford, Jr. was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States. His parents were Marshall Clement Sanford, Sr., a cardiologist, and his wife, the former Peggy Pitts. Before his senior year of high school, Sanford moved with his family from Fort Lauderdale to the 3,000-acre (1,200 ha) Coosaw Plantation near Beaufort, South Carolina. Sanford attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of Troop 509 of the South Florida Council of the BSA chartered by St Martins in the Fields Church of Pompano Beach, Florida. Prior to moving to South Carolina he lived in an ocean front home on the barrier island of Lighthouse Point, Florida. He also spent time at his parents' 40-acre (16 ha) cattle ranch in Delray Beach, Florida. He has a younger brother, William, a.k.a. "Billy".
Sanford received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business from Furman University in 1983 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia in 1988.
After graduating from Furman University, Sanford's first job was as an associate for Coldwell Banker in 1983. He then worked as a project supervisor for Beachside Real Estate at the Isle of Palms, with Pat McKinney and Frank Brumley, between 1984 and 1986. In 1987, while working towards his MBA, he was trained at Goldman Sachs. After graduating with his MBA, he took a position as a financial analyst with Chemical Realty Corporation (1988–1990). At the end of 1990, he moved back to Charleston, South Carolina and worked as a real estate broker on Daniel Island for Brumley Company (1990–1991).
Sanford founded Norton and Sanford Real Estate Investment, a leasing and brokerage company, in 1992. He still owns the company.
In the early 1990s, Sanford moved to Sullivan's Island, a wealthy island suburb off Charleston, with his then-wife Jenny, and their four boys, Marshall, Landon, Bolton, and Blake.
In 1994, Sanford entered the Republican primary for the Charleston-based 1st Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. The seat had come open after Republican four-term incumbent Arthur Ravenel gave it up to make an unsuccessful run for governor. Despite having never run for office before, Sanford finished second in a crowded primary behind Van Hipp, Jr, a former George H. W. Bush administration official. Sanford defeated Hipp in the runoff, and easily won the November general election. He was reelected twice, both times facing only minor-party opposition.
While in Congress, Sanford was recognized as its most fiscally conservative member by the Cato Institute. He was also recognized by Citizens Against Government Waste, as well as the National Tax Payers Union, for his efforts to rein in government spending and reduce the national deficit. He garnered a lifetime rating of 92 from the American Conservative Union, opposing abortion for example), He voted for the Clinton impeachment following the Lewinsky scandal, declaring Clinton's behavior to be "reprehensible." In keeping with a promise to serve only three terms, he did not run for reelection in 2000,
Governor of South Carolina
He entered the gubernatorial election of 2002; he first defeated Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler in the Republican primary and then defeated the Democratic incumbent, Jim Hodges, in the general election, by a margin of 53% to 47% to become the 115th Governor of South Carolina. In accordance with South Carolina law, Sanford was elected separately from the state's Republican lieutenant governor, Andre Bauer. Sanford and Bauer's wins gave the Republicans full control of state government for the first time since Reconstruction.
In 2003, just after becoming governor, Sanford joined the Air Force Reserve and attended two week’s training in Alabama with his unit, the 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. While in training, Sanford did not transfer power to Bauer, saying he would be in regular contact with his office, and would transfer authority in writing only if he were called to active duty.
Sanford sometimes had a contentious relationship with the South Carolina General Assembly, even though it was dominated by his party for his entire tenure. The Republican-led state House of Representatives overrode 105 of Sanford's 106 budget vetoes on May 26, 2004. The following day, Sanford brought live pigs into the House chamber as a visual protest against "pork projects."
Sanford rejected the Assembly's entire budget on June 13, 2006. Had this veto stood, the state government would have shut down on July 1. He explained his veto as being the only way to get the cuts he desired, and that using the line item veto would have been inadequate as well as impossible. However, in a special session the following day, both houses dismissed Sanford's call for reform by overriding his veto–-effectively restoring their original budget (which indeed contained many reforms Sanford had previously called for).
Sanford professed to be a firm supporter of limited government. Later in his tenure, he embarked on a plan to reform methods of funding the state's public education system, including measures such as school vouchers– aimed at introducing more competition into the school system as a means of fostering improvement. The plan, known as "Put Parents In Charge," proposed to provide around $2,500 per child to parents who chose to withdraw their children from the state's public school system and instead send them to independent schools. Sanford framed this plan as a necessary market-based reform.
Sanford also sought to reform the state's public college system. Sanford has criticized these schools as focusing too much on separately creating research institutions and not on educating the young adults of South Carolina. Sanford also suggested that they combine some programs as a means of curbing tuition increases. The schools did not respond positively to this suggestion, however, causing Sanford to remark that "if any institution ultimately feels uncomfortable with our push toward coordination, they can exit the system and go private."
Sanford also indicated a desire to increase the powers of the executive branch. Under the South Carolina Constitution, the governor is somewhat weaker than many of his counterparts. For instance, many of his appointment powers are shared with the South Carolina General Assembly.
Sanford's first term included other controversies. A Time Magazine article in November 2005, critical of Sanford, said that some "fear his thrift has brought the state's economy to a standstill."
According to Survey USA, Sanford's approval ratings ranged from 47% to 55% during 2006. According to Survey USA, Sanford's approval ratings in South Carolina after his admission of infidelity (6-24-09) showed that "60% think the Governor should resign. 34% feel he should remain in office."
Reelection and second term
His campaign for reelection in 2006 began by Sanford winning the June 13 Republican Primary over Oscar Lovelace, a family physician from Prosperity, with 65% of the vote to Lovelace's 35%. His Democratic competitor in the November elections was state senator Tommy Moore, whom Sanford beat by 55%–45%.
On election day, Sanford was not allowed to vote in his home precinct because he did not have his voter registration card. He was obliged to go to a voter registration office to get a new registration card. "I hope everybody else out there is as determined to vote as I was today," he said. Sanford's driver's license had a Columbia address, but Sanford was trying to vote at his home precinct in Sullivan's Island. According to WAGT in Augusta, Georgia (whose service area includes part of South Carolina) Sanford declared that it would be his last campaign.
In dissent with the Republican Party of South Carolina, Sanford, an Episcopalian, opposed the faith-based license plates his state offers, marketed largely to the state's conservative evangelical citizens. After allowing the law to pass without his signature, he wrote "It is my personal view that the largest proclamation of one's faith ought to be in how one lives his life."
After the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which Sanford strongly opposed and publicly criticized before and after its passage by Congress and presidential signing, Sanford initially indicated he might not accept all of the funds allotted by the spending law to South Carolina. He was criticized by many Democrats and some moderate Republicans both in his state and outside who noted South Carolina's 9.5% unemployment rate (one of the highest in the country) and complained that Sanford wasn't doing enough to improve economic conditions in his state which he was intentionally trying to worsen, which could be alleviated by the stimulus money. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican governor of California, suggested that if Sanford or other governors rejected their portion of stimulus funds, he would be happy to take them instead.
On March 11, 2009, Sanford became the first United States governor to formally reject a portion of the federal stimulus money earmarked by Congress for the state of South Carolina. Sanford compromised to accept the federal money on condition that the state legislature provide matching funds to pay down the South Carolina state debt. On April 3, 2009, Sanford signed paperwork enabling South Carolina to receive the bailout money.
In its April 2010 report, Democratic-leaning watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Sanford one of eleven worst governors in the United States because of various ethics issues throughout Sanford's term as governor and his time in Congress.
The libertarian Cato Institute ranked Sanford as the best governor in America in their 2010 fiscal policy report card, describing him as "a staunch supporter of spending restraint and pro-growth tax reforms".
Disappearance and extramarital affair
From June 18 until June 24, 2009, the whereabouts of Sanford were unknown to the public, as well as to his wife and the State Law Enforcement Division, which provides security for him, garnering nationwide news coverage. The absence of Governor Sanford was first reported by Jim Davenport of the Associated Press. Lieutenant Governor André Bauer announced that he could not "take lightly that his staff has not had communication with him for more than four days, and that no one, including his own family, knows his whereabouts."
Before his disappearance, Sanford told his staff that he would be hiking on the Appalachian Trail and while he was gone he did not answer 15 cell phone calls from his chief of staff Scott English; he also failed to call his family on Father's Day.
Several hours after reporter Gina Smith intercepted Sanford arriving at Atlanta's airport after flying back from Argentina, and upon learning that incriminating evidence was being swiftly mobilized against him by the media, Sanford held a news conference, during which he admitted that he had been unfaithful to his wife.
In emotional interviews with the Associated Press over two days, Sanford said he would die "knowing that I had met my soul mate." Sanford also said that he "crossed the lines" with a handful of other women during 20 years of marriage, but not as far as he did with his mistress. "There were a handful of instances wherein I crossed the lines I shouldn't have crossed as a married man, but never crossed the ultimate line," he said.
On June 25, La Nación, a Buenos Aires newspaper, identified the Argentine woman as María Belén Chapur, a 43-year-old divorced mother of two with a university degree in international relations who lives in the city of Buenos Aires. The State earlier had published details of e-mails between Sanford and a woman only identified as "Maria." Sanford met Chapur at a dance in Uruguay in 2001 and admitted there was a more intimate relationship with her starting in 2008.
Sanford's wife had become aware of her husband's infidelities around five months before the scandal broke, and the two had sought marriage counseling. She said that she had requested a trial separation about two weeks before his disappearance.
Sanford told reporters that months before his affair became public he had sought counsel at a controversial religious organization called The Family, of which he became a member when he was a Representative in Washington, D.C. from 1995 to 2001.
Fallout from scandal
His wife, Jenny Sanford, after telling Vogue magazine that her husband was having a “midlife crisis”, moved out of the South Carolina Governor's Mansion, with the couple’s four sons, returning to the family home on Sullivan's Island. On December 11, 2009, she announced that she was filing for divorce, calling it a "sad and painful process." The divorce was finalized in March 2010.
Resignation as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association
Sanford resigned as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and he was swiftly succeeded by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. In a June 29 email to members of his political action committee, Sanford said he had no intention of resigning as governor.
Reimbursement for his private use of public funds
After his affair was revealed in June 2009, Sanford first claimed, "There's been a lot of speculation and innuendo on whether or not public moneys were used to advance my admitted unfaithfulness. To be very clear: no public money was ever used in connection with this." After a reporter used the Freedom of Information Act to seek records of what public funds were used to pay for Sanford's trip to Argentina, Sanford eventually chose to reimburse taxpayers for expenses he had incurred one year earlier with his mistress in Argentina. He said, "I made a mistake while I was there in meeting with the woman who I was unfaithful to my wife with. That has raised some very legitimate concerns and questions, and as such I am going to reimburse the state for the full cost of the Argentina leg of this trip.” On August 9, 2009, the AP reported that Sanford may have violated state law by other abusive use of state planes, including to fly to get a haircut.
On August 25, state representatives Nathan Ballentine and Gary Simrill met with Sanford and warned him that the state legislature would impeach him if he did not resign. Ballentine, an ally of Sanford's, said afterward, "I told him the writing is on the wall. ...he could put an end to it all, but if he doesn't, members of the House will take things into their hands." Sanford still declined to resign. On August 28, The Washington Times reported that Republican lawmakers in South Carolina were "laying plans" for a special legislative session on whether to impeach Sanford. Two bills of impeachment were being prepared, with bipartisan support in the state legislature.
On October 23, 2009, two impeachment resolutions were introduced, but were blocked by Democrats in the South Carolina legislature. A month later, the resolution was successfully introduced and it was announced that an ad hoc committee would begin drafting articles of impeachment starting on November 24. Meanwhile, the Ethics Commission formally charged Sanford with 37 violations. making his removal or resignation all that more likely.
On December 3, during its third public hearing on the matter, the ad hoc committee unanimously voted to remove the vast majority of charges from the investigation, stating that they didn't warrant "overturning an election." On December 9, the committee voted 6–1 against impeachment, stating that the legislature had better things to do. However, the committee voted unanimously to censure the governor. On the 16th the full House Judiciary Committee voted 15–6 to formally end the process.
On December 15, 2009, the House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to censure Sanford. The full South Carolina House of Representatives voted 102–11 on the resolution in January 2010.
Role in 2008 presidential election
In 2006, before the midterm elections, some commentators discussed the possibility of Sanford running for president. He said that he would not run, and claimed that his re-election bid would be his last election, win or lose. After Super Tuesday in 2008, Sanford received some mention as a potential running mate for the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, John McCain.
Sanford publicly aligned himself with McCain in a March 15, 2008, piece in the Wall Street Journal. Likening the presidential race to a football game at halftime, Sanford noted that he "sat out the first half, not endorsing a candidate...But I'm now stepping onto the field and going to work to help John McCain. It's important that conservatives do the same."
On January 11, 2008, shortly before the South Carolina presidential primaries (R Jan 19, D Jan 26), Sanford published a guest column in the Columbia newspaper The State. In the article, "Obama's Symbolism Here", Sanford wrote, "I won't be voting for Barack Obama for president," but noted the "historical burden" borne by South Carolinians on the topic of race. He advised voters in South Carolina to take note of the symbolism of Obama's early success, with the knowledge that South Carolina was a segregated state less than fifty years earlier, and discouraged voting either for or against Obama on the basis of his race.
In a January 18, 2008 interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Sanford discussed his Obama article. Wolf Blitzer asked, "Give us your mind-set. Why did you think it was so important to write this piece right now at this critical moment?" Sanford responded, "Well, it plays into a larger conversation that we're having as a family of South Carolinians on, in fact, the [constitutional] structure of our government." Also, Wolf Blitzer showed Sanford clips of recent comments made by John McCain and Mike Huckabee about the Confederate battle flag and asked Sanford, "All right, two different positions, obviously. Who's right in this?" Sanford responded, "Well, it depends who you talk to." Sanford elaborated that "if you were to talk to the vast majority of South Carolinians, they would say that we do not need to be debating where the Confederate flag is or is not."
Sanford attracted derision in the liberal blogosphere and among pundits and analysts on the left for a gaffe during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on July 13, 2008, when he had difficulty answering a question about differences between Senator McCain and incumbent President George W. Bush on economic policy. "I'm drawing a blank, and I hate when I do that, especially on television," joked Sanford.
Possible 2012 candidacy
As early as January 2008, there had been anticipation that Sanford would run for President in 2012, and online support groups had sprung up on virtual social networks like Facebook in support of a Sanford ticket.
Further boosting Sanford's profile in advance of a potential candidacy, which the governor has neither ruled out nor expressly hinted at, he was elected as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association in November 2008 and was cited by Michael S. Steele, the Chairman of the Republican Party as one of four "rising stars" in the GOP (alongside Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Sarah Palin of Alaska) in February 2009. Sanford also received early support for a presidential run from the Republican Liberty Caucus.
On February 22, 2009, Sanford declined to rule out a possible presidential bid in 2012, though he professed to have no current plans to run for national office.
Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza says that revelations of an extramarital affair in June 2009 ended Sanford's chances of being a serious candidate in 2012.
On January 4, 2010, Sanford admitted that, "If there's anything that's abundantly clear, it's that I ain't running for president." In the same Republican meeting, he also indicated that he would enter the private sector after his last 11 months as governor.
Following completion of his service as governor in January, 2011, Sanford moved to his family farm in Beaufort County, South Carolina, and later moved to a condominium in Charleston, South Carolina.
In October, 2011, he was hired as a paid political contributor for Fox News Channel. In August 2012, Sanford became engaged to his former mistress, Maria Belen Chapur. In December 2012, CNN reported that Sanford was considering running for the congressional seat being vacated by Representative Tim Scott, who was appointed to the United States Senate by Governor Nikki Haley after the resignation of Senator Jim DeMint. In early 2013, Sanford announced that he would be a candidate for Congress in the special election. He quickly became a front-runner in a crowded field of 16 Republican candidates, because of his strong name recognition. He will most likely be the Republican nominee to oppose Stephen Colbert's sister for U.S. Representative for a seat vacated by Tim Scott, the appointee for Jim DeMint's vacated U.S. Senate seat.
In 2000 Sanford's first book, The Trust Committed To Me, was published. It discussed term limits, and featured a foreword by Robert Novak. A second book, titled Within Our Means, was scheduled to be published by Sentinel in 2010: however the contract was terminated by mutual agreement after the revelation of Sanford's extramarital affair.