OK

Here's an update to the Mark Sanford saga I discussed earlier.  The disgraced former Governor of South Carolina is running for office again.  But this time it's for Congress.  Mr. "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" has won his primary.  He somehow turned his martial woes into this month's long mea culpa tour.  Then through some form of political jiu-jitsu pivoted to his supposed conservative principles.  I'm not sure how it worked, but it did.  I'll let Mr Sanford explain.

"If we live long enough, we’re going to fail  at something and I absolutely failed in my personal life and in my marriage, but one place I didn't ever fail was with the taxpayers," he told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. "If you look at my 20 years in politics, what you’d see is a fairly remarkable consistency in trying to watch out for the taxpayers."
There's only one problema few dozen problems with this whole "trying to watch out for the taxpayers."  Sanford has exactly zero credibility anymore.  And I don't mean his marital issues make him less than trustworthy.  I meant he was brought up on dozens of ethics charges including spending taxpayer money on business-class flights, using state aircraft for personal travel and spending campaign funds for non-campaign expenses.  Here's a short list from the Huffington Post:
_ 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.

_ personal use of state-owned aircraft for trips such as the birthday party of a campaign contributor in Aiken.

_ reimbursing himself nearly $3,000 using campaign contributions, including about $900 for expenses to attend a Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami and a hunting trip in Ireland several days later.

He should have zero credibility anyway.  But according to South Carolinians, it's all good.  In what world does using tax payer money to see your mistress and campaign funds for hunting trips in Ireland point to you being a fiscal conservative?  Maybe he didn't want to cost the good taxpayers of South Carolina a long and costly trial.  That's why he agreed to pay the fines for all 37 separate charges.  Of course.  The fact that this guy wasn't impeached is amazing.  The fact that this guy can basically defraud both the government and his campaign contributors, then hold himself up as some sort of paragon of fiscal virtue is stupefying.  Speaking of stupefying, Sanford kept talking after the breathtakingly inaccurate claim above.  Apparently that whole ethics investigation and charges were no big deal at all.
"There was no admission of guilt with any of that," he said. "I did use business class on legitimate business trips. It’s a much longer story."
That might be the closest Sanford has gotten to the truth in years.  As part of his agreement to pay his ethics fines, there was no specific admission of guilt.  According to South Carolina law, government officials aren't even supposed to use business class for trips that are legitimate.  You're supposed to find the cheapest fare available.  Even so, I'd love to hear the longer story.  Please, Governor Sanford, explain to the public how a hunting trip to Ireland was a legitimate business trip for the state of South Carolina.  Or how all of your first class tickets to Argentina were about anything besides seeing your mistress.  That must be quite the story.  Speaking of stories, Sanford is running out of them.  Family values Republican crashed a burned.  And now fiscally responsible Republican isn't working out any better.  At least it shouldn't.

You know I mentioned before that South Carolina can do better but maybe they can't.  Sanford seems destined for Congress.  Elizabeth Colbert Busch will be running against the former Governor on the Democratic side.  The most noteworthy thing about Ms. Colbert Busch is that she's the sister of Stephen Colbert from Comedy Central.  I have no idea of what her positions are on any specific issue.  But she has to be better than this guy.

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