State Sen. Jake Knotts, R-Lexington, on Thursday called on the General Assembly to remove Gov. Mark Sanford from office after Knotts accused his fellow Republican of launching a smear campaign against Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and gays.
In a letter to each member of the General Assembly, Knotts, of West Columbia, said Sanford is behind recent, unsubstantiated Internet reports that Bauer, 40, is gay.
Knotts, a former police investigator, produced no proof to tie Sanford or his allies to the Internet reports.
Instead, Knotts said the Internet campaign mirrors one used against him by Sanford allies in a bid to derail Knotts' last re-election campaign.
In the letter dated Sept. 2, Knotts — a political enemy of Sanford and an equally supportive friend of Bauer — called on legislators "to move swiftly to rid our state of this governor."
Sanford's office denied the claims contained in Knotts' letter "as bizarre as many of the other claims and attacks of recent weeks."
Bauer's office denied, again,that he is gay. In a July interview with The State, Bauer raised the subject himself, saying he had heard the rumors about his sexual orientation.
Asked then if he is homosexual, Bauer said: "One word, two letters. 'No.' Let's go ahead and dispel that now."
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