When state Rep. Greg Delleney makes up his mind to do something, the Citadel graduate locks on like a bulldog.
Delleney, a 10-term Republican from Chester County, is the driving force behind the push to remove Gov. Mark Sanford from office for disappearing to Argentina for five days and lying to his staff in June. Sanford later admitted an extramarital affair.
However, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, ruled Tuesday that Delleney would have to wait to introduce his impeachment resolution. That resolution charges Sanford with "serious misconduct" — one standard for impeachment under the South Carolina Constitution — for abandoning his duties.
Under the terms of this week's two-day special session, Harrell said, lawmakers may not introduce new bills, including impeachment.
But Delleney says he is not giving up. Right and wrong, traditional values and moral absolutes motivate him as a lawmaker, he said.
"There are some issues that are political issues where you can hold your nose and go along," Delleney said. "But there are some issues that ... ought to be worth losing an election over."
Delleney, an attorney on the House Judiciary committee, chairs the subcommittee most likely to handle Sanford's impeachment. His advocacy for impeachment has some lawmakers calling that chairmanship a conflict.
Often quiet and funny, Delleney is a member of a loose-knit — and often low-brow — lawmaker lunch group, the House Bi-Partisan Eatin' Caucus.
Prior to this year, Delleney was not among Sanford's chief critics. "I agreed with him more than I disagreed with him."
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