Politics & Government

New questions hit Sanford over travel — and not to Argentina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Democrats asked Monday for an investigation into Gov. Mark Sanford's use of state planes for private and political business.

Meanwhile, a GOP state senator said he thinks fellow Republican Sanford broke state law by flying business class to London and China.

However, Sanford's office said the “conclusions by Senator (David) Thomas blatantly overreach and accordingly are, in our view, not correct.”fam-trevitz-sanford

S.C. Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Fowler and state Rep. Boyd Brown, D-Fairfield, asked Attorney General Henry McMaster to look into Sanford’s use of state planes. State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Camden Democrat and a candidate for governor, said the Senate should investigate.

Sanford used state planes for personal and political trips, which is barred by state law, The Associated Press reported. Sanford’s office said the governor used the planes for official business, adding that critics were “cherry-picking” Sanford’s record.

But lawmakers and others said it is still unclear whether Sanford’s use of state planes was illegal, unethical or politically foolish.

“The Senate has an obligation to look into these allegations and see if they are true or not,” Sheheen said. “We shouldn’t leave it up to the media. Let’s have an official review by the Legislature and see what we find.”

State Sen. David Thomas, the Greenville Republican who chairs the panel that oversees Sanford’s office, said Friday he would expand his review of Sanford’s travel to include his use of state planes.

Read the full story at thestate.com.

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