Politics & Government

Sanford slams S. Carolina probe of his use of state aircraft

Gov. Mark Sanford blasted a state Senate subcommittee investigation today and the investigation's leader, Sen. David Thomas, R-Greenville.

In a brief news conference in Greenville, S.C., after which Sanford took no questions from the media, the Republican governor said Thomas is only interested in raising his political profile for his upcoming race for Congress, not in conducting a fair investigation into Sanford's use of state aircraft.

Sanford also said he was being unfairly held to a higher standard than past governors and lawmakers, repeating his claim that, during the past 25 years, 230 business-class tickets were bought on the state's dime for various lawmakers, staffers and governors. That includes a ticket purchased for former Gov. Jim Hodges to return to South Carolina from France for a ceremony to remove the Confederate flag from atop the State House.

"There's a difference between Jim Hodges flying back during one of the most historical debates in the state's history versus using the state plane to make your haircut appointment," said Phil Bailey, director of the Senate Democratic Caucus, referring to an Associated Press investigation that found several instances where Sanford used state aircraft for private and political purposes.

Ben Fox, Sanford's spokesman, objected the governor did not return to Columbia from a political gathering in Myrtle Beach only to get a haircut at a business that does not take appointments.

Read the complete story at thestate.com