Politics & Government

Many in S.C. think Sanford should quit

South Carolina residents agree on one thing about Gov. Mark Sanford — they are tired of the speculation about the embattled governor's future.

But there is little agreement on how to resolve the situation, including whether lawmakers should remove the governor, who has 15 months left in office.

In more than two dozen interviews conducted last week, nearly all of those asked condemned Sanford's actions, and a majority said he should resign. But removing the governor is not nearly so popular an option.

Those interviews track recent polls, which have found a slight majority of South Carolinians wish the Republican governor would resign.

Sanford's future has been in doubt since he left the state on a secret five-day trip to Argentina in June. The married father of four later admitted to an extramarital affair.

Subsequent media scrutiny of Sanford's use of state planes, business-class airfare, private plane flights and campaign funds sparked a State Ethics Commission investigation. That inquiry is under way. However, the commission has yet to say if Sanford violated state law or ethics rules or did nothing wrong.

Sanford has refused to resign. But a number of lawmakers are preparing to impeach and attempt to remove the governor when the Legislature returns to Columbia.

Most state residents said they are unhappy with Sanford's conduct.

"It was his policy when he became governor to cut state spending and have state employees take cheaper flights. But yet he doesn't apply that to himself?" said Emily Kayzer, 48, of Batesburg-Leesville. "How can he talk about cutting government spending when he's not following his own rules? So therefore, I've lost all faith in him."

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

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