- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Pressure rises for Sanford to resign
Question of the Day
State Republican House members in South Carolina agreed Saturday to ask beleaguered Republican Gov. Mark Sanford to resign and are preparing a bill of impeachment in case he refuses, leading Republican lawmakers told The Washington Times.
The decision to send Mr. Sanford a letter from the House Republican caucus asking for his resignation came on the last day of an annual House Republican retreat attended by 56 of the 73 sitting Republican House members.
“The consensus was for the governor to resign, and nobody in the room said the governor should not resign,” House Speaker Pro Tem Harry Cato told The Times after the caucus met.
At the same time the state House Republicans were meeting in Myrtle Beach on Saturday morning, the state Republican executive committee was meeting in the state capital of Columbia, but did not bring up the governor or his future, state Republican Chairwoman Karen Floyd said.
The state Republican Party already had formally censured Mr. Sanford on July 6 for having deceived state law enforcement, the public, his wife and his own staff over his whereabouts while he was secretly visiting his mistress in Argentina. The censure language precludes further action or comment by the state Republican Party’s governing body unless and until a formal investigation or review by the state Senate or the State Ethics Commission finds wrongdoing by the governor.
The caucus expects to draft and send the letter within the next few days, Rep. Gary Simrill said by phone after the caucus meeting.
Rep. Greg Delleney Jr., meanwhile, said he is having articles of impeachment drafted on behalf of fellow House Republicans.
The Republican caucus took no formal vote on Saturday, but there was agreement in the caucus meeting that a special impeachment session of the House should be called if Mr. Sanford doesn’t leave office on his own, Mr. Simrill said.
“That’s probably the way it will happen,” Mr. Cato said on Thursday.
Several other House members told The Times on Thursday that the common goal among Republicans and Democrats in the legislature was to get House impeachment hearings and a possible impeachment trial in the Senate out of the way before the state legislature reconvenes in January and begins to grapple with double-digit unemployment and shrinking revenues.
The latest revelations by the Associated Press of possible ethical and campaign-finance violations involving rides by Sanford family members on state-government aircraft for nongovernmental purposes and other rides by the governor to various political events in the United States on small planes owned by friends may be under review by South Carolina’s Ethics Commission. Precisely what it is reviewing is expected to be made public soon, because Mr. Sanford waived the commission’s confidentiality rule on Friday when he said he approved of the investigation and wanted it to be “transparent.”
Otherwise, state law makes it a crime to reveal ethics commission referrals and reviews unless and until a finding is made public.
Even some Republicans who would like to see Mr. Sanford leave office one way or another for, in a phrase they often use, “having broken faith with voters,” said privately that the allegations of ethics lapses that the press and Sanford detractors are raising are so inconsequential that the ethics commission will likely dismiss them without comment.
But Mr. Sanford could nonetheless face impeachment and possible conviction because the state does not require that a crime or misdemeanor be committed by a governor for him to be removed from office.
Republican state Sen. David Thomas has begun a legislative investigation of Mr. Sanford’s actions.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- Sarah Palin backs tea party challenger in Tennessee Senate race
- Conservative convert Susana Martinez converts voters with her personal story
- The prison that dared to pray: Angola used faith, family to stem violence
- Texas Gov. Rick Perry draws rivals into political showdowns
- Cleveland chosen to host 2016 GOP convention
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- Michael Moore, movie-making critic of capitalism, has nine homes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq