This week, a state House subcommittee will begin weighing the first of 37 counts of potential ethical violations against Gov. Mark Sanford in impeachment hearings.
The South Carolina Ethics Commission released the results of its investigation into Sanford’s travel and spending last week. The governor came under scrutiny in June after returning from a mysterious six-day trip to see his mistress in Argentina.
His trip got the media — most notably the Associated Press — to start digging through Sanford’s travel records. Revelations of opulent travel and questionable use of state airplanes led to the ethics investigation, which also uncovered nearly $3,000 in questionable campaign reimbursements. An ethics panel will hear the case against Sanford early next year, but the investigation’s findings are already being weighed by the House subcommittee considering whether Sanford should be impeached.
The bulk of the commission’s claims involve business class plane tickets Sanford purchased when coach tickets were available — a violation of state law. Business class perks differ depending on the airline. Some include free booze, three-course meals, table linens, free movie players, sleeper seats with built-in massage features, priority boarding and baggage claim, and access to exclusive airport bars. The flights involve seven international trips, including a June 2008 trip to South America, when Sanford says things “sparked” with his mistress. So, at least we know he was well-rested when he met his squeeze.
Flying in (too much) style
Gov. Mark Sanford is accused of violating state ethics laws in regards to travel and campaign reimbursements. Several counts have to do with business class plane tickets purchased for the governor, when coach tickets were available on seven international trips. It includes the June 2008 trip to South America, when Sanford says things “sparked” with his mistress. Total miles flown in business class or better: 65,100 Source: S.C. State Ethics Commission *Mileage rounded to nearest 100 miles and shortest geographic routes
Who needs a car?
Spartanburg to Clemson For an Anderson County Republican Party dinner
North Myrtle Beach to Columbia For a haircut
Columbia to Mt. Pleasant For a book signing
Mt. Pleasant to Aiken For a campaign donor’s birthday party
West Virginia to GeorgiaFor a family weekend
North Myrtle Beach to Columbia For his son’s sporting event
Columbia to Greenville For a S.C. House Republican Caucus reception
Columbia to Greenwood For a “Reason Weekend” event
Columbia to Myrtle Beach For the Hard Rock Park soft opening
Source: S.C. State Ethics CommissionCCP