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photos by Greg Hambrick

Gov. Mark Sanford has been facing pressure from Statehouse leaders and local elected officials to take $700 million in federal stimulus aid, but the calls today came from Charleston residents.

More than 70 Charlestonians gathered at a peninsula rally to plead with Sanford to take the money. Speakers included local education leaders, including Charleston County School District Superintendent Nancy McGinley, board Chairwoman Toya Hampton-Green, and College of Charleston Student Body President Seaton Brown. Most of the $700 million the governor plans to turn down would go toward education programs.

[image-2]Local woman Jacquetta Jones also spoke. Jones was laid off from her finance job last May and has been surviving off of her retirement accounts — money she thought she’d be spending on trips in her golden years.

“The trips and fun are out the door,” she told the crowd. “I’m going to spend my time trying to help our governor realize he’s wrong.”

The highlight of the rally came from a plea near the end of the event for attendees to get their phones out and call Gov. Sanford at 803-734-2100. A few people got through and the crowd yelled their message at the phone:

“Show us the money!”