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South Carolina's governor may turn down stimulus money
LA Times ^ | February 20, 2009 | Richard Fausset

Posted on 02/20/2009 8:31:28 PM PST by redk

Some say Mark Sanford is just grandstanding. Others say the Republican just might follow through, despite the state's 9.5% unemployment rate.

Reporting from Columbia, S.C. -- Would a governor in a state with the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation really say no to President Obama's stimulus money?

That is the question reverberating through South Carolina, where Republican Mark Sanford -- a popular second-term governor and noted fiscal conservative -- says he may reject some of the $2.8 billion in federal funds headed to his state.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: porkulus; sanford; sc
Reporting from Columbia, S.C. -- Would a governor in a state with the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation really say no to President Obama's stimulus money?

That is the question reverberating through South Carolina, where Republican Mark Sanford -- a popular second-term governor and noted fiscal conservative -- says he may reject some of the $2.8 billion in federal funds headed to his state.

Some observers suspect the governor, who is regularly mentioned as a presidential contender in 2012, is just grandstanding: It's hard for them to imagine a lawmaker leaving millions on the table in a state with a 9.5% unemployment rate -- one that has cut hundreds of millions from its budget in recent months, and will cut millions more in the next fiscal year.

"I don't know whether this is some presidential politics underway, and just headline [grabbing]," said Republican Glenn F. McConnell, president pro tempore of the South Carolina Senate.

But others said they wouldn't be surprised if Sanford tries to send something back. The 48-year-old real estate entrepreneur has earned a reputation as a fiscal hawk since his 1994 election to Congress as part of Newt Gingrich's "Republican Revolution." As governor, he has vetoed hundreds of projects in the name of budgetary restraint, earning the ire of both Democrats and Republicans.

"He'll probably stick to his guns," said Otis Rawl, president of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, who has urged the governor to accept the stimulus money. "I don't think he'll give up at all."

For some out-of-work South Carolinians, even the suggestion of rejecting bailout money fills them with outrage. William Williams, 38, a laid-off telecommunications worker, had a message for Sanford as he searched futilely through a computerized job bank in Marion County, a struggling industrial area where unemployment has reached 19%:

"Stop playing politics with my life," Williams said, looking at his unemployed brother James. "If you ain't going to help your people . . . "

"Then get on out the way," James said.

Similar dramas are playing out in a handful of states this week, as lawmakers prepare to grab their share of the $787 billion in stimulus aid.

Although a majority of Republican governors, including California's Arnold Schwarzenegger and Florida's Charlie Crist, have supported the stimulus, a handful have emerged as vociferous opponents of the legislation. Sanford leads a handful of GOP governors -- including Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and Sarah Palin of Alaska -- who have left open the possibility that they could try to send a portion of the money back.

Sanford -- who was scheduled to speak at a California GOP banquet in Sacramento on Friday night -- was an early critic of the stimulus legislation, confronting President Obama over the issue at a governors' meeting in December. His threat to block South Carolina's share of the money prompted Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), the House majority whip, to insert language that allows state legislatures to accept stimulus money even if it is rejected by a governor.

But governors may have other tactics at their disposal, like ordering agency heads not to spend the cash. Their threats have continued to anger Clyburn. Late this week, the African American congressman said their opposition to the stimulus was a "slap in the face" to black Americans, because most represent Southern states with large black populations.

No matter what course they take from here, the political stakes will be high as the governors jockey for leadership of a Republican Party eager to retool for 2012. If the stimulus package is deemed a failure in the coming months, politicians like Sanford could be seen as prophetic, and lead a resurgence of fiscal conservatives within the GOP. But if the recovery plan proves popular, fiscal hawks could lose ground to stimulus supporters like Crist.

"I think they're playing a very high-risk game," said Bruce Ransom, a political science professor at Clemson University. "If things start to improve later this year, then they're on the outside looking in."

Sanford, in an interview at the statehouse last week, said politics weren't a factor in his dissent. A rangy man with a phlegmatic demeanor that seems the antithesis of the populist Southern style, he traced his conservatism to a Depression-raised father whose frugality, he said, bordered on the "weird." He also cited Thomas Jefferson, crediting him with "conservative themes of limited government and maximized individual freedom."

Some of his issues with the stimulus money were specific: He worried that some would be used to fund programs that the state may not be able to afford after the one-time federal subsidy is gone.

"There's a two-year windfall, then there's a hole after that," he said. "Who fills the hole?"

But Sanford, the head of the Republican Governors Assn., has broader concerns as well. He fears that excessive government borrowing to fund the stimulus could lead to an inflationary spiral to rival Weimar Germany's. He fretted over a "moral component" to multi-trillion-dollar debt -- that it was a "future tax" that must be repaid by future generations.

To critics like Democratic state Sen. Robert Ford of Charleston, the governor's threat to reject some of the stimulus is the latest example of an unwavering belief in free-market ideals that are detached from the realities facing many South Carolinians.

"I think our governor would make an interesting college professor," Ford said. "I think he's psyched himself out that he's Mr. Intellectual. . . . He don't understand that he represents one of the poorest states, and neediest states, in the union."

Now, as South Carolina's economy threatens to get even worse -- the state Board of Economic Advisors predicts unemployment at 14% by June -- it remains to be seen if his supporters will continue to agree with his principles.

Part of that may depend on the kinds of battles in which Sanford chooses to engage. Last year, he was criticized by some fellow Republicans for refusing to apply for a $146-million loan from the federal government to cover the state's unemployment benefits fund. He relented under pressure.

In Marion County, where plant closings and layoffs have wreaked havoc for a decade, Sanford can still count on conservative supporters like Pat Stedman, 55. His long-distance truck driving business has dried up, but he remains skeptical of the stimulus.

"I agree something needs to be done, but I'm not sure this is it," said Stedman.

Real estate agent Joyce Rivas voted for Sanford twice, but said she was angry with his threat to reject stimulus dollars. "It bothers me when these so-called true conservatives say this is all government spending and so forth," she said. "For starters, where's their answer to this?"

Asked if he worried that South Carolinians would reject free-market principles in a down economy, the governor paraphrased 18th century historian Edward Gibbon, chronicler of the fall of Rome. As he did so, he chuckled: Sanford knows about the critics who call him too professorial.

"The history of man," he said, "is they will always trade off freedom for security."

1 posted on 02/20/2009 8:31:28 PM PST by redk
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To: redk

Also heard Louisiana, Alaska, and Mississippi were too. And Tennessee to follow soon.


2 posted on 02/20/2009 8:38:12 PM PST by seekthetruth
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To: seekthetruth

Where is the little kid screaming “that’s racist” when you need him?


3 posted on 02/20/2009 8:40:47 PM PST by redk
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To: seekthetruth

Yeah I thought someone posted today that Sarah Palin is refusing the money. Also heard that Bobby Jindal is refusing it too. I hope this sets a precedent amongst our nations Republican Governors to not be bought by these bastards in Washington


4 posted on 02/20/2009 8:49:51 PM PST by Sarah Barracuda
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To: redk

I read that there was going to be a provision giving states a 90 day window in which to accept the stimulus money. We’ll see how many of these governors actually reject the money in that time. 90 days is an eternity in politics.


5 posted on 02/20/2009 8:55:50 PM PST by Mr. Know It All
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To: redk
He worried that some would be used to fund programs that the state may not be able to afford after the one-time federal subsidy is gone. "There's a two-year windfall, then there's a hole after that," he said. "Who fills the hole?"

Iow, it's setting up the rest of America for what California just did to itself, by overspending property tax windfalls with nothing to fill the hole when the property tax windfalls went south. jmo moo

6 posted on 02/20/2009 8:57:03 PM PST by blueplum
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To: Mr. Know It All

Well I know my stupid state(California) would jump at the chance to grab that dough from the Governors who don’t want it


7 posted on 02/20/2009 9:03:07 PM PST by Sarah Barracuda
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To: Sarah Barracuda

It’s a poison apple... As a South Carolinian, I HOPE Gov. Sanford remains true to his principles. HOWEVER, there is a provision in the “Stimulus” package that allows the State Legislatures to circumvent their Governor’s decisions and accept the money anyway. Our Legislature — Majority Republican, mind you — would take the $$ in a skinny minute.

It’s unconstitutional. It’s unconscienable. It’s a virtual Federal seizure of the states, usurping the State Constitutions and the elected officials of each state. But when has that stopped Liberofascists?


8 posted on 02/20/2009 9:13:48 PM PST by patriot preacher (To be a good American Citizen and a Christian IS NOT a contradiction. (www.mygration.blogspot.com))
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To: Sarah Barracuda; All

A careful reading shows that they may reject some of the money, and direct agency heads not to spend on projects they disapprove. I am sure they will accept part of the money, all of them.


9 posted on 02/20/2009 9:22:31 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: upchuck

Mark Sanford ping!


10 posted on 02/20/2009 9:31:27 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: redk

If you don’t want socialism, they do something about it. I like what Sanford is doing here, and I hope he’s the VP pick in 12.


11 posted on 02/20/2009 10:13:08 PM PST by Force of Truth (Sarah Palin in 2012!!!!!! WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!)
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To: redk

Mark Sanford, great politician.
Charlie Crist, p.o.s. RINO kiss ass.


12 posted on 02/21/2009 2:10:27 AM PST by Joe Boucher (An enemy of Islam)
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To: Force of Truth
I agree..

“There's a two-year windfall, then there's a hole after that,” he said. “Who fills the hole?”

“The history of man,” he said, “is they (Clyburn) will always trade off freedom for security.”

But governors may have other tactics at their disposal, like ordering agency heads not to spend the cash.

Their threats (Business Decision) have continued to anger Clyburn.
(So what!!)

Late this week, the African American congressman said their opposition (again, Business Decision) to the stimulus was a “slap in the face” to black Americans, because most represent Southern states with large black populations.

What!!!!!WADA.. Clyburn just slapped the Gov. AND South Carolina ACROSS the face with that statement.

Some of his issues with the stimulus money were specific: He (Gov. Sanford, not Clyburn) worried that some would be used to fund programs that the state may not be able to afford after the one-time federal subsidy is gone.
(that's washington’s plan in a nut shell)


freedom or security? Gov. Sanford or Clyburn
Freedom with security is not Clyburn's plan for South Carolina.. Send the Gov. your support..like here in FR
E-Mail link for Gov. Sanford http://www.scgovernor.com/contact/

13 posted on 02/21/2009 5:57:45 AM PST by triSranch (Live from the Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy)
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To: redk
Photobucket
14 posted on 02/21/2009 7:56:54 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (Looking forward to the Rapture ~~ since 1-20-09)
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To: dixiechick2000
That's good, I think I'll sent Clyburn an e-mail..

Clyburn doesn't want to get in all that!...

We have 11 gen. here in America, and I will stand toe to toe with him..or any other person, who calls out false racist chants. racist... ha..

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves.
and that just for starters, we made real good cannon fodder to.. http://trisranch.com/id82.html

Like I have said before, the Irish don't forget nothing. We tell our stories to....we just might not bring it up until somebody pushes it to far like Clyburn..
Clyburn is wrong here and needs to apologize and get over it...we did.
Help Wanted, Irish need not apply

15 posted on 02/21/2009 11:09:07 AM PST by triSranch (Live from the Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy)
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To: redk
He don't understand that he represents one of the poorest states, and neediest states, in the union.

He understands freedom.

16 posted on 02/21/2009 11:24:02 AM PST by Theophilus (The people who were going to buy your home got aborted 30 years ago.)
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To: redk
He don't understand that he represents one of the poorest states, and neediest states, in the union.

He understands freedom.

17 posted on 02/21/2009 11:24:04 AM PST by Theophilus (The people who were going to buy your home got aborted 30 years ago.)
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To: triSranch; WKB; wardaddy; Yudan

WOW! I had NO idea!
Thank you for the history lesson!

Check out his post.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2190552/posts?page=15#15

Did any of you know about this, and didn’t tell me?
I might have slave blood!

Seriously, I didn’t know all of that.
I saw your post earlier, and spent a couple of hours researching it.

It certainly explains the existence of an Irish pub in Georgetown, Grand Cayman.
When I saw the pub, I thought it was odd. ;o)

Welcome to Free Republic, triSranch!


18 posted on 02/21/2009 9:14:52 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (Looking forward to the Rapture ~~ since 1-20-09)
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To: triSranch

I agree..

*****“There’s a two-year windfall, then there’s a hole after that,” he said. “Who fills the hole?”****

You and me. Not the bums who won’t work.

****“The history of man,” he said, “is they (Clyburn) will always trade off freedom for security.”*****

I prefer the DIY/hands-on approach our founding fathers and their tax-revolting compadres adopted.

****But governors may have other tactics at their disposal, like ordering agency heads not to spend the cash.****

Oh you really hate socialism? Then do something about it dammit!

****Their threats (Business Decision) have continued to anger Clyburn.
(So what!!)****

GREAT!

****Late this week, the African American congressman said their opposition (again, Business Decision) to the stimulus was a “slap in the face” to black Americans, because most represent Southern states with large black populations.*****

What!!!!!WADA.. Clyburn just slapped the Gov. AND South Carolina ACROSS the face with that statement.****

That’s a lie. If it wasn’t for racism, the liberals would be broke. They like to fan the flame on both sides of the issue. And remember “The poor you will always have with you.”

***Some of his issues with the stimulus money were specific: He (Gov. Sanford, not Clyburn) worried that some would be used to fund programs that the state may not be able to afford after the one-time federal subsidy is gone.
(that’s washington’s plan in a nut shell)****

Libtards don’t think that far ahead, hence the National Debt.

****freedom or security? Gov. Sanford or Clyburn****

Freedom FROM security. God help us!


19 posted on 02/21/2009 11:46:57 PM PST by Force of Truth (Sarah Palin in 2012!!!!!! WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!)
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To: triSranch

Dude, your name isn’t Steve is it? I used to know a guy who said a lot of the same things you do.


20 posted on 02/21/2009 11:50:07 PM PST by Force of Truth (Sarah Palin in 2012!!!!!! WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!)
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To: dixiechick2000; Force of Truth

Your Welcome, & and Thank You,
Glad to find and be here at FR. Always glad to spread the word..

Warning!!.....Irish Pubs can be habit forming...I used a patch for a while, it didn’t work..
Our wateringhole is http://www.mcgeesirishpub.com/ ,but their about the same world wide.

You may like this link below..We gather (about 30 or 40- 1000 strong) 1 or 2 times a year here...and turn the children loose, within reason. Every adult there watches and acts as a parent..like a hawk. All are welcome..

http://www.gmhg.org/childrens%20foot%20race%20photo%20gallery%202008.htm
How to fire up an adult for an event?? talk about gov. or politics right before they engage..

Force of Truth, Steve is my brothers name,.. I may have 2 now ??, thanks. (My Daddy was a rambling man or was that my Mother? (ha-just joking)

On a more serious note..the pubs opens to late on the weekends....

Don’t let the gov. stress y’all out to much, they are not as strong as they make themselves out to be..and never have been. Propaganda is there strongsuit..yet most of the time they can’t handle a big old traffic jam. A 1000 or 10,000 or 100,000 traffic jams may be a bit much..ya think? Not to worry..

Glen Beck had a nice group on Friday afternoon that is worth watching. The gentlmen there were the real deal and not just talking heads..Maybe Mr. Beck will settle down some and let them talk a little more next time..
Thanks again.


21 posted on 02/22/2009 4:56:17 AM PST by triSranch (Live from the Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy)
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To: dixiechick2000; triSranch

welcome aboard and nice website-family legacy you got there


22 posted on 02/22/2009 10:09:09 AM PST by wardaddy (I feel like a Boer but this time white northern liberals are playing the English)
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To: triSranch
Force of Truth, Steve is my brothers name,.. I may have 2 now ??

Hmmm. The pub sounds fun. I may pop in some time, I'll give you a heads up when I do. I knew a guy named Steve when I went to Greenville Tech (Greenville, SC) back in 2003 I think it was. He was about 5 8-9 and had black hair and full beard as I(Black Irishhhhhh). We would talk for hours about goverment, politics, etc. We had to pull away from our conversations, because we would waste so much time. God bless.

23 posted on 02/22/2009 10:11:54 PM PST by Force of Truth (Sarah Palin in 2012!!!!!! WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!)
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To: wardaddy

Thank you,


24 posted on 02/23/2009 1:11:33 AM PST by triSranch (Live from the Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy)
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To: Force of Truth

Brother’s hair is blond and he’s all work, Budweiser and Nascar, no goverment or politics, he could care less..
Talking for hours about goverment, politics?...
It’s in the blood, the Irish can’t help themselves..by nature they are restless and hot blooded....and hardheaded!! to a fault.
That’s what the pub’s are for, a.. greater distraction.. so we will forget about taking over the world..dang beer.


25 posted on 02/23/2009 1:32:23 AM PST by triSranch (Live from the Birthplace and Deathbed of the Confederacy)
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To: triSranch

Good job on that. LOL.

Ah, beer. The cause of and the solution to all of life’s problems.
—Homer Simpson


26 posted on 02/23/2009 7:25:05 PM PST by Force of Truth (Sarah Palin in 2012!!!!!! WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!)
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