Just days ago on
As the World Turns Meet the Press, Lindseypoo Graham had this to say about Governor Sparky Marky Mark Sanford and “that whole sparking thing“:
I think if Mark can reconcile with Jenny, and that’s not going to be easy, that he can finish his last 18 months. He’s had a good reform agenda. And I do believe that if, if he can reconcile with his family and if he’s willing to try, that the people of South Carolina would be willing to give him a second chance.
Six of 27 members of the conservative Senate Republican Caucus Tuesday night issued a letter calling on Gov. Mark Sanford to resign.
Two additional senators considered among Sanford’s staunchest allies, also said they want him to resign though they did not sign the letter. Two other senior senators who spoke to the State said Tuesday’s revelations moved them closer to asking Sanford to step down.
The letter was crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, and was circulated among Senate Republicans on Tuesday.
It marked a major break in the silence of the General Assembly, which has the authority to remove the governor.
“I signed a letter today asking him to step down,” said Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens, chairman of the Senate Rules committee.
Martin’s reaction came after Sanford told The Associated Press he had more romantic meetings with his Argentinian lover, Maria Belen Chapur, than he previously admitted, including two trysts in New York.
Sanford told the news agency he also had “crossed the line” with other women.
Sanford’s spokesman, Joel Sawyer, reiterated Tuesday the governor will not step down.
Lawmakers had been slow to call for Sanford to quit, many citing the need to first learn all the facts.
Now, some of Sanford’s strongest Senate allies are urging him to step aside.
House Speaker Bobby Harrell, who would chair any forced ouster of the governor by the Republican-controlled Legislature, said it’s premature to heed calls from those in his own party to remove Sanford.
State Law Enforcement Division director Reggie Lloyd said agents are reviewing documents supplied by Sanford’s office about his travels to determine whether any state laws have been broken.
“I have nothing, absolutely nothing that he used taxpayer money for anything (improper),” Lloyd told reporters late Tuesday.
Sanford paid the state back about $3,000 for a state-funded trip he took last year in which he saw his lover.
The inquiry — which Lloyd made clear is not a criminal investigation — will be completed in a “couple of days.”
Then SLED will address the questions posed by lawmakers and others about misconduct in office, adultery or misuse of public funds, Lloyd said.
Some Sanford allies are sticking by the governor’s side, including his former chief of staff and friend for more than 30 years, Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort.
“I do think he can be an effective leader,” said Davis Tuesday morning. “I don’t think he should resign.”
Tom Davis is the guy on the DVD cover on the bottom left. He was Sparky Marky Mark’s chief-of-staff before his “staff” got him in so much trouble. From the New York Daily News, June 25th:
During his rambling admission of an extra-marital affair on Wednesday, Mark Sanford apologized not only to his wife, but also to “the Tom Davises of the world.”
Davis, a state senator and Sanford’s former chief-of-staff, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday that he was caught off guard.
“I was just completely shocked,” said Davis, who was briefed for about 90 minutes before the governor’s teary news conference. “Never even would have guessed at something like this.”
“What I saw yesterday was a man who knew he had sinned,” Davis said. “I think I represent people that have believed in the powers of his ideas.”
Try this on for size, believer. From The State:
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, already struggling to salvage his family and his political career after admitting a scandalous affair, added explosive details Tuesday, including more visits with the mistress he calls his “soul mate” and additional women in his past.
The once-promising presidential prospect said he is committed to reconciling with his wife, but professed to The Associated Press his continued love for the Argentine woman at the center of the firestorm that gutted his political future.
In emotional interviews with the AP over two days, he said he would die “knowing that I had met my soul mate.”
Sanford also said that he “crossed the lines” with a handful of other women during 20 years of marriage, but not as far as he did with his mistress.
Sanford insisted his relationship with Maria Belen Chapur, whom he met at an open air dance spot in Uruguay eight years ago, was more than just sex.
“This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story,” Sanford said. “A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.”
What’s that saying about the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence? Guess what, Sparky Marky Mark, sooner or later that grass is going to need mowing, too.
During more than three hours of interviews over two days at his Statehouse office, Sanford said he is trying to fall back in love with his wife, Jenny, even as he grapples with his deep feelings for Chapur.
“I owe it too much to my boys and to the last 20 years with Jenny to not try this larger walk of faith,” he said.
Sanford, at times crying and unabashedly emotional, acknowledged in the AP interview that he had casual encounters with other women while he was married but before he met Chapur. They took place during trips outside the country to “blow off steam” with male friends.
“What I would say is that I’ve never had sex with another woman. Have I done stupid? I have. You know you meet someone. You dance with them. You go to a place where you probably shouldn’t have gone,” Sanford said, declining to discuss details. But he said those encounters were nothing like his relationship with Chapur.
Sanford also detailed more visits with Chapur, including an encounter that he described as a failed attempt at a farewell meeting in New York this past winter, chaperoned by a spiritual adviser and sanctioned by his wife soon after she found out about the affair.
Sanford told the AP he saw Chapur five times over the past year, including two romantic, multi-night stays with her in New York – one in Manhattan, one in the Hamptons, both paid for in cash so no one would know – before they met in the city again with the intention of breaking up.
He said he saw her two other times before that, including their first meeting.
“There was some kind of connection from the very beginning,” he said, though neither that first encounter nor a 2004 coffee date in New York during the Republican National Convention were romantic.
Their relationship turned physical, he said, during a government trip to Brazil and Argentina in June 2008, and when he returned, the e-mails that had started years earlier began to reflect anguish over what they had done.
He and Jenny, parents of four sons, say they are trying to reconcile their marriage but have not been sharing the same house for several weeks.