Archive for the ‘sanford’ tag
So, the forlorn governor of my home state has not only cost his constituents money with his extra-marital escapades (the marriage is now no more), he’s now apparently costing Florida money because of his recent visit to that state to see the woman, María Belén Chapur, who seems to have unalterably enchanted the good governor.
According to this report from The Associated Press,
The recently divorced governor spent several days in South Florida over Mother’s Day weekend to see if he could rekindle his relationship with Maria Belen Chapur.
Information obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request from the Department of Law Enforcement shows Florida state agents provided security for Sanford from May 7 through May 11, with the exception of Mothers’ Day.
The department’s cost analysis showed it protected Sanford for a total of 34 hours at a rate of $24.43 an hour in addition to $25.81 in travel costs.
The department has a reciprocal agreement with other states and will not be reimbursed by South Carolina for Sanford’s dalliance. Officials did not explain why Sanford was not protected on Mother’s Day, which was May 9.
Jenny Sanford, by all accounts, has moved on. She has a new book, which is aptly named, “Staying True” (We can only assume), and on an appearance this week on Dr. Phil, she aired some of her frustrations on the whole sundry ordeal:
Asked by Dr. Phil about why she didn’t stand next to her husband at the June press conference at which he publicly disclosed his affair, Jenny Sanford said it wasn’t a possibility.
“First of all, he never asked me to be next to him,” she said. “At the time, he was coming back from Argentina. We had had six months of what was sheer hell for me, and the thought of standing by him when he had just done the unconscionable, it just never entered my mind. It just wasn’t even a possibility for me.”
Dr. Phil said he was “astounded” Sanford first apologized to the state’s citizens and his lover at the press conference before acknowledging the pain he caused his wife and family.
“He didn’t say anything I wanted him to say,” Jenny Sanford said about the press conference. She said she would have liked to have heard him say, “I love my wife so much I can’t believe I did this to her.”
She said she was “astonished” and “crushed” when he later gave an interview detailing his romance with the woman and describing her as his “soul mate.”
“I just saw him as lost,” she said. “I love the Mark Sanford I knew, the one I fell in love with when we married. Can I ever be married to him again? Absolutely not.”
The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. has done a laudable job, I think, of covering the recent stew over Gov. Mark Sanford’s brouhaha (and that’s not funny “haha”) regarding his affair with Maria Belen Chapur in Argentina. In this story, the newspaper reports that the media, from national outfits to local ones have been lobbying the Governor’s Office, and particularly Joel Sawyer, the governor’s spokesman, about potential interviews with the governor. At the last link, you can find PDF versions of e-mails obatained by The State via the Freedom of Information Act. Included are:
I think a word might be in order about the FOIA. Many people, though they rely on the press to do much of the legwork, don’t realize what is available to them via this law. I currently live in Georgia, but since Sanford was referenced, here are some documents that are in the public forum and available to any resident who requests them, whether they are a member of the media or not (from the South Carolina Code of Laws):
(d) The following records of a public body must be made available for public inspection and copying during the hours of operations of the public body without the requestor being required to make a written request to inspect or copy the records when the requestor appears in person:
(1) minutes of the meetings of the public body for the preceding six months;
(2) all reports identified in Section 30-4-50(A)(8) for at least the fourteen-day period before the current day; and
(3) documents identifying persons confined in any jail, detention center, or prison for the preceding three months.
The “reports” reference in part (2) are:
(A) Without limiting the meaning of other sections of this chapter, the following categories of information are specifically made public information subject to the restrictions and limitations of Sections 30-4-20, 30-4-40, and 30-4-70 of this chapter:
(1) the names, sex, race, title, and dates of employment of all employees and officers of public bodies;
(2) administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;
(3) final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases;
(4) those statements of policy and interpretations of policy, statute, and the Constitution which have been adopted by the public body;
(5) written planning policies and goals and final planning decisions;
(6) information in or taken from any account, voucher, or contract dealing with the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds by public bodies;
(7) the minutes of all proceedings of all public bodies and all votes at such proceedings, with the exception of all such minutes and votes taken at meetings closed to the public pursuant to Section 30-4-70;
(8) reports which disclose the nature, substance, and location of any crime or alleged crime reported as having been committed. Where a report contains information exempt as otherwise provided by law, the law enforcement agency may delete that information from the report.
(9) statistical and other empirical findings considered by the Legislative Audit Council in the development of an audit report.
(B) No information contained in a police incident report or in an employee salary schedule revealed in response to a request pursuant to this chapter may be utilized for commercial solicitation. Also, the home addresses and home telephone numbers of employees and officers of public bodies revealed in response to a request pursuant to this chapter may not be utilized for commercial solicitation. However, this provision must not be interpreted to restrict access by the public and press to information contained in public records.
Again, this is only South Carolina code. Other states have different codes. For a full list, visit this link. Generally, the long and short of it is that, specifically regarding police reports, which are often the most controversial, all initial police reports are public record whether they involve juveniles or not. Further, the juvenile’s name, age or address can not be blacked out. It’s all public record. To be fair, most, if not all, newspapers don’t print juvenile names if they were involved in crimes, but they have the right to. It’s just not in good prudence in most circumstances.
And most certainly, with regard to the e-mails referenced above, those government documents are fair game. Newspapers, and sometimes, television networks, put in FOIA requests, but the general public also has the right to the same. Remember: reporters are just acting as normal residents within their rights. But the difference is that reporters do so with more diligence because they have a job to do. So, to conclude, don’t hesitate to learn the code for your particular state, and if a situation comes up or if you are merely doing research, you will be knowledgeable enough to query your particular local or state government to force them to present the record(s) in question. The sunshine laws, or whatever they may be called in your state, are beautiful things.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford may take the $8 billion or so of stimulus money allocated for his state, despite largely disagreeing with the Obama administration’s version of the stimulus plan.
… he says ultimately he represents the interests of the almost 5 million people of his state, and he will look over the plan and decide whether some parts would work for South Carolina. — AP
Given the state of education, Medicaid and jobless funding in South Carolina, this is certainly good news. As I stated here, Sanford’s refusal of the money would have been a cruel slight at many who are hurting in this state, not to mention the struggling agencies. Of course, the state may have gotten the money anyway since there’s a provision that says the legislature can accept the money with or without the approval of the governor.
In fact, if one takes a look at how the money will be divided, South Carolina is among the states which will received the highest percentage based on the gross state product. So, of course, Sanford probably doesn’t want to seem like a hypocrite by railing so heavily against the Obama’s package and then turning around and accepting money via a bill he didn’t agree with. Other than that, it’s not clear why Sanford would be so against taking the money, since S.C. fares quite well in getting its cut of the pie.
The Associated Press has reported that a few governors may opt to refuse economic stimulus money, including this guy, the governor of my home state, Mark Sanford, R-S.C.:
This, despite the fact that many of these states, including South Carolina, are in dire need of extra cash. In South Carolina, cuts in education have come frequently and local school districts are scrambling in attempts to save money, yet not have the local cutbacks affect what happens in the classroom. The state’s Medicaid program nearly dropped hospice care from its coverage to save cash and other areas are severely being short-changed because of the economy.
Thankfully, according to the AP,
… governors who reject some of the stimulus aid may find themselves overridden by their own legislatures because of language (U.S. Rep. James) Clyburn (D-S.C.) included in the bill that allows lawmakers to accept the federal money even if their governors object.
He inserted the provision based on the early and vocal opposition to the stimulus plan by South Carolina’s Republican governor, Mark Sanford. But it also means governors like Sanford and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal — a GOP up-and-comer often mentioned as a potential 2012 presidential candidate — can burnish their conservative credentials, knowing all the while that their legislatures can accept the money anyway.
This is ironic indeed since Clyburn is also from South Carolina. Sanford’s rejection of any stimulus money, as Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Fowler seemed to imply, would be cruel to people in this state who stand to benefit greatly from the boost:
He’s so ideological. He would rather South Carolina do without jobs than take that money, and I think he’s looking for a way not to take it.
In short, Sanford doesn’t care about the best interests of the people in his state. He cares about upholding the ideals of his own party. Party over people: That’s a nice mantra, albeit, not a very endearing one … or compassionate one.
Sanford’s office responded thusly, as spokesman Joel Sawyer said,
We’re going through a 1,200-page bill to determine what our options are. From there, we’ll make decisions.
But it may not matter. Hopefully, the lawmakers in Columbia will have enough sense help out our kids, our unemployed, our sick and others who could benefit from relief from all the financial bleeding this state has suffered through lately.