If Sanford wants to change the subject, here’s an idea: Do some actual work

So we learned the following about our governor in this morning’s paper:

The governor made his first actual public appearance since he started putting out his weekly schedule. It was a staged event to dramatize a political point he wanted to make, but hey, at least people got to see him being governor.

The governor used his first public appearance, in part, to ask to change the subject. Yes, this from the guy who did the two-parter with AP to talk unnecessarily about his “soulmate.”

As of this morning, the governor had worked only 14 of the last 24 “workdays.”

And then this afternoon, we learned that the governor is leaving tomorrow on a two week European vacation with the fam. Yes, I hear you that it was planned in advance and the kids had saved up for it, but still. This is, like, his third vacation since all the craziness started — or since we learned about it. (Or is it fourth? I lose count.)

So, when he gets back from this one, that will be like what — 15 out of 34 working days on the job? I need more details to get the count right.

Obviously, critics will criticize,” says the gov. Yes, they will. As previously noted, every day that this guy technically holds onto his office is like Christmas to the state’s Democrats.

The governor also said that one nice thing about this vacation is that it will get the kids away from reading about the scandal.

You know what? I have some advice: Governor, if you want to change the subject, then change the subject. You’re the governor. Do something. Make some news. Do your freaking job for a change, instead of all this constant wallowing.

Instead, the governor is as usual absent when other public officials are trying to move our state forward. The State, in noting that the governor had extended his most recent vacation by a day, mentioned his absence from a huge announcement earlier this week:

Sanford was notably absent Monday from a press conference the University of South Carolina held to announce an agreement to lease space in its Moore School of Business to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The agreement will provide resources for USC to build a $90 million new business school building, something university and local officials have been working on for years.

Monday’s news conference included much of Columbia’s powerful — USC President Harris Pastides, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and state Sen. John Courson.

But no Sanford.

But what would have been shocking is if the governor had been there. He doesn’t have the time of day for the university and its doings. Had he been there, he probably would have grumbled, seeing as how he doesn’t think government should be promoting the economy. He just believes in “soil conditions,” which does not, as you might think, mean creating an educated workforce or having the kinds of amenities that make people want to do business in your state. He just means “tax cuts.”

It would never occur to the governor to change the subject by positively engaging issues that are important to our state. He doesn’t believe in that stuff.

28 thoughts on “If Sanford wants to change the subject, here’s an idea: Do some actual work

  1. doug_ross

    Sanford is giving the Legislature exactly what they have sought for years.

    Except now who are they going to blame when nothing gets done?

    Did I misread the news about the government lease or does it not actually start taking effect until 2013 — three years after Sanford leaves office? As far as I can tell from The State, it will mean 250 people moving from D.C. to South Carolina sometime in the distant future. Am I reading that wrong?

  2. doug_ross


    Would it be fair to ask you to address the news reported on another website that you have been working as a consultant for USC since leaving The State? I think in the interest of full disclosure, it would be good to know if that was true or not.

  3. Jerry

    So Sanford should not care about anything that might last beyond his term? As of now I have a hard time seeing anything postive that he can hang his hat on so to speeak. In full disclosure I am a public school teacher so attack away.

  4. Santee

    The fascinating part of all this fallout from Sanford’s affair is that it exposes the great emptiness at the center of his entire two terms as governor, even to those who previously refused to see. If he ever ceases to be absent for special time with his family (which is suddenly sacred, although it was previously of no interest at all), it will be interesting to see what he thinks passes for working. I’m not holding my breath for a sudden interest in using his office to express the Christian (or Jewish, or Muslim, or Buddhist) virtues of compassion, selflessness, and generosity of spirit.

  5. SGMret

    Well, what to say?

    I guess maybe Mark can check in with Nicolas Sarkozy and see if Nick can give him some pointers on how real politicians manage their affairs.

    I don’no… I just have this mental image of “National Lampoon’s Mark Sanford’s European Vacation”….

    Maybe we’ll get a chance to see how Andre works under pressure. I mean, while Sanford’s gone, Andre’s gonna be da man. This could be his big chance. Two weeks is a long time; something dramatic could happen and Andre could step up to the plate and show everybody he’s not as big a buffoon as Sanford. ‘Could be really good for Andre’s image.

    (Joel Sawyer’s new job?!)

  6. SGMret

    Brad, you’re right!

    Depth and layers… it’s like a core sample of the muck on the bottom of a swamp: so many layers…. And yet so stinky!

  7. Randy E

    HYSTERICAL. Just this week Sanford stated “it’s time to get back to the business of governing.” What an artful remark. It’s true and he didn’t say he actually would get back to business.

    The GOP was too chicken s*** to take a stand and tax payers like Doug think it’s perfectly acceptable to skip out on work – great use of tax payer dollars. Sanford is simply working within acceptable boundaries.

  8. Steve Gordy

    Obviously the guv is taking to heart the Spanish saying: “How sweet to do nothing all day and, after having done so, to rest.”

  9. bud

    This is a bit like beating a dead horse. Sanford is irrelevant. He has never behaved like a real governor so why continue thrashing this theme about. What is really needed is a complete overhaul of the GOP paradigm of sloppy governance that we’re stuck with in South Carolina. Sanford is but one small part of the problem.

    Take a look at our junior United States Senator, Jim Demint. There is a true obstructionist. He continues to openly taunt the president with his “Waterloo” analogy. I can hear ABBA now. He offers nothing in the way of constructive proposals for health care, just the same ole meme about socialism.

    Brad, if you really want to push for real progress in South Carolina you should condemn the Republican party as a whole for their reactionary approach to government. Kicking Sanford around really serves no real purpose. He’s irrelevant.

  10. Lee Muller

    “…reactionary approach to government…”

    How delusional and sick, that anyone would want more government, when most of what we have is illegal, unConstitutional, wasteful, and corrupt, because it does not protect the public welfare, but exists to enrich special interest minorities at the expense of the private sector.

  11. doug_ross

    Couldn’t agree more, Bud. If Sanford is going to continue to make the wrong decision by remaining in office that doesn’t mean it serves any purpose to keep poking at him to do something, anything when he has no power to do it.

    And, seriously, does anyone really think that Sanford would have been asked to participate in the USC dog-and-pony show? Was Sanford invited to attend and refused?

  12. doug_ross

    But I don’t agree with you, Bud, on DeMint. Obama has to convince Americans that his healthcare plan which will impact 1/6 of the economy is better than what we have now. He doesn’t get a free pass — and it appears members of his own party are not going to give him one either.

    He didn’t convince me in the press conference last night. Lots of rhetoric, no specifics. Obama also ignored the questions about how he promised to have the negotiations open to the public.. and continues to sidestep the basic question of whether he and other congressmen will become participants in the “public option” healthcare or if they will retain their current best-in-class insurance paid for by the taxpayers.

    All I want is the same insurance plan Ted Kennedy has at the same price.

  13. Birch Barlow

    He offers nothing in the way of constructive proposals for health care, just the same ole meme about socialism.

    From a statement released by DeMint:

    “The American people deserve a real debate of ideas, which is why I’ve offered major health care reforms every year that I’ve been in the Senate.”

  14. Birch Barlow

    And I should add — considering both political partisans and politicans’ trouble with telling the whole truth, I don’t know which one of you to believe.

  15. doug_ross

    I guess Randy would feel better if Sanford spent every day “working” on getting vouchers implemented.

    Not sure why Randy says I’m giving him a pass. I want him to resign. Just like all the other deadwood in the state government and public schools should do.

  16. bud

    Doug, I’m glad you are satisfied with your healthcare plan. Frankly, mine is abysmal. It pays for very little in the way of preventive treatment. We get these benefit statements in the mail that are utterly incomprehensible. The cost of the thing goes up far faster than inflation. Copayments, deductibles and confusion reign. And heaven help us if we forget to call the company for any kind of scheduled procedure. The system benefits big pharma and big hospitals, not patients. Government beauracracy could learn a thing or two about inefficiency from the Republican healthcare nightmare that most of deal with. And this says nothing of the 47 million with no health insurance.

    The Obama plan, though not perfect, will accomplish 3 important goals:

    1. Provide a public option to compete with existing for-profit plans.

    2. Mandate insurance companies provide for all. Pre-conditions, portability will not be an excuse for denying coverage.

    3. Move toward a system where all Americans have insurance.

    It’s a good start and long overdue. If we can just get past all the scare tactics from the Demints of the world. If only.

  17. Brad Warthen

    Doug and Bud — y’all should get together and put forth your health care plan. I seem to recall y’all making some progress together during a previous discussion on the old blog…

    Me, I’m not into details. Me, I just want to have coverage, the way I’ve always had. And I want to pay for it, as I always have. I’d like it to be a little cheaper (surely we can do better than almost $600 a month), but that’s not an absolute requirement.

    My family’s medical needs haven’t changed just because I’ve lost my job. But once my Cobra runs out, we lose the coverage I’ve been paying for all these years. This is just a crazy system we have. The way it should work is, if you’re a citizen, you pay into it, and you always have it — even if you’re laid off, or change jobs, or dare to start your own business.

    All these opponents of what Obama’s trying to do rant about “choice.” Our employer-linked health care system keeps people from having choices. It chains them to their present employers, and militates against taking risks that would help stimulate our economy. I wouldn’t mind free-lancing so much if I knew my wife and I would have medical coverage. But knowing that there’s a ticking clock on that greatly amplifies anxiety.

    It’s just plain crazy.

  18. doug_ross


    Why should the fact that you are not happy with your insurance mean I have to change mine?

    My son had minor surgery done last week in a doctor’s office. We paid a $20 co-pay, the doctor billed $480, the insurance paid $250 based on negotiated amounts, and I will have to pay another $30 for items that weren’t covered. The $50 out of my pocket will be reimbursed from a medical savings account that I have set up with my employer. The money will go directly into my checking account in a week or so. No forms, no dealings with the insurance company, and it’s all visible on a web page one week later.

    Every year, my company gives me a half dozen options on how I want to spend my insurance dollars. I can pay less and get less coverage or I can pay more and have low deductibles, lower copays, etc.

    This is the way it works for MILLIONS of Americans today. It’s not just me.

    I agree that insurance companies should be prevented from denying coverage from anyone and should be more accessible. I don’t believe the government can do the job any better. There is no evidence based on existing public options (Medicare, VA, Medicaid) that the government can do it.

  19. doug_ross


    The system falls apart when you try and get into the details. It’s just plain crazy to think you can re-engineer a system as large and complex as our healthcare system is with a massive piece of legislation.

    You have to resolve issues of access to services, compensation for providers, collecting money to pay for it; and then deal with how do you provide incentive to private companies to do research and development if the profits do not justify taking the risk? and you also have to deal with the massive job loss that could occur in the insurance industry and the downstream impact of that on the economy.

    There are too many variables to attack at once with a bill coming out of Congress that is based on an artificial timeline established by Obama. If timelines weren’t good for the Iraq War, they are also not good for overhauling the American healthcare system.

    The best approach would be incremental steps taken over at least a decade.

  20. Birch Barlow

    Government beauracracy could learn a thing or two about inefficiency from the Republican healthcare nightmare that most of deal with.

    I agree with bud. Our third-party system of healthcare — be it an insurance company or the government — is a bureaucratic nightmare. Why doesn’t healthcare work like everything else where we pay directly for our goods and services with insurance only for the rare or disasterous occurances(e.g. cancer)?

    And why is healthcare tax-exempt if and only if it comes from your employer? What sense does that make?

  21. doug_ross

    Birch says:

    “I agree with bud. Our third-party system of healthcare — be it an insurance company or the government — is a bureaucratic nightmare.”

    Except when it isn’t. I can only vouch for my experience with United Healthcare but I can’t imagine it being any LESS bureaucratic. I may have had to fill out two forms and made a couple phone calls in the past five years. Everything else just works.

    Compare that to my mother’s experience dealing with Medicare. Multiple rounds of negotiations on payments, services, etc.

    I do agree that insurance should be restructured to be like automobile insurance – cover the big ticket items only and pay out of pocket for the rest. But that’s not what people are used to because that’s not how Medicare works. Imagine the uproar from AARP if the government decided that only high-cost procedures would be covered. Never will happen. Too many old people vote.

  22. Birch Barlow

    I can’t imagine it being any LESS bureaucratic.

    I do agree that insurance should be restructured to be like automobile insurance – cover the big ticket items only and pay out of pocket for the rest.

    Why then do you think it should be restructured?

  23. Lee Muller

    REAL medical insurance reform

    1. Get rid of Medicare and Medicaid except for the truly poor.

    2. Stop requiring hospitals to treat anyone “for free” (and bill the other patients).

    3. No treatment at the emergency room unless it is a true emergency. If you are poor, go to one of the free clinics. There are lots of them.

    4. Tax employer benefits for medical insurance as income, so people will stop looking for medical insurance from employers.

    5. Move everyone to their own private medical plans, where they have a stake in not abusing treatment.

    6. Let insurance companies compete nationally, just as life insurance does, so you can work anywhere, move anywhere, and take YOUR insurance with you.

    7. Stop this silly socialist drivel about “healthcare” being a “right”. Not until you pay for it with your money.

  24. Lee Muller

    There are no “49,000,000 uninsured”, or whatever phony number the socialists are using today.

    When you remove the illegal aliens and the 15,000,000 who are temporarily (less than 90 days) without insurance while changing insurance plans, there are only 15,000,000 uninsured.

    60% of the uninsured earn over $50,000 as individuals or $75,000 as a household. They can afford to buy insurance, but choose not to do so.

    60% of those offered insurance at work refuse to buy it.

  25. Randy E

    Doug, you stated you wanted Sanford to resign but only after the affair came out. You repeatedly affirmed your position that because “nothing happened” Sanford skipping out on his state was ok.

    Your snarky comments about educators reflect more of a personal bias as opposed to rational thought. The vindictiveness is unbecoming.

  26. Randy E

    The current health care system untenable, as Brad explains. Premiums are doubling every ten years. More and more employers are shifting more of the cost onto employees. We, including the “big government” haters are paying for uncompensated care in our premiums and when we visit the hospital. We pay for the unisured NOW and we pay MORE because much of the expense is treating avoidable problems because preventative health care was not available.

  27. Lee Muller

    So let’s reform the abuse of uninsured moochers.

    Change the existing laws which encourage mooching.

    Let the hospitals turn them away if they don’t have the money or insurance.

    Arrest every illegal alien who shows up for treatment, deport them, and charge their home country for the costs.

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