Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Governor's Sanford's actions are betrayal of state, and put state in Jeopordy. Govermor should be forced to resign

By: Keith H. Seymour

WRITER’S NOTE: For purposes of journalistic integrity, I feel the need for purposes of disclosure that as someone whose family has lived in South Carolina for almost thirty-one years, and who has been a freelance writer and media consultant, I have met and made friends with various prominent political leaders on both sides of the political Isle. Among those I have met include Lieutenant Governor Bauer, who I have known since high school, and Governor Sanford, whose campaigns I have volunteered.

Up until recently, I have had a great deal of respect for the governor, including at times when I have disagreed with his positions on various political issues. I also still agree with the governor’s position on the stimulus package. It will be detrimental to this state, and as detrimental as his remaining in office.

Having made that disclosure, I must preface my remarks that in writing this article, I am going to have to remember that as a journalist, I need to avoid personalizing the governor’s actions. This is going to be very difficult since I feel like I have been played for as a fool. Just prior to the start of the press conference, a journalist from the “New York Times,” suggested infidelity, and I stated that Governor Sanford in addition to being a man who held positive values, was too predictable and boring to commit adultery. I also feel that the governor of this state has made South Carolinians look like a bunch of Bible thumping hypocrites, to the entire nation. I personally experienced this humiliation, when I phoned a cousin of mine in Washington D.C. who I had just seen at a recent family reunion here in South Carolina. When I called my cousin to warn him what he would see on the national news, I found out he had already been asked by someone “Did you go on any interesting hikes with the governor of South Carolina, while visiting your family in South Carolina.” The call that I made to my cousin was less than an hour following the press conference. Unlike the person who had said this to him, my cousin had not yet heard of Sanford’s indiscretion, and had no idea what the innuendo meant. (I.e. those bible thumping South Carolina relatives of yours have such great values that they elected an adulterer.) The fact that South Carolinians would have to defend our “Bible Belt values” as the real thing to people we know from other states is unacceptable and admittedly something that should be taken personally.

However, from a non-personal point of view, the fact is that Mark Sanford’s actions are no different than those of Bill Clinton’s actions during his presidency, and Republicans “must” hold the governor up to the same standards of behavior and honesty, as President Clinton. I realize that there are those within the state’s Republican Party and this country who have and are going to state that what this man does in private is not the public’s business, and that the man is only human. As a colleague of mine from one of the major television news station here in Columbia stated, after I ran into him,” I know a lot of humans who do not behave in this manner.” As for those on both sides of the political aisle, let me say this: Senator Jake Knotts (Republican-Lexington County) and other South Carolina Republicans, saying that Governor Sanford should be forgiven, are the very same people who justifiably condemned President Clinton, several years ago for similar actions. Likewise Representative Todd Rutherford and other Democrats, calling for Governor Sanford’s resignation, are some of the same people who felt Former President Clinton should be forgiven. I would be remiss in my duty as a journalist not to point out the hypocrisy of these and other elected officials whose political affiliation and agendas are more important than the moral and political stability of those people in this state. Such individuals need to be replaced. However, that is another editorial for another time.

The fact is that South Carolinians take Bible Belt “family values” seriously, and this man was elected twice, because ( at least in part) this man falsely portrayed himself has having those values, when in truth he was not living by up them. This man did just lie to the people of South Carolina; he mocked the values of the people of this state. He therefore, abused not just the trust of South Carolinians, but South Carolinians themselves.

Those people, who state that this man’s private life is his own business, are correct. However, when this man’s affair caused him to jeopardize the smooth running of this state by not telling the Lieutenant governor of his absence, and he used a state paid for car to drive him to the airport, so he could fly to his mistress in Argentina, it became the business of every person in this state. The people of this state do not pay taxes to our elected officials so they can use tax paid vehicles to go off on romantic rendezvous with their lovers.

Neither do the citizens of this state pay taxes to have our state’s well-being put in Jeopardy. Since the governor felt it is more important to use the power of his hormones to please his mistress, than to cater to the moral and physical well-being of the people to whose care he has been entrusted, he showed he did not care about the well-being of this state and its citizens. His actions are no less than pure neglect. When a parent neglects their children, said parent is relieved of those children for the purpose of making sure that those children grow up to become emotionally and physically stable individuals, Likewise Governor Sanford needs to be relieved of his duties as the person in charge of this state, so this stae may be reespected as moral, and may thrive on the dignity and pride of values that have made it the Center of this country's Bible belt and moral compass.

If South Carolina is to keep its values for the survival of this state, and so that the people of this state may continue to teach their children that right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of money, power, or political affiliation, then those elected to represent the citizens in this state need to be urged to ask for Governor Sanford’s resignation. Such actions may be forgivable based on political affiliation in our nation’s capitol, or other states. It is not, and need not become acceptable in South Carolina.

In regards to this, It should be restated at this point for those who will inevitably state that this man’s private life is no one’s business but those of his family and Governor Sanford, as well as those who state you cannot legislate morality, that this man put the smooth running of this state in jeopardy by (1) Not telling the Lieutenant governor of his absence in case pressing business needed to be dealt with (2) by lying to his staff members about his whereabouts, and (3) by creating a situation that not only makes puts this state in a negative light to the point that people view South Carolinians a hypocrites, but to the degree that people will not want to visit or move to a state that “does not practice what we preach.” South Carolina is already on the bottom of the list in almost every other category; let’s not let our elected officials put us on the bottom of the list in the areas of honesty and positive family values.

Furthermore it needs to be re-stated that a state funded vehicle was used to take him to the airport for this personal event, which is clearly a misuse of taxpayer funds.

In closing, I would like to sincerely state that as someone who believes in the sanctity of marriage, I hope the Sanford’s work out their marriage, and that their children survive this tragedy. However, whether this man saves what is left of his marriage, one thing remains clear. He needs to resign or forceably removed, so this state’s image moral and political stability may remain intact.

Keith H. Seymour is freelance writer and Media Consultant from Columbia, South Carolina, where he has lived for over 30 years. He may be reached at or at 803-960-8785 (cell Phone)


  1. I agree with you totally Keith but as usual I have a rather different approach. You know I have to call it as I see it!

    I cringe when I hear people that compare Sanford to private citizens! First of all if I had a ridiculous sophomoric affair like that and my friends found out about it there would be hell to pay. I would loose all my girlfriends because they would find me no longer trust worthy to have around their spouses and all my guy friends because they would be compelled to help me stumble again!

    I just don't trust Sanford around my State anymore! He is admittedly beaten down by age and politics and I think he ran that political tank down about a year and a half to low.

    To those that are mad the e-mails got out...
    I don't live in the Governor's Mansion and I don't have a farm on Sullivan's Island. When you run for office you have to do so knowing that part of the deal is that what you do in private is public business. Unfortunately, that goes for the family as well. He knew that when he sold them out at the steakhouse. I am very sorry that he put his family AND his State in this position but here we are and my advice to them is run like your hairs on fire.

    The bottom line is Sanford must go! I believe he could have a great second career supporting himself, Maria and their love child writing for Harlequin Romance Novels or Hallmark Cards.

  2. You rightly point out that the party condemned Clinton. Sanford himself publicly condemned Clinton for his action and called for his resignation. I think that Clinton and the State of SC should return the call just not from the farm, bad reception!

    I can not help myself but to go for the punch line on this one it's just to rich!

    He tells his Mistress that while he is on State business in NY (wonder if he and Spritzer went hiking?) he will think about her and wish she were there. This is a day before The Governors Conference of which he is chair. I can just see the daydreams and doodles from that meeting! Wait...or was that before the meeting where McCain was stirring up all that VP talk? No it was his friends private boat in the Bahamas, who was that friend again? So many freebie's so little time. I wish I could sip pinia colodas off Maria's bikini line, oh I digress, worthy of later discussion, what unemployment problem? SO!!! I think I hit the nerve. That's what caused me to focus on Sanford in a negative light to begin with. That comment to the press when told that SC's unemployment would run out that week and people would not get the money they depended on to start over. His response was simple....SO? So? Where was your agape love then Mark Sanford?

  3. One of the most understated concerns comes from crazy farmer/gigolo pillow talk. The girl was obviously playing him by the way she tried to get him to keep the e-mails clean, but for what? No doe-eyed girl eking out an e-mail here and there from her soul-mate wants him to keep it clean. Troubling indeed.

    At one point she even went so far as to refer him to a book by Greenspan! Was she interested in fiance? Were their conversations at Ryan's geared towards SC business by way of his manhood?
    Was she more of a Mata Harri or a Madame Butterfly?

    This is very scary considering he was telling her how he had to let her go like a little bird of freedom for her own sake because of his great love and then in the next paragraph he tells her that he wants to touch her deeper than ever before....then in the next paragraph solicits her for a way to do that since he certainly didn't have that kind of experience. Did he invent the Catch and Release program?

    If he bought that line of bull she fed him about Rico Suave and the Rolex cup being a boring chore that had to be done, like taking the cat out, lol, I'm sorry but he's not qualified to lead me! That old age and politicin must of really baked that brain.

    Bottom line...He breached SC security by sharing State matters with her. Number one State secret shared, our Governor is a boneheaded hypocrite that is unstable after to many years of dipping into that emotional tank!

    Must go! I have to insist on a rain check for this subject. You don't say SO to the little guy when you are the big guy. You know what they say, the toes you step on on your way up will be connected to the behinds that you will be kissing on the way down! Tread softly!

  4. Keith Howard SeymourJune 28, 2009 at 4:48 PM

    yes, i laughed at the punch line. My comment about mrs sanford beinga victim, had to do with the fact that she did not tell on her husband to cheat on her, after he promsed her he would stop. therwise you have a fair point. I really hope we meet. However, please bring your husband and kids, and I will bring a date. That way we won't have people worried about what weare up to. (LOL) I have also got to say, that any man that is dumb enough to e-mail his mistres on a state computer, instead of spending money on a laptop, and an air card for internet servce is truly an idiot ad deserves whatever has coming to him. The bottom line is he must go.