COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - A new round of investigations into Gov. Mark Sanford's travel records has been announced by the Associated Press Friday. The press agency alleged Sanford took as many as 35 extra flights that he never documented on ethics or campaign reports.
In the hours after the announcement of renewed investigations, both Sanford's office and the head of the Democratic party reacted to the news.
The Governor's office issued the following statement on the AP's latest story with regard to the Governor's use of airplanes and airplane travel:
"We continue to believe that the AP is selective in their view of the Governor's travel. That has been the case, and based on this press account, it looks like this may continue to be the case. With the flights in question the office believed it was operating in full accord with all state laws. In many instances the governor was using private airplanes rather than the state plane as a way of saving taxpayer money. In other instances he simply, but emphatically, disagrees that flights should be classified as something other than what they were - with 'friends and family.' In still others arranged and paid for by an outside campaign committee or another political candidate, his campaign committee believed disclosure requirements would be met by the committee that had procured the flight.
The Governor continues to believe that as the full story gets out on airplane travel the public will come to see the ways in which his office has used the state plane one third or more less than any of his predecessors over the last twenty years. In the same vein, he used single engine airplane travel rather than expensive jet travel to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, and did things like selling off a state-owned jet to save taxpayers more than $1 million."
State Democratic chair Carol Fowler issued the following statement:
"South Carolinians are again asking themselves whether this governor is so arrogant that he thinks the law doesn't apply to him, or so ignorant that he thinks he can get away with breaking any rules that inconvenience him. Whether Mark Sanford's current problems are caused by his arrogance or ignorance, it's clear that many of South Carolina's problems are caused by his failure to be an effective governor."