U.S. congressman Mark Sanford has more than $1.5 million in the bank in his bid for a fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, but the scandal-scarred politician collected just $83,000 in contributions during the most recent fundraising quarter according to filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
That’s a terrible showing … especially for a candidate who gets off “dialing for dollars” (something most candidates hate doing).
“That’s odd for him,” one former Sanford staffer told us. “Very odd.”
Indeed it is. For all of his faults as an elected official (and trust us, they are legion), the one thing Sanford has always been able to do exceedingly well is raise money.
Well … and naval gaze.
Not anymore, it seems …
Sanford’s anemic total for the third quarter of 2017 was eclipsed by his GOP challenger, state representative Katie Arrington (who raised $120,000 in one month) and by Democrat Joe Cunningham (who raised $100,000 over three months). Arrington has tons of buzz surrounding her bid, while Cunningham has been running a smart, aggressive campaign in anticipation of the upcoming general election.
Either one of these two attractive candidates could spell serious problems for Sanford … whose vulnerability has been extensively chronicled by this news site.
After a tremendously unimpressive performance in last year’s GOP primary against underfunded opponent Jenny Horne, Sanford has been besieged on a multitude of fronts. He has been dogged by reports of a lingering campaign finance scandal (rumored to involve ongoing illegal activity) as well as unresolved allegations of child abuse involving his young niece. As of this writing, a S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigation into the mysterious June 2016 incident involving Sanford and his grammar school-aged niece remains open. Meanwhile, sources close to a family court case involving the girls parents tell us a Lowcountry judge has barred the former governor from having any contact with the young girl.
All of those stories broke exclusively on this news site, by the way …
More recently, Sanford has been ensnared by #NukeGate – a mushrooming political scandal related to state government’s abandonment of a multi-billion nuclear power project. In 2007, Sanford – then in his second term as governor of South Carolina – allowed a bill socializing the investment risk for this controversial project to become law without his signature.
In addition to these problems, Sanford has chosen to alienate broad swaths of the GOP primary electorate by becoming a card-carrying member of the #NeverTrump establishment in Washington, D.C. Not only could that cause serious problems for him with his district’s “Republican” base, it could prompt U.S. president Donald Trump to get involved in his primary election on Arrington’s behalf.
Frankly, our beef with Sanford has nothing to do with his disdain for the president – or his litany of, um, “personal issues.” The bottom line for us? He’s simply no longer the taxpayer hero, limited government champion he once was. Instead, Sanford has become a typical Washington “Republican” (click here, here and here for our reports chronicling this unfortunate evolution).
That’s why we are actively opposing his reelection bid … although we will always extend our microphone to Sanford and allow him to communicate his views on various issues to our audience.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? Please feel free to submit your own guest column or letter to the editor via-email HERE. Got a tip for us? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question? CLICK HERE. Want to support what we’re doing? SUBSCRIBE HERE.
Banner via U.S. House