If you asked most voters who the “taxpayer hero” is in the race for South Carolina’s first congressional district (map), they would probably assume you were talking about Mark Sanford.
Most voters clearly haven’t been paying attention, then …
Sanford used to be the genuine article when it came to protecting the interests of taxpayers, but those days are long gone. In fact this news site has written numerous articles over the years chronicling Sanford’s unfortunate evolution into a shill for the #NeverTrump “Republican” establishment.
Seriously … this guy voted for uber-liberal former U.S. speaker of the House John Boehner. And then told us Jesus made him do it.
During his first stint in the U.S. Congress, Sanford was an altogether different animal. He consistently voted against crony capitalism, limited himself to serving just three terms and returned hundreds of thousands of dollars from his office budget to the U.S. Treasury.
He was the real deal, in other words … an authentic citizen legislator.
These days, Sanford has become just another corporate sellout – one who is desperate to stay in Washington, D.C. for as long as he possibly can. Sanford is so desperate, in fact, he’s allegedly been using taxpayer resources on his campaign. That’s sad, but it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone after he used state tax dollars on an extramarital affair with his erstwhile “soulmate,” Maria Belen Chapur.
(Stay tuned for an update on this ongoing soap opera later this week).
(Click to view)
(Via: U.S. House)
Bottom line? Sanford has become the career politician he used to criticize, which is one reason he has been struggling with voters … and donors.
Looking to step into the void of leadership created by Sanford’s abdication of principle? First-term state representative Katie Arrington.
Arrington, 46, has been running an aggressive, intelligent race against Sanford – providing voters with a clear contrast to the third-term incumbent. Most notably, Arrington has staked herself out to the same term limit pledge Sanford made decades ago when he first ran for Congress.
Sanford has abandoned term limits – both for himself and his status quo colleagues in our nation’s capital.
This week, Arrington extended her “contrast campaign” by announcing that she would decline congressional health care and retirement benefits – which could save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in the event she is elected.
“I will reject these perks for as long as you allow me to serve you in Congress,” Arrington said.
Previously, Arrington announced that if elected she would accept only the median household income of the first congressional district ($52,000) as compensation – donating the lion’s share of her congressional salary ($125,000) to four different Lowcountry, South Carolina charities.
“It’s clear that I’m not running for the money or to become a career politician like Mark Sanford,” Arrington said. “I’m running to be a public servant, not a self-serving career politician.”
Obviously Arrington’s willingness to part with federal benefits won’t make a dent in the nation’s $20 trillion debt, but it’s the principle that counts. As she is doing on the term limits issue, Arrington is “walking the walk” – setting an example that not only establishes her own bona fides but demonstrates just how far Sanford has fallen from the principled example he used to set.
Stay tuned … this race could get very interesting if Arrington is able to continue her effective “contrast campaigning” while staying credible on the fundraising front.
So far, she’s hanging in there on both counts …
WANNA SOUND OFF?
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