Congressman Mark Sanford of South Carolina was one of three members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against legislation requiring amateur athletic organizations to report sex abuse claims to law enforcement.
The legislation passed the House by a 406-3 vote this week …
What was Sanford thinking? Good question …
The bill was passed in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University. Beginning in 1992, Nasser is accused of molesting as many as 150 underage girls. Last week, Nassar – who has admitted to committing several of the sexual assaults – was sentenced to anywhere from 40 to 175 years in prison in connection with the scandal.
“How a serial predator like Dr. Nassar could have preyed on so many young girls for a long time in such a flagrant fashion is appalling,” U.S. congressman Ted Poe of Texas said.
Indeed it is …
And how Sanford could wind up on the wrong side of a bill attempting to rectify the situation is equally appalling, in our view. We understand he has concerns about imposing penalties on people for passive conduct (i.e. sins of omission), but come on … who among us in possession of credible evidence of sexual abuse wouldn’t immediately take that evidence to the appropriate authorities?[timed-content-server show=”2018-Jan-17 00:00:00″ hide=”2018-May-18 00:00:00″]
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Clearly Sanford – who has evolved into quite the status quo sellout in Washington, D.C. – is eager to reinvent himself as a limited government champion who bucks prevailing wisdom and votes on principle, even if it means being on the losing end of lopsided tallies.
Makes sense … he’s got an election in four-and-a-half months.
But we’ve been to this puppet show before ….
There’s no principle here, just political opportunism – at the expense of sex abuse victims, no less.
Sanford’s opponent, Katie Arrington, said the congressman’s vote left her “disgusted.”
“Put aside my candidacy for Congress for a moment,” Arrington wrote on her Facebook page. “As a mother and grandmother, I am truly disgusted that Mark Sanford voted against amateur sports organizations reporting sexual assault allegations.”
Our guess is she isn’t the only mother/ grandmother who feels the same way …
Joe Cunningham, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the Palmetto State’s first congressional district, also blasted Sanford on the vote.
“Mark Sanford’s vote against a bill that protects victims of sexual assault may reflect his own values but they do not reflect mine or the values that so many of us share here in the Lowcountry,” Cunningham said in a statement. “This bill would help women step out from the shadows while placing pressure on those people and institutions that provide safe harbor to such evil. Our judicial system should make it easier for victims to pursue justice and harder for those who try to obstruct it. Women in the Lowcountry have once again been reminded exactly where our Congressman stands on these issues. And in November, it’s imperative they remind him where they stand.”
As we’ve written previously, Sanford is exceedingly vulnerable in this election cycle after his underwhelming performance two years ago. If Arrington can exploit his many weaknesses, she’s got a real chance to knock him off in the June GOP primary for this seat.
In fact if U.S. president Donald Trump – who supports the reporting bill – were to align with Arrington, our guess is she would become the favorite in the GOP primary election.
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