South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford doesn't believe a federal deadline looms for him to seek $700 million in stimulus money for struggling schools, according to his spokesman, and his critics said Tuesday they're worried the money will disappear.Some in South Carolina are anxiously trying to discredit a Governor willing to put everything on the line to try to prevent one of the largest socialist experiments in the last 30 years claiming he's only doing it to become President:
"No one anticipated we'd be the only state out of 50 going through this kind of litigation because of the governor's position," he said.
Senate President Glenn McConnell said the federal court case could leave the state missing the deadline and losing the money.
"That's exactly what he's doing," said McConnell, R-Charleston. "By taking it up in federal court, he makes sure there is no money."
South Carolina would get $2.8 billion in federal cash for programs and projects during the next two years. Sanford controls about $700 million of that and won't request that unless it can be used to offset state debt. The White House twice rejected that idea.(link)
Sanford, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, has raised his political profile and been mentioned as a possible 2012 presidential candidate since he's started protesting the stimulus money. McConnell contends it's coming at the expense of the state.
"He gets the headlines and we make no headway," McConnell said.
This of course suggests that Governor Sandford's protest has been popular.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Governments around the world have been passing "stimulus" packages since late last year. In some cases reluctantly, like in Canada's case, where the governing Conservatives only passed a stimulus budget after having a near death experience with the opposition.
I don't know about the US, but in Canada polls have consistently shown that Canadians agreed with the stimulus.
Sandford's stand will not win him any votes for propective Presidential bid.
It will, however, make him stand out in history as a sane voice in a sea of panic and desperation. Years from now people will wonder just how we could have let politicians spend so much money so quickly for so little return and with so little justification.