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Sanford shares S.C. legislative goals in Aiken

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AIKEN --- Gov. Mark Sanford was far from the media blitz and public scrutiny that followed him this summer when he spoke Thursday to a group of 40 people at an Aiken Kiwanis Club meeting.

Mr. Sanford, who has been clouded with controversy since revealing an extramarital affair, said he has remembered the importance of communicating to small groups as he outlined his legislative priorities for the upcoming state session.

"You, in some ways, go back to where you started," said Mr. Sanford after his speech, referring to how he spoke more to individuals at the beginning of his political career. "Given all that went on this summer, I've been reawakened to the power of personal, one-on-one conversations."

The governor again apologized for the scandal.

But he said the experience has allowed him to speak his mind without people questioning his rhetoric as only targeted to reach higher office.

Mr. Sanford said he wanted to propose attainable goals for his last legislative session.

He proposes reforming the state Employment Security Commission, placing the governor and lieutenant governor on the same ticket in elections and imposing government spending limits.

The governor, who spoke out against federal stimulus spending this year, said he is not yet optimistic about an economic turnaround.

"I'm still guarded about what comes next," he said after the meeting. "I don't think we're out of it yet. I think this might be a false bounce."

Reach Erin Zureick at (706) 823-3217 or erin.zureick@augustachronicle.com.


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