Mark Sanford spent six years as Charleston's congressman, which has been his only experience in public office at any level. His votes and statements as congressman, therefore, are really all we have on which to decide his fitness for the office of governor within South Carolina. Judge for yourself - is this the record of a real "conservative" and a real "leader"?
According to Congressional Quarterly, in 1995, 1996 and 1998, Mark Sanford voted with former President Bill Clinton more than any other S.C. congressman. Additionally in 1995-1999, he voted against a majority of Republicans more than any other S.C. Republican congressman.
Mr. Sanford voted repeatedly against defense spending and authorization bills throughout his six years in Congress. In doing so, he voted with a majority of Democrats and against a majority of Republicans. Sanford argues he voted against "pork" - ask yourselves if that word really includes the B-2 bomber, the Trident II (D-5) submarine-based missile, the Seawolf submarine, incentives for shipbuilding and improved naval facilities on both coasts. Mr. Sanford voted against all of these and more. In fact, he publicly declared that he agreed with the shutdown of Charleston's naval facilities, which Sens. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., and Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., worked to save.
Additionally, retired Vice Administrator David Emerson of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce's "In Defense of Charleston" campaign was quoted as saying, "I wish he'd voted for South Carolina." This was in reference to Mark Sanford's vote against military construction (Post and Courier, June 22, 1995). He also voted against support for our U.S. military troops in the Persian Gulf (Post and Courier, December 18, 1998).
When it comes to defense issues vital for all South Carolinians, Mr. Sanford is not the "leader" or "conservative," as his TV ads suggest. On June 25th, I will cast my vote for Bob Peeler for the Republican nomination for governor.
Glinda Napier, Graniteville, S.C.
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