The Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, trying to curry favor with the far right wing of the Republican Party (the ones who vote in presidential primaries and attend presidential caucuses, btw), wants to use federal stimulus dollars to pay his state’s debt instead of rebuilding schools, for example.
Today, Obama, via OMB Director Peter Orszag, said NO to Sanford’s scheme:
The Obama administration has rejected South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s request to use $700 million in federal stimulus cash to pay down state debt.
White House Budget Director Peter Orszag (OHR’-zag) said in a letter to the Republican on Monday that the federal stimulus law doesn’t allow President Barack Obama to make an exception for that cash. Sanford sought a waiver last week, asking to pay off debt rather than use the money to create jobs and avoid deep program cuts.
Don’t mess with Orszag.
Now, keep in mind, Sanford pulled this stimulus stunt to garner attention. He got some of that attention in the form of an ad from the Democratic National Committee:
But that ad turned Sanford, the alleged tough guy who is standing up to Obama, into Sanford the whiny Governor who thinks the ad is mean and wants Obama to have it pulled. (Note to Governor Sanford: Toughen up. If you’re this much of a baby now, Sarah Palin is going to make mincemeat out of you in the 2012 primaries.)