After all the chest thumping and bravado, the Governor of South Carolina caved on stimulus money

Yesterday, The State (in Columbia, SC) ran an editorial titled, The State of South Carolina vs. Gov. Mark Sanford. The Governor refused to take stimulus money for his state and was getting just pummeled for it. In the end, the State of South Carolina won. Last night, Sanford caved on stimulus spending. Sanford wanted to make a name for himself in GOP national politics by refusing stimulus money. In that quest, he was willing to sacrifice the health, safety and education of his constituents. And, the people of South Carolina forced their Governor to take the money:

Gov. Mark Sanford today will comply with a crucial stimulus deadline and become the last governor in the nation to seek millions of dollars in federal economic-recovery funds for his state, aides said late Thursday.

But Sanford will continue contesting $700 million in education and law enforcement money for South Carolina that he wants to spend on debt. Sanford’s eleventh-hour move to meet today’s midnight deadline buys time for a possible compromise with lawmakers over how to spend the money, as the state’s schools chief warned Thursday of mass teacher layoffs and SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd warned of draconian cuts without the stimulus.

South Carolina will not lose the money after today, as some legislative leaders had thought. But Sanford will control when South Carolina is able to tap the funding.

Obviously, Sanford is still going to play games, but the bottom line is that he made himself the symbol of standing up to Obama. In the end, Obama won and Sanford looks weak. Really weak. He’ll be a great leader for the GOP.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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