South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is expected Wednesday to become the first governor to formally reject some of the federal stimulus money earmarked by Congress for his state.
The move will cement Sanford’s growing reputation as a political powerhouse among Republican party stalwarts nationwide — though how much of the estimated $8 billion in stimulus funds destined for South Carolina will be affected is unclear. The law allows state legislative leaders to accept funds the governor rejects.
“Our objections to the so-called stimulus bill have been well-chronicled for the way it spends money that we don’t have and for the way this printing of money could ultimately devalue the American dollar,” Sanford said on Tuesday, even as he acknowledged that he’ll accept some.
“Those of us opposed to this package lost the debate on these merits, and I now think it is important we look for creative ways to apply and use these monies in accordance with the long-term interests of our state,” he said.
Again, I don’t think there’s anything necessarily unprincipled about Republican governor’s opposing the stimulus and accepting the money after it passed. At the end of they day, it’s their constituents tax dollars. That said, this is a pretty impressive display of backbone on Sanford’s part.