Governor Mark Sanford has been critical of the stimulus plan, asking to divert more than $3 billion of the $7.8 billion headed to South Carolina from the Obama Administration initiative, in order to pay down debt. Democratic leaders and lawmakers gathered outside his office at the statehouse today, to speak their mind. South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler said that what she called Sanford’s political posturing is hurting the people of the state. “It’s unbelievable,” she said. “Governor Sanford doesn’t want to use this money to help keep South Carolina teachers, firefighters, and police officers on the job. It doesn’t seem to matter to the governor that thousands of South Carolinians are concerned about their homes because they are thinking they are going to lose their jobs.”
Richland County Representative Leon Howard pointed out that South Carolina has the second worst unemployment rate in the country. Howard had this to say about Sanford, “Shame on our governor for playing politics with our constituency.” Howard continued by saying, “He is running a scare tactic. He knows that the General Assembly will except this money because we have no choice. We know that our constituency needs it most as we look at the Employment Security Commission and the lines there. We know that we really need this money.”
Joining the political leaders were dozens of citizens from all over the state like Sivilla Courage of Greer. “Governor Sanford is being so ridiculous posturing himself for national politics and not being concerned with the citizens of South Carolina not excepting this money and playing a game,” said Sivilla. “So I came down to let my voice be heard.”
Last week, 52 mayors from across the state signed a letter requesting that the governor use the recovery plan to create jobs.