Governor Mark Sanford held a press conference in Conway today to discuss the current State Ethics Commission investigation on his travel records, and he came with a challenge.
“I would challenge the House and Senate to step to the plate and do the same thing. Let’s change the system from one system over here and a different system for the legislative body. Let’s have the same system for everybody and let’s have them waive their rights to confidentiality as well on the disclosure front,” says Sanford.
Sanford also made a challenge to the members of the media.
“And let me say to my friends in the press, some of ya’ll are friends, some of ya’ll are debatable, but what happens is really going to be in ya’lls hands. In other words, the way it gets reported it can be a circus, it can be a Mickey Mouse court, if that’s the way ya’ll report it. One of the dissappointing things I’ve seen in the last 60 days of my life, is that it’s not been about effective journalism, it’s been about advocacy journalism with an agenda,” says Sanford.
However, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, who asked the governor to step down earlier this week, says the media has been given a lot of freedom to report what they want, and he says it’s time for the facts to come from effective leadership, and not solely from journalists.
“I think our state has got to move forward, whether it’s the governor moving pass this and staying in office, and not defending himself anymore. Let’s clear the air, let’s get the information out on the table, let’s let him defend it from his perspective, let’s let the people ask the questions, because if we don’t we are going to continue to be late-night pundits, jokes, we’re going to continue to find ourselves on things like The Wall Street Journal, USA Today in a non-complimentary light,” says Bauer.
One reporter that Governor Sanford pointed out in the Conway press conference was John O’Connor of The State, who has recently written articles about Governor Sanford’s investigations.
“Since ya’ll may have missed it yesterday John, can I give you the David Thomas report again?” says Sanford.
“We saw it the day before though,” says O’Connor.
“Unfortunately, you didn’t report on it though. Again, that’s the larger point that I make: you may have seen it, but the part that made it in the paper was simply about the conflict,” says Sanford.
Sanford held a press conference in Greenville Thursday across the street from Greenville Senator David Thomas’ office. At the conference Sanford detailed the letter he sent to the senator, and described what the governors’ main points were. After referring to the same letter, or report, at the Conway conference, Sanford made it a point to “call out” reporter O’Connor on what was not reported. At the end of the conference, Sanford made it clear when he was done.
“I’m gonna visit with some friends, I’ve said what I’m going to say,” says Sanford
“The disclosure, did you report the privacy, etc.?” says O’Connor.
“John, we’re not going to play your game, I don’t work for you John,” says Sanford.