The South Carolina House Republican caucus on Wednesday called for Governor Sanford’s resignation. House Speaker Bobby Harrell did the same the day before.A letter, signed by Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, was hand delivered to the Governor today(Wednesday).
Bingham says caucus support for the letter was sufficient, with 61 of the caucus’ 72 members supporting it.
Representative Nikki Haley is among those who did not sign the letter. She says the leadership of the General Assembly is merely stoking the fire created by Sanford’s scandal, keeping it going. She says they’re doing so for their own political posturing. Haley is running for governor. She says state lawmakers shouldn’t kid themselves into thinking that Sanford’s departure would make things better.
Bingham says the caucus has been placed in a very difficult position. But he says its members know that the focus of the state needs to be in some place other than the governor’s scandal.
The Lexington County Republican says up to now, the Republican caucus has supported him through thick and thin, even when news of Sanford’s affair first broke. He says many people felt at the time that one problem was not insurmountable. But Bingham says Sanford’s problems grew after that.
But Bingham says there’s a difference between asking for Sanford’s resignation and asking for his impeachment. “Removal will have to be proven. We’re saying at this point in time , just the controversy itself has rendered his ability to perform basically useless because all he can do is field questions.”
Bingham says Alaska Governor Sara Palin left office but it was not clear that she had done anything wrong. “She stepped down because of all the cloud and controversy surrounding her, which means she was guilty of absolutely nothing. She couldn’t lead the state. At times you can get yourself in that situation. He(Sanford) may not be guilty of anything. But to be forced to leave office he would have to be guilty of something.”