The Associated Press:
At a time when other states are clamoring for cash, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is saying no thanks.
The newly minted head of the Republican Governors Association is carving out an identity as the anti-bailout governor, speaking against calls for more money from Washington for new state public works spending, lifesaving dollars for the auto industry and even stimulus checks.......
It's not that South Carolina is doing better than most states: The state's unemployment rate hit 8 percent in October, a 25-year-high and the fourth-highest in the nation. Economists project it will worsen substantially next year. Currently, South Carolina is paying out more than $14 million a week in benefits. But Sanford is even balking, at least for now, at asking for a federal loan for his state's unemployment benefits, which otherwise will run out of money at the end of the year.
As we've noted, Governor Huntsman is banking on stimulus $ for Utah's budget, and Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana proudly displays an op-ed on his website titled: "Indiana pressing for fair share of stimulus money".
Not Sanford. And it's hurting his popularity with South Carolinians who think he's neglecting them.
Workers don't understand why the state isn't jumping to take the money. Altray Reed, 41, of Columbia, said her job as a cafeteria worker is taking a three-week leave for the holidays, and she needs the unemployment to pay the bills.
"I don't feel he should wait. We're depending on that unemployment," she said.
Sgt. Michael Jones, 61, of Columbia, said he was discharged from the Army about eight months ago and is running out of savings. Unable to find work, he was applying for unemployment benefits.
"I think it is a game. They're the ones not hurting," he said. "The little people are suffering."
Politically-speaking, could the guy be too damned principled for his own good?