Mark Sanford, the moralistic crusading governor of South Carolina who this summer skipped his state — in fact, he skipped the country! — in order to visit with his Argentine mistress, may finally have to face the consequences of his sneaky behavior. I’ve already blogged about this sniveling, contemptible characterwhose backers have claimed that everyone else in the universe but him was responsible for what he did — and even went so far as to compare himself with the Biblical hero King David. But at long last he faces a number of specific ethics charges, as reported by the New York Times:

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina will face formal ethics charges on 37 counts of using his office for personal financial gain, according to a list of allegations issued by the state ethics commission on Monday.

The charges on the list include spending state money on business-class plane tickets, instead of flying coach; using state aircraft to attend political and personal events, like the birthday party of a campaign contributor; and using his campaign fund for non-campaign expenses like a ticket to President Obama’s inauguration.

The idiot triggered this ethics probe, as well as a separate impeachment investigation in the SC legislature, by conspicuously disappearing this summer:

A separate impeachment resolution has been filed in the state legislature, but the ethics commission and the legislative action so far have dealt with different accusations. The ethics commission reviewed charges of misuse of public resources, while the impeachment resolution deals with the governor’s secret trip to Argentina in June to visit a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

A legislative committee will take up the impeachment resolution on Tuesday.

It turns out that Sanford has flown high, on SC tax dollars, for a very long time … although only a few times while making booty-calls to his mistress:

The 17-page document released Monday, which is similar to an indictment, lists 18 occasions when Mr. Sanford flew business class or first class when, it alleges, “no exigencies existed to justify an upgrade from coach,” as required by state law. All but two were international flights, but in one instance Mr. Sanford flew first class from Columbia, S.C., to nearby Atlanta.

That’s just the start of it, of course. By contrast to his own behavior, Sanford has acted the role of a conscientious steward of public money, going so far as to fight off federal stimulus money offered his state, earlier this year (as reported at the time by The State):

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday became the first governor to reject some of his state’s share of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus money, spurning $700 million that he said would harm his state’s residents in the long run. …

Sanford turned down the federal money despite new data showing that his state’s unemployment rate had risen to 10.4 percent, the second highest in the country.

“We don’t think it’s a good idea to spend money that you don’t have,” Sanford said in Columbia.

Yeah yeah, governor, as though anyone believes you … because at the same time you were professing to protect the wallets of South Carolinians, you were upgrading from coach to first- and business-class, on their dimes. How nice — and hypocritical — of you.

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