Aug 27, 2012

Ex-Governor Mark Sanford Engaged to "Soul Mate"

In the summer of 2009, then-Governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford disappeared from his office for a week on a trip to Argentina to visit Maria Belen Chapur. Aides said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. When Sanford returned, he gave a tearful, State House press conference admitting he had been unfaithful to his wife and calling Chapur his "soul mate."

The episode ended in divorce from his wife, Jenny, and derailed his political career. The affair also prompted impeachment hearings in 2009 after the state ethics commission looked into Sanford's use of state planes, campaign cash and first-class travel. The former South Carolina congressman ended up paying $74,000 in ethics fines and reimbursed the state for the investigation and for travel and personal expenses. He served out the rest of his term until January 2011. 
He was governor from 2003-2011.

Sanford said on Sunday he is engaged to marry his Argentine girlfriend.
"Yes, it's true and I stand by my statement," Sanford told Reuters by telephone.

He referred to a statement given to CNN in which he said, "Yes, we are engaged, and I'm both happy and excited for what that means. I have long expressed my feelings for her, she's a wonderful person. My closest friends have met and love her, and I look forward to introducing her to still many more that have yet to do so."

A more important story in my mind was also reported in CNN:

South Carolina officials head to federal court on Monday to defend a controversial new voter identification law, dismissing suggestions the requirement would deny tens of thousands of people, many of them minorities, access to the ballot.
A week long trial will kick off in Washington before a panel of three judges who will decide whether the law should take effect. It is one of several legal challenges to voter identification laws nationwide.



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