The Daily Journal: Sandifer puts his trust in the people

Representative Bill Sandifer


I am writing in response to Gov. Mark Sanford’s May 30 letter to the editor. Under normal circumstances I would not write any rebuttal. However, the circumstances that the people of House District 2 in Oconee County find themselves in are anything but normal. Therefore I am compelled to make a few comments.

When I first read Sanford’s letter, it struck me that it’s quite uncommon for a governor to write a letter to the editor in response to an article in a small town newspaper. As governor of our state, I would hope that Sanford could use his time to better advantage. One suggestion is that he use his time to attempt to create a harmonious relationship with the members of the legislature (at least the ones who are members of his own party).

In Anthony Moore’s excellent article on May 21, he references Sanford’s “deteriorating relationship between him and the legislature.” Actually, I am not sure that the relationship can deteriorate more than it already has. This governor has consistently shown his total disdain for the entire legislative branch, while attempting to increase his own power.

I strongly agree with one statement that Moore attributed to the governor: “Seats don’t belong to individual members. It belongs to the people of this county.” It is my strong personal belief that the people of Oconee County do not need, nor do they want, an elitist from Charleston to tell them who should represent them in the state legislature. Some of the people who have been kind enough to endorse me are people who know me well and live here in Oconee: U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, U.S. Congressman Gresham Barrett, S.C. Sen. Thomas Alexander, and S.C. Rep. Bill Whitmire. I have also received coveted endorsements from the National Rifle Association, S.C. Citizens for Life, S.C. Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Taxpayers Association, and numerous others. These are endorsements by people and organizations that the citizens of Oconee County know and trust.

I found it interesting that Sanford indicated that I had voted to override his vetoes 475 times. I am glad he has time to count them — I don’t. With that being said, I think your readers might be interested in just a few of those vetoes:

He vetoed providing horses to pull the caisson to carry our brave young men and women who died in battle to their final resting places. (He vetoed this twice.)

He vetoed care for autistic children during the early years when medical science has shown that special care has a dramatic ability to reverse many of the problems associated with this disorder.

He vetoed a contribution to the Special Olympics.

Very honestly, I am extremely proud of my votes to override these vetoes. These three examples should give you some insight into why an extremely high percentage of all of his vetoes are overridden.

As the Primary date rapidly approaches, I trust the voters of House District 2 to know whether they can trust someone who has lived in Oconee County for nearly 50 years or someone who comes in to visit one or two times during his tenure as governor to advance his personal political agenda.

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