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Sanford to Reimburse Taxpayers for Argentina Trip

Gov. Mark Sanford said Thursday he would reimburse taxpayers $10,000 for his costs on the Argentina leg of a 2008 trade mission that also included a stop in Brazil.

He issued a statement announcing his intention after a Freedom of Information Act request by The Greenville News for records of the trip.

He acknowledged that he "made a mistake" by meeting on the trip with his mistress who lives in Buenos Aires.

Records released to the newspaper show that state Commerce Secretary Joe Taylor did not follow Sanford through Argentina and most of the taxpayer expense for that part of the trip was for Sanford and an agency employee, more than $10,000. Most of that was in airfare for Sanford.

"While the purpose of this trip was an entirely professional and appropriate business development trip, I made a mistake while I was there in meeting with the woman who I was unfaithful to my wife with," Sanford said in a statement. "That has raised some very legitimate concerns and questions, and as such I am going to reimburse the state for the full cost of the Argentina leg of this trip."

The announcement came the day after he publicly confessed to a yearlong adulterous affair with an Argentinean woman and as legislators and others pondered whether he should resign.

Sanford said Wednesday he met with the woman a total of four times, once in the last week and three other times that he did not specify. He said the affair bloomed about a year ago.

The state sent a trade mission to Brazil and Argentina in June 2008.

The state Department of Commerce, following the FOIA request by the News, released documents about the trip Thursday.

1 Responses »

  1. Ann says:

    After the Ensign and Sanford affairs, aren’t the Republicans now finally competitive with the dominant Democratic Party of Sen. Kennedy, Rep. Barney Frank and former president Bill Clinton,etc.?

    Now if they can just find a presidential candidate who has committed perjury, is a womanizer and has been accused of rape (and throw in a little “hope” and “change” for good measure) then they might even win back the White House.