July 2nd, 2009
06:15 PM ET
13 years ago

Sanford called on to turn over campaign money

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/24/south.carolina.governor.emails/art.sanford.head.down.gi.jpg
caption="SC Gov. Mark Sanford has been asked to repair the ‘serious damage’ he has done to state fundraising efforts."]
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Former South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson is calling on Gov. Mark Sanford to cut a check from his campaign war chest to help repair the "serious damage" he has done to Republican fundraising efforts in the state.

Sanford, a prodigious fundraiser, is sitting on nearly $1.69 million in his gubernatorial election account, and he still has roughly $128,000 in his congressional account, according to his most recent campaign finance reports. New financial reports are due later this month.

But now that Sanford's political career has collapsed, his money is in limbo.

Under South Carolina law, Sanford could technically hang on to that money by transferring it to a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization of his choice or to a state-level political action committee.

But Dawson said Sanford should contribute a chunk of the money directly to the state Republican party, which would also be legal. He said he "guarantees" Sanford's donors would support the idea.

"This is a catastrophic event that we will have to get over," Dawson told CNN. "Whenever you have a public official who falls so publicly from grace in a manner that is as indefensible as this, it takes the donors and puts a huge question mark up."

Republican donors around the country have been scared off by Sanford's indiscretions, Dawson argued.

"This was front page all over the country, so it will take while to mount a charge back financially," he said, noting that the South Carolina GOP has collected checks from donors in 17 states. "The $19.5 million we have raised over the last seven years has been put in jeopardy for the short run."

He said Sanford has dealt current Republican chairwoman Karen Floyd "a pretty tough hand."

"It is his personal responsibility to help Republicans like Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham and four congressmen and Republicans running for election in this state to repair damage to the Republican party," Dawson said.

Sanford's office had no comment.

Filed under: Katon Dawson • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. zhane

    I could care less about what he has done 2 the gop. but what he has done2 us the people of sc he just need 2 get out of office @ lieve sc because he dosent care about us nor his family they want us 2 look the other way and let keep doing what he wants he has put the people of sc threw a lot so it would be best 4 all of if left office he done it b4 but this time it would be 4 good.

    July 3, 2009 01:44 am at 1:44 am |