October 27th, 2009
05:07 PM ET
10 years ago

Sanford impeachment effort hits speed bump

Sanford's job is safe for the time being.

Sanford's job is safe for the time being.

(CNN) - A Republican legislator in South Carolina moved to introduce a resolution of impeachment against Gov. Mark Sanford on Tuesday during a one-day special session of the state legislature, but his attempt was ruled "out of order" by the Speaker of the House, who said the measure must be submitted at a later date.

Speaker Bobby Harrell, also a Republican, said that state Rep. Greg Delleney will have to wait to offer his impeachment resolution during a so-called "pre-filing" period in November, when lawmakers will be allowed to submit bills in advance of the regular legislative session, which begins in January.

Harrell would then decide which House committee would handle the resolution and potentially build an impeachment case against the governor.

Delleney claimed his measure still has "significant support" among House Republicans and predicted it will get out of committee and to the House floor for a vote in January.

But removing the governor from office ultimately requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. Delleney admitted to CNN that such a vote "is not an easy thing to come by."

He also conceded that while the votes to impeach Sanford were there "early on," support for such a move may have faded over the last few months. He predicted that more legislators will support impeachment once a case can be made in committee that Sanford committed "serious misconduct" by leaving the country in June without informing his staff or the lieutenant governor.

The latest twist in the ongoing Sanford saga occured during a one-day special session of the legislature that brought lawmakers together for the first time since the Republican governor admitted an extramarital affair in June. The session was called to address payment of state unemployment benefits, but Delleney had hoped to introduce his resolution and have it referred to an appropriate subcommittee so he could get the "ball rolling" on impeachment before January.

Harrell, however, said that Delleney's measure was technically out of order under the terms of the resolution that brought lawmakers to Columbia for Tuesday's session and would have to wait.

State lawmakers are also awaiting the results of a State Ethics Commission investigation into Sanford's travel expenses, the results of which are expected to be released in the coming weeks. Delleney said his resolution can be amended if that investigation reveals further evidence of "serious misconduct" - a term the state constitution uses to describe impeachable behavior.

"I will do everything I can to win," Delleney told CNN. "We just have to see. At least Gov. Sanford is having to face an impeachment resolution for his conduct. His conduct is not going to be without consequences."

Filed under: Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Jackie in Dallas

    I am glad to see that this is being spearheaded by other Republicans and not the Democrats. Since the GOP is supposed to be so "family value" oriented, I would think that the adultery would be enough, but that really should be between Sanford and his wife - and not the public. However, dereliction of duty definitely is an impeachable offense, and misuse of funds is an even bigger one.

    I don't care what side of the aisle you sit on, being a public figure in government means that you are held to higher standards. This has gone on for far too long, and although there is a lot of agitation, there has been very little actively done. Kudos to Delleney for attempting to do something, at least. Don't know anything about him, but that was a good try.

    October 27, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Blue Dogs for Perry 2010

    Translation: Sanford finishes his term on January 12, 2011 and leaves the South Carolina Governor's Mansion in disgrace.

    If the GOP-controlled State Legislature wanted him gone, they should have done it in July or August.

    October 27, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Peter s

    Surely why should this guy be impeached? because of having a soul mate in Argentina common folks this so called conservatives are pathetic read your bible carefuly and you will find that, man was told to go and multiply!!! and thats what the guy was just doing!!. Leave him alone to work out his marriage with his wife otherwise keep off!!

    October 27, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. Jennifer

    The entire group of SC Republican elected 'leaders' are crooked and worthless. I'm from SC, living in one of the most conservative areas of the state. I WAS a life long Republican, but never again. All you hear from the talk in this area is the disgust of the SC GOP. The longer Sanford stays in office, the more the support for the GOP evaporates.

    October 27, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Independent Senior in Bandon, Oregon

    Let Sanford finiish his term. All the attention he is getting is taking time out from government business (how little there is of it) in South Carolina.

    October 27, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. JES

    Let's see impeach Sanford like Clinton.

    I don't think what he did was right, but it's his life not South Carolina's. He is the Governor but it wasn't the White House.

    He will have to answer to his maker not us just leave him alone his life as he knows it is finished.

    October 27, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. jack

    I support Mark Sanford's "looking for love". Maybe he and his wife drifted apart over the years of marriage. That is something that they and no one else have to deal with.

    This guy was doing such a great job that he was mentioned as a candidate for President. Just because he had a "wandering eye" does not mean he wasn't doing a good job as Governor. I hope he stays in office.

    October 27, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  8. OldUncleTom

    Hard to get real excited about this issue; perhaps, because I see SC as a filler of space between NC and GA.

    I hope these folks can settle their differences peacefully.

    October 27, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. bawana

    hey everyone can say another repug screw up but at least he is not like foley from fl wanting to get to know page boys better while camping or craig trying to tap out code in the mens room,,,i'd say all they need is a glory hole to help them find old glory ha ha ,,oh how patriotic

    October 27, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Albo58

    Had this governor been a Democrat, then they would have started grooming him for President in 2016 (read: CLINTON!)!

    October 27, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This situation leaves one to believe the pot can't call the kettle black and Sanford has the upper hand.

    October 27, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Magnanimous

    The GOP is proud to support Sanford. This is why Sanford is still in office after doing much worse than anything Bill Clinton did. Sanford used taxpayer money on foreign trips to see his mistress and then lied about it. GOP = C-street hypocrites with no family values.

    Sanford / Ensign 2012

    October 27, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |

    Obama is ruining this country ,,hes the one that needs impeached

    October 27, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. Gerry

    Why is he still around? He should have been history the day after.

    October 27, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. S Callahan

    When a man err's and takes responsibility for it, and humbles himself before God and people...he can be used for good things. It won't hold to impeach him.....he's on the side of angels.

    October 27, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Emma

    Just let him finish his term and then disappear into the sunset. He did not do anything worse than Ensign and many other public figures. However, It is very clear now that the Republicans are not the party of family values.

    October 27, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. Jose

    The inmates running the asylum.

    October 27, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  18. Ken in NC

    I don’t see how a person can be a Governor when he/she doesn’t know the difference between the Appalachian Trail and the Argentina Tail. Even hiking one is different from humping the other.

    October 27, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Peter s

    Hang in there Sanford you are doing alright!

    October 27, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. LacrosseMom

    Good old "family values-holier-than-thou" GOP!

    And the GOPers demonized John Edwards! At least Edwards did not
    abandon his executive post as governor to meet up with his "bimbo."

    People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones!

    October 27, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  21. oldsoldierboy

    The republicans have been silent on this situation from the start. Unless they start making some noise and push to get rid of this guy, it will be obvious to everyone that they are not serious about cleaning up corruption in government.

    October 27, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  22. "out of order"

    too funny, Sanford lasts a few more months due to Robertson's rules of order

    October 27, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. Stu

    Perhaps he should just reimburse the expenses he incurred jetting around. What's sad is the number of convicted felons serving in congress and local governments. It should be that if you are a convicted felon (including no contest pleas, conviction at a lesser included offense, etc) you cannot serve in public office, ever.

    October 27, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  24. Rick Shreiner

    OK Peter S, how about guys that might like to "go forth and multiply" with your wife. That OK by yoyu ?
    Going AWOL from your job as Governor IS an impeachable offense.

    October 27, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  25. jules sand-perkins

    I'm glad this process has hit a speed bump: the car was going too rapidly and had no business on that road in the first place.
    No man should lose his job because he commits adultery. That's one of the things married people do.
    It also doesn't matter if the spouse is attractive, sympathetic, and successful.
    Hey–lots of marriages do not end in death. So what?

    October 28, 2009 03:57 am at 3:57 am |