Mark Sanford will be allowed to stay in office. The disgraced South Carolina Republican anti-gay "family values" governor disappeared for almost a week while carrying on an extra-marital affair in Argentina. Legislators say the governor's dereliction of duties and missing in action ... doesn't quite rise to a "high crime".
South Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday quashed a move to oust Gov. Mark Sanford over his summertime tryst and his use of state aircraft, saying his embarrassing conduct was not serious enough to merit impeachment. Lawmakers were still considering whether to recommend an official reprimand. Six of the seven panel members said they believed the events surrounding Sanford's extramarital affair involving an Argentine woman did not rise to a high enough level to warrant his removal from office prior to the end of his second and final term in January 2011. "We can't impeach for hypocrisy. We can't impeach for arrogance. We can't impeach an officeholder for his lack of leadership skills," said Rep. James Harrison, the Columbia Republican who headed the panel.
The serial philandering Sanford is a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and adoptions by gay couples.
Sanford's impeachment would have presented the South Carolina Republican Party with a vexing public relations issue. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who called for the resignation of the governor, has been outed as gay.