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Why Mark Sanford Matters

April 3, 2009
Forbes
3/16/2009

Small-government conservatives have found their champion

As governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford has made a mark not by creating any new social programs or by slashing taxes or making some other dramatic gesture. He’s done it by doggedly opposing new spending at every opportunity, to the point where he’s struck many critics as a monomaniacal economic Luddite.

Sanford’s opposition to President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and in particular his insistence on using up to a fourth of his state’s stimulus funds to pay down debt or refusing it outright, has fast made him a folk hero to conservatives. To some, Sanford’s opposition to the stimulus funds is an act of political grandstanding, a naked effort to sell out the poorest and most vulnerable South Carolinians in order to curry favor with a national Republican audience.

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