In his press conference today South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford stated that he paid fully for his recent sex-trek to Argentina. But it appears as though Sanford may have a fondness for attending political junkets in that country.
Sometime after his 2002 election as governor (CNN is saying it was last June), Sanford traveled to Argentina on the dime of the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
Though it's unclear precisely when the trip occurred, it likely would have taken place after he had met the woman. Sanford said Wednesday he met the woman eight years ago, though a romantic relationship did not develop until one year ago.
Sanford also traveled to China and Brazil through the state commerce department, and a review of its records late last year by state press found that taxpayers footed a total bill of $21,488 in Sanford travel. The governors' office also spent $1,976 in travel for Sanford, according to the review.
Politico also reports that Sanford took other taxpayer-funded trips to South America as a member of the U.S. House, but those predate the time Sanford said that he first met his mistress.
Finally, in a rather cruel twist of irony, Sanford once pointed to the U.S. embassy in Argentina as an example of wasteful spending that needed to be cut from the federal budget. Perhaps after he's forced to resign as Governor, Sanford can lobby to be named U.S. Ambassador to Argentina so that he can be closer to his lover and work out of the very embassy he once took issue with? How very modern Republican that would be!
Some Mark Sanford Trips Were Taxpayer Paid [Politico]