Governor’s e-mails reveal soft spot for luxury cruises, puppies

by Watkins Varnador

Columbia – In a probe of 2,900 pages of emails taken from the Governor’s office last week, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford shows himself to have a clear grasp on brevity in governmental matters, but also reveals that he has an affinity for puppies and luxurious vacations.

“Yes, do it,” Gov. Sanford replies to a lengthy proposition by a member of his staff concerning where the staffer should spend his vacation. Several emails sent to that same staffer had no comments, but had attached links and PDF files of information about several cruises in the Caribbean, and hotels and restaurants in several South American destinations.
Below each email reply was Sanford’s trademark “MS”, followed by a GIF file of a pair of beagle puppies playing in meadow grass.

Other missives in the batch of acquired emails contained similar one-line responses or less. When former spokesperson Joel Sawyer complimented Sanford on his appearance on Fox News’ Hannity program, Sanford replied with “ ; ^ )”.
Several responses to staffers’ straitlaced assessments to activity in the General Assembly last year were answered by Sanford with “LOL”, “ROFL”, and “LMAO”.

Sanford was already a lame-duck second-term governor following a losing fight to reject federal money allotted to the state via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. After inexplicably leaving the state for Argentina June 19-25, he then admitted to having a lengthy sexual affair with an Argentinian woman, Maria Belen Chapur, in a press conference held at the State Capitol.

The brief emails offer a stark contrast to a more thoughtful and revealing Sanford revealed in several emails exchanged between him and Chapur during their affair. Those emails brought the affair to light and brought undue attention to an already embattled governor.
He later said in an AP interview that while he looked to save his marriage to Jenny Sanford, he considered Chapur his “soul mate.”
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