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Mark Sanford the sex offender

For days on end now, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has found himself in a sticky political and personal mess. Having an affair and cheating on the mother of your four boys is bad enough. Sneaking off, lying about your whereabouts, completely abdicating your duties and risking impeachment for malfeasance, that sounds like a deal breaker.

Sanford is no longer listed among the possible contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Why would he be? After all, he could very well be charged with sex crimes, impeached and removed from office. And, he damn well should be.

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The “South Carolina is so Gay” advertising controversy from last summer sneaked back into public debate as the South Carolina House questioned the state’s tourism director over budgeting and salary concerns.

In an Associated Press article published by The Columbian, Director Chad Prosser’s feet were held to the fire as S.C. House Rep. Brian White questioned why he wasn’t in the office five days a week:

White said the controversy that erupted last summer over ads in London promoting South Carolina as a “So Gay” destination for gay and lesbian tourists seem to suggest he’s not around enough. Prosser responded that was the misjudgment of one employee, who spent about $5,000 on the campaign from a fund he controlled, and who resigned.

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter chimed in that not everyone in South Carolina thought the ads were a bad idea.

“Quite frankly, as someone who is extremely tolerant of people and their choices, I was for a brief moment proud South Carolina had seen the need to reach out in this economy to people who might want to come,” said the Orangeburg Democrat. “That was the silliest thing I’ve come across in a long time.”

Of course, S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford, the same guy who directed the firing/forced resignation/”policy” and “procedural changes” inside the tourism department, supports his guy:

Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said the governor is very happy with Prosser’s performance, and that lawmakers shouldn’t single out the salary of a single agency head.