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DNC launches new TV Campaign “Playing Politics”

The Democratic National Committee has released a new television ad entitled “Playing Politics” that calls on South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford to stop playing politics with federal job creation and economic recovery funds. The ad, which will begin airing in Columbia on Monday, outlines the deepening economic challenges facing South Carolina’s working families. Despite record unemployment and soaring foreclosures, Governor Sanford is kowtowing to the Rush Limbaugh-led obstructionist wing of his political party by rejecting $700 million in money to create jobs, improve our health care system and improve our schools.

As the ad notes, a bipartisan group of South Carolina leaders - including Democratic Congressman James Clyburn, Republican Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, and Republican State House Speaker Bobby Harrell - have criticized Governor Sanford for putting political posturing ahead of job creation in South Carolina.

“Mark Sanford needs to stop playing politics with economic recovery and job creation in South Carolina,” said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse. “At a time when his state is suffering from crippling unemployment and more and more families are losing their homes, South Carolina’s working families cannot afford for their governor to be distracted by empty political posturing. If Mark Sanford is worried about his political future, all he needs to do is focus on working with leaders from both parties who want to use the economic recovery funds to help create jobs, fix our schools, reform our health care system, make America energy independent, and lay the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st Century.”

Democratic National Committee TV Ad:

“Playing Politics”

30 Seconds, 3/13/09

SCRIPT: An economy in crisis Record Unemployment

BACKUP: “A Record 227,986 People” in South Carolina are Jobless. “A record 227,986 people were jobless and all but 11 of the state’s 46 counties had double-digit unemployment, according to the state Employment Security Commission.” [Associated Press, 3/11/09]

SCRIPT: Skyrocketing Foreclosures

BACKUP: S.C. Foreclosure Filings “Skyrocketed 254%.” “In South Carolina, foreclosure filings, which include notices of default, notices of foreclosure sale and bank repossessions, skyrocketed 254% compared with last February. The state recorded a filing for every 818 households, the 20th highest rate among the states.” [CNNMoney, 3/12/09]

SCRIPT: South Carolina is facing tough times - but Governor Sanford is playing politics instead of doing what’s right. Turning down millions in recovery act funds

BACKUP: “S.C.’s Sanford Makes it Official, Rejects $700 Million Stimulus” [McClatchy News, 3/11/09]

SCRIPT: putting politics ahead of health care, jobs and schools. Leading Democrats and Republicans oppose Sanford’s move. Tell Mark Sanford to stop playing politics with South Carolina’s future. “The Democratic National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”

BACKUP: Representative Clyburn Called Sanford’s Call to Cut Funding “Pure, Political Posturing.” House Majority Whip and South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn called Sanford’s attempt to use stimulus funs to pay down the state debt contrary to the needs of the state. According to Politico, Clyburn said, “‘this is just political posturing aimed toward the next national election,’ Clyburn told reporters on a conference call today. ‘If he were looking out for the state he would be looking out for the people of the state. He’s got a political agenda that runs contrary to the needs of his constituents,’ said Clyburn, noting the state’s more than 10 percent unemployment rate.” [Politico, 3/11/09]

Republican Lt. Governor Said State Will Take Money, and That Turning Down Money Will Only Create More Debt. According to CNN.com, “with South Carolina’s unemployment rate now the second-highest in the country, state lawmakers will attempt to override Sanford and take the $700 million if he turns it down, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said. ‘They will use the total economic stimulus to stimulate the economy, jump-start it, so we can get out of the ditch we are in as a state and as a nation,’ Bauer, a fellow Republican, said in a written statement Wednesday…Sanford told reporters that taking the money now would leave the state in the lurch in two years, ‘when those funds dry up…Fundamentally, if you boil down what the stimulus means for South Carolina, it means we would go through the process of spending a bunch of money we don’t have.’” Bauer responded “that if South Carolina turns down the money, ‘South Carolina taxpayers will be taking on the debt for economic stimulus money sent elsewhere.’” [CNN.com, 3/11/09]

Republican House Speaker Called Sanford’s Stimulus Interpretation “Wrong and Disingenuous.” Republican House Speaker Bobby Harrell stated that despite Sanford’s claim to only control some of the stimulus funds directed to South Carolina, he can reject all of it, but is choosing not to. According to the Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), “Sanford contends that he has say-so over only $700 million, and that the rest of the $2.9 billion by congressional edict automatically flows into the state. ‘Our administration is not able to redirect or otherwise impact those funds,” Sanford wrote. ‘As our hands are tied in that regard, and while I find the restrictions on these funds’ use highly regrettable, it is my hope that those funds are directed in the manner best able to promote job creation in our state.’ House Speaker Bobby Harrell, a Charleston Republican, said Sanford’s interpretation is wrong and disingenuous. Harrell said a provision in the federal stimulus bill gives the governor authority to influence the entire $8 billion that South Carolina stands to receive, specifically money flowing to his Cabinet agencies. ‘It’s as simple as him telling them, ‘Don’t take it.’ But he’s not doing that. He’s saying in his letter he does not have the authority to do that. That is not correct,’ Harrell said.” [The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), 3/11/09]
Republican State Lawmakers Criticized Sanford for Hurting the Budget By Not Using Stimulus Funds. According to Upstate Today, South Carolina Republican State Sen. Larry Martin criticized Sanford for attempting to use stimulus money to pay down debt as opposed to investing in schools and jobs. He said “assuming we don’t expand any program and are talking about throwing a lifeboat to the state budget to keep the lights on, pay teachers and purchase gas for school buses, that’s what I’m talking about doing as opposed to digging a hole deeper. I’m for throwing the lifeboat in the water for this year’s budget to the extent that the funding is truly replacing revenue we’ve lost through the economic downturn and not growing government one penny… I don’t know what epiphany [Sanford] is on to make a request of those funds that is not permitted under federal law…The policy decision has been made by Congress — the money has been allocated to South Carolina and if we don’t use it the way it was designed, it will go to other states and our citizens not only won’t benefit from it. They will have to pay it back for others to enjoy.’” [Upstate Today, 3/11/09].

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