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Sanford likely to survive scandal, stay in office

http://66.225.205.104/070709-21JR.mp3

A week ago, more than half of the Republicans in the South Carolina senate were calling for the resignation of Governor Mark Sanford. Now it appears Sanford will stay in office after the state's Republican Party effectively gave him a slap on the wrist for the scandal surrounding his affair with a woman in Argentina. WFAE's Julie Rose reports. If any group had the power to convince Governor Sanford to step down, most figured it would be the South Carolina Republican Party. But when the party's executive committee members finally took a vote, only 10 wanted to call for resignation. Nine wanted a statement of support for Sanford and 22 preferred to censure him. So the censure won out and now even Sanford's most vocal critics in party leadership have fallen in line. That includes Glenn McCall, a Republican National Committeeman for the state of South Carolina, who says he will stop calling for Sanford's resignation: "Personally, as a citizen I still feel he should resign, but as a party, we're getting behind the censure," says McCall. "I support the decision because I believe in the democratic process and have fought for that, and that's what I have to uphold and live to." The resolution of censure admonishes Governor Sanford for betraying public trust and falling short of standards the Republican Party expects of its leaders. Sanford's spokesman says the Governor "appreciates the party's position, and intends to work diligently to earn back its trust." Winthrop University Political Scientist Scott Huffmon says the party's formal wrist-slap also reinforces Sanford's intent to serve out his term. "This sort of helps him say 'Okay they are saying they don't want me to leave my job. The State Law Enforcement Division has not said there's anything worthy of an investigation. I haven't done anything wrong except for my affair and that's a personal matter.' It helps his position to say that," explains Huffmon. Calls for Sanford's resignation have also petered out among leaders of the Republican-led state legislature. On Thursday, citizens who have been clamoring to oust Sanford for several months will rally at the State Capitol. But Huffmon says the only thing likely to revive serious calls for resignation from South Carolina's Republicans would be another round of embarrassing revelations from the Governor himself.