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Impeachment appears unlikely for Governor Mark Sanford

A panel of South Carolina lawmakers voted six to one today against impeachment proceedings after two weeks of deliberation. The committee considered ethics charges against Sanford and allegations that he abused his power and was derelict in his duty when he went to Argentina to visit his mistress. But ultimately, Committee Chairman Jim Harrison says Sanford's behavior does not amount to serious misconduct worthy of impeachment: "We can't impeach for hypocrisy. We can't impeach for arrogance. We can't impeach an office holder for his lack of leadership skills. We cannot impeach a public official because the public has lost confidence in his ability to lead." The full House Judiciary Committee could reverse the panel's recommendation on impeachment when it meets next week, but Chairman Harrison thinks that's unlikely. Two polls taken in the last week suggest South Carolina voters agree with today's vote. Rassmussen and Public Policy Polling both found the majority of voters are unhappy with Sanford but do not want lawmakers spending more time on impeachment. Sanford has only one year left in office. After rejecting impeachment, the panel today voted unanimously to censure Governor Sanford for bringing dishonor to the state of South Carolina.