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National Briefing / South Carolina

Personal trips, state's aircraft

August 10, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Gov. Mark Sanford used state aircraft for personal and political trips, often bringing along his wife and children -- contrary to state law regarding official use -- an Associated Press investigation has found.

Records show that since he took office in 2003, the two-term Republican has taken trips on state aircraft to locations of his children's sporting events, hair and dental appointments, political party gatherings and a birthday party for a campaign donor. State law requires that the aircraft be flown only for official business.

Sanford, 49, has made a political career of being thrifty. He has demanded that state employees use both sides of Post-It notes and tried to block federal stimulus money for South Carolina schools.

He has also faced special scrutiny since admitting that he had a mistress in Argentina.

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