Political Animal


April 17, 2013 9:56 AM Forgiving Trespasses

By Ed Kilgore

Just three weeks from a special congressional election that looks to be close, ex-SC Governor Mark Sanford is in the news in a bad way once again, as AP got hold of court documents from his ex-wife’s complaint that he was regularly trespassing on her property in directly violation of their divorce decree.

It’s an old familiar story: spouse gets caught cheating, loses big fancy house in divorce; gets aggrieved at “his” house being off-limits, and drops by now and then to assay the property when he thinks the ex may not be around.

According to the leaked court documents, Sanford’s most recent trespass was on February 3, 2013. He was already a candidate in the 1st district special primary by then. This is bad and illegal behavior in any event, but really stupid when you are running for Congress and your ex-wife is exponentially more popular that you are. Worse yet, this isn’t just going away. Sanford is now scheduled to face a judge on May 9, two days after the special election. So it will hang over the remainder of the campaign no matter what, and then Sanford will either be a congressman-elect who has to delay his trip to D.C. to be sworn in in order to crawl past his ex-wife into the presence of a stern judge—or he’ll be a rare loser of a safe Republican seat whose really bad week is about to take a turn for the worse.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • TR on April 17, 2013 9:59 AM:

    The timing is terrific. You have to think the ex waited until he won the primary race on purpopse, just to maximize his humiliation.

  • c u n d gulag on April 17, 2013 10:04 AM:

    To quote that great American philosopher, Bugs Bunny:
    What a dope!
    What a MAROON!!!

  • Rugosa on April 17, 2013 10:15 AM:

    I hope the judge slaps him hard. I've dealt with this behavior and hear about this kind of thing from my friends all the time. You break up with a guy and he won't accept it, so he keeps coming back to the house or apartment just to be a constant harassing presence. It's creepy and getting close to stalking/threatening behavior.

  • MuddyLee on April 17, 2013 10:21 AM:

    If Sanford was smart, he wouldn't have tried his Argentina/Appalachian Trail stunt while he was governor, and he wouldn't believe his Ayn Rand books that taught him that the rich are entitled to do whatever they want to do because they are rich. Ms Argentina probably wants to live in DC and not South Carolina - can't blame her for that. And Sanford probably thinks he's just as capable as any other SC republican - can't blame him for that either.

  • PhattElvis on April 17, 2013 10:30 AM:


    The trial date is set by the judge or clerk of the court, the complainant has no control over when a hearing will be docketed.

    Mark Sanford has no one to blame but himself. If he didn't want to sabotage his own race for office, he should have known better than to show contempt for the court order, which is what a divorce decree is.

    Moreover, he should have known better than to YET AGAIN show contempt for his now ex-wife. His arrogant and repeated disregard of Jenny Sanford's rights, feelings and dignity as a human being has more-than-earned him a colossal slap in the face from the voters of South Carolina.

    First he cheats on her, goes AWOL on the People of SC, and charges his trip to "the Appalachians" to the taxpayers. Then he has the gall to ask Jenny if she'll manage his campaign. (Can you say "CLUELESS"?!) NOW, with his run for Congress under way, he flagrantly disregards the express terms of his court-ordered divorce decree.

    Only an equally oblivious fool could ever vote for someone with such an outrageous disregard for his wife, the law and the People of South Carolina -- not to mention such a blatant proclivity for self-sabotage.

  • Michael on April 17, 2013 10:37 AM:

    Welll..... yes, ....this is South Carolina............

  • boatboy_srq on April 17, 2013 10:56 AM:

    Talk about "these boots are made for walkin'". "Appalachian Tail" Sanford just can't control himself, can he? His fiancee should be VERY worried about his possible election and relocation to DC: DC is far more populous than SC, and the opportunities to "hike" are far greater. PhattElvis nailed it: "Sanford" and "trustworthy" do not belong in the same sentence.

    As for the actual trespass: this is South Carolina. Laws are for the sla- um, little people.

  • schtick on April 17, 2013 12:26 PM:

    Same ol, same ol teapubs. Do as I say, not as I do because I can do what I want.