Statement by Rich Bolen (Lexington Chairman) On Governor’s Censure by the SCGOP Executive Committee
I wanted to let you all know how I came down on the conference call last night. While the call itself and the comments made are confidential I believe I can properly restrict my comments to the information put out to the press and revealed in the State this morning. I also want to state clearly that I am unified with the decision of the State party and I believe that an appropriate outcome was achieved.
As you know if you read the State today (which I am sure many of you did not) the decision to censure Gov. Sanford was established by a majority vote of the State Executive Committee and with which I am in full agreement. However there were votes cast for a resolution to demand that the Governor resign and for a resolution of support for the Governor. I was one of the 10 votes in favor of the resolution demanding that the Governor resign. My reasoning was essentially that there are consequences for the actions we take and many of them are unpleasant even for people who were not involved in the activity. In this case I felt as I have in the past when I have had to fire a good employee who has crossed a line even though the termination of that employee would be a loss to my company. I believe Gov. Sanford has been a good Governor and has generally stood for the values in which I believe and those of the Party platform but that is what we should be able to expect of our elected leaders. Merely doing what he should in the past is not sufficient to allow him to avoid the consequences of his reprehensible behavior. No person is so important that we can not afford to lose him or that can justify ignoring our principles.
The prevailing compromise of censure is well written and is a good step toward sending a message that the Republican Party has strong principles upon which we govern. However, I believe that since we are merely acting as an advisory organization and have no authority to actually remove the Governor or any elected official for that matter that we should have taken a harder stand to clarify our disapproval of the Governor’s behavior and our willingness to stand on principle. The compromise position of censure was obviously the most popular course but if I am not mistaken it is because of the compromises made by the Governor of his vows both to the state and his family that we are in this position in the first place.
Again, I am in full support of the decision taken by the State Executive Committee and I hope and pray that this is the last we have to speak of this embarrassing situation. I am sending this out only as a service to the party so that you will know what position I took in this matter. I welcome your comments and will not take offense at any comments disagreeing with my position. Thank you for reading this and for allowing me to represent you and the Lexington County Republican Party particularly in matters of this importance. As always please do not hesitate to call me.
Rich Bolen, Chairman
Lexington County Republican Party
PO Box 1346
Lexington, SC 29071