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Governor's Counsel Responds to Suit

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Location: Columbia, SC


Governor's Counsel Responds to Suit

FILES TO REMOVE SCASA SUIT TO FEDERAL COURT, WILL NOT RESPOND TO HARPOOTLIAN-DRAKE SUIT

Counsel for Governor Mark Sanford today responded to one of the two suits brought regarding a disputed $700 million in stimulus funds, filing to remove it from the S.C. Supreme Court to federal court where it belongs.

In response to a suit filed Friday by the S.C. Association of School Administrators, the governor's counsel reiterates the argument that federal court is the appropriate venue for any suit related to attempts to compel the governor to apply for stimulus funds, since it involves the legislature trying to unconstitutionally re-write federal law.

The governor will not be responding to another suit originally filed by former S.C. Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian and former video poker operative Dwight Drake. The governor is not named as a defendant in that case, and as such is not bound by its outcome. The governor's counsel has sent the attached letter to the Supreme Court in this regard.

"Our suit is fundamentally about the balance of power and separation of powers in our state, and whether or not the legislature is going to be allowed to erode the Executive Branch even further in South Carolina," Gov. Sanford said. "Legislative dominance costs our state's citizens far too much for the way it breeds waste and duplication, and the last thing we need to be doing is exporting that dysfunctional system to other states, which is what will happen if our General Assembly is allowed to re-write federal law in this way."


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