Sanford Debates ... Cardboard Pelosi?

And publishes phone numbers without permission

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 26, 2013 9:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mark Sanford appears to be bent on digging himself ever deeper into the hole he's in: The latest headline-getting incident involving South Carolina's ex-governor has Sanford publishing the phone numbers of people who called him ... after he invited people to call him in a full-page newspaper ad. Here's how it went down, per Slate:

  • Sanford's unbelievably wordy ad (which started, "It's been a rough week" and addressed Democratic attacks against him and that whole trespassing incident) invited people to call his campaign office or his cell—and his cell phone number was included—if they had any "further questions."
  • The House Majority PAC, which had already been supporting Elizabeth Colbert Busch in her race against Sanford, then reprinted that number in a fundraising email suggesting people "take him up on his offer" and call Sanford to "ask why he spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on luxury travel!"

  • Sanford then took screenshots of that fundraising email and his incoming call history and published it all.
  • His campaign rep explains why he published the numbers: "Look, if Pelosi and Co. are going to bat this hard for Colbert Busch, there ain't going to be anything 'independent' about her. We're putting it out there to illustrate just how interested Pelosi's allies are in getting Colbert Busch elected."
Sanford is clearly not happy with Nancy Pelosi, and he showed it in another odd way Wednesday: by publicly debating a cardboard cutout of the House Minority Leader. He did so, he explained, because Colbert Busch won't debate him publicly, so he decided to debate Cardboard Pelosi instead. (Click to watch the video.) In news that Slate is quick to point out is unrelated, the Cook Political Report recently decided Sanford is not so likely to win against Colbert Busch, deeming the race "lean Dem." (And indeed, he is trailing his opponent by a 9-point margin.) But, hey, at least Ron Paul is endorsing Sanford, Roll Call reports.

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford speaks with customers at Page's Okra Grill in Mount Pleasant, SC, on Monday, April 22, 2013.
Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford speaks with customers at Page's Okra Grill in Mount Pleasant, SC, on Monday, April 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
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