Sanford pushes back on use of stimulus, asks that DNC ads be taken down

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) wrote President Obama Tuesday, pushing back against the White House budget office's determination that Sanford could not use stimulus funds to pay down state debt.

Sanford offered several statuatory reasons for why his state can use the stimulus funds to reduce debt levels instead of spending it on jobs, while reiterating his call for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to take down its ads criticizing Sanford for his stance.

"I've made clear my opposition to using debt to solve a problem created in the first place by too much debt -- and I don't believe this to be an unreasonable position," wrote Sanford, a potential 2012 opponent for Obama. "What I find less reasonable is the way this DNC attack ad returns a nation indeed yearning for change back to the same old politics-as-usual."

The South Carolina Republican also said that federal law provides for his state's ability to use the funds as it currently desires, contrary to claims by Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag made yesterday.

"We trust these alternative proposals fit both the statutory requirements and spirit of the stimulus legislation," Sanford explained. "Thank you again for your response, and we would again appreciate your opinion as soon as possible given that we believe this course of action will do more to ensure South Carolina's long-term economic strength than would other contemplated uses of the funds."

Read the whole letter after the jump.

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
MARK SANFORD, GOVERNOR

March 17, 2009

The Honorable Barack Obama
President
United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, D.C.