Kris Crawford, Shannon Erickson, Nikki Haley,
Jim Merrill, Joey Millwood, Wendy Nanney,
Ted Pitts, Murrell Smith, Jim Stewart,
David Umphlett, Thad Viers
These two comments which showed up some blogsites, sound a lot like a lot of feedback we've heard and seen on the web which have made it clear that a lot of folks were not pleased with those who did not sign the letter:
#1) All of the above referenced so called South Carolinans should be defeated if they run for re-election. They are traitors to the people of this state and should be shown no loyality or mercy.
#2) I have no idea why he would not include his name on that list. At least Keith Kelly saw the writing on the wall, and put his name on the list. It’ll sure be hard (impossible) to pull the handle for Millwood from now on…. And poor Nikki Haley, if she only knew how close she actually came to having a true shot at being the governor. I can’t believe she would blindly follow Sanford, and let him destroy her career as well. Oh well, those 12 names sure need to be remembered come next year.
While it would be easy to assume a "with us or with him" divide exists, and then assume all who did not sign the letter, but we decided to actually talk with some of those who did not sign the letter. Here's what we found out:
Rep. Shannon Erickson made it clear she was not defending Sanford, nor intending to protect him from possible impeachment:
I don't condone what the Governor has done, and he has created a lot of problems. But from the beginning, I said I would act when the facts are in, and I'm sticking to my word. When we have the Ethics Commission report in hand, then we should act accordingly, and not a minute sooner. If information contained in the report is bad enough, then the House should vote for impeachment. But in that case, I would hope the Governor would do the right thing and resign first, and would encourage him to do just that.
When we talked with Ted Pitts this morning, he shared Erickson's point of view on the matter:
I have personally talked to the Governor, and have written him privately before this. What I told him to do if I was in his situation that I would be quiet, and stop playing the victim. I understand why they wrote the letter and respect why they wanted to go on record on this. We need to see what the Ethics report says, and if there are impeachable offenses, I'll vote to impeach.
Murrell Smith had the same sentiments as Erickson and Pitts:
I think we need a complete investigation before we make determinations about Governor Sanford’s future as Governor. All we have now is the information obtained from the press. We need to be fully informed before we make this very important decision concerning the future direction of the State.
We also spoke with Greenville Representative Wendy Nanney, who held much the same view as the other three:
I'm waiting for the Ethics report, but I want to see the facts before we act. If there's something impeachable in the report, then let's move forward with impeachment then."
These points of view contrast from the media response of Rep. Nikki Haley, one of the other non-signers, which dismissed the intents behind the House GOP letter as futile:
We can put the names of all 170 Members of the General Assembly on a list requesting the governor resign, but at the end of the day there is only one person who will make that decision, and Sanford has made it clear that he will not step down. So any further pressure in that direction is nothing more than political posturing, and that’s not what we as elected officials ought to be doing.