Nation Digest

Nation Digest: South Carolina's Governor Cuts Short His Secretive Hiking Vacation

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's days-long silence while on a secretive hike has drawn much criticism.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's days-long silence while on a secretive hike has drawn much criticism. (Mary Ann Chastain - AP)
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SOUTH CAROLINA

Governor Shortens His Hiking Vacation

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will cut short a secretive Appalachian Trail hike and return to work Wednesday after revelations he had been gone four days with no contact with his wife, staff or state leaders.

The Republican governor had not spoken with his staff since Thursday. He had left the state on what spokesman Joel Sawyer called a routine post-legislative vacation to unwind, but his absence left fellow state leaders scratching their heads. The lieutenant governor could not figure out where Sanford was and said he had not been put in charge.

The governor's absence drew criticism, with some questioning who was in charge of the state if he could not be reached.

Sawyer said he did not know exactly where Sanford was along the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail and declined to discuss whether anyone was hiking with him. "He's an avid outdoorsman," Sawyer said. "Nobody's ever accused our governor of being conventional."

-- Associated Press

NEW YORK

Dueling Sessions Held In Tussle for Senate

Republicans and Democrats dueling for control of New York's Senate held simultaneous legislative sessions in their chamber Tuesday, exchanging jeers and catcalls.

It was the latest confrontation since Republicans tried to regain a majority with the help of two dissident Democrats, one of whom later flipped back to his own party. That left both sides deadlocked with 31 votes each.

Gov. David A. Paterson (D) had called a special session to break a two-week stalemate and get the Senate moving on issues with June 30 deadlines.


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