Recently, our fine city's local newspaper called me for a few comments about the wave of jokes being made against our state and governor. I had a long telephone interview and a few of my comments were published in the final article. Those comments may be read here -- (For bonus comments not published in the article click here.)

I wanted to give a full blog entry concerning my printed comments, as Mr. Holleman only had so many words he was allotted for the story, and understandably some of my comments were shortened or edited.

Basically, this blog entry is my full summary of the interview, written in essay form.

My Thoughts About Our Governor's Recent Actions

I am sure that South Carolina Governor, Mark Sanford, had aspirations of removing, once and for all, any negative stigma from our state's tarnished reputation. He sure seemed like he was going to be the leader to change all this.

For those that thought being the brunt of the nation's jokes about our state and our Governor was a bad thing, I am here to point out and illuminate for you all, the silver lining.

That silver lining consists of two main parts. One, the distractions Governor Sanford's actions now create, make the normal skeletons in South Carolina's closet less noticeable, and, two, the recent actions of the governor prove that his fiscal responsibility is no longer debatable.

The silver linings in the distractions Governor Sanford has caused are obvious. Now, instead of being known as the second dumbest state (Special thanks to Mississippi), or being the tobacco state, or the civil-rights-ignoring-confederate-flag-state (Again, thanks Mississippi), at least now we have a legitimate sex-scandal on our hands. (And I probably shouldn't say "on our hands.") So now we will be the "Governor has an Argentinian Lover State!!" That's way better than racist, right? The Governor has brought on real change!

In addition to the deliberate distraction tactic, I think the Governor's latest antics are just his way of trying to keep up with the New Yorks and other bigger states, you know? (See Eliot Spitzer.)

I applaud Governor Sanford's efforts as unorthodox as they may be. But to equate paying $5,000 for a high-end prostitute, like in Eliot Spitzer's case, to our governor's love story for the ages is sort of unfair. You see, it overlooks the obvious non-hypocritical stance our Governor took toward fiscal responsibility.

Our Governor is the governor that recently refused 700 million dollars of the federal bailout money unless he could use that money to pay down the state's debt. (This decision would be overturned in Congress.)

His latest "media purchase" proves he is much more fiscally minded than Spitzer. Our Governor has only paid, as of today, $3,300 for this whole deal. AND our governor reimbursed these expenses out of his own pocket! (A pocket filled by the loyal tax-payers of South Carolina who provide his salary, but who's counting?)

New York's governor paid upwards of $40,000. Our Governor created 10 times the media frenzy at one-tenth the cost!

I call that fiscal responsibility.

In fact, to some fiscal-a-phytes, it could appear that our governor is just showing off.

Special Note: Had the king of pop, Michael Jackson, not passed away the day after Governor Sanford's confession, he would have created 100 times the frenzy of Spitzer! That's pennies on the dollar. Some might say about Sanford's fiscal responsibility, "You cannot Beat-It, Beat-It, Beat-It... Beat-It, Beat-It, Beat-It...

I am sure that my comments will be taken out of context, and I will be made a fool of, too, just like our Governor. Although technically, I am not calling the Governor a fool. I am just pointing out that lots of people may have called him one, and they might have done so after being given only a narrow sliver of the facts. Give or take the 20,000 or so e-mails on public record. And "narrow sliver" is not to be confused with "silver" as in "silver lining."

Either way, if I bring the great state of South Carolina as much national media as our governor has brought, then we are all the better for it! (At least I am the better for it!)

So, with all this being said, I would officially like to thank the Governor for proving his credibility on fiscal responsibility and for giving comedians all over the country an actual reason to overlook some of the skeletons in South Carolina's closet. (Again, see Strom's kids, racism, segregation, civil-rights, tobacco, the chicken-curse, etc...)

As to any early aspirations of the Governor Sanford's political campaign to remove the stigma that looms over South Carolina in the national media, the only phrase that comes to mind is,


From coach to comedian: Marty Simpson is a former USA Today high school All-American and collegiate Academic All-Conference player for USC who scored the Gamecocks' first 6 points in the SEC. During 8 years as a high school varsity coach, Simpson led his team to the state finals and saw one player advance to set an NFL rookie record. Simpson now divides his time between his family, running a multimedia company named Blue-Eyed Panda and getting the same pre-game jitters by performing stand-up comedy nationwide.

Check out Marty's performance dates here.

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