South Carolina vs. PA

The Club For Growth has been keeping track of news on potential VP candidates, and this post on SC Mark Sanford stood out. Again, not because John McCain won’t stop calling me for my advice, but because the Wall Street Journal (and I) were so gushy in appraising Sanford’s record.

What stood out was the mention that “Time Magazine called Sanford one of America’s ‘worst’ governors.” Now I don’t give a lot of credit to Time, preferring to read Sports Illustrated and Teen People, but that still seemed out of place. I found the original 2005 Time article here – the other two “worst governors” were Kathleen Blanco (cited for gross incompetence following Hurricane Katrina) and Bob Taft (cited for scandal, corruption, and more scandal).

What was Sanford’s crime? Not using corporate welfare to bribe corporations to move there, vetoing funding for “trade centers and tourism marketing” and not supporting pork-barrel spending. Time seems to think that behavior would ruin South Carolina’s economy. Pennsylvania, of course, has taken the opposite route under Ed Rendell.

Let’s compare South Carolina to PA from 2002-2007, (the tenure of both Sanford and Governor Rendell).

Job Growth

  • SC – 7.15% increase; ranked 20th
  • PA – 3.44% increase; ranked 40th

Population Growth

  • SC – 7.38% increase; ranked 10th
  • PA – 1.03% increase; ranked 42nd

Personal Income Growth (total)

  • SC – 31.38% increase; ranked 24th
  • PA – 26.16% increase; ranked 40th

Looks like Ed Rendell should stop buying subscriptions to Time for his economic advisors.

As the Club notes, SC voters disagreed with Time, re-electing Sanford with 55% of the vote in a Democratic year (Taft and Blanco were pretty good calls, though).