Two weeks before special election, Sanford attempts to revive flagging campaign

Just two weeks out from the special election to represent South Carolina's 1st congressional district, former Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., is attempting to revive what, to many, looks like a flailing campaign, hitting his opponent hard in a new attack ad and attempting to defend his own indiscretions in a full-page newspaper ad.

This morning, Sanford unleashed an attack ad hitting Elizabeth Colbert Busch, his Democratic rival, for her support of the labor unions. The ad also ties her to controversial House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., an attempt by Sanford to appeal to voters in the heavily Republican district.

The 30-second spot, which according to Politico will run on broadcast and cable TV starting Tuesday, targets Colbert Busch as the "voice" of the labor union - "not our voice."

"The voices of the union are not being heard," Colbert Busch, a first time political candidate and the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, is featured saying in the ad.

"That's Elizabeth Colbert Busch fighting for big labor. Colbert Busch is funded by labor union special interest money. Even the one who tried to shut down Boeing," a narrator says in the ad. "In congress she'll return the favor."

"Labor's voice. Pelosi's voice. Not our voice," the ad's narrator warns.

Sanford, who is battling Colbert Busch for a seat he occupied from 1995-2001, is attempting to rehabilitate his political reputation after a 2009 scandal that resulted in embarrassment, a legislative censure, and an apparently messy divorce. Sanford, who disappeared for four days on an undisclosed trip to Argentina to visit his extramarital girlfriend, subsequently lost his leadership position in the Republican Governor's Association and much of his political credibility, though he did serve out his full gubernatorial term.

Even while Democratic groups have done their best to remind voters about Sanford's checkered political past, Sanford has also been dogged by new information surrounding the breakdown of his marriage with Jenny Sanford, now his ex-wife. Last week, reports surfaced that Jenny Sanford had accused her former husband of trespassing on her property while she was not at home. Sanford is apparently due in court just two days after the special election.

Following this revelation, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced that it would not be spending money to support him.

Sanford attempted to explain the incident in a recent full-page ad in the Charleston Post and Courier. In that ad -- entitled "A Personal Message from Mark Sanford" -- the former governor gives a play-by-play of his decision to go to his wife's home while she was out of town.

"There are always two sides to every story, and time will tell as to whether I made the right call in that instance as a father," Sanford wrote in the ad. "What I know in the meantime is that the media does all of us a disservice in throwing these things around to the front page as this paper did, before all the facts are known."

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