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It is one of the most memorable episodes from Gov. Mark Sanford's eight years in office -- and one of the most offensive to some lawmakers and voters.
In 2004, Sanford brought two squealing piglets, nicknamed Pork and Barrel, into the State House. While they defacated on the governor and the carpet, Sanford made his case to the media that House members needed to eliminate "pork barrel" projects from the state budget and use the savings, not one-time money or funds that may not materialize, to pay off debt.
Wednesday, Sanford's campaign reminded the media of the event as proof that Sanford, unlike the other candidates in the 1st congressional race, is willing to go to great lengths to fight for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
"Only Sanford has led the fight for balanced budgets and against deficit spending in both Washington and Columbia and would do so again if elected to Congress," read a press release from his campaign. The release went on to explain that Sanford bringing the piglets to the State House drew attention to, and ultimately forced repayment of, the final $16 million of a $115 million dollar deficit.
The episode angered lawmakers who took it as an insult and was another blow in the already rocky relationship between the General Assembly and Sanford that remained that way until Sanford left office.