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Mark Sanford, the Cheatin' South Carolina Governor, Writes Fundraising Letter for Goldwater Institute at Wrong Time

The Arizona Republic's Matthew Benson has an amusing local hook on the Mark Sanford scandal: Seems Sanford just wrote a fund-raising letter for the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute that's causing some embarrassment.

Perhaps the best detail: The letter was dated June 19, the day after Sanford flew to Argentina for his naughty adventure. That conjures up an image of the hardworking Sanford slaving over his laptop, pounding out the Goldwater letter in a dimly lit hotel room -- his sleeping Latina lover curled up in the bed next to him.

Despite the awful timing of the letter, the Goldwater Institute tells Benson that Sanford may be a wanker, but he still knows a thing or two about federalism:

"It couldn't have been worse timing," Goldwater spokeswoman Starlee Rhoades told The Insider. "There was some chuckling and other things going on around the office when we got the word that (Sanford) was ... (long pause) ... traveling."

That's not to say that L'Affaire Argentine negates Sanford's message or the fiscal-conservative movement he has helped lead, Rhoades noted.

"Despite his personal issues," she said, "I'd put him at the top of the list of governors who understand federalism and state issues."

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.