Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s extramarital affair has been a prominent topic in the South Carolina special congressional election, but perhaps never quite so prominent as when Ashley Madison, a website devoted to facilitating such extramarital affairs, bought a billboard touting Sanford one week before the special election.
The website — whose tagline is “Life is short. Have an affair” — bought two billboards in South Carolina this week, one on top of the other. They show a picture of Sanford, and say, “Next time use… AshleyMadison.com to find your ‘running mate.'”
Sanford served out the end of his gubernatorial term under a cloud of scandal, after he confessed to having an affair with an Argentine woman. The two are now engaged.
Ashley Madison considers the billboards an endorsement, not an indictment.
“Mark Sanford has overcome a series of personal and professional hurdles to earn his place back in public service. While he recognizes the consequences of his actions, he maintains that his affair refined his life, but should not define it,” said Ashley Madison founder and CEO Noel Biderman in a statement. (RELATED: Colbert Busch goes there)
“There’s a changing tide. More and more Americans are willing to forgive and forget — at least when it comes to affairs,” Biderman went on. “Our society is coming to terms with the fact that people’s personal lifestyle choices should not impact their professional lives. Millions of people are having affairs — powerful politicians are no exception.”
Sanford campaign spokesman Joel Sawyer dismissed the billboard as irrelevant.
“The fact that Nancy Pelosi allies are spending a million dollars to elect Elizabeth Colbert Busch is far more pertinent to voters here than some sign that isn’t even in the district,” he told The Daily Caller.