S.C. Democrats wrongly accuse Sanford of taking union donations

Mark Sanford's campaign is calling on the S.C. Democratic Party to retract and apologize for the "wrong and reckless" news release sent to the media Tuesday afternoon claiming Sanford took labor union contributions in 1998 and 2000.

"The accusations are categorically false, as can be shown on the Federal Election Commission's Web site, www.fec.gov, which contains records of all contributions Mark Sanford has received over the years," read a release from the Sanford campaign.

The contributions cited were actually made to a Sanford Bishop, Democrat and former congressional candidate, not Mark Sanford.

The spat started Tuesday when Sanford issued a statement calling on Democrat rival Elizabeth Colbert Busch to return thousands of dollars in contributions from unions, including The International Association of Machinists that unsuccessfully worked to keep jobs at a Boeing plant in Washington state when the company was mulling a move to North Charleston.

The S.C. Democratic Party fired back, calling Sanford a hypocrite who "himself has taken thousands in union dollars."

Sanford and Colbert Busch face off in a May 7 special election to fill the 1st Congressional District seat formerly held by Tim Scott.