The records detail more than $468,000 worth of state-funded travel for Sanford and show that he routinely billed taxpayers for high-end airline seats, racking up more than $44,000 on business- and first-class tickets. He often stayed in pricey hotels that far exceeded the rates he imposed on other state employees…

While running for governor in 2002, Sanford zeroed in on travel spending, criticizing Democratic incumbent Gov. Jim Hodges for “lavish spending” on airfare and hotel rooms.

“If I become your governor,” he asserted in a radio ad, “I’ll fix that problem in Columbia.”…

Yet records of the state-funded trips taken by Sanford as governor suggest that his arrangements often ran counter to the state Budget and Control Board’s travel expense guidelines…

But on the now-infamous June 2008 South American trade mission, where Sanford slipped away to meet his Argentinean mistress, the governor’s airfare consisted of four business-class flights for which the state paid $8,687.