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Owner of Infidelity Billboard: 'I Hope Sanford Wins'

Ashleymadison.com purchased a billboard along I-26 in Columbia

Former governor and current congressional candidate Mark Sanford has been on the receiving end of plenty of jokes in recent years. The billboard on I-26 in Columbia (pictured) would seem to be another one.

It was purchased by the website ashleymadison.com which "is the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters." 

But Noel Biderman, the CEO of Ashley Madison, told Patch the advertisement isn't meant to lampoon Sanford's extramarital affair at all. Quite the opposite. Biderman said he thinks the public is not served well when it considers personal matters for professional decisions.

Biderman said public officials are elected on the basis of their professional skills and those skills don't disappear as a result of an affair. The idea that they do, he said, "is a ridiculously strange notion."

Biderman told Patch that while Sanford's affair should be dismissed as a factor for voters, his use of public funds to conduct the affair should not. "That's something that they need to consider," he said.

"If we removed everyone from office who had an affair, we'd lose some of our greatest leaders," Biderman said. "Clinton, Petraeus, Schwarzenegger...Sanford is in good company. I really hope he wins."

A Sanford victory Biderman said, we be another dent in the institution of marriage, which he thinks is a good thing. Biderman pointed to how views of interracial marriage and now gay marriage have changed in recent decades to support his claim. He thinks the idea of traditional marriage itself could become antiquated and a Sanford victory would be another step in that direction.

Election Day in SC1 is May 7. 

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Scott McDaniel April 30, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Antiquated? How about a complete lack of focus beyond self gratification, Mr. Biderman?
Benita Cassell April 30, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Mark Sanford made the office of governor and the state of SC butt of jokes, he used public funds (i.e. our hard earned tax dollars) to pay for a trip to Aregentina to see his mistress and by lying about his whearabouts he in effect left SC 'governor-less' during the time he was gone. I don't live in the First district, but I almost wish I did so I could *not* vote for him. And on a different but related note...since it has now been three years since he met his "soulmate" and he and Jenny are long divorced, yet he is still engaged to this other woman I wonder if her plans to actually marry her.
Ken April 30, 2013 at 09:35 PM
So, did Ashleymadison.com pay Sanford for the use of his image for their ad or did Sanford pay them to use his image in that ad?
Benita Cassell May 01, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Maybe it was payment in trade.
Amy D May 01, 2013 at 03:00 PM
I think Mr. Biderman should read up more about state issues before assuming that Sanford's behavior is acceptable. Sanford himself used taxpayers money for his extramarital affair, that was his choice to mix his affair with business. It's amazing that we punish accountants that steal from their clients, but government officials can steal from us and get away with it. The taxpayers didn't make Sanford about his morality, Mr. Bidetman, you did!
Lady Godiva May 01, 2013 at 03:30 PM
That billboard is sad and disturbing to me. Don't do it people!
Ajay Jain May 04, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Watch the ONLY debate between Elizabeth Colbert Busch and Mark Sanford and decide who to vote for! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpPy5u7EszM

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