Mark Sanford | South Carolina

As a U.S. Representative in the 1990s, Mark Sanford often slept on an office futon instead of renting a Washington apartment. That kind of conspicuous frugality helped him get elected Governor of South Carolina in 2002. But a growing chorus of critics, including leaders of his own G.O.P., fear that his thrift has brought the state's economy to a standstill. This summer Standard & Poor's lowered South Carolina's coveted AAA-bond rating to AA+, citing unemployment of 6.3% and a per capita income ($27,172) stuck in the nation's bottom fifth. The state had just lost its bid for a $500 million Airbus...