Don’t feed the strays

Jan. 25, 2010

Apparently South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer’s recommendation not to feed strays extends beyond feral cats. At a recent town hall meeting in Greenville, Bauer, who is seeking the GOP nod to run for governor this fall, compared giving assistance to those living in poverty in his state to feeding stray cats.

“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.” – South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R)

To make matters worse, according to an article in The Greenville Times, Bauer suggested that if those on assistance with children fail to attend PTA meetings they should lose government assistance. “You go to a school where there’s an active participation of parents, and guess what? They have the highest test scores. So what do you do? You say, ‘Look folks, if you receive goods or services from the government and you don’t attend a parent-teacher conference, bam, you lose your benefits.'”

Clearly Bauer has never had to juggle family responsibilities or figure out how to be involved in a child’s education while working more than one job just to stay financially solvent. And he is clearly out of touch with South Carolinians. More than half of students in South Carolina, 58 percent, participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program, 45.5 percent in Greenville County. Further, in 2008, 15.7 percent of the population of the state were classified as living in poverty.

Bauer just doesn’t get it. Let’s hope the voters of South Carolina show him that his ignorant and demeaning attitude towards poverty has no place in the governor’s office.

By Jennifer E. Cooper