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S.C. Lt. Gov Andre Bauer Campaigns Against the Poor and Other "Stray Animals"

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"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."

Rush Limbaugh? Beck? Your friend who has had too much to drink? No, none of them. The above quotes came out of the mouth of current Lt. Governor and Republican candidate for Governor of South Carolina Andre Bauer addressing a town hall meeting attended by state lawmakers and Fountain Inn residents. Bauer went on to state that poor people should earn their benefits, that parents of students who eat free or reduced-price meals in school cafeterias should be required to be active in their children's education, or the parents should lose welfare benefits.

Once upon a time, when South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer was little Andre, he often went with his mother to Lexington County South Carolina Republican Party meetings and sold candy bars. Teenage Andre Bauer partnered with his sister to harvest abandoned golf balls, clean and sell them. On January 15th, 2003, all grown up Andre (only a few days more than two months from his 34th birthday) was sworn-in as Lt. Governor of the state of South Carolina. In 2008, thirty-something Andre supported legislation for a new state license plate containing the words "I Believe" and a cross superimposed on a stained glass window. On November 10, 2009, Judge Cameron McGowan Currie declared the "I Believe" Act "in violation of the United State Constitution, noting the Act was no more than an effort by Bauer to do in South Carolina what had failed in Florida: to gain legislative approval of a specialty plate promoting the majority religion--Christianity--for his own religious beliefs and/or to generate political capital with those who shared Bauer's faith.

In an audio of Bauer's remarks at the town hall, provided by The Greenville News, Bauer can be heard drawing a comparison between "feeding stray animals" and doling out government assistance, that government should take away assistance if those receiving help didn't pass drug tests or attend parent-teacher conferences or PTA meetings if their children were receiving free and reduced-price lunches.

"You see, for the first time in the history of this country, we've got more people voting for a living than we do working for a living." Bauer went on, and he claimed, "I can show you a bar graph where free and reduced lunch has the worst test scores in the state of South Carolina," adding, "You show me the school that has the highest free and reduced lunch, and I'll show you the worst test scores, folks. It's there, period."

A self-described Conservative Christian who has supported an amendment to ban gay marriage in South Carolina, Bauer has been a life-long bachelor, dogged by rumors about his own sexuality, even before he threw his hat in the ring to succeed Mark Sanford as Governor of South Carolina. In a interview for The State, published June 30, 2009, Bauer address those rumors by bringing the matter up on his own; so he was asked, then, if he is homosexual. Bauer said, "One word, two letters. "No.' Let's go ahead and dispel that now," according to The State. In an August 31, 2009 Huffingtonpost.com article Rachel Weiner reported that "Blogger Mike Rogers, a gay activist has written on his blog that he is sure South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer is a closeted homosexual."

"I have confirmed and spoken to four individuals who I have no doubt are telling me the truth," Rodgers claims. "These men have been hit on by Bauer, with one of them telling me it happened at least five times since Bauer's election in 2003. To a varying degree I have met with and believe the sources. And, as you'll recall, I have that 100% record. This was still not enough for me to report on him. Then another call came in and I met with the source while he was visiting DC recently. "He's gay,' the source told me.

"How do you know?" I asked.

"Because I've had sex with him on two separate occasions." That too, was not enough for me to report on without confirmation from others. I was led on a path to chatting with acquaintances of the source and two former employees of Bauer who served on his staff between 2004 and 2007. They reported to me that on on a total of three occasions Bauer spent hours alone with men in hotel rooms."

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Retired, Robert Arend was president of an AFSCME local from 1997-2007.
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