André Bauer : biography

March 20, 1969 -
Transparency issue

There have been questions about Bauer's commitment to transparency. In 2009, the South Carolina Policy Council, a non-profit free market think tank, investigated and reported on the Senior Center Permanent Improvement Program, which was operated by Bauer's office.

At the time, Bauer’s office declined to turn over information about the program, which had paid out nearly $10 million since 2000, despite repeated requests for a detailed accounting of projects, collections and expenditures.

After the story ran, a spokesman for Bauer's office said his agency was “still chasing down the numbers” for the Permanent Improvement Program “because we want to be absolutely certain we are right.” More than half a year later, the office has yet to turn over any additional information on the program.

Also, in February 2009 Bauer unveiled the “lieutenant governor’s transparency initiative,” which he said would give taxpayers an unprecedented view of his office’s finances. Initially, his office posted accountability reports for January, February and March 2009, but it wasn’t updated after that. Since then, though, the lieutenant governor’s office has simply linked to the comptroller general’s spending transparency Web site.

Last summer, the Policy Council sent a S.C. Freedom of Information Act request to Bauer's office seeking all state-related communication sent or received via private e-mail accounts on state-owned or leased property or equipment between Jan. 1, 2009, and July 1, 2009. Bauer’s office was among 10 state agencies the Policy Council sent such an open-records request to, in an attempt to ascertain how widespread is the practice of conducting public business on private accounts. The other agencies turned over the information requested free of charge, but Bauer’s office sought to charge the Policy Council $61 an hour to compile the e-mails, plus 3 cents for each page copied.

In October, the Policy Council sent an electronic mail request to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office asking for a copy of the agency’s e-mail retention policy. Because South Carolina has no comprehensive plan regarding retention of e-mail and, therefore, retention plans are left up to individual agencies, the Policy Council queried several agencies on the subject. Helen Ann Thrower, Bauer’s chief of staff, responded by attaching a four-page document titled “Computer Usage: Internet and Network Services Policy.” Also included was a bill.

“The cost for providing this information is $15.25, based on the time it took to gather the information and put it in the attached document to send to you,” Thrower wrote.

However, the matter of e-mail retention was not addressed in the information sent by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.

In November 2008, Bauer’s Office paid $5,000 to Gilded Age Films of Beaufort, S.C., for work that was not put out for bid, according to a March 18, 2010 report by The Nerve.

This despite the fact that the Lieutenant Governor’s Office falls under the state procurement code, which requires S.C. state agencies bound by it to seek competitive proposals for their work when outsourcing it to the private sector in order to get the best deal possible for taxpayers.

2008 presidential endorsement

On Thursday, January 17, 2008, Bauer announced his support for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, with the following statement: "I, like many voters, have been previously undecided, but this election is too important to sit on the sidelines. This week, I have decided to vote for Mike Huckabee, and I urge all South Carolinians to join me in voting for Mike Huckabee this Saturday. Simply put, I believe Mike Huckabee is the best of several fine candidates to lead America. As America faces tough times, Mike Huckabee has the character, integrity, and proven leadership to ensure our greatest days are yet to come."Reuters, 17 January 2008,

Sanford sex scandal

In the summer of 2009, Governor Mark Sanford disappeared for several days, leading to the exposure of an adulterous affair and allegations that he had committed numerous misdemeanors. This led to an investigation by the state commission on ethics and a threat of impeachment by the legislature. Had Sanford been impeached, Bauer would have become acting governor during the trial. However, in December 2009, legislative moves to impeach Sanford collapsed as the House Judiciary Committee voted instead merely to censure him.

Controversial comments on the poor

In January 2010, Bauer came under fire for comparing public school children who receive free lunches to stray animals who should not be fed. "My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals," Bauer said during a town hall meeting. "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." Bauer made the comment as part of an argument that people should lose government benefits if they fail drug tests or don't attend parent-teacher conferences or Parent-Teacher Association meetings. The Associated Press reported that Bauer was a child of divorce who benefited from free lunches himself.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine