In a message to constituents last week, Republican Minnesota State Rep. Mary Franson seemed to compare food stamp recipients to wild animals.
Franson's speech began by giving good news to the people of Minnesota's District 11B about a surplus in the state budget. Then Franson decided to read "this funny little quote we got from a friend."
"Isn't it ironic that the food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever," Franson said. "Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to please not feed the animals, because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves."
Franson's video quickly drew outrage from the internet community. Franson apologized for the comment and removed the video from her YouTube account the same day it was posted, but copies of the clip remain available online.
Franson is not the first elected official to make insulting comments about individuals receiving public assistance. In 2010, former Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R-SC) made similar comments, comparing people who receive government assistance to stray animals.
Bauer, who made a bid for governor that same year, eventually apologized for his remarks as well. He was defeated in the Republican primary.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated the district Mary Franson represents. It is District 11B, not District 11A.