.- Members of the Montana Family Foundation are up in arms over Governor Brian Schweitzer’s plan to terminate a marriage and family council--put in place by his predecessors—and to pull pro-abstinence T.V. commercials from the state’s airwaves. Jeff Laszloffy, president of the Montana Family Foundation said this week that, “We have programs that are working…I would hate to see them go away.''
The Governor’s Council on Families was first implemented in 1996 by then Governor Marc Raicot and re-instated by Judy Martz, Schweitzer’s predecessor.
Although the goal of the council is to direct the Governor on policies affecting families and to promote healthy families through education and advertising, critics think that the council had no clear direction.
Schweitzer, who is focused on consolidating Montana’s government said that, “We want families to have a better quality of life, but not by spending state and federal money for people to sit on councils.''
The Governor likewise pulled a series of abstinence commercials when the mother of a seven-year old complained that her son saw the ads on the Nickelodeon channel at three in the afternoon.
Laszoloffy said that the ad was mistakenly shown at the wrong time but Schweitzer thinks that the blunder was an inappropriate use of federal dollars.
The Governor now wants to expand abstinence programs to include education on contraception and healthy living in general, but critics are worried.
Laszoloffy thinks that the sex-safety component will undermine the group’s abstinence message and wonders if the broader approach could result in a loss of federal funds for the programs.