Chattanooga: PETA doubles the ante on pothole patches

Chattanooga: PETA doubles the ante on pothole patches

May 1st, 2009 by Cliff Hightower in News

The ante went up Thursday in a battle over chicken-naming rights on city streets.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter Thursday morning to Mayor Ron Littlefield, saying the group would double the amount of a donation the city received from KFC Corp. to fix potholes on city streets.

KFC gave $3,000, and PETA is offering $6,000.

The catch would be that they want to put an evil depiction of KFC founder Col. Harlan Sanders on the road with the tagline, "KFC Tortures Animals," the group said Thursday.

"We want Chattanooga residents to know what their road repairs really cost," said Nicole Matthews, PETA spokeswoman. "It's the lives of around 360 million chickens."

On Wednesday, city crews were spraypainting temporary chalk logos that said "Re-freshed by KFC" on potholes filled with KFC-purchased asphalt. City officials said they possibly could repair up to 500 potholes with the money.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said Thursday the city would not accept the offer from PETA.

"We are not going to place ourselves into the middle of an argument between PETA and the KFC Corp.," he said.

Mr. Beeland said it also would be inappropriate to accept PETA's "awkward requirement" that maligns KFC.

KFC offered the same donations to Louisville, Ky., Topeka, Kan., and Warren, Ohio, officials. Ms. Matthews said the group made the same offer to Louisville, Ky., and also to a city in California that applied for the KFC donation.

Warren, Ohio, also received a $6,000 counter-offer, along with an offer to feed city workers vegetarian lunches, according to news reports.

KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said Thursday that "PETA's reputation speaks for itself." He noted that all of PETA's effort to give money to cities in response to KFC has failed.

"They've made the offer," he said. "Nobody's accepted it."