Spence Limps Towards Primary Day Snubbed by Republican Groups and Hometown Newspaper

Dave Spence may have an overwhelming financial advantage over his primary opponent Bill Randles, but that hasn’t dispelled serious concerns among the press and even his conservative allies about his record as a St. Louis banker.  Over the past several days, both his hometown paper, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and the Missouri Republican Assembly endorsed Bill Randles in the GOP primary – snubbing frontrunner Dave Spence.

“Even after spending millions of his own personal fortune, Dave Spence still hasn’t been able to quiet critics in his home town or in his own party about the $40 million bank bailout he voted not to pay back,” said Isaac Wright of the Missouri Democratic Party.  “As Dave Spence limps towards primary day, it’s clear that his repeated lies about his personal resume and his habit of using public money for his own personal benefit have raised serious concerns about his candidacy that aren’t going away.”
 
BACKGROUND:
 
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Spence “Stretched Limits of Credibility” With Bank Bailout Answers, Refused to Provide Specifics on Policies.  Last week, the St. Louis Post Dispatch editorial board endorsed Bill Randles over Spence, writing that Spence’s “smorgasboard of answers about his college degree or his service on a bank board that didn’t pay back a bailout loan from the federal government have stretched the limits of credibility.” Pushed for “specifics on his policies,” Spence told them: “I don't want to go into great detail because at some point somebody will use that against me.” [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 7/28/12]
 
Missouri Republican Assembly Endorsed Bill Randles.  Yesterday, the Missouri Republican Assembly “a group that works to unite conservatives” endorsed Bill Randles for Governor. [Release, 7/29/12]
 
HEADLINE: Spence Statements on Degree Concern Conservative Group. “Spence stated on his website and in campaign literature that he received a degree from Mizzou in economics. He later acknowledged he had studied family economics and management, sometimes called consumer economics…  The disclosure raises questions about Spence's character and his approach to government, said Scott Magill, president of the 7th district assembly.  ‘If he’s willing to omit that, I'd be worried about having him for governor, because what else is he willing to omit,’ said Magill, who is the former president of the state MRA.” [Springfield News Leader, 1/17/12]

Kinder: Spence will have to defend TARP.   Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who dropped his own hopes of running for governor and endorsed Spence, said the bailout is an issue his old fraternity brother will need to explain. “I am not briefed on the details of the TARP [at] the bank board he sat on or . . . under what circumstances they did or didn't pay a dividend. Those details are something in his business background that he's got to defend,” Kinder said on Dana Loesch's radio program.  [Politico, 11/21/11]