Pants on Fire: Spence Now Claims He "Told the Truth From the Beginning" About Bank Bailout

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Yesterday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence again refused to explain why he voted against repaying his bank’s $40 million bailout from Washington back to taxpayers.  Instead – despite being repeatedly called out by members of the press for lying about his record at the bank -- Spence offered perhaps his most misleading statement of all:  “I’ve told the truth from the very beginning about all these issues.” [Joplin Globe, 7/15/12]

After Dave Spence spent months telling reporters that he disagreed with his bank’s decision not to repay its $40 million bailout, the Associated Press reported that Spence actually voted against repaying the taxpayers. Editorial Boards quickly called out Spence’s credibility.

“Either Dave Spence is one of those guys who lies so often that he forgets what the truth really is, or he knowingly keeps misleading Missouri voters. Either way, it’s simply become hard to trust anything Dave Spence says at this point,” said Isaac Wright, spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party. “From lying about his own college degree to making up false stories about the circumstances of his bank’s $40 million bailout, Spence has had a rocky relationship with the truth from day one.  If Dave Spence really does want to start telling the truth, he can start by honestly explaining why he voted against repaying his bank’s $40 million bailout – and why the bank had money to help Spence buy a million-dollar vacation home, but not to repay the taxpayers.” 
 
Background on Dave Spence’s Rocky Relationship with the Truth
Spence’s Claims About his Academic Credentials Called “Misleading,” “False” and “Inexcusable.” Spence was caught exaggerating his academic credentials – claiming he attended the University of Missouri school of business and received a degree in Economics.  “Both claims are false,” wrote Jack Miles of the Warrensburg Daily Star Journal. The Jefferson City News Tribune editorialized that “an error of this magnitude is inexcusable.” [Warrensburg Daily Star Journal, 1/26/12; Jefferson City News Tribune, 1/14/12]
 
Kraske: “Worst of All, [Spence] Changed his Story on the Pivotal Question” of Bailout Vote.“Spence continues to struggle — dogged by questions about his resume, involvement with a St. Louis-area bank that received a $40 million bailout, and the news that he was late paying taxes.  Worst of all, he changed his story on the pivotal question of how he voted as a bank board member on repaying the bailout,” wrote Steve Kraske of the Kansas City Star.  [Kansas City Star, 4/9/12]
 
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Spence’s Explanations about Bailout “Lacked the Ring of Truth.”  Under the headline “Spence credibility buried in avalanche of TARP explanations,” the St. Louis Post Dispatch called Spence’s comments about his time on the Reliance board “a thick fog of contrived answers that obscure the truth.”  Spence’s answers “lacked the ring of truth,” the editorial said, “as did his previous explanation for confusing his college home economics degree with an economics degree.” [Post Dispatch, 4/5/12]
 
Kansas City Star: Spence Having “Credibility Problems.”  “Spence’s campaign is trying to explain the discrepancy by insisting that the candidate hasn’t changed his story, he just remembers more now. That won’t satisfy either Spence’s opposition or Missouri voters… Spence is sadly mistaken if he thinks he can fool voters with half-truths and erroneous recollections. He needs to be much more upfront with voters if he is to be considered a serious candidate.” [Kansas City Star, 4/5/12]