Treasurer race heats up
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Treasurer race heats up

Date: October 6, 2008
By: Rebecca Layne
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: As Missouri's treasurer race heats up, candidates Clint Zweifel and Brad Lager stand in opposition. As Wall Street crises and house foreclosures hurt the economy, the question that highlights the state's election is whether 'to spend or not to spend?' Rebecca Layne has more from Jefferson City. RunTime:3:13
OutCue: SOC

The primary responsibility of the state treasurer for Missouri is to invest idle state funds.  It's a more important job than you might think. 

Obviously, the wisdom of investments during a time of market turmoil can affect the assets of state government.  But also, where the state invests its millions of dollars can help various sectors of the state's economy.

The two major candidates argue about whose qualifications and values are best suited to undertake that job.

The Republican candidate is state senator Brad Lager:

Actuality:  LAGER3.WAV
Run Time: 00:30
Description: Clint, I think his intentions are good. But Clint is a guy who has always advocated for bigger government programs. I just remember during our time in the House, the four years that I was there, on almost every bill, Clint is up talking about how more money will fix this, or bigger government will fix this. That's just not who I am. I'm a guy who believes in better government, not bigger government. I'm a guy who believes that government should be reasonable and it should be responsible. I don't think we should go create programs and then try to figure out how to fund them.

Although Lager portrays his Democratic opponent Clint Zweifel as a spender, Zweifel says his desire to financially help Missouri families sets him apart from Lager.

Actuality:  ZWEIFEL2.WAV
Run Time: 00:18
Description: I think one big difference between my opponent and me is that I see the office as an opportunity really to help create opportunity for Missouri families and to make sure we are constantly trying to create an environment in this state that gives families hope and opportunity. And realizes their potential and not their limitations.

One of the issues upon which both candidates agree is the importance of higher education.  But they disagree on how to address the issue.

Lager says increasing scholarship opportunities and encouraging parents to save for their child's college education are better than one large program to solve the problem. 

 
Actuality:  LAGER1.WAV
Run Time: 00:16
Description: There are people out there who want to just create blanket programs that do nothing but pay for everybody's education for two or four years, whatever it is. And so I think when we start talking about college affordability that there's not just one silver bullet that fixes it all.

On the other side of the issue, Zweifel says he supports the Missouri Promise, which is a program that pays for a student's college education after they have attended community college, maintained a 3.0 and have performed community service.
 
Although both candidates disagree on plans of action, they both agree that Missouri money needs to be put back in Missouri's banks to help small-business growth. Protecting taxpayers is another priority, says Zweifel. 
 
Actuality:  ZWEIFEL1.WAV
Run Time: 00:28
Description: I think the most important priority for state treasurer period has to be making sure that we run a great office that maintains Missouri's AAA Bond Rating, that saves tax payers millions because of that bond rating, manages its investment portfolio in a way that protects taxpayers from the risk that we've seen out there in the financial markets. That's the basic responsibility that at the end of the day, if you're a democrat or republican, you better be able to do that and do it well.

Zweifel and Lager's plans for Missouri are on different ends of the spectrum, but with increasing economic woes, Missourians will have to choose the candidate who they trust most with their money.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Rebecca Layne...KSMU.