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State Auditor Criticizes Governor

April 14, 2004
By: Missy Shelton
State Capital Bureau

State Auditor Claire McCaskill charges Democratic Governor Bob Holden could've released money he withheld from education as early as last fall.

Missy Shelton reports.

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Last Friday, Governor Bob Holden released more than 120 million dollars he'd withheld from public schools since last year.

State Auditor Claire McCaskill who is challenging Holden in the August primary says she doesn't believe the governor just found out late last week that he could release the money, just three days after 54 school districts approved tax increases.

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But Governor Bob Holden says he released the money as soon as he got word from his budget director that it was economically feasible to do so.

He says McCaskill is wrong to question his timing.

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Holden's campaign manager, Roy Temple had even harsher words for the State Auditor.

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But McCaskill says all the information the governor cited last week when he released the money was available months earlier.

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McCaskill says the governor's decision to withhold money from schools for so long had a negative effect on students.

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But the governor says districts made decisions about cutting their budgets before he decided he had to withhold money.

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This sparing match only seems to underscore what some democrats have said...They're disappointed the primary race between Governor Bob Holden and State Auditor Claire McCaskill is going to be costly and contentious.

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