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LWV League of Women Voters of St Louis Information Service

Smart Voter
Missouri State Government August 5, 2008 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
State Treasurer; State of Missouri; Democratic Party

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Missouri and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Qualification, Priorities

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

1. What are your Qualifications for Office? (200 word limit)

Answer from Clint Zweifel:

I bring a proven track record of political and policy leadership.

I first won election to the House of Representatives in 2002 by a 67-vote margin and earned the distinction of being the only Democrat in the state to defeat a Republican incumbent. Now finishing my third term, I am a leader in the House on state finances where I serve as the ranking member on the Ways and Means Committee and the Special Committee on Tax Reform. I also serve on the Special Committee on Retirement, the Joint Committee on Tax Policy, and the Special Committee on State Parks and Waterways.

I led Democratic policy strategy and developed real solutions to help Missouri families, developing proposals on early childhood education, helping seniors cope with property taxes, and guarding our privacy.

I chaired the Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee in 2006, leading all Missouri House candidate recruitment and fundraising efforts. That effort resulted in the largest Democratic net gain in the House since 1978.

I was the first member of my family to graduate from college, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Answer from Andria Danine Simckes:

I bring to the Office of State Treasurer my experience as an economic developer, my ability to manage large budgets and investments, my commitment to Missouri's communities, as well as being able to bring people together who represent diverse interests to reach a common goal.

I began my career in politics in 1996 as the Comptroller for the Democratic Coordinated Campaign where I oversaw a $1.6 million budget, and helped re-elect Governor Mel Carnahan and President Bill Clinton.

Upon the campaign's successful end, I went to work for Governor Carnahan as his legal aide specializing in extraditions and legislative lobbying. Later, I went to work for the Department of Economic Development (DED) serving first as the Statewide Coordinator of the Caring Communities initiative, and then as the Area Director for the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Upon leaving State government, I became the Executive Director of the St. Louis Regional Empowerment Zone where I was responsible for $150 million in bonding authority and seed capital + funding to support our business community grow and expand.

Answer from Charles B. Wheeler:

After more than 40 years of distinguished public service, I am well qualified to serve as Missouri State Treasurer. In four elective offices, I have rung up an impressive list of achievements.

For example, as western judge of the former Jackson County administrative court, I and the two other administrative judges submitted to voters multi-million-dollar bond issues to build the Truman Sports complex and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. Voters approved the issues.

As Kansas City Mayor, from 1971 to 1979, I, along with other members of the Kansas City Council, appointed city money to help build Kemper Arena. I also spearheaded an election in which voters approved funds to build the Bartle Hall Convention Center.

In the Missouri Senate, from 2003 to 2007, I helped enact a law that took steps toward protecting doctors from excessive malpractive verdicts. The measure was aimed at stanching the flow of physicians out of Missouri. I served on the Senate agriculture, economic development, medical and judiciary committees.

Regarding specific qualifications to serve as State Treasurer, I am a licensed stockbroker and insurance agent. I also served for two years as president of the former Westport Bank of Kansas City.

2. What plans do you have to address your top three priorities? (100 word limit)

Answer from Charles B. Wheeler:

It isn't glamorous, but the treasurer's main job is to manage the state's $3.5 billion investment portfolio. The importance of fiscal conservatism and responsibility cannot be overemphasized. My extensive, spotless background in government demonstrates that I can handle the responsibilities of public service honorably and ably.

Answer from Andria Danine Simckes:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs- I believe it should be the focus of all state elected officials to find ways to grow our economy and create good-paying jobs for our workers.

Education-I will review the plan's investment options and identify ways to make the MOST programs great again. In addition, I will expand quality early care and education (ECE) programs. As a working mother of three young children, I understand how hard it is to find an affordable, quality child care program.

Financial Literacy-As Treasurer, I will make it simpler for citizens to access the information they need.

Answer from Clint Zweifel:

The treasurer is responsible for managing $22 billion in revenues and $4 billion in investments. I will continue Missouri's tradition of responsible investment management and preserve Missouri's AAA Bond rating, which benefits local governments and school districts as well.

The treasurer should actively promote policy solutions to the high cost of higher education in Missouri, by strengthening MOHELA and making higher education a real budget priority.

I will work to create a fund through the Missouri Housing Development Commission to help homeowners facing foreclosure. I also will advocate for an agency relationship between borrowers and mortgage brokers, requiring brokers to have legal responsibility to borrowers.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. Word limits apply for each question. Direct references to opponents are not permitted.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: August 28, 2008 13:38 PDT
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