My computer and I have been sick, but the computer is now well and I am, if not well, at least on the way to feeling normal again. I tell you this to explain why I am more than a week late in reporting on Treasurer Clint Zweifel’s campaign kickoff Wednesday night of last week at the Jewel Box in Forest Park. Even though I’m a week late on this, there’s information in Clint Zwifel’s speech that night that’s worth knowing.
The crowd filled all the spaces between the plants.
Zweifel’s secret campaign weapon, his wife, Janice
Which parent does our treasurer most resemble? Zweifel’s dad, by the way, is a retired union carpenter, who must be very proud that the first person in their family ever to go to college wound up being elected State Treasurer at the tender age of 35. Although Clint Zweifel is young, he is up to the job and then some. He says he goes to work everyday excited about the job. He conveys that enthusiasm and his accomplishments verify it.
In two and half years, folks, we’ve gotten a lot done that we’re really proud of. You know we’ve had some good ideas, and I’m really proud of some of the things that we’ve brought forward, but I can tell you that a big part of our success has been a focus on bipartisan results. And that was a tone that we set early on in the administration. We broke apart all of my responsibilities in the office, all facets of the office, traveled around the state, and really talked and learned about how we could be impactful and how we can have value and how we can achieve excellence in everything that we do. And we didn’t pay a lot of attention to political stripes or what party you’re a part of and focused instead on folks who were willing to get to work and get things done.
And I can tell you jobs has been priority number one since the day I took office, and we know how much work is still ahead of us there. And we know families, all of us know families that are still hurting as we speak. But I’m confident that we are on. the right. track. Before even taking office, I traveled the state and sat down with community lenders. We sat down with farmers and small business owners, and they told the truth. they said Missouri’s low interest loan program needed a lot of work. Approval times were taking sometimes months, red tape and bureaucracy was keeping businesses and farmers from really even using the program, and, at the end, many of the laws that govern the programs that were in place made many of the loans obsolete and not even useable. We listened. We partnered with Republicans and we partnered with Democrats. We worked with farmers and small businesses and worked with local communities to push through a legislative package that helped retool our loan program so that we could help grow Missouri’s economy again.
And I can tell you that we did this without any partisan politics, and in fact, this passed without a single no vote. Two years later, folks, we have some results to share. We’ve invested nearly $700 million in low interest loans in every corner of Missouri, and we’ve been able to touch 12,000 jobs and farms since we took office.
I can tell you that these loans are really the building blocks of Missouri’s economy. We have a pharmacy that we helped open in Grundy County in Northwest Missouri; we have a cotton gin in Caruthersville that we helped; we have an engineering firm that’s a national firm that’s based in Springfield; we have an advanced manufacturing center in West St. Louis County; we have a winery in St. Charles, and we have a life science business right here in St. Louis that’s using patented technology just at the other end of this park at Washington University that’s helping researchers fight diseases like diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimers.
Folks, we’re getting this done. We’ve been out there every day making these investments that provide 75 percent of the job growth in the recovery. We’re not picking winners or losers in a complex economy; we’re just providing a stronger entrepreneurial environment so that business owners can make good decisions and thrive.
On the basis of these accomplishments alone, Zweifel ought to be re-elected. And they are just the tip of what he’s done. I’ll tell you some of the others in the next posting. The problem with getting him re-elected is that nobody knows what he’s doing. Most voters assume that the treasurer is a glorified bookkeeper. Apparently they thought something of the sort about Susan Montee when they voted her out of office last fall, little realizing that she was such a competent auditor that one year her peers voted her the best auditor in the country.
Clint Zweifel is the embodiment of what a public servant ought to be. Remember that about him if you get an opportunity to help him out in his re-election bid.