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Oh, wait. Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (r) hasn’t announced yet.

Dave Spence (r) has announced he’s running for governor. The Missouri Democratic Party had some thoughts on that announcement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 15, 2011

[….]

MDP Statement on Dave Spence Joining Governor’s Race

Jefferson City, Mo.-The Missouri Democratic Party released the following statement today upon news reports that Dave Spence will run for Missouri Governor. Spence, a former businessman from St. Louis, headed a bank that has refused to repay its TARP funds and he made millions of dollars going into business with one of the Wall Street firms that helped create the financial crisis.

“It’s hard to imagine Republican primary voters supporting a guy like Dave Spence, who not only supported the bank bailouts – but even took a $40 million government bailout for his own bank and then refused to pay it back.  Right as the national recession was hitting Missouri families hard, David Spence got rich and had had no problem letting taxpayers pick up the bill for his failed bank,” said Caitlin Legacki, Missouri Democratic Party spokeswoman….

[….]

What Dave Spence Isn’t Telling You About His “Business Background:”

   Spence Served on the Board of a Troubled TARP Bank – Which Still Hasn’t Paid Back Bailout Funds. From 2005 until March 2011, David Spence served on the board of directors of Reliance Bank, which received $40 million in bailout money through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and yet still paid its CEO a lavish salary as well as bonuses and perks.  The bank was later the subject of action by the FDIC and the Fed earlier this year.  According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the bank stopped making payments on its TARP debt in November 2010.  (St. Louis Business Journal, 3/25/11; 8/9/11; St. Louis Post Dispatch, 5/13/05; St. Louis Business Journal, 10/7/11; Treasury.gov)

       Spence Defended Wall Street Bailout, Called It An “Extra Cushion of Capital”. When asked by the Associated Press about Reliance Bank’s decision to stop paying back the TARP money it owes, “Spence said he doesn’t recall any details about that decision, but he said the federal bank bailout program helped avoid a potential economic disaster by providing banks with ‘extra cushion of capital.'” [AP, 11/8/11]

   Spence’s Company Was Purchased by Wall Street Firm Tied to Financial Crisis and Bank Bailouts.  Last year, Spence’s company was purchased by a private equity firm called Irving Place Capital for a reported $260 million.  Irving Place Capital (formerly Bear Stearns Merchant Banking) was previously the private equity arm of the defunct investment bank Bear Stearns, which played a key role in causing the financial crisis and the global recession. After Bear Stearns collapsed and was acquired by JP Morgan (with the help of a$30 billion taxpayer guarantee from the Federal Reserve), Irving Place Capital spun off to become an independent private equity firm in November 2008.   [St. Louis Post Dispatch,9/1/10; Private Equity International, 10/28/08]

Dave Spence’s Bailout Timeline

   May 2005 — Spence Joins Reliance Board [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 5/13/05]

   February 2009 – Reliance Announces It Had Received $40 Million from TARP [St. Louis Business Journal, 2/23/09]

   April 2009 – Spence Is Re-nominated to Reliance Board of Directors [Reliance Bancshares, SEC filing 14A, 4/15/09]

   April 2009 — St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Reliance’s CEO made lavish salary + perks year bailout was passed.  [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 4/23/09]

   September 2010 — Spence buys 500,000 Shares of Reliance Stock [US Fed News, 9/25/10]

   February 2011 — Reliance Bancshares suspends TARP preferred dividends.  [SNL Bank Midwest, 2/24/11]

   March 2011 — Spence resigns from Reliance board  [SNL Bank Weekly Midwest, 3/21/11]

###

Heh.

Anyone think that the typical republican primary voter’s opinion of TARP and bailouts has changed since 2010?:

Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Oct. 20-21, 2010. N=848 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 4.2.

“Now thinking about the federal government’s actions in response to issues facing the U.S. today. Please tell me if you think each of the following was good for the country or bad for the country in general. First/Next, what about the government bailout of the financial and banking industries?”

Republicans

Good – 13%

Bad – 79%

Mixed (vol.) – 6%

Unsure – 2%

[emphasis added]

If Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (r) announces for the race we’ll be watching that August primary and passing the popcorn.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) was born lucky, eh?