The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

October 23, 2012

ENDORSEMENT: Zweifel earns nod for treasurer

Everyone knows Missouri’s Republican auditor, Tom Schweich, uses a tough measuring stick when it comes to fiscal accountability.

So, when he gave Democratic Treasurer Clint Zweifel and his staff an office-wide “excellent” rating for performance and accountability, we took notice.

We also noticed that Zweifel, of Columbia, who at the age of 35 was Missouri’s youngest treasurer to be elected in 100 years, jumped in with both feet.

Zweifel caught our editorial board’s attention again, when he brushed off the Missouri Linked Deposit Program, tripled the number of participating banking lenders, and turned it into a program that has made a difference to small businesses in our own backyard.

Zweifel, in our view, isn’t about politics. To the contrary. He is nonpartisan in his approach to the job. He’s intent on guarding the state’s credit rating — Missouri is one of about a fifth of the United States with a AAA credit rating. He’s concerned with helping parents pay for their kids’ college. More than $98.8 million has been invested in more than 9,300 accounts for Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan. He turned that college savings plan into a performer, bringing it from last to one of the top-ranked adviser plans in the nation.

And, he’s helped lift the curtain for the public by creating an open government website at http://www.treasurer.mo.gov/content/about-the-office/open-government.

In Jasper and Newton counties, Zweifel has:

• Invested in many small business and farm loans that helped businesses rebuild after the Joplin tornado, including a dental practice, a sign business and an architectural firm.

• Overseen more than $13.1 million invested in more than 1,200 accounts for Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan.

Zweifel is now asking Missouri voters for another term in office. He faces opposition from Republican Cole McNary, of Chesterfield, and Libertarian Sean O’Toole, of Kansas City. McNary is a state representative elected in 2008 and again in 2010. He announced his intentions to run for state treasurer earlier this year after redistricting occurred.

McNary, who has served as chairman of the Downsizing State Government Committee, has shown himself to be a concerned legislator and a good steward for the people of Missouri. We would encourage him to continue, perhaps looking ahead to the next Senate race in his district.

Zweifel, in our opinion, has earned another four years as Missouri’s treasurer. He has performed well in managing $23 billion in annual state revenues and a $4 billion state investment portfolio through tough economic times.

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