The Red Print: Responsive government accountable to taxpayers

Missouri taxpayers deserve elected leaders who are accountable and transparent – not beholden to special interests. Among the reasons I am running for governor is to bring a focus on streamlining government and making Missouri a destination state for businesses, workers and families. With the right leadership, Missouri can lead the nation in growth and quality of life, but it starts with vision, accountability, and integrity.

Republicans in Missouri have flourished over the last two decades. Unfortunately, Missouri has not. The GOP holds every statewide office and supermajorities in the House and Senate. Yet our state continues to lag in economic and quality-of-life indicators, even as state government has doubled in size over the last seven years.

That’s right: Since 2018, Republicans in Jefferson City have voted to increase state government spending from $24 billion to $51 billion, a shocking explosion in the growth of government from the “conservative” majority in the legislature.

I don’t know any Missourians who feel they’ve received government that is twice as good as six years ago. But both of my opponents, one a current senator, one a former senator and now lieutenant governor, contributed to that explosion in spending. In the last two years alone, the lieutenant governor’s budget has increased 350%, from $11 million to $39 million.

The very first thing I plan to do as governor is introduce zero-based budgeting. I will end automatic spending increases, which have contributed to the explosion in government spending, and require each department to conduct a thorough review of their budgets and justify funding requests to help identify waste, fraud and abuse.

As secretary of state, I made Missouri one of the most secure states in America for election integrity. As governor, my goal will be to make us No. 1.

I instituted voter ID, banned ballot drop boxes, banned billionaires such as Mark Zuckerberg from funding our elections, and reinstituted paper ballots.

Even as Missouri has avoided the controversies confronting other states, the Biden administration attempted to send armed federal agents to monitor our elections. My office blocked those efforts, and Missouri has continued to be a national leader in election integrity.

Even as Chinese spy balloons travel unobstructed over our state, the Legislature failed to block China and other foreign adversaries from buying our land. I authored legislation that would ban China, Iran, Russia, Venezuela and North Korea from owning any land in our state, while both of my opponents have voted to allow this practice.

Given the economic and national security threats China and these other hostile nations pose, Jefferson City politicians have failed to enact this very common-sense policy change. I promise you that will end under a Governor Ashcroft.

I also implemented new rules prohibiting bankers and money managers from using investors’ retirement investments for woke Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) without their authorization. The use of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) theories to impose radical racial and sexual identity requirements, of which ESG is a critical component, is anti-American. And while investors should be allowed to make any investments they choose, those who manage their retirement funds should not be allowed to make those investments without the approval of investors.

As governor, I will prohibit our state pension fund from making ESG investments.

And finally, I will stabilize funding for the Missouri Veterans Commission. Government bureaucrats and politicians have been raiding the commission’s funding for years, leaving a $24 million deficit and the threat of closing some of the state’s veterans’ homes. This is inexcusable and an insult to the men and women who’ve served our country. As governor, I will stabilize funding for the commission and work with veteran leaders to make sure Missouri honors our commitment to our veterans.

We can right-size government and make it more responsive, accountable and transparent. But that takes the kind of leadership that has been missing in Jefferson City for decades.

I’m an engineer, and engineers fix things. That will be my charge as your next governor.

About The Author

Get News, the way it was meant to be:

Fair. Factual. Trustworthy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.