Monday, December 20, 2010

Republicans jump on Nixon's awarding of $2 million to felon

The Missouri Republican Party continues to jump on AP's revelation last week that Gov. Jay Nixon awarded $2 million to a convicted felon. From a news release issued today:

Last week, the Associated Press revealed that the president and CEO of a company awarded more than $2 million in state economic development aid was on probation for passing more than $90,000 in bad checks. A spokesman for the governor’s office told the AP that he was unaware that Weaver Dickerson had a felony record when Jay Nixon joined Dickerson in Cape Girardeau to announce the state aid earlier this month.

“If Jay Nixon spent five minutes doing a simple background check, he would have uncovered the criminal past of the man who he awarded $2 million in state aid. But maybe Nixon was just too busy watching basketball to do the job Missourians elected him to do,” said Lloyd Smith, Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party. “It is clear that Jay Nixon has fallen asleep at the switch—and he’s now doling out huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to people who have proven that they cannot be trusted to handle money.”

Dickerson’s financial past is troubling. In addition to pleading guilty to felony charges for passing more than $90,000 in bad checks, court documents suggest that he has been taken to court more than a dozen times for default of various loans—and he’s even had several run-ins with the Missouri Division of Employment Security.

But Nixon shared the stage with Dickerson, apparently unaware of his troubled past.

That’s why the Missouri Republican Party today has filed an open records request with the Department of Economic Development demanding a list of all recipients of state aid used to fund Dickerson’s project in Cape Girardeau. It is important to determine if this is part of a larger pattern of irresponsible use of taxpayer money—and since Jay Nixon is shown himself to be too incompetent to vet those who are receiving millions of dollars in incentives, we will do it for him.

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