State Auditor blasts media

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich blasted the media for what he calls a gross "mis-characterization". Last week Schweich filed a lawsuit against Governor Jay Nixon for withholding money from state agencies to finance the clean-up in Joplin. The money was supposed to go to state programs and agencies like medicaid, and Parents as Teachers. Schweich said the governors office cannot even prove how much money they'll need for clean-up , "The first thing that they learned (his staff) was that there was no data supporting the $172 million ...and they (Nixon's office) could not produce a single spreadsheet projection, actual revenue data, estimated cost of Joplin. They asked, 'Can you give us some support for how you got to 172 million?...", Schweich said. A governor typically withholds money from state agencies when revenues fall short. The auditor said simply moving money from one purpose to another is in improper re-allocation. But the real reason for Tuesday's news conference was the media coverage Schweich's lawsuit has received. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial titled "Schweich's Folly" claims the auditor is out to get Nixon because his own budget was among those cut, "That is blatant dishonesty. It is corrupt. It is dishonest. It is liableness. It is false, and is a tremendous disservice to the people of Missouri who have to read junk like that when the Post-Dispatch knows darn well, just reading the lawsuit, that is not what this lawsuit is about." Schweich said. Schweich also defended his values, "I care about Joplin. I have extended family down there. I have been down there. I have donated. I have given them accounting advice. I've met with the people. I've expressed my empathy and sympathy for them, and for them to write and article saying I don't care them is corrupt, dishonest and a total disservice to the people of Missouri". Schweich demanded that the post retract the editorial and apologize.