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Dave Spence’s Visit To Lee’s Summit
Dave Spence’s Visit To Lee’s Summit
Sept 22, 2012
Dave Spence, Nick Swearngin
and Mary Pechar
Tribune Photo/Linda Ahern
By Mary Pechar
What do you do on a beautiful early fall day when you are running for governor of Missouri? You make the most of your time; a stop at long time business associate R &D Leverage – Mold Manufacturing, lunch at the Filling Station BBQ with State Representative Jeff Grisamore, and a haircut and an interview at John’s Barber Shop.
That was just a small part of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence’s day Tuesday in Lee’s Summit.
Spence’s message is consistent. Missouri ranks 50th in job creation an obvious indicator, he feels that the current business plan is not working.
“We need to eliminate the career politician and approach government from a business perspective,” said Spence.
“We need to get more competitive and we need less government not more. Our citizens are looking for government to get out of their business. People are tired of living in fear and stress. We need to bring momentum and optimism back into our business environment.”
“I intend to lift up every rock in the state and ask, should we be doing it, can we do it better?” Spence said. “I will involve Missouri State employees in making our state more effective. As the government, we need to focus on providing good customer service to our citizens and do it efficiently. Tighten up operations, restore integrity and respect to the office of every elected official. “
As the former CEO of Alpha Packaging for nearly 27 years, Spence is prepared to do just that. Alpha is a Missouri-based plastics manufacturing company that Spence bought in 19985.
At the time, the business had about 15 employees and $350,000 in annual sales. With Spence’s vision and leadership the business has expanded to over 800 employees and almost $200 million in annual revenue.
Alpha provides bottles for the pharmaceutical and health and beauty markets. He believes in locally based manufacturing within a reasonable shipping range of their customers. Alpha has a plant in the U.S, one in Canada and one in Europe serving each of those markets. The company was built on hard work and integrity, a combination Spence intends to employee within state government.
According to Spence, the state is $1.7M over budget.
“We have received $4B in stimulus funds and we owe the Federal government $560M which we needed to borrow to cover our unemployment. While my opponent will take credit for a balanced budget and our credit rating, Missouri has had AAA credit since 1962 and our constitution requires a balanced budget,” said Spence.
“We need real world leadership, we must lead by example. Missouri has 1M people on food stamps and 45K kids in unaccredited schools.
“We don’t need politicians who are looking for the results of the next pole or the next election. We need hard working business leaders and others who are experts in their field to make a difference. It needs to not be about cronyism but about results and who can generate the needed results for the economic growth of our state.
“I am a 7th generation Missourian. I have gone to each of the 114 counties. I have traveled 60k miles around our state thus far. I have participated in 900 events since December. The surrounding states are recovering economically and Missouri is smothering. Our citizens want to run their businesses with out government interference and cut the political red tape.”
Spence, who was recently endorsed by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Correction Officers Association said, “I am aghast at the lack of leadership. We need economics now – jobs and a re-energized economy. Social issues while important must not be number one right now. We need someone to step into the line of fire, work hard and prove you don’t need to have career politicians.”
Sean Ahern, 42, races to the summit of 14,115-foot Pikes Peak during the Ascent race Saturday, Aug. 21