Thomas Schweich

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Thomas Schweich
Thomas Schweich.jpg
Missouri State Auditor
Former officeholder
In office
2011 - 2015
PartyRepublican
PredecessorSusan Montee (D)
DiedFebruary 26, 2015
Compensation
Base salary$107,746
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$2,535,397
Term limitsN/A
Education
J.D.Harvard Law School
Personal
ProfessionAttorney/Professor
Websites
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Thomas Schweich is the former Missouri State Auditor. He was first elected to the office in 2010 and won re-election in 2014.[1] Schweich served until his death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on February 26, 2015.[2]

Schweich announced his entry into the 2016 race for Governor of Missouri on January 28, 2015. During the speech at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, he suggested that his campaign would focus on stronger ethics laws and consolidation of school districts.[3]

Schweich's suicide sparked a feud between media director Spence Jackson and Missouri Republican Party chair John Hancock in March 2015. Jackson called for Hancock's resignation following allegations that the party chair sought to ruin Schweich's gubernatorial campaign with a whisper campaign about his religious background. Hancock has argued that he mistakenly thought the former auditor was Jewish but did not try to damage his candidacy. Jackson died on March 29 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[4]

Biography

Following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Schweich began his career as an attorney with the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP. From 1999 to 2000, he was chief of staff for the Special Counsel investigation into the conduct of the U.S. government in connection with the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas. Schweich went on to serve as chief of staff to three United States Ambassadors to the United Nations and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Acting Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the State Department. From 2007 to 2008, he served as the U.S. Coordinator for Counternarcotics and Justice Reform in Afghanistan.[5]

Education

  • Graduate, St. Louis County Public Schools
  • Graduate, Yale
  • J.D., Harvard Law School[5]

Political career

Missouri-Stipend Scandal.jpg
Learn more about the scandal in
the St. Joseph School District...
The story so far
The stipend scandal
The FBI probe
The rescinded suspension
The $2 million shortfall
The secret tapes
The ousted administrators
The state audit
The fallout begins
The superintendent axed
The firings continue
The board resignation
The video recap
The investigation spreads
The lawsuit settlement
The settlement details
Key figures
Superintendent Fred Czerwonka
CFO Beau Musser
COO Rick Hartigan
HR Director Doug Flowers
Trustee Chris Danford
Trustee Dan Colgan
State Auditor Thomas Schweich
State Sen. Robert Schaaf
Background
St. Joseph School District
2014 school board election
2015 tax levy renewal
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Missouri State Auditor

Missouri State Auditor (2011 - 2015)

Schweich first won election to office in 2010. He won a second term in office on November 4, 2014.

Audit of St. Joseph School District

See also: St. Joseph School District rated "poor" in financial audit

On February 17, 2015, Schweich released a 53-page audit of St. Joseph School District detailing a lack of financial control in the scandal-plagued district. This report indicated that secret stipends totaling $25 million were distributed to administrators over an eight-year period, including $3.8 million in 2014. Schweich issued a "poor" rating to the district, which means that the district needs to "significantly improve operations...that require management's immediate attention." The auditor's announcement of these findings drew a crowd of 250 community members and generated gasps from the audience at the scale of the stipend scandal.[6]

Here is the summary of the stipend scandal as published in Schweich's report:

The St. Joseph School District's use of its existing salary schedules and stipend system has resulted in a confusing, inconsistently applied, and poorly documented system of compensation. Salary schedules were not complete or always properly approved, there were no salary schedules for some classes of employees, and the district did not have adequate documentation to support some employees' placement and advancement on respective salary schedules. The district failed to establish adequate policies and procedures regarding stipends, does not maintain adequate documentation of the stipend amounts paid to employees, and the School Board does not approve most stipends given to employees. Stipend payments totaled $3.8 million for the 2013-2014 school year. In addition, some additional compensation appears questionable and unnecessary, and the district is not complying with its overtime policies. [7]

—Missouri State Auditor, (2015) [6]

Controversies

Lawsuit against Governor Nixon

On August 26, 2011, Schweich sued Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, alleging that the governor violated the state constitution by cutting spending on education and other services to help cover the costs of the Joplin tornado and spring flooding. Nixon had reportedly announced $170 million in budget cuts for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2011.[8]

Schweich and his attorneys argued that the cuts were intended to be permanent and that the governor can reduce expenditures only when revenues fall below projections. Meanwhile, Nixon's attorneys claimed that the cuts were temporary and authorized under a constitutional section that gives the governor the power to control the rate of expenditures.[8]

The section of the Missouri Constitution under question states, "The governor may control the rate at which any appropriation is expended during the period of the appropriation by allotment or other means, and may reduce the expenditures of the state or any of its agencies below their appropriations whenever the actual revenues are less than the revenue estimates upon which the appropriations were based."[9]

Elections

2016

Schweich announced after his 2014 re-election as Missouri State Auditor that he was considering a bid for governor in 2016.[10] He officially launched his campaign for the office on January 28, 2015.[3]

Race background

Citizens for Fairness ads against Schweich

A political action committee (PAC) called Citizens for Fairness aired radio ads criticizing former gubernatorial candidate Thomas Schweich (R) in February 2015. The committee has been connected to Republican candidate Catherine Hanaway through former campaign consultant Jeff Roe, who is currently a senior strategist for 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Schweich, who committed suicide on February 26, was criticized as a weak candidate in the ad transcript quoted below:[11]

Elections have consequences. Tom Schweich, like him? No. Is he a weak candidate for governor? Absolutely, just look at him. He could be easily confused for the deputy sheriff of Mayberry.

But, more importantly, he can be manipulated. That’s why Sen. Claire McCaskill and Pres. Obama enlisted my help to meddle in another Republican primary with Schweich as our pawn. Schweich and McCaskill are tied at the hip. Schweich even gave money to McCaskill’s campaign.

Schweich is an obviously weaker opponent against Democrat Chris Koster. Once Schweich obtains the Republican nomination, we will quickly squash him like a bug that he is and put our candidate, Chris Koster in the governor’s mansion. [7]

Fox2Now, (2015)[11]

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch drew connections between Hanaway and Citizens for Fairness through James C. Thomas III, an attorney who has worked with Roe and acted as campaign treasurer for a pro-Hanaway PAC called Citizens for a Stronger Missouri. Ads ran on radio stations in Kansas City, Columbia and other Missouri cities from February 19 to 21, coinciding with Reagan-Lincoln Days events for state Republicans. The ads aired prior to Schweich's poor showing in a straw poll against Hanaway as well as the election of John Hancock as party chairman. Schweich was concerned that Hancock had undercut his gubernatorial campaign by telling potential supporters that he was Jewish despite his Episcopalian background.[12]According to a 2010 estimate by the Association of Religion Data Archives, 18,245 Missouri residents attended Jewish services compared to 230,488 Catholics, 39,405 Southern Baptists and 38,950 Missouri Synod Lutherans who regularly attended services for their faiths.[13]

2014

See also: Missouri down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Schweich ran for re-election to the office of Missouri State Auditor.[1] Schweich was unopposed in the primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.

Results

General election
Missouri Auditor, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTom Schweich Incumbent 73.3% 937,961
     Libertarian Sean O'Toole 19.7% 252,351
     Constitution Rodney Farthing 7% 89,080
Total Votes 1,279,392
Election Results via Secretary of State.

2010

Schweich won election as state auditor in the November 2010 election, defeating Democratic incumbent Susan Montee and Libertarian Charles W. Baum.[14]

Missouri State Auditor, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngThomas Schweich 50.8% 974,517
     Democratic Susan Montee Incumbent 45.5% 871,867
     Libertarian Charles W. Baum 3.7% 70,816
Total Votes 1,917,200
Election Results via Missouri Secretary of State

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Schweich is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Schweich raised a total of $2,535,397 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 12, 2013.[15]

Thomas Schweich's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Missouri Auditor Not up for election $222,000
2010 Missouri Auditor Won $2,313,397
Grand Total Raised $2,535,397

2010

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Thomas Schweich's donors each year.[16] Click [show] for more information.


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See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 PoliticMo, Schweich unchallenged in 2014 auditor’s cash race, June 19, 2013
  2. The New York Times, "Police Say Thomas Schweich, Candidate for Missouri Governor, Killed Himself," February 26, 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 Daily Journal, "Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich to run for governor, setting up Republican primary in 2016," January 28, 2015
  4. Politico, "Spokesman for Missouri official who committed suicide found dead," March 30, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 Missouri Auditor, " About us," accessed February 6, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 Missouri State Auditor, "Citizens Summary," accessed February 20, 2015
  7. 7.0 7.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Associated Press, "UPDATE: Missouri auditor sues Gov. Nixon over disaster-related budget cuts" August 26, 2011
  9. The Associated Press, "Judge weighing Nixon's budget cuts" October 31, 2011
  10. The Rolla Daily News, "Schweich weighing running for Missouri governor," November 20, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Fox2Now, "New political attack ad compares Tom Schweich to Barney Fife," February 26, 2015
  12. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Citizens for Fairness was front group for Hanaway's consultant," March 15, 2015
  13. The Association of Religion Data Archives, "Religioius Traditions, 2010," accessed March 25, 2015
  14. Missouri Secretary of State, "November 2010 General Election Results," accessed May 18, 2011
  15. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Tom Schweich," accessed July 12, 2013
  16. Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Susan Montee (D)
Missouri State Auditor
2011–2015
Succeeded by
John Watson