Will Pundmann’s Speech for Missouri GOP State Convention, June 4, 2004
(At the beginning, music was played, “Stars and Stripes Forever” by Boston Pops)
Over the last few years, we, as taxpayers, became concerned for the way Missouri taxpayers' money was being spent to run the state government as it showed a sharp increase of 65.5% in just 20 years. The cost for operating the state government jumped to $571 per capita in 2002 from $345 per capita in 1982, adjusted for inflation. A ratio of 61 Missouri residents to 1 Missouri state worker as compared to Illinois of 85 to 1 in 2002 showed we needed 39% more state employees per capita than Illinois.
After prayerful consideration and family soul searching, I will accept the challenge and gain control over the runaway cost of government. The citizens of Missouri deserve a Treasurer that will return fiscal accountability through effective asset management and expense control. Help me to become an honest steward of the public's pocketbook and bring Dollars and Sense Back to Missouri Government.
We feel that the management of state finances should not be dictated or influenced by politics. I plan to bring over 30 years of financial experience and sound, proven investment techniques and strategies to the office of State Treasurer. These strategies will increase state revenues to enhance already strapped budgets of those dependent on state revenue sources, such as local school districts and public universities in Missouri.
Besides founding my investment firm twenty years ago in St. Louis, my career includes working as a securities analyst for a New York based mutual fund with over four hundred billion dollars under investment management, including Missouri’s college plans, and as an investment executive for Morgan Stanley also in New York.
I have, as evidenced, an eye for spotting talent in various management roles. When working in New York, thirty years ago I hired a relatively unknown economist by the name of Alan Greenspan, as an economic consultant, who since then has gone on to achieve some small measure of fame.
Elect-ability has become a buzz word during this year’s presidential primary campaign. What makes me elect-able is a long list of impressive credentials and accomplishments in the investment and financial fields that no other candidate can match.
My goals are simple but critical:
My basic goal is to BRING DOLLARS AND SENSE TO MISSOURI GOVERNMENT.
One immediate task is to restore the financial integrity of College Savings Plans funds entrusted to the Treasurer’s care.
In support of the Economic Prosperity Initiative’s goal to produce measurable economic results for the people of Missouri, the incremental savings from my initiatives would be directed toward a to-be-created Missouri New Industry Creation Fund, under Treasurer’s management, for the purposes of creating new industries and job programs to be implemented by the Missouri State Economic Department.
On the day I take office I will organize, restructure, and manage the state treasury to operate using the same financial management practices that have proven successful in the private sector.
It is my goal to take the POLITICS OUT OF THE MONEY MANAGEMENT of the State of Missouri. I can be counted on to achieve established goals since I intend to be a full time State Treasurer with only one focus - that being only on the office for which I am elected.
The first line of the Treasurer’s Mission will include the phrase that that EACH EMPLOYEE, INCLUDING MYSELF, WORKS FOR THE WILL OF MISSOURI TAX PAYERS. Any strategic decision made will be compared to the Mission statement and the question asked…Is this decision right for the taxpayers of Missouri?
With the demonstrated lack of high finance and investment experience in the Treasurer’s office in the last 20 years, Missourians will be refreshed to find a candidate who is actually qualified to manage their state tax dollars and not just another guy who has served a few years in various political positions, and not a guy who is using the position to springboard to a higher office.
Let me give you an example, one in which I was personally involved, of how Missouri has managed state funds by going against my professional investment advice and letting politics be a major factor in the decision making process. Then, allowing the political decision to be further compounded by inept investment management decisions that resulted in serious, unrecoverable losses.
Before the Senate Bill Number 20, Venture Capital, was signed into law by our former Governor Ashcroft on June 10, 1987, I was personally asked by our former State Treasurer, Wendall Bailey, to help develop an implementation plan for MOSERS as indicated by his note to me. My firm, Pundmann & Co. came up with an excellent implementation plan completed with detailed implementation strategies. The MOSERS board of directors took a pass on the plan. As a result, MOSERS lost millions of dollars making imprudent decisions on unconventional investments including investment in commonly known fraud business ventures such as a cattle breeding pyramid scheme in Central Missouri.
The law was rescinded by the Senate a few years later. Had the MOSERS board of directors accepted our proposal, they would have been happy counting incremental investment dollars for their retirees.
I want to leave you with this thought: WILL IS WORKING FOR THE WILL OF MISSOURI TAXPAYERS BY PLEDGING TO BRING DOLLARS AND SENSE BACK TO MISSOURI GOVERNMENT.
Copyright © 2004 by the Missourians for Pundmann, Inc.
Copyright © 2004 Paid for by Missourians for Pundmann, Inc. Irene. A. Pundmann, Treasurer, P.O. Box 446, St. Charles, MO 63302