JEFFERSON CITY -- One day after Republican Dave Spence publicly called for television stations to pull ads by incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon off the air, the governor's campaign released yet another ad on Tuesday focusing on Spence's role at a bank that received a federal bailout.
The ad is nearly identical to two previous TV spots from the Nixon campaign. It also continues an attack the Democrat has used against Spence all year: That Spence's bank took a federal bailout but hasn't paid that money back.
"Are you angry about Washington’s bailout of Wall Street and the banks? Candidate for governor Dave Spence helped run a bank that got a $40 million bailout," the ad's narrator says.
The ad goes on to say that Spence, "refused to pay back the taxpayers" and instead "took an insider loan to buy a million dollar vacation home." Throughout, it refers to Spence as a "St. Louis banker."
Spence's campaign called similar allegations made in the two previous ads "false" and "defamatory."
Spence joined the board of Reliance Bank in May 2005. The decision to take a $40 million loan from the U.S. Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program was made by the board of the bank's holding company, Reliance Bancshares. Spence did eventually join the holding company's board, but not until two months after the decision to accept TARP funds was made.
In 2010, he took out a $1.1 million mortgage on a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks. The campaign has said this loan had no connection to the TARP funding.
Before resigning from the board in March 2011, Spence voted with the rest of the board to stop paying back the TARP loan.
His campaign sent a cease and desist letter Monday to 20 television stations around the state demanding they pull the ads off the air or else face legal action.
Nixon's campaign brushed aside the complaints from their Republican opponent.
“Dave Spence can stomp up and down all he wants, but it won’t change the simple well-documented facts: he helped run a bank that took a $40 million bailout from Washington, he took an insider loan from the bank for a million dollar vacation home, and then he voted not to repay the bailout to taxpayers,” said Oren Shur, Nixon’s campaign manager.