Dave Spence Still Fibbing About Bank Bailout: GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Continues Misleading Voters About Bank Involvement

 Yesterday, for the second time in recent weeks, Dave Spence falsely claimed that he had spent “less than six months” with Reliance Bank, the troubled St. Louis bank he helped lead – and whose $40 million bank bailout he voted not to repay.  “I was on the bank board he’s talking about for less than six months,” Spence told KY3 yesterday.  And as reported by the Joplin Globe earlier this month, “[Spence] said he was on the board for about six months.” [KY3, 10/24/12; Joplin Globe, 10/4/12]

In fact, Dave Spence served in a leadership role with the bank for six years, including nearly two years on the board of directors of its holding company, Reliance Bancshares.  [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 5/13/05; Reliance Bank DEF14A, 2009 and 2010]
 
“You’d think Dave Spence might have learned his lesson after getting caught covering up his vote not to repay his bank’s $40 million bailout – but instead of coming clean, Spence continues to fudge the truth every chance he gets,” said Missouri Democratic Party spokesman Isaac Wright. “Dave Spence’s involvement in his bank’s $40 million bailout – and his refusal to tell the truth about it – shows he’s simply not someone Missourians can trust to protect their tax dollars or manage Missouri’s budget.”
 
BACKGROUND
 
Spence Joined Reliance Bank As A Board Director In 2005.  Spence joined the board of directors of Reliance Bank, the main subsidiary of Reliance Bancshares, in 2005.  In 2009, he was elevated to the board of the parent company. As of June 2010, Reliance Bank’s total assets represented 93.52% of the parent company’s consolidated total assets. [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 5/13/05; Reliance Bank 10-Q, June 2010; Reliance Bancshares, SEC filing 14A, 4/15/09]
 
Spence Spent Nearly Two Years As a Board Member of Reliance Bancshares. Spence was a board director of the parent company, Reliance Bancshares, from May 2009 until March 2011. [Reliance Bancshares DEF14A 2009; Reliance Bancshares 8-k, 5/6/2009; Reliance Bancshares Form 8-k, 3/16/11]
 
For Months, Spence Claimed He Resigned from Bank Over Its Refusal to Repay Taxpayers.  “The bank’s board in February 2011 voted to delay payment on its loan because of a lack of capital.  Spence at first told at least two media outlets that he resigned from the Reliance board in part because of that decision. ‘What I wanted to do, and what the board wanted to do, are two different things,’ Spence told the St. Louis Beacon.” [Kansas City Star, 4/5/12]
 
Spence Was Finally Forced to Admit That He Voted Not to Repay Taxpayers.   Spence admitted to the Associated Press that “he voted with the rest of the bank board in early 2011 to forgo payments to the U.S. Treasury” on the bank’s TARP debt.  [Associated Press, 3/31/12]
 
... Prompting Editorial Boards Across the State to Question Spence’s Credibility.
 
Spence “Changed his Story on the Pivotal Question of How He Voted” On Repaying Bank Bailout. “Spence continues to struggle — dogged by questions about his resume, involvement with a St. Louis-area bank that received a $40 million bailout, and the news that he was late paying taxes.  Worst of all, he changed his story on the pivotal question of how he voted as a bank board member on repaying the bailout,” wrote Steve Kraske of the Kansas City Star.  [Kansas City Star, 4/8/12]
 
HEADLINE: Candidate’s credibility at stake; Spence’s comments raise questions in Missouri governor’s race.  “Spence is sadly mistaken if he thinks he can fool voters with half-truths and erroneous recollections. He needs to be much more upfront with voters if he is to be considered a serious candidate.” [Kansas City Star, 4/5/12]
 
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Spence’s Explanations about Bailout “Lacked the Ring of Truth.”  Under the headline “Spence credibility buried in avalanche of TARP explanations,” the St. Louis Post Dispatch called Spence’s comments about his time on the Reliance board “a thick fog of contrived answers that obscure the truth.”  Spence’s answers “lacked the ring of truth,” the editorial said, “as did his previous explanation for confusing his college home economics degree with an economics degree.” [Post Dispatch, 4/5/12]