Friday, November 13, 2009

Icet & Schweich Trade Fire


Rep. Allen Icet pledged to serve a full-term as State Auditor if elected next year and took a shot at his Republican rival for issuing "threats" during the primary contest.

Icet's comments come a day after his GOP opponent Tom Schweich told The Ky3 Political Notebook that he would serve a full-term, with the condition that the party unites around him in 2010 as the "consensus candidate." Watch the interview clip HERE.

"After we win next year, I will work hard to reach out to all Republicans to build a consensus effort to take back the Auditor's office," Icet said in a statement. "I will not hold any grudges. My opponent seems to think the best way to unite our party is through threats. That type of short-sighted selfish thinking does not strengthen parties, it destroys them," Icet went on.

A few hours later, Schweich sent out a statement, seemingly designed to change the storyline, commending Sen. Gary Nodler for relinquishing his Appropriations Committee chairmanship Friday.

The Notebook reported Thursday night that after months of speculation Nodler would step down, in order to avoid any potential conflicts while running for Congress.

"I commend Sen. Nodler for his decision to step down as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee while he seeks higher office. He has proven himself to be a man of ethics and integrity. There is no way an appropriations or budget chair running for higher office can avoid the appearance of impropriety while accepting contributions from lobbyists and special interests who have business in the budget process," Schweich said in a statement.

"The state auditor is required to be independent of all outside influences. Unfortunately, Rep. Icet. has chosen a different course. I encourage him to do the right thing and step down as budget chair while he pursues the office of state auditor," Schweich went on.

In an interview Thurday, Icet reaffirmed his decision to stay on as House Budget Chair and said GOP leadership have encouraged him to remain in the post in 2010 as lawmakers navigate an extremely difficult budgetary year.

Schweich has pledged to recuse himself from any audit involving a contributor to his campaign.

But Icet's campaign said that Schweich's comments signal that he views the Auditor office as a potential stepping-stone. "Though my opponent might view the job as a mere stepping-stone to get back inside the D.C. Beltway, I believe it's one of the most important jobs in Missouri - and a job worthy of my full attention," Icet said.

Republicans will choose between Icet and Schweich as their nominee next August. The winner will take on Democratic incumbent Susan Montee.

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