Carnahan makes Columbia stop on ‘Stop the Bull’ tour

Carnahan is the likely Democratic nominee in the November Senate race.

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan spoke Tuesday at Shakespeare’s Pizza as part of an effort to establish her platform in her campaign for a U.S. Senate seat.

In her speech, Carnahan focused on what she perceives as the biggest problem affecting the national government: wasteful spending. She is the leading Democrat vying to replace retiring Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo. She vowed, if elected, to slow federal spending she believes has gotten out of control. The speech was part of a series of events Carnahan is calling the “Stop the Bull” tour.

“Missourians are changing their lives,” she said of the current economic downturn. “But Washington D.C. is not.”

She said the government should have to abide by the same financial rules and common sense taxpayers do.

“Washington is broken,” she said. “It is a culture that encourages corruption and wasteful, unnecessary spending. The government should stop wasteful spending and start respecting its citizens’ hard-earned tax dollars.”

Carnahan said she could be the answer to such a problem. As Secretary of State, she said she helped save Missouri small businesses more than $12 million. One area that could be a good sendoff onto the road from reckless spending is the banning of earmarks, she said.

“We should ban earmarks,” Carnahan said. “They are corrupted and abused process.”

She cited earmarks such as one that appropriated $500,000 for a swimming pool in California and another that used $150,000 to open a specialty grocery store in New York City.

Carnahan’s Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, supports earmarking but has proposed halting the process for one year for financial stabilizing. Others have suggested stopping earmarking to private companies could decrease the amount of money being used. Carnahan said she believes completely banning the process is the only way to fix it.

“We must stop corporate giveaways and bailouts and focus on the middle class,” she said. “They can’t be stuck paying the bill.”

Carnahan criticized the no-bid contracts big corporations receive as well as the stimulus package, which she said helped Wall Street give big bonuses but didn’t help local businesses. She also proposed reinstating federal spending caps.

“Since the spending caps went away in 2002, the national deficit has gone up half a trillion dollars,” Carnahan said. “Big Oil and insurance companies and banks, however, oppose these kinds of things.”

Columbia resident Jackie Edwards stood outside Shakespeare’s holding a sign for, a website that criticizes Carnahan’s approval of the health care bill, temporary tax cuts and the stimulus package. Edwards said she worried Carnahan would not follow through on her campaign promises.

“Carnahan promises change for the better, but so did (U.S. President Barack) Obama,” Edwards said. “Talk is cheap. It’s easy to say something, but harder to practice it.”

Carnahan said she plans to push a “pay-as-you-go” policy in the national government.

“If you want something, you have to find a way to pay for it,” Carnahan said. “Ignoring this runs up more debt for our children and grandchildren.”

Carnahan supported the $940 billion health care reform bill.

“I’m a breast cancer survivor,” she said. “I think removing middlemen and holding the insurance companies accountable is a good thing.”

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