Wow! Did you get Craig Porter’s letter in the mail earlier in the week? You may have if you live in Missouri House District 16. If you did not, you may want to check it out below.
From the Desk of
July 30th, 2012
I sincerely hope you will take the time to read this letter. I know you are receiving lots of direct mail pieces during this time leading to the primary election, but what I have to say is important so please bear with me.
My name is Craig Porter. Some of you may have heard of me as I represented many of you as your County Commissioner for 8 years (2001-2008), and my family has been in the building materials business in the area for 60 years. It is my commitment to Clay County that initially drove me to run for County Commissioner. It is that same commitment that made me feel obligated to write this letter. I am a loyal Republican and have supported numerous Republican candidates both local and national.
I live in the newly formed Missouri House District 16. I know both candidates running in the Republican primary and one of them, Vic Hurlbert, is not telling you the truth about his past as an elected officeholder of Clay County. I was a County Commissioner for 8 years while Vic Hurlbert was the County Auditor. I know what he is like. Here is a list of just some few things you should know about Vic Hurlbert before you vote next Tuesday.
- VIC HURLBERT RESIGNED AS COUNTY AUDITOR UNDER THREAT OF PROSECUTION: After former County Clerk Pam Mason, (now Hurlbert’s wife) lost in the 2006 election, Hurlbert and Mason used funds from the “Indigent Care” account to build a wall between Mason’s office, (County Clerk’s Office), and Hurlbert’s office. The wall damaged some irreplaceable marble in the courthouse and was built without the approval of the County Commission. It was later concluded the funding was likely obtained illegally by Hurlbert and Mason. A special prosecutor was appointed to investigate this and other issues relating to Hurlbert’s actions as Auditor. Facing the threat of dismissal from office, Hurlbert resigned. However, he chose to wait until Democratic Governor Jay Nixon took office in January ensuring a Democrat would be appointed to the Clay County Auditor position. Had he resigned just days earlier Governor Matt Blunt would have been able to appoint a Republican to fill the position. (Had Pam Mason (Currently the Presiding Commissioner of Clay County) not been defeated in the 2006 election there is a good chance she would have had the same fate as Hurlbert).
- HURLBERT WAS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO “NERDGATE” SCANDAL: For those of us that can remember the late 1990’s and the debacle that was Clay Co. Government at that time you will likely remember the “Nerdgate” scandal. Hurlbert teamed with two Commissioners (Gene Owen & Jay Lawson), a Democratic Sheriff (Bob Boydston) and a Democratic Prosecutor to go after those in charge of the County “Information Technology” (IT) dept. The result was approximately One Million Dollars of taxpayer funds spent on an investigation that resulted in no charges and no convictions. Then, when Hurlbert was put in charge of the Information Technology Dept. the Circuit judges demanded the department be split into Judicial IT & Adm. IT as they wanted nothing to do with Hurlbert. The department remains split to this day costing the taxpayers of Clay Co. about $500,000 annually. In 2001 when Tom Brown & I took office we put control of the Administrative IT department back in the hands of the Commission. To say it was a mess would be an understatement. A company with past experience in securing sensitive military computer systems was hired to secure the system and help re-build it. The County website was in terrible condition with very little information on the public portion. The calendar of events had not been updated in four months. Clay Co. now has one of the highest rated websites of any local government in the KC area.
- UNSATISFACTORY OUTSIDE AUDIT RESULTS WHILE HURLBERT WAS CLAY COUNTY AUDITOR: While Vic Hurlbert was County Auditor; Clay County received a “Qualified” opinion on the annual outside audit several occasions. A “Qualified” audit is not the result anyone wants and means the outside Auditor was unable to give the County a satisfactory or “Clean” finding on the audit. In most cases the Audit was “Qualified” due to Vic Hurlbert’s refusal to supply critical data to the outside Auditor. In 2008 the outside audit firm charged Clay County an additional $54,000 for time they spent gathering information on their own. This was due to Hurlbert’s refusal to produce this information that was critical to the audit. The outside auditor went on to say that Hurlbert impeded the audit process and that “We believe that we did not receive the necessary, ordinary cooperation from the County Auditor” (Hurlbert).
- HURLBERT VOTED TO RAISE HIS OWN SALARY: Hurlbert consistently voted to raise his own salary as part of the County “Salary Commission”. On one occasion after the salary commission had voted to freeze officeholder salaries at their 2003 regular meeting, he was part of a group of officeholders that called an additional salary commission meeting to change their vote and grant the raises anyway. The meeting was called without proper notice as dictated by Missouri law, and two of the officeholders that voted against the raises at the initial meeting, (Tom Brown and I), were not even given notice of the second meeting. The second meeting was later found to be “Illegal” after I filed a formal complaint and the raises were denied.
- HURLBERT IS NOT A LOYAL REPUBLICAN: Hurlbert has, on numerous occasions, supported Democratic candidates over Republicans. In 2004 he supported Democrat Assessor Cathy Rinehart and was quoted on her paid political mailer saying. “Cathy Rinehart runs the most financially solvent and well managed office in Clay County”. He said this after Rinehart had incorrectly calculated property taxes potentially costing local schools, ambulance & fire districts, and other public entities hundreds of thousands of dollars. In fact, Republican candidates like former Commissioner Tom Brown can testify to Hurlbert working against him while supporting his Democratic opponent.
- Hurlbert likes to pick on those most vulnerable: Although he had refused to do audits on other officeholders as requested by the Commission, he took it on himself to audit the spending of the County’s Juvenile department, more specifically the boys and girls group homes. His findings made the front page of the Tribune. Just over $900 had allegedly been spent by the young men and women at the county’s group homes during all of 2003. This sum amounts to about $5 per month per resident. Most of if not all of this money was given to the young women and men as incentives for exemplary behavior. These are young people that through no fault of their own have had their lives turned upside down by society. To tell them they are wrong to spend this paltry amount of money for things other young people their age take for granted is at the very least ridiculous, and at the very most, cruel.
Is this really who we want representing us in Jefferson City? Do we want someone that was forced to leave his position as County Auditor under the threat of prosecution? Someone who refuses to do his job and produce critical data requested by the outside auditor? Someone who will change his loyalties at any whim? Someone that votes to raise his own salary while the economy suffers?
Vic Hurlbert says he wants to make government accountable but how can we trust him to do that when he was not accountable to the citizens of Clay Co. as their County Auditor?
AS A REPUBLICAN LIVING IN THE 16TH DISTRICT, I KNOW I DO NOT WANT VIC HURLBERT REPRESENTING ME IN JEFFERSON CITY!!! I hope you agree and will consider Hurlbert’s record when you vote August 7th.