Republican Brunner’s Ad Claims Opponents Created Debt

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Republican Senate hopeful John Brunner is running a political television commercial that attacks his two key opponents in the Missouri GOP primary.  The St. Louis businessman charges Congressman Todd Akin and former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman created debt while he created jobs.

Brunner cites his service as a U.S. Marine and his experience running a family manufacturing business as critical assets needed in the U.S. Senate.  "They are not  thinking about budgets; they are not thinking long term.  They are not thinking as business people do that we have to have structure," Brunner said during a post-debate news conference at Lindenwood University on Monday.

Steelman points out Brunner's own firm Vi-Jon took on debt.  This spring the corporate rating firm Moody's downgraded Vi-Jon's long term debt rating while still calling the company stable.

"We do know that he used junk bonds himself in his own business to run Vi-jon," said Steelman pointing out "at the same time he's saying people shouldn't use debt ..he's made this comment several times before about not using debt to balance budgets."

Steelman said she voted for state bond issues to build highways and schools while maintaining a balanced state budget and a triple A financial rating for Missouri.  Brunner argues legislatures should plan ahead for capital improvements and not borrow money to finance them.

Four current and former Republican Missouri State Senators criticized Brunner's commercial as a "smear ad."  Former State Senators Chuck Gross,  John Russell, and Morris Westfall along with current State Sen. Rob Schaaf spoke out saying "As Republican elected officials we were disappointed and surprised by the false and absurd claims made by Brunner."

Brunner said borrowing money even for roads and schools is the wrong approach because it pushes the obligation onto future taxpayers.

The commercial criticizes Second District Congressman Todd Akin (R) of St. Louis County with voting to "raise the debt limit over three trillion dollars and wasting billions on earmarks."  Akin's campaign said he agreed to raise the nation's debt ceiling several times when budgets were nearly balanced, but he voted against the ceiling being lifted eight times in recent years.

For more information on the candidates go to their web sites at:;; and

Others on the Republican primary ballot August 7 include: Jerry Beck; Mark Memoly at; Hector Maldonado at; Robert Poole at, and  Mark Patrick Lodes at

Contact me at or on Facebook at Betsey Bruce on FOX2.

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