Last weekend the SEMO TIMES sat down with State Treasurer Clint Zweifel in our downtown Poplar Bluff offices. The treasurer addressed a number of issues with nothing off limits. From Obamacare, to potentially running for Governor, to the Cardinals he was candid and energetic. Enjoy.
SEMO TIMES: Welcome to downtown Poplar Bluff Mr. Zweifel.
Clint Zweifel: Thank you it’s great to be here I always enjoy being in southeast Missouri, especially our virtual town hall last fall.
ST: How have you and your family been, and what is new with you?
ST: Local Democrats express to us that there is an energy and excitement surrounding you that is lacking with other statewide officials, how do you explain that?
CZ: I don’t know about that but I am genuinely excited about getting up in the morning and serving the people of the state. It is a humbling experience to have the public trust, and I really enjoy my job of helping Missouri businesses expand and grow as well as helping Missouri families afford to send their children to college. It is a great job and if people feel that energy it is because I am truly energized about my job.
ST: Explain to our readers the State Treasurer’s role in economic development.
CZ: One of the best programs we have is the Missouri Linked Deposit program. We partner with local banks to provide low interest loans to expand businesses. The program lowers interest rates to businesses and still brings in a return to the state. Many southeast Missouri farms and businesses have used the program successfully.
ST: The MOST College saving plan has recently been in the news, walk our readers through how they can use the program.
CZ: For as little as $25 a week you can open a savings account for your child’s education. You can deduct it from your taxes, and when it is time to pay for college you can withdraw the money exempt from state and federal taxes. It is a great tool for young families, and our office manages it.
ST: On to national news, what is your reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Healthcare Act?
CZ: Some parts of the Act are very beneficial to Missourians, and more importantly there has to be an element of responsibility we all take for our healthcare. You just can’t continue to ask people with insurance to bear the burden for those who don’t take responsibility.
ST: Much has been recently made of Governor Nixon’s less than clear stance on Proposition C. Can you clearly answer if you voted for or against Proposition C?
CZ: I voted against it.
ST: Many people are looking past yours and Attorney General Koster’s re-elections and toward who will succeed Jay Nixon as Governor. As you will be term limited, do you plan to seek the Governorship in 2016?
ST: Ok, a couple St. Louis questions. First, do you plant to endorse a candidate in the Clay/Carnahan congressional primary?
CZ: No, either of them will represent St. Louis well.
ST: Finally, we ask most everyone this question, but as a St. Louisan it is especially pertinent. Where were you during game 6?
CZ: We were on the road, where we were most all last fall and seeing the entire comeback was amazing. I was in the care during the game and got to hear Mike Shannon explain each comeback and by the end of the game it was exhilarating and exhausting.
ST: Thank you for stopping by.
CZ: Glad to be here.