Businessman Dave Spence told Phelps County Republicans Saturday that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon needs to be fired.
"This CEO would have been fired two years ago," said Spence, the Republican who is challenging the Democratic incumbent governor in the Nov. 6 general election, if Nixon were working in private enterprise instead of state government. "I think this governor has done a good job of doing nothing."
Spence repeated other themes he stated at his visit to Rolla for the opening of the GOP headquarters in September, such as the number of jobs in Missouri and the failure of some schools.
"We're 50th in job creation," he said. "There are 50,000 kids in unaccredited schools in Missouri."
The state Department of Economic Development, DED, is living up to its name, he said. "It's dead."
The problem, he said, is that Nixon is focused on re-election, not on results.
Spence also briefly mentioned a television ad Nixon supporters are running about Spence's relationship to a bank that accepted federal stimulus money and never paid it back. The ad refers to Spence as a banker.
"I'm not a banker. I ran a plastics company," said Spence, who was a member of the bank's board of directors.
He told the crowd at the rally held outside at Lions Club Park on a chilly day that the ad would stop running because "we've got a legal stop."
Afterwards, he told the Rolla Daily News that a cease-and-desist order has been requested.
Spence said the state government needs to work on ways to open up jobs and to expand business, such as a right-to-work law and tort reform.
"We need change in our state leadership," he said. "It's all politics all the time for Jay Nixon."
Calling Nixon a career politician, Spence said the governor does not handle himself as do men in business. For instance, in the recent debate between the two candidates, Nixon "didn't answer one question directly."
Spence trails Nixon in polls, apparently due to lack of name recognition.
Acknowledging that, Spence told the Daily News after his talk that his campaign will have a big push in these final weeks before the election.
"We'll have lots of TV, lots of radio, lots of print," he said. "People like the message, they just don't know the name."
Spence reiterated that Nixon is a career politician, more intent on image and re-election than on issues such as job growth and education.
"If he gets elected, we're going to be talking about these same issues four years from now," Spence said.
Several other speakers stood at the microphone on the overcast day.
Page 2 of 3 - Dr. Keith Frederick, who served one term as state representative from the 149th District and is now running opposed in the 120th District, owing to redistricting, said, "It's been said many times that this election is the most important one of our lifetime, and it is."
Frederick, a surgeon, said he takes the presidential election personally because "the whole concept of Obamacare will destroy the practice of medicine and will destroy access to good medical care."
Frederick said he likes what Mitt Romney said in the debate about replacing Obamacare, not with another federal program but with state-run and state-funded programs.
"Let the states handle it. I didn't realize he was such a 10th Amendment guy. I like him even more now," said Dr. Frederick.
Frederick talked about several aspects of Obamacare that he finds troubling.
One is the 15-member payment review board, which Frederick says will put the federal government in the examination room with the doctor and patient.
The government must be called before physicians can do procedures. Whether or not the procedures can be done will be based on the patient's age, Dr. Frederick said.
"I replace knees and hips in 80- and 90-year-old people. It would rip my heart out if I had to say 'you need it but we can't do it,'" Dr. Frederick said.
There is also a medical device tax, a 2.3 percent tax on the revenues, not the profit, of companies that produce medical devices. Dr. Frederick said this tax will hurt innovation and could even lead to closing small companies with low profitability.
Obamacare requires the formation of 159 new commissions and boards. There will be a board to help health care consumers navigate their way through the various programs, commissions, agencies and boards set up by Obamacare.
Another commission will help establish nurse-managed health clinics. Dr. Frederick said these clinics will be needed because many doctors will leave the practice of medicine once Obamacare gets into full swing.
Dr. Frederick said some clinics are following a part of Obamacare that allows doctors to ask patients if they own guns, have them in their homes and keep them loaded. That information is then entered in their health record.
"I think it's a back-door way to come up with a registration list," he said. "You do not have to answer that question."
He said, "We don't get a chance to vote on Obamacare, but we can sure vote out Obama."
Sen. Dan Brown, who is not up for re-election, and Rep. Jason Smith, who is running unopposed, also spoke briefly at the rally, primarily encouraging support for Spence. Brown also spoke against Obama.
Page 3 of 3 - Local Republican candidates Kathy Oliver, public administrator; Gary Hicks, running for county commissioner; Ron Dishman, candidate for sheriff, and Bill Hickle, associate circuit judge running for circuit judge, also spoke.
County Republican Committee Chairman Bob May moderated the rally. He closed the talks by reading the nine stages of civilization: from bondage to spiritual faith to great courage to liberty to abundance to selfishness to complacency to apathy to dependency and back to bondage.
Rolla City Councilwoman Carrolyn Bolin led the audience in singing the national anthem to end the rally.