Fleetingly, we may have believed that the GOP’s Saundra McDowell, who doesn’t even seem to meet the state’s residency requirements for running for this office, has had her wages garnished and has repeatedly been sued over unpaid debts, could do nothing more to astonish us. Now we have to come clean: We were wrong.
The incumbent, Democrat Nicole Galloway, was as aggressive in the debate as she has been as auditor for the last three years. She said she’d hesitate to hire McDowell in her office “as an entry-level auditor given her issues” of lying about her personal finances, her resume and her residency.
McDowell responded by accusing Galloway of leaving public corruption unchecked. “If you’re not a watchdog, then you’re just a dog,’’ McDowell said. “And I’ll be a bulldog.”
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McDowell’s history says otherwise, on any number of fronts.
Missouri’s constitution says a person must live in the state for 10 years to serve as auditor. After The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that McDowell lived in Kansas in 2013, she said it had always been her intention to settle in Missouri, and that’s all the law requires.
Anyone who thinks Missouri is mostly a state of mind and has a history of failure to pay what she owes doesn’t strike us as a stellar prospect for state auditor.
The last thing we need is another public official who thinks it’s OK to call an opponent names. And with all due respect to our canine friends, we shouldn’t even have to say that calling a woman a dog is never acceptable.
McDowell did not answer a number of Galloway’s specific charges and later told reporters that she “didn’t think it was worth the time to respond to things that are just absolutely incorrect.”
Her charge that Galloway is somehow soft on corruption comes straight from a conservative dark-money group, the Missouri Alliance for Freedom, which sued Galloway after she announced she was auditing the Department of Revenue’s failure to pay refunds within 45 days, as required by law.
Republicans saw that as an attempt to make then-Gov. Eric Greitens look bad, though that soon became the least of his problems.
After Galloway came up with the some 24,000 documents requested by the alliance, the group dropped that request, filed another one and accused her of breaking the Sunshine Law.
Again and again in the debate, McDowell returned to that partisan dark-money group’s allegation that it’s Galloway who lacks transparency.