State Auditor Tom Schweich

Democrats are “morally bankrupt,” have no ideology and lack competence, Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich said during a speech at the annual Republican Lincoln Day Banquet in Washington Friday night.

“When you have a governor of Missouri who says I can’t afford to fund education and then buys himself a $6 million plane when he has got five others that he’s not using that is a lack of integrity,” Schweich said in his speech to a packed house at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

He also said, “When you have a president of the United States that will look you in the eye and say ‘You can keep your health care if you want to’ and he knows he’s lying that’s the very top.”

Democrats have “always been incompetent; they’ve never run things well,” Schweich charged.

Republicans need to tell people across Missouri that the GOP is the party of integrity. The GOP also needs to be the party of competence, Schweich said, adding that the rollout of Obamacare was an act of incompetence.

But Republicans tend to fight each other he said, adding that Republicans lost five out of six statewide elections in 2012.

Schweich is up for re-election this year.

Republicans need to show discipline by standing by the platforms of being pro life, pro gun, and for smaller government and smaller taxes.

“If we show the discipline that the Democrats have shown we are not only going to win my race in 2012, but when we get to 2016 we are going to win every other race and they’ll have to invent a new shade of red to describe Missouri,” Schweich said.

He said he became the first Republican to defeat a Democrat incumbent in any statewide race in 34 years when he was elected four years ago.

His job, he said, is to root out fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in government. He audits only government, not individuals or businesses. His office can audit entities such as state agencies, counties, cities and school districts.

“Our job is to make sure your taxpayer dollars are spent properly,” he said.

Since Schweich took office, there is now a rapid response team. If the auditor’s hotline gets a call that says a public official is “stealing your money,” his office can secure the area in 24 hours and remove the “crook,” Schweich said.

His office also put in a grading system that ranks public officials who are audited to get an excellent, good, fair, or poor rating.

If there is a fair or poor grade, there is another audit in three months to make sure the waste, fraud and abuse is gone.

An anti-embezzlement program has also been put in place. His office looks for “closed-loop accounting” in which the same person handles all of the money transactions. There should always be more than one person doing that, he said.

Schweich also said embezzlers never take vacations because they don’t want people looking at the books.

And embezzlers buy expensive gifts because they feel guilty, he added. He noted that a man in St. Louis County stole $3.4 million, and made $60,000 a year and gave a $250,000 donation to the zoo.

The Schuyler County collector recently stole $568,000, and she was sentenced to 33 months in a federal penitentiary, Schweich pointed out.

Since he has been auditor, his office has found 25 public officials across the state “stealing your money.”

“The Republican Party does not tolerate thieves in government,” Schweich asserted.