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GOP Senate candidate Purgason fires off another attack in quest for attention from Blunt

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 6, 2009 - Missouri's other announced Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, state Sen. Chuck Purgason, is once again on the attack against his better-known GOP rival, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt.

And Purgason admits his aim, in part, is to get noticed -- by the press, public and Blunt, who hails from Springfield.

Today, Purgason, a fiscal conservative from Caulfield, Mo., issued a statement noting that Blunt has gotten national political attention because he has "taken more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac PACs" than any other member of Congress.

That point can resonate with some Republicans because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both quasi-public home-mortgage vehicles who for decades have garnered scrutiny over their lending practices. Republicans have cited Fannie and Freddie in attacks lobbed at Democrats accused of looking the other way.

Said Purgason: "Congress looked at higher standards but many of those efforts have been stymied by sustained and high-powered lobbying campaigns that have taken real teeth out of many much needed reforms. In order to protect additional taxpayer liability and future stability of the housing financial markets, Congress must work to make meaningful reforms in the near future."

As result, Purgason asks how Blunt can "take so many contributions from a PAC and still work for meaningful reforms that are necessary to protect hard earned taxpayer dollars? And if so what reforms has he personally done to solve this lingering problem that threatens the financial security of our nation.?"

(Blunt's campaign has yet to respond.)

Purgason sets the Fannie-Freddie discussion in the context of the expanding federal debt, which he notes is soon to approach $11.8 trillion and will need to be increased so that the United States can "borrow more money to pay our bills. We are currently borrowing $20 Billion dollars a week just for our government to keep the lights on. This cannot continue."

"Traditionally, our party has been the party of fiscal responsibility, less government and individual freedoms and personal responsibility," Purgason continued. "We have become a party void of real leadership and not standing firm on the principles that our party was founded on. Too many of our elected leaders have become part of the problem rather than part of the solution."

His implication is that those officials include Blunt.

"I have asked my opponent to sit down and talk about the future of our party but he refuses to even acknowledge me," Purgason said. "So I must begin asking the questions that I and many of us in our party want answered." 

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.