Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof has unveiled a plan to increase government accountability. As part of the proposal, a nonpartisan state Inspector General’s office would be created to act as a proactive ethics and budgetary watchdog. The Inspector General – appointed for three years by a board made up of the Missouri Board of Prosecuting Attorneys, Missouri Police Chiefs’ Association, Missouri Sheriffs’ Association, Missouri Judicial Conference, and a retired Supreme Court judge – would uncover fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption in state government.
Another part of the proposal would bring transparency to government contracts by requiring that all outsourced work in the Attorney General’s office be documented and open to the public, with all outsourced contracts over $20,000 subject to open, competitive bidding. Hulshof points to what he sees as a violation of the public trust in Attorney Jay Nixon’s awarding of tobacco settlement work to attorneys supportive of Nixon. Nixon is, of course, the Democratic candidate for Governor and Hulshof’s opponent.
An official with the Nixon campaign has released a statement claiming, “In Washington, Congressman Hulshof voted for thousands of wasteful pork barrel projects like the bridge to nowhere.”