Libertarian Jonathan Dine (bottom left) and Constitution Party candidate Jerry Beck (next to Dine) speak with a reporter. The rest of the media talk with the major party candidates following their debate.

Robin Carnahan and Roy Blunt are not the only two people on the ballot for the open U.S. Senate seat.

Libertarian Jonathan Dine and Constitution Party candidate Jerry Beck took part in the debate with the major party candidates at the Lake of the Ozarks. Both of them bemoaned the current leadership in Washington. Beck, a veteran and retired Sedalia businessman, says government spending is out of control.

“It is not good to borrow money and not know how to pay it back. These people in Washington D.C., I’m talking about the executive branch, haven’t the foggiest idea what they’re doing. They’re leading this nation down the destructive road to bankruptcy,” Beck said.

Dine, a personal trainer from Kansas City, said the stimulus program was misguided.

“Throwing money at limited sectors of the economy like construction is no way to foster job growth. I hear a lot about the government trying to create jobs. It’s not really the government’s job to create jobs but to provide an environment to foster job growth by removing barriers to start up businesses, by lowering taxes to make it easier to start,” Dine said.

Both said they appreciated the opportunity to be heard alongside the major party candidates, and said they didn’t believe the two-party system was doing a good enough job of representing Missourians, and Americans in general.

“Now is the time for more ordinary Americans to stand up and take an active role. I believe that the Democrat and Republican politicians have created the status quo and do not intend to change it. They have strayed from the original purpose of the protection of your life, liberty, and property,” Dine said.

“We must pull together and walk shoulder to shoulder to do political feasibility to come out of this. One part or two parties are not going to bring us out of it; it’s going to take all four parties to get this nation straightened out. If we don’t do this, we are going to be in a very bad situation. We can’t pay our police. We’re laying off our teachers in Kansas City and St. Louis, shutting down one third of our schools,” Beck said.

Carnahan said in the debate that she thinks earmarks should be banned in Washington. Republican Roy Blunt defends his use of them, saying Missouri needs to compete for federal dollars. These candidates also weighed in.

“Earmarks are mainly made for the politicians to take in extra revenue in their campaigns. They do some good for the infrastructure and other areas, but mainly we’re going to have to restore our factories,” Beck said.

“Earmarks are basically slipped into bills for pet projects for Washington cronies. I would eliminate all earmarks; I’d also fight to repeal the 16th amendment. I think we should put the money back in Americans’ pockets and let them stimulate the economy. What would you do with a 30 to 40 percent increase in revenue? Start a business, pay off your debt, build a home?” Dine said.

The last question the candidates were asked at their debate was if they could say one nice thing about their opponent. Beck answered first, and gave the response that drew the most laughs from the crowd.

“Well, Mr. Blunt is a very nice looking gentleman, he dresses very well. Mrs. Carnahan is beautiful, and Mr. Dine is a very nice person,” Beck said.

AUDIO: Listen to the entire debate [51 min MP3)

AUDIO: Ryan Famuliner reports [1 min MP3]