By Elizabeth Matthews
St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - We are in the home stretch of the political season and the television ads. Right now, almost any time you turn on your TV you are bombarded with political ads for all sorts of races.
Now we take a look into Missouri's race for the next governor.
Both Governor Jay Nixon and his opponent, Dave Spence, have numerous TV ads, so we took one from each campaign and looked into some of the claims with help from a local economist.
The ads are almost identical; same format, same idea and both taking a look back four years ago.
"...Our bank, after I was in, took TARP funds..." said Dave Spence in Jay Nixon's ad against him.
And now we start the truth test.
St. Louis University economy professor Dr. Jack Strauss says yes, Dave Spence was on the Board of Reliance Bank from 2005 until 2011.
"Accepting TARP funds should not be a stigma, because actually the Federal Reserve and the federal government told banks to accept it," said Strauss, who explained that most banks across America did take some sort of "bailout." Reliance took one in 2009.
"...He took $40 million dollars and still hasn't paid us back..." it says in the Nixon ad against Spence.
Strauss says there's the issue.
"Not that they accepted money, but that they are not paying the money back, and this is fairly unique," said Strauss.
He says only three banks in the state of Missouri have not paid back TARP funds, including Reliance.
Now Dave Spence's ad about Governor Jay Nixon.
"...Pushed Obama's failed stimulus on Missouri even after admitting that our kids would bear the burden of the debt..." said the Spence ad about Governor Nixon.
"Of course if there is debt somebody has to pay it right?" said Strauss. "There's nothing wrong with incurring debt when times are bad."
"...Over 45,000 jobs gone..." said the Spence ad about Nixon.
Strauss says that's true, but there isn't a state that didn't lose jobs.
"...Our economy trailing every state in the Midwest, worst in the region..." said the Spence ad about Nixon.
Strauss says not true, he says overall our economy ranked 16th in 2012, but we do have one issue.
"Where we rank fairly poorly is in terms of job creation," said Strauss.
The campaign says it pulled the information from the Associated Press. Strauss says this blanket statement is false.
"We are not the worst no matter what, Illinois is still worse than us, so I'm not sure what measure you can find that we are worst," said Strauss.
So, at least in these two ads, Strauss says Spence missed the mark and the state of our state's economy is not the worst in the region, but our job growth is lacking.
And Nixon's ad was not focused and could have been even more critical about Spence's involvement with Reliance Bank.
Don't forget to check out our Decision 2012 page which has all of the information you need before heading to the polls.