|Blunt's official photo as Missouri's 54th Governor|
|54th Governor of Missouri|
January 10, 2005 – January 12, 2009
|Preceded by||Bob Holden|
|Succeeded by||Jay Nixon|
|37th Missouri Secretary of State|
January 8, 2001 – January 10, 2005
|Preceded by||Bekki Cook|
|Succeeded by||Robin Carnahan|
|Member of the State Representative for the 139th District of Missouri|
|Preceded by||Phillip Wannemacher|
|Succeeded by||Brad Roark|
November 20, 1970 |
Greene County, Missouri
|Spouse(s)||Melanie A. Blunt|
|Children||William Branch (age 8) and Brooks Anderson (47 months)|
|Alma mater||United States Naval Academy|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Battles/wars||Operation Support Democracy
Operation Enduring Freedom
|Awards||Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4)|
Matthew Roy Blunt (born November 20, 1970) served as the 54th Governor of Missouri from 2005 to 2009. Before his election as governor, Blunt served ten years in the United States Navy, was elected to serve in the Missouri General Assembly in 1998 and as Missouri's Secretary of State in 2000.
A Republican, Blunt was elected governor on November 2, 2004, carrying 101 of Missouri's 114 counties. At age 33, he became the second youngest person ever elected to that office after Kit Bond. Blunt did not seek a second term as governor, announcing his decision in an address to Missourians on January 22, 2008. He was selected to serve as the president of the American Automotive Policy Council in 2011.
- 1 Early life, education, and family
- 2 Naval career
- 3 Early political career
- 4 Governor of Missouri
- 5 Career after governorship
- 6 President of the American Automotive Policy Council
- 7 Missouri gubernatorial election results, 2004
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life, education, and family
Born in Greene County, Missouri, He is the son of U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and his first wife, Roseann Ray Blunt. After graduating from Jefferson City High School in Jefferson City, Missouri, Blunt was accepted into the United States Naval Academy where he received a bachelor's degree in history in 1993. Blunt and his wife, Melanie, were married in May 1997. The couple has two sons, William Branch Blunt who was born on March 9, 2005, and Brooks Anderson Blunt, who was born on January 1, 2010. Blunt is a member of the State Historical Society of Missouri, the American Legion, and the Missouri Farm Bureau.
His active duty service included participation in Operation Support Democracy, involving the United Nations blockade of Haiti, missions to interdict drug traffic off the South American coast, and on duties involved in the interdiction of Cuban migrants in 1994. During his Naval career, Blunt received numerous commendations, including four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals.
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, Blunt was called into active naval service. Blunt completed a six-month tour of duty in Great Britain during Operation Enduring Freedom, during which time he continued to work full-time as Missouri Secretary of State. He was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve. In accordance with Pentagon regulations and the Missouri Constitution, if Blunt was called for military duty while Governor, he would have been required to either transfer his gubernatorial powers to Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, or resign from the Naval Reserve.
Early political career
In 1998, Blunt was elected as a Republican to the Missouri House of Representatives to represent the 139th legislative district for a two-year term. In 2000, he was elected Missouri Secretary of State; although only a first-term state representative, Blunt defeated the Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives, Steve Gaw. Blunt was the only Republican elected to statewide office in Missouri in 2000. On November 2, 2004, he defeated then-State Auditor (and current U.S. Senator) Claire McCaskill 50.8% – 47.9% and was elected Governor of Missouri. Blunt carried 101 of the state's 114 counties.
In the general election on November 7, 2000, Blunt defeated Democratic opponent Steve Gaw with 51.4% of the vote, to Gaw's 45.1%. Blunt was 29 on election day, 30 at the time he assumed office, making him the youngest ever to win statewide office in Missouri. His father had been elected to the same office at age 34.
As Secretary of State, Blunt promoted a state election reform bill in 2002, which won support of the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic House. In 2004, Blunt required all electronic voting machines purchased by the state to produce a voter-verified paper ballot.
Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Blunt was called into active military service for a six-month tour of duty during Operation Enduring Freedom and served in the United Kingdom, where he continued to fulfill his duties to the state of Missouri.
Governor of Missouri
When Blunt took office on January 10, 2005, it was the first time in Missouri since 1921 that a Republican held the Governor's office with Republican majorities in both houses of the State Legislature. Blunt and his allies in the Missouri General Assembly moved quickly to enact legislation that they said would create a positive business climate in the state and result in job growth.
Aided by a Republican-led legislature, Blunt enacted almost all of his policy proposals. Among the legislation passed were tort reform measures that overhauled the state's legal system, and changes in the state's workers compensation laws. In September 2009, a report was issued showing malpractice claims in Missouri at a 30 year low, a direct result of Blunt's enactment of tort reform in 2005.
Handling the state's financial crisis by reducing spending was Governor Blunt's first task in office. Along with the Republican leadership in the General Assembly, Blunt trimmed state spending in order to keep the budget balanced without raising taxes. Particularly controversial were provisions eliminating parts of the state's social entitlement programs. After some minor changes to the Governor's original requests the final version was passed. Many Missourians previously enrolled with Medicaid were no longer eligible for benefits. Approximately 90,000 Missourians had their health benefits cut off due to these legislative actions. Two years later, with an election almost a year away, Governor Blunt implemented the MO HealthNet Initiative, Senate Bill SB577. Missourians were able to leave the Medicaid system or have coverage restored for the new coverage which was intended to offer them more choices and more rewards for healthy behavior.
In July 2007, Blunt signed an executive order launching the Missouri Accountability Portal (MAP) which provides Missourians with free, immediate, online information about how the state spends taxpayer money. MAP was one of the nation's first comprehensive and searchable databases of financial records based on real-time data. Blunt's initiative has become a model for other states and nations seeking to improve government transparency. British Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, called Blunt's MAP "a powerful tool to control public spending."
Blunt signed several job creation initiatives including tax cuts, tort reform and workers' compensation reform. Blunt also created the Quality Jobs program, an initiative that continues to be expanded by his successor, Governor Jay Nixon. Under Blunt, Missouri saw a 70,000 net increase in jobs over 4 years.
Blunt provided annual increases for K-12 education, signed legislation authorizing $335 million for college construction, expanded college scholarships and enacted a new school funding method. Blunt proposed selling Missouri's student loan agency, known as MOHELA, and using the proceeds to pay for endowments and new construction for the state's public universities. In the area of elementary and secondary education, Blunt has proposed that school districts be required to spend at least 65% of their budgets on student instruction. After the proposal was criticized, Blunt suggested that the 65% threshold should be a goal, rather than a mandate.
Blunt signed bills improving Missouri's right-to-carry firearms law, allowing citizens to better defend their homes from intruders, safe-guarding shooting ranges from frivolous lawsuits, and protecting vital wildlife habitat and hunting lands from overdevelopment. Blunt signed legislation prohibiting the seizure of firearms during declared states of emergency at the NRA's annual meeting, held in St. Louis in 2007.
Blunt opposed abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. He supported measures to prevent the ban on research regarding somatic cell nuclear transfer. There were efforts to pass such a ban in the Missouri General Assembly during the 2005 session. Disagreements among Republicans over the stem cell issue held up efforts to pass restrictions on abortion, such as a 24-hour waiting period, and a restriction on helping minors cross state lines to avoid Missouri's parental consent requirement. In September 2005, Blunt called a special session of the General Assembly specifically to address abortion. The General Assembly passed the above-noted restrictions, and Blunt signed them into law. He signed legislation providing income tax credits for contributions to qualified crisis pregnancy centers, removing taxpayer funding for abortion providers, banning Planned Parenthood from Missouri classrooms, requiring medical standards for abortion clinics, and funding for the alternatives to abortion program. Blunt supported measures that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception, in contrast to Illinois, which enacted legislation requiring pharmacies to fill such prescriptions.
In 2005, Blunt signed legislation to limit sales of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine products, the key ingredients needed to make methamphetamine. In the 2006 legislative session, Blunt's stated priorities included enacting a version of "Jessica's Law" requiring a minimum 25 year sentences for child sex offenders one of his legislative priorities. In 2008, Blunt signed legislation requiring ignition interlocks for drunk drivers who commit two or more drunk driving offenses. He signed legislation to lower the legal intoxication limit for boaters from .10 to .08 percent. Blunt changed the system that had required many victims of sexual assault or rape to pay for their own forensic examinations and secured $2.8 million in the state budget to pay for the rape kits. Blunt secured funding which led to the creation of the new Springfield Crime Lab.
Blunt signed immigration reform prohibiting sanctuary cities in Missouri; requiring verification of legal employment status for public employees through E-verify; allowing cancellation of state contracts for contractors that hire illegal immigrants; requiring public agencies to verify the legal status of applicants before providing welfare benefits; criminalizing the transportation of illegal immigrants for exploitative purposes; and enacting provisions to punish employers that willfully hire illegal immigrants.
In his 2008 State of the State address, Blunt proposed a Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday to create a one-week state sales tax exemption on Energy Star certified new appliances. Missouri became just the fourth state in the nation to enact such a tax break. Also in 2008, Blunt and Arkansas Democratic Governor Mike Beebe signed an historic bi-state water quality agreement to protect watersheds and aquifers that cross state lines.
Among the many efforts are Executive Orders and programs created by Blunt delivering university cooperation, tax relief, research funds and seed capital for "life science" start up firms and an innovative program to reward insurance companies and other large institutional investors for putting their money in funds that hold biotech stocks.
Blunt has promoted Missouri as a potential hotspot for bioscience, although he has been criticized for restricting science funding for research involving stem cells—a decision seen as discouraging the science community at large from working in the state. In 2005 Governor Blunt created the Missouri Life Sciences Trust Fund to take monies from the Tobacco Settlement fund and apply them to biotech efforts. In January 2006 Gov. Blunt created the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative (LCDI) designed to spread biotechnology across the State. The LCDI takes funds from the Missouri higher education learning assistance fund (MOHELA).
In 2007, the governor's office terminated a staff attorney and distributed packets of emails and documents to four major newspapers in Missouri to support claims that the employee had made inappropriate use of a state computer. The former staff member claimed he was terminated for other reasons related to the state's email retention policy. On May 22, 2009, the Missouri Attorney General's office announced that staff attorney's lawsuit against Blunt and others had been settled for $500,000. The former staff attorney later switched parties and lost an election for Congress as a Democrat.
As Governor, he was a member of the National Governors Association, Southern Governors' Association, and the Republican Governors Association. His approval ratings gradually rose during his term in office. A February–March 2008, poll by the Republican polling firm American Viewpoint showed Blunt with an approval rating of 57%. On January 22, 2008, Blunt surprised the GOP when he announced he would not run for re-election. Polls showed that he was running behind the presumptive Democratic nominee, Attorney General Jay Nixon.
Career after governorship
Prior to his appointment as president of the American Automotive Policy Council in 2011, Blunt served as a member of the board of Copart, an auto salvage company in Fairfield, California; an advisor for Solamere Capital, a suburban Boston private equity firm started by Tagg Romney; and a consultant for Cassidy & Associates, a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm, and a partner with The Ashcroft Group, the Washington, D.C. and St. Louis-based consulting firm founded by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Blunt has continued to advocate for greater transparency in government spending, state and national lawsuit reform and improving public education. Blunt has been critical of cuts to education funding arguing that they will erode Missouri’s future. Blunt wrote, “States will either be welfare states that protect welfare programs, or they will be education states that prepare for the future.” He has also questioned the proposal to cut state scholarship funding for private colleges, writing in an op-ed, “I have been surprised to see those private schools and their students become a scapegoat as the state cuts education funding and scholarships.”
President of the American Automotive Policy Council
In February 2011, Matt Blunt was appointed president of the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC). The AAPC, is a policy association created by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. The AAPC is a bipartisan 501(c)6 based in Washington DC and its mission is to promote the unique and significant economic contribution of the U.S. based auto companies to the American economy. Blunt’s leadership at one of the United States' top automobile and component producing states is a major reason he was chosen to lead the policy initiatives of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler.
Missouri gubernatorial election results, 2004
|Missouri Gubernatorial Election 2004|
- Associated Press (January 4, 2010). "Former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt and his wife welcome second son". kansascity.com. Kansas City Star. Retrieved January 21, 2010.[dead link]
- Governor Matt Blunt's Address to Missouri, "YouTube", January 22, 2008.
- Lieb, David A. (November 5, 2004). "Blunt can stay in Reserves, but could face choice later". News Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved July 7, 2009. "... should he get called to active military duty, Blunt could face a choice: serve the country and forsake his elected job, or serve the state and give up his military career"[dead link]
- "Missouri Governor Visits Missouri Troops in Iraq; Afghanistan Later This Week – Kansas City infoZine News". Infozine.com. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- "Governor Blunt In Kosovo To Visit Missouri Troops". KSMU. September 15, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (October 2, 2006). "Online NewsHour: Report | Guard Troops Assist Border Patrol | October 2, 2006". PBS. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- "Statewide Races". sos.missouri.gov. Office of Secretary of State, Missouri. December 4, 2000. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
- Missouri Governor's Race: Matt Blunt, Online NewsHour, September 24, 2004.
- Blunt Announces Security Requirement for Electronic Voting Machines in Missouri, sos.mo.gov, February 26, 2004.
- Powers, Marc (January 2, 2005). "GOP positioned to press agenda in 2005 session". Southeast Missourian. Retrieved June 8, 2009. "Out of the gate, the legislature is expected to move quickly on a pro-business agenda."
- Lieb, David A. (January 10, 2009). "ANALYSIS: Blunt cites budget cuts as greatest success". columbiamissourian.com (Columbia Missourian). "Aided by a Republican-led legislature, Blunt enacted almost all of his policy proposals"
- Bliss, Mark (March 29, 2005). "Gov. Matt Blunt touts tort reform legislation at ceremony in Cape". Southeast Missourian. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
- "Missouri medical malpractice claims reach record low in 2008". semissourian.com. Southeast Missourian. September 9, 2009.
- [dead link]
- Miller, Callie Clark (February 4, 2006). "Fees for First Steps therapy start in April". semissourian.com. Southeast Missourian. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
- "Thursday editorial: Missouri Governor Candidates: Show us the health care details". kansascity.com. Kansas City Star. August 6, 2008.
- Crouse, Adriane (July 2, 2007). "Enacts the 'Missouri Health Improvement Act of 2007'". senate.mo.gov. Missouri Senate. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
- Shriver, Melissa (August 30, 2007). "MO Health Net". khqa.com. KHQA-TV. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
- "Missouri Accountability Portal".
- "Missouri Spending Transparency". Center for Fiscal Accountability. Americans for Tax Reform.
- Cameron, David (April 26, 2009). "The Age of Austerity". conservatives.com.
- "Governor Signs Quality Jobs Act". missourinet.com. July 5, 2005.
- Coleman, Emily (March 12, 2009). "Nixon Pushes Quality Jobs Act for Small Businesses". columbiamissourian.com. Columbia Missourian.
- "Missouri Department of Economic Development". Missouri Department of Economic Development.
- Kelderman, Eric (April 21, 2004). "Can Missouri Governor Holden Hang On?". stateline.org.
- BY DAVID A. LIEB/The Associated Press. "ANALYSIS: Blunt cites budget cuts as greatest success". Columbia Missourian. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- Bliss, Mark (January 26, 2006). "Blunt proposes selling student loan authority". semissourian.com. Southeast Missourian. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
- Lieb, David A. (February 2, 2006). "Blunt backs target instead of mandate for spending in classroom". semissourian.com. Southeast Missourian. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
- "Missouri: Governor Blunt to Sign Important Pro-Gun Bill!". Nra-Ila. June 25, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- "Missouri Governor Signs Castle Doctrine, Hunting Preservation Bills Into Law". Nra-Ila. July 6, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- "Missouri Governor Matt Blunt SignsEmergency Powers Protection Into Law At NRA Annual Meeting". Nra-Ila. April 13, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- Ontheissues.org - Matt Blunt
- Lieb, David A. (October 12, 2005). "Mo. group advocates stem-cell amendment". semissourian.com. Southeast Missourian. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
- "Missouri Gov. Supports Stem Cell Research Ballot Measure But Will Not Campaign For It, Spokesperson Says". medicalnewstoday.com. MediLexicon International. July 19, 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
- The Associated Press (September 16, 2005). "State News: Gov. Blunt signs abortion bill; lawsuits filed as session ends (09/16/05)". seMissourian.com. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- Ertelt, Steven (July 11, 2006). "Missouri Governor Signs Bill Giving Tax Rebates for Pregnancy Center Donations". lifenew.com.
- "KY3 Political Notebook: Blunt Signs More Restrictions on Abortion Providers". Ky3.blogspot.com. July 6, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- Catanese, David (March 19, 2007). "KY3 Political Notebook: Blunt Cuts Funding to Planned Parenthood". Ky3.blogspot.com. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- "Missouri Bans Planned Parenthood from Classrooms". citizenlink.org. July 9, 2007.
- "Governor Signs Alternatives to Abortion Bill". missourinet.com. July 6, 2007.
- Blank, Chris (January 14, 2006). "Mo. faces tough emergency contraception issue". semissourian.com. Southeast Missourian. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
- Strait, Jeff (May 11, 2007). "Missouri Meth Drops in '06". primebuzz.kcstar.com. Kansas City Star.
- [dead link]
- "Get Tough on Repeat DUIs". stjoenews.net. The News-Press & St. Joe Now. July 8, 2008.
- Michael McSorley (July 6, 2008). "IGNITION INTERLOCKS FOR DWI OFFENDERS TO BECOME MANDATORY". KRMS. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
- Blank, Chris (July 3, 2008). "New Law Toughens Rules for Boating While Intoxicated". columbiamissourian.com. Associated Press.
- Rentas, Khadijah (October 17, 2007). "Governor Proposes Free Exams for Rape Victims". columbiamissourian.com. Columbia Missourian.
- Fry, Benjamin (July 1, 2008). "Springfield Crime Labs Get Funding". ksmu.org. KSMU: Ozarks Public Radio.
- Kriner, Kristian (December 15, 2008). "Springfield Officials Cut Ribbon for New Crime Lab". ksmu.org. KSMU: Ozarks Public Radio.
- Kennedy, Wally (July 7, 2008). "Gov. Blunt: New Illegal Immigration Bill Among 'Strongest Legislation in the Country'". joplinglobe.com. The Joplin Globe.
- Official Press Release
- "Blunt Signs Legislation Promoting the Use of Renewable Energy – Kansas City infoZine News". Infozine.com. June 26, 2007. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- “Missouri Sees Rise in Carbon Dioxide,” Columbia Tribune, June 3, 2007
- "Sales tax holiday signed for energy-efficient appliances". columbiamissourian.com (Columbia Missourian). July 10, 2008.
- "Governors Blunt, Beebe Sign Water Pact". KSMU. November 24, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- [dead link]
- "Growing the Nation’s Bioscience Sector: State Bioscience Initiatives 2006". bio.org. Biotechnology Industry Organization. 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
- “Missouri’s Two-Faced Stance on Science,” ‘’Kansas City Star’’ May 21, 2007
- “Shameful hostility toward science in Missouri” ‘’Kansas City Star’’ May 17, 2007
- http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/C7AB0283A688732B86257395002540E1?OpenDocument ][dead link]
- Associated Press (January 10, 2008). "Former staff attorney files suit against Blunt". archive.columbiatribune.com (Columbia Tribune). Retrieved June 1, 2009.
- "Lawsuit against ex-governor is settled for $500000". Kansas City Star. May 22, 2009. Retrieved May 24, 2009.[dead link]
- "State settles lawsuit by former Blunt lawyer for $500,000". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. May 22, 2009. Retrieved May 24, 2009.
- "Ex-state worker's fight began in '07". Springfield News-Leader. May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 24, 2009.[dead link]
- "Eckersley putting $100,000 into US House race". archive.joplinglobe.com. Joplin Globe. June 7, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "Long wins big in heated race". November 3, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- Catanese, David (August 10, 2008). "KY3 Political Notebook: Chrismer: Last Poll Showed Blunt With 57% Approval Rating". Ky3.blogspot.com. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
- "Gov. Matt Blunt won't run for re-election". Columbia Missourian. January 22, 2008. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
- "Blunt working at Cassidy & Associates". St. Louis Business Journal (American Business Journals). February 3, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
- Thorner, Nancy (October 18, 2009). "IPI Hosts Missouri Governor Matt Blunt". Illinois Review.
- Blunt, Matt (September 22, 2009). "How Missouri Cut Junk Lawsuits". Wall Street Journal.
- "Education Cuts Undermine Missouri's Future". stltoday.com. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. December 10, 2009.
- Blunt, Matt (March 8, 2010). "Blunt backs Parents as Teachers". kansascity.com. Kansas City Star.
- Blunt, Matt (March 31, 2010). "Students become scapegoats in cutting". news-leader.com. Springfield News-Leader.
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- Governor Matt Blunt-President-American Automotive Policy Council
- Governor Matt Blunt official campaign site
- Biography at the National Governors Association
- Financial information at FollowTheMoney.org
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Legislation sponsored by Representative Matt Blunt
- MAP Missouri Accountability Portal
|Missouri House of Representatives|
|State Representative for the 139th District of Missouri
|Missouri Secretary of State
January 8, 2001 – January 10, 2005
|Governor of Missouri
January 10, 2005 – January 12, 2009