But in his own finances, Barklage has hardly lived up to those tenets: Records show he's racked up liens for more than $560,000 in back taxes.
A series of tax liens filed in Cape Girardeau County from 1995 to April 2011 by the IRS and the Missouri Department of Revenue suggests that Barklage and his companies have shorted both federal and state government repeatedly and consistently. Barklage's debt to the federal government totals at least $473,102, while he owes the state of Missouri an additional $87,996, mostly in unpaid income tax.
And he's racked up those debts even while making big bucks from the Missouri Republican Party — as well as Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's political campaign.
Kinder, who's currently facing a political storm over contacts with an ex-stripper/Penthouse pet, attended the same church as Barklage in Cape Girardeau. Kinder later gave Barklage his first political job, as an intern for the late U.S. Representative Bill Emerson.
And these days, if you call Kinder's campaign, you get Barklage's voicemail. The lieutenant governor — who's plotting a challenge to Democratic governor Jay Nixon next year — has paid Barklage and his companies (Strategic Communications and the Barklage Company) $140,000 since first organizing his campaign committee in June 2009.
Kinder's not his only client. More recently, from June 2009 to July 2010, the state GOP paid Strategic Communications $94,500 for "research," according to the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Those payments happened even while Barklage was racking up fresh tax liens. From 2009 to the present, the state filed tax liens against Strategic Communications, and Barklage as an individual, totaling $57,317. He accrued another $27,408 in federal tax liens during that period.