Monday May 1, 2017

MEC Fines Greitens

Friday the Missouri Ethic Commission released a consent order which fined Governor Eric Greitens $1,000 for not reporting The Missouri Continues donor list it obtained as an in-kind contribution.  See it here.

Greitens amended his previous report to include receiving the list.  This is not what Greitens said during the campaign… "No, we were not working off of a Mission Continues donor list," Greitens told The Associated Press.  It appears they were.

This undermines Greitens’ rhetoric on ethics reform, and will be one more example (bogus SEALS for Truth and LG PAC funding, not disclosing inaugural donations, setting up a non-profit to hide political expenditures) of playing fast and loose with campaign finance.

The Next Set of Questions

This consent agreement doesn’t seem to put the matter behind Greitens though.  Former Greitens staffer Danny Laub is named as the one who “received” the list. But who did he receive it from? and how did they get it?  Did they get it legally or did they pilfer it from The Mission Continues?

Again from that AP article“It's unclear exactly how Greitens' campaign staffer came into possession of the list.  Mission Continues spokeswoman Laura L'Esperance said Monday that the St. Louis-based charity Greitens founded in 2007 did not share its donor list with Greitens or his campaign and, as a general practice, does not share, sell or rent the list to external parties. Greitens denied using the charity's donor database for his campaign…”

 

The Senate

The Senate will be interesting today.  There’s no shortage of members in the chamber who are upset with Greitens’ non-profit shenanigans.  This will give them more ammunition.

For what it’s worth, I scanned through the current 33 senators. It looks to me like they have collectively served over 280 years in the legislature, and have been fined only once.  And even that judgement was overturned.  Greitens, meanwhile, will soon be entering his fifth month of public service and already had admitted to an ethics violation.

 

Attorney Problem?

Is it possible that Team Greitens’ lack of attention to detail will cause even more problems?  The consent agreement was signed by the governor’s lawyer, DC Attorney Michael G. Adams. But Adams is not licensed to practice law in Missouri.  View an attorney directory here.

Section 484.010 defines the practice of law to include "performance of any act in such capacity in connection with proceedings pending or prospective before any court of record, commissioner, referee or any body, board, committee or commission constituted by law or having authority to settle controversies."

One lawyer says, “Adams could be subject to a bar complaint or even charges from the Attorney General for practicing law in a jurisdiction where he is not licensed.”

 

More New Missouri Bits

The governor’s political non-profit has been busy it seems.  In addition to digital ads, robo-calls and radio ads, it’s also doing direct mail.  See one example here.  It’s a positive piece praising Sen. Mike Kehoe for supporting the governor’s agenda.

 

And Rep. Nick Marshall who’s plotting a Senate 34 run in 2018 says that the non-profit is targeting him.  On Facebook… “Confirmed: Same Dark Money GOP establishment special interests attacking conservative Sen. Schaaf are running an opponent against me in the Senate primary. Apparently, they hate representatives that won't play their game.

Sorry guys, Platte and Buchanan Counties are not for sale!”

 

Budget Week

The legislature’s constitutional deadline to send Governor Eric Greitens is this Friday, May 5.  Rep. Jay Barnes overviews the budget.  See it here.

Pull Quote: [T]he first and key question will be how to deal with the money the Senate’s budget deficit.  A cynical move by the legislature would be to send the bills to Gov. Greitens out-of-balance. That would force the governor to take the oft unpopular step of choosing which programs to cut through his power of withholding and line-item veto. It also gives away a fundamental power of the legislature: the power of setting government priorities through the appropriation process.

The fact is that when the legislature over-appropriates, it avoids the tough votes, but also essentially gives away its constitutional powers to the executive branch, literally “passing the bucks.” I am confident that the budget conference committees will defend the legislature’s powers and send a balanced budget to Gov. Greitens.

 

MOScout Poll Thoughts

Last weekend’s MOScout poll showed that Republican Josh Hawley is the front-runner – should he run – in the GOP Senate primary.  See the results here.

But considering he’s fresh off a year of running statewide some MOScouters found his numbers underwhelming.  “Most people would fully expect Hawley to be way up on anyone in a GOP statewide primary, especially candidates who have never been on a statewide ballot. But after spending, I don't know, maybe over $12M to win in August and November, one would think Hawley would be better than 37% on the 1-1 ballot v. [Ann] Wagner who hasn’t run a TV ad since 2012…

 

New Committees

Jermaine Reed formed a campaign committee to run for Kansas City mayor.  See the paperwork here.  Reed is currently on the city council.  See his old campaign website here. The election isn’t until 2019, but folks are expecting a full field.  I did not include Reed in my possible mayoral candidates when I did a poll of Kansas City in late March.  (See that poll here).

 

Young Guns Missouri PAC was formed.  See the paperwork here.  The treasurer of the new PAC is James C Thomas III.  He’s an attorney who is often listed as treasurer on committees related to Republican operative Jeff Roe.

 

Bits

File Under “Caring Bureaucracy…”  MoDOT Kansas City tweets that “folks who had damage caused by the pothole can call our Customer Service @ 888-ask-Modot to file a claim.”  See it here.

 

Follow-up on Schaaf Recusal: Several readers told me that Sen. Rob Schaaf’s recusal on the budget matters dealing with the Department of Corrections are because he has some business with Corizon, the provider of health services to state prisons.

 

Help Wanted

St. Louis Board of Aldermen seeks Legal Counsel/Clerk.  “Review and respond to substantive law questions and request for legal opinions from all members of the Board of Aldermen and aldermanic staff. Respond to all requests for legal opinions regarding ordinance enforcement from various city operating departments; Review and advise members of the Board on legal issues related to pending legislation and budgetary matters; Advise the Aldermanic President and members of the Personnel Committee on the development and implementation of legislative procedural policy for the Board; Review board bills for technical form; Interact with attorneys and members of the general public regarding legislative matters and policies of the Board; Represent members of the Board in their official capacity in all litigation related to their official capacity…”  See the ad here.

 

Kansas City Star seeks Social Media Engagement Editor. “Is the voice of Ink on posts across social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat; Develops and executes strategies to convert occasional visitors to dedicated audience using contests, giveaways, social media, Google adwords, SEO tools, etc.; Manages and curates Ink’s reputation through frequent social media interactions, being responsible and engaging with audience; Coordinates and creates social media interaction during live events… Works with sales team on any audience and partner requirements and ensures editorial team is aware of goals… Works with all Star products in order to cross promote individual products; Stays on top of what’s trending in KC culture so Ink can be part of the conversation…”  See the ad here.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Gregory Porter, Daniel Pfeifer, Rebecca Lohmann and Alex Eaton added Association of Dental Support Organizations.

James Harris added Alliance for Childhood Education; and deleted Hobsons.

Bruce Hackmann and Tamara Fitzpatrick added Callaway Chamber Of Commerce.

Barry Goldwater Jr added The Alliance for Solar Choice; and deleted Sunrun Inc.

Scott Penman, David Winton, and Jessica Petrie deleted Dentaquest.

 

$5K+Contributions

Midwest Region Laborers’ Political League Education Fund - $6,770 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.

Preserve Middle Class America - $143,700 from United Food & Commercial Workers Local 655.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Thompson Coburn LLP.

Citizens for Responsible Government - $15,000 from Phil Klein.

Connect KC - $25,000 from St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council.

Progress KC PAC - $10,000 from St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Aaron Griesheimer and Bubs Hohulin.