Friday, February 23, 2018

The Big Picture

Missouri’s governor is now under criminal indictment.

This is not an event.  It’s an episode.  It’s an on-going mini-series that will last months.  This is the new political environment.

And it may spawn spin-offs.  The House will investigate.  St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says her investigation is on-going – which means more charges could still come.  The Attorney General’s Confide investigation continues.  Meanwhile it’s unlikely that the FBI is sitting in their offices playing Asteroids.

And all along the way we’ll be getting press releases from Greitens’ attorneys.

It’s a mess for Republicans.

 

Moreover it’s a special kind of mess because Greitens appears dug in.  One Republican described him in a “nothing left to lose” state where he is fighting not only for his political life, but his reputation and any future career on the speaking circuit.

That – together with the fact that he’s not a Republican (he’s a “conservative outsider”) – means that he’s not going to care if drags the GOP down with him.  He’s not going to care if US Senator Claire McCaskill wins re-election, and the House loses its supermajority.  Greitens is going to fight fight fight.  He doesn’t want a sentence included in every future newspaper article stating that he resigned as governor under criminal indictment.

There’s only one fate worse than that: being impeached.  Because he’d be the first and only governor that happened to.  He’d become an answer to trivia questions for generations to come.

 

In sum: Greitens indicted.  Greitens fights.  Republicans in tight races curse.

 

Think in Time

A month ago, I said we’re early in this story.  We still are.  Like top of the 3rd inning.

Imagining what unfolds over the next weeks and months, I think it’s more likely that more embarrassing and potentially troublesome things emerge (cockroach theory) than the governor is vindicated and everyone says, “Wow that was a big deal over nothing.”

This may seem bad today, but there are still more risks to the downside as investigations continue.

 

The Details

See the indictment here.

See the mug-shot here.

Republicans Gradations of Calls for Resignation

Rep. Kevin Corlew: “Governor Greitens should resign.”  See it here.

Sen. Caleb Rowden: “Put an end to this distraction and resign immediately.”  See it here.

Sens. Gary Romine and Doug Libla: “seriously consider resigning.”  See it here.

PSC Commissioner Ryan Silvey: Best for party and state if he resigned.  See it here in NYTimes.

Sen. Mike Kehoe: “Missouri is greater than one individual.”

House Republican leadership: Examining whether “he governor can lead our state while a felony case moves forward.”

 

Question of the Day

From Republican in the building: “What is the governor’s plan?  How does he have any sort of ability to lead?  How does that happen [when he] has no relationships in the general assembly?”

You saw this playing out even before the indictment with the legislature pre-emptively dismissing his budget and going their own way on tax reform.  This is going to isolate the 2nd floor even more.

 

eMailbag

The motion to dismiss implies that since the woman was there voluntarily, it’s okay to photograph her half naked without her permission and ‘keep’ the pic. That’s not gonna fly in the legislature, at least not with the women.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Michael Gibbons and Tricia Workman added CGI Technologics & Solutions Inc.

Eapen Thampy added One Gro Worldwide Inc, and Better Way Missouri; and deleted One Gro Investments, and OsamaYanis.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Elect Sherwood Smith - $50,000 from Sherwood Smith.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from 5051 Southwest LLC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Rep. Rick Stream.

Saturday: Reps. Sonya Anderson and Peter Merideth, former Sens. Chuck Graham and Jolie Justus, Rich Chrismer, Stephen Conway, and Tracy King.

Sunday: Judge Rob Mayer.