One MOScouter writes… So there is this large winter storm hitting/heading towards us tonight - and almost exactly one year ago (Jan 12th, 2017) the Gov was in “the command center” leading the charge - now he is in a bunker trying to save his own political hide. Just to illustrate changing fortunes...
The Big Picture
The governor is under siege. As we start his second year in office, he’s surrounded by ethical controversies.
Yesterday The circuit attorney of St. Louis opened a criminal investigation into blackmail allegation.
Last month the attorney general started investigating if his office has been violating the sunshine law by purposefully using an app that destroys text messages. Apparently his office isn’t playing well with the AG’s office. “[W]e hope that we will soon get cooperation from the Governor’s office,” Loree Ann Paradise, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.
Meanwhile there’s the still unanswered question of how his campaign obtained a list of donors from his former non-profit. Greitens told AP they didn’t use the list, but later admitted in pleading guilty to an ethics violation that they did use it.
That’s just the investigations. Then there’s all the other stuff. You know them by heart by now because the governor’s office never puts things behind them. They’ve spent their first year not answering anything: not returning calls for comment, not giving press conference, and avoiding questions from the press and handpicking them from Facebook.
So the questions pile up… where are the tax returns he said “getting together” but then never released? Where are the transition emails that the KCStar asked for under the sunshine law a year ago? Where’s the disclosure for how much donors paid for the inaugural? Who are donors behind the non-profit set-up to support his political efforts?
And biggest of all… who was the mystery donor that contributed millions to the campaign but whose identity was purposefully hidden in a shell of non-profits and LLCs.
Yes, this angry ex-husband set off the forest fire, but they’ve spent years creating the conditions for it.
Eric Greitens is issuing all of his denials through his attorney. And so far it seems he’s admitting to the affair and denying everything else.
On the blackmail charge: The governor denies that the picture was taken and denies stating the words attributed to him by her on the recording.
Rumors were that there was a hush payment to the woman, and again the denial was empathic: There is no agreement, written or otherwise, related to these matters and no effort to enter any kind of non-disclosure agreement.
However, because of all of the ethical controversies (above), folks are waiting for an investigation rather than accepting the governor’s word. Too much dark money and funny business over the past year has undermined the usual respect you’d give to a governor’s statement.
Democratic Rep. Lauren Arthur says resign (see it here). But most legislators are going with “investigation, then resignation.” For example, Sen. Andrew Koenig (here). None of them are buying the Greitens attorney’s line “this is a political hit.” It gets scoffs. Yeah, the Democrats lured him into his own basement with his hairdresser… that’s it of course.
Reports (see one here) were that Greitens held a call with donors yesterday.
Mighty Jason Rosenbaum tells CNN that Greitens is in “serious” trouble. See it here.
The Gray Lady prints some ink. See it here.
The husband’s lawyer says more damaging revelations are on the way. See it here.
Rumor is a CNN film crew has landed in MO…..
We are very early in this story. We are now about 36 hours in. It’s highly unlikely that there won’t be more information or stories about this – and related issues – now that you have both state and national reporters working on it.
Going Through The Archives
Pretty interesting to watch this gubernatorial primary debate (see it here) now. Greitens’ defense of his mega-donor, Michael Goguen, who faced accusations of sexual impropriety, leaves the viewer with an icky feeling. And considering he just released next year’s consensus revenue number, it’s funny to hear him describe how horrible that is for the budget process (26 minute mark) and how would accordingly re-prioritize money from the budget to solve the transportation funding issue.
And listening to the classic phone call between John Brunner and Greitens in 2015 is a whole new experience now. Re-live it here.
O’Laughlin Reports January Quarter
In Senate 18, Cindy O’Laughlin filed her January report early. It shows $30K raised with another $20K in a loan. She only spent a little over $2,000, so she ended the quarter with $200K on-hand.
One observer wonders, “If the boys running against her can’t report more than $50k this quarter, how will they keep up?...”
Senate 17 Chest-Thumping Continues
To clarify for the Kevin Corlew promoter who said Corlew is very well known in SD17 and "ran a very close race in HD 15": In looking at the numbers, looks like he actually got beat badly by Jon Carpenter, losing by double digits in that race, despite it being a district won easily by Republicans Silvey and Nolte in the 4 previous cycles. He shared the ballot with and under-performed Mitt Romney by double digits. That's his record in SD17 to date...
Onder Announces New Staff
On Twitter, Sen. Bob Onder “I'm so pleased to announce my new Chief of Staff [Theckla Spainhower] and new Legislative Assistant Amanda Bell. Stop by and see us in our new office Room 331! #moleg #2018”
The Missouri Ethics Commission fined St. Louis City Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia $19,904 for various filing violations. See the order here.
eMailbag: The Only Topic Folks Are Talking About
Anyone connecting the dots on Greitens deleting emails/texts and the affair?? Interesting potential connection..
Will the Governor's legislative agenda now be "handcuffed?"
I don’t think anyone has noted Greiten’s lawyer is the same firm where Jay Nixon landed.
Remember when a single man, Peter Kinder, took a picture with a stripper and everyone freaked out?
Teona McGhaw-Boure formed a candidate committee (Team Teona Mcghaw-Boure) to run for House 75 as a Democrat.
Timothy Fitch formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Tim Fitch) to run for St. Louis County Council as a Republican.
Caroline Hoover added Heartland Policy Advisors LLC, Saint Francis Community Services, Patek & Associates LLC, and Harness & Associates LLC.
MOVE Ballot Fund - $300,000 from Open Society Policy Center.
Midwest Region Laborers’ Political League Education Fund - $7,779 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.
CLEAN Missouri - $10,441 from Sierra Club.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Nate Tate, former Rep. Scott Largent and Jim Ross.
Saturday: Jeffrey Boyd, and Garrett Poorman.
Sunday: Sen. Mike Cierpiot, and former Rep. Margaret Donnelly.
Monday (MLK Day): Virvus Jones, former Rep. Esther Haywood, and Brendan Cossette.
My plan is to send out the Who Won the Week and Weekly Summary later today. And weekend features on Saturday and Sunday, but then take off Monday. However with the ever-changing situation with the governor, there may be a quick update in there somewhere.