Rep. Jay Barnes hasn’t been vocal since the Greitens scandal broke last week. Yesterday he wrote about it on his blog. See it here.
“[W]e must demand more from our leaders. Three years ago, we did just that in the Missouri House when we learned that Speaker John Diehl admitted to inappropriate communications with an intern. Within hours of the story breaking, there was a push to hold Speaker Diehl accountable. To his credit, Speaker Diehl made the right and honorable decision to resign the next afternoon…
Many calling on the legislature to act immediately with respect to Governor Greitens because of outrage over what he has admitted and the allegations attached to it. However, the process of holding accountability an official in a separate branch of government is more serious and complicated. It requires more deliberation than a single night or week.
This moment is bigger than this particular governor and this particular legislature. It is not a time for bombast or demagoguery, but to uphold the rule of law and the legislature’s role in our system of government. I believe it is a test of the strength of our state government – and pledge to proceed with the seriousness of purpose that the moment requires.”
What It Means
This is bad news for the governor. Barnes is indicating he’s not going to put his head in the sand and ignore the governor’s transgressions or the allegations against him. There have been some in the House who were imagining the unpleasantness will go away if they all just close their eyes for a bit. Barnes in clearly not in that camp.
Barnes is an important figure because he can be an honest broker: he was an early supporter of the governor; he cherishes his role as a legislator with a moral compass; he’s an attorney who won’t be impulsive or flippant; and he and Speaker Todd Richardson have a friendship of mutual respect.
The odds of a House investigation just went way up.
CNN Says FBI Has Opened Inquiry Into Greitens’ Actions
Enter the Feebees… See it here.
The FBI recently opened an inquiry into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, two US officials told CNN, as he fights an allegation of blackmail and faces calls to resign just a year into his job.
While the FBI has not commented on the existence of any inquiry or formal investigation into Greitens, the St. Louis circuit attorney's office announced last week that it is investigating Greitens' conduct following an explosive story that forced the Republican governor to acknowledge having had an extramarital affair and confront an allegation of blackmail.
James Bennett, Greitens' lawyer, told CNN on Friday that the governor "has not been contacted at any time by the FBI, and we are not aware of any interest by the FBI in this personal matter that took place years ago."
MOScout Weekly Poll
The MOScout Weekly Poll revisits the same questions as last week. The last week’s poll was slightly delayed, so these results are only four days apart. Not much change between the two. Governor Eric Greitens’ Fav/Unfav a sliver better and the number of voters who think he should resigns inches up, but everything is within the margin of error most likely indicating no change. See full results here.
Survey conducted January 17 through January 18, 2018. 986 likely voters participated in the survey. Survey weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2018 General Election. Margin of Error is +/-3.2%. (January 14 results in parenthesis.)
Q: What is your opinion of Eric Gretiens?
Favorable: 34% (32%)
Unfavorable: 46% (47%)
No opinion: 20% (21%)
Q: How much have you seen, read or heard recently about Eric Greitens?
A lot: 65% (63%)
Just some: 28% (31%)
Nothing at all: 7% (6%)
Q: Thinking about what you've seen, read or heard. Was the information you saw, read or heard generally positive, negative or neutral?
Positive: 10% (11%)
Negative: 76% (72%)
Neutral: 14% (17%)
Q: A story recently broke detailing an extramarital affair by Governor Eric Greitens. The ex-husband of the woman Greitens was involved with claims Greitens blackmailed the woman with sexual photos. Greitens admits the affair but denies the allegations of blackmail and the woman refuses to talk about the issue. Who do you believe? The ex-husband of the woman or Eric Greitens?
Ex-husband: 39% (38%)
Eric Greitens: 39% (37%)
Neither: 13% (15%)
Not sure: 9% (10%)
Q: Do you think Eric Greitens should resign from office?
Yes: 41% (37%)
No: 43% (43%)
Not sure: 16% (20%)
Everyone But Greitens
The governor remains in hiding… US Senate candidate Josh Hawley has also confirmed, so Greitens is only statewide Republican who won’t be in attendance….
This Saturday, the Republican National Committee alongside the Missouri GOP will be hosting a rally at the Missouri State Capitol to mark the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration. This rally will celebrate a successful first year for the President but will also introduce the REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP INITITATIVE (RLI), the RNC’s grassroots training program that the MOGOP will implement this year to train grassroots supporters across the state. The celebration will kick off at 12:00pm with a march around the Capitol lead by Bikers for Trump. This will lead into the Capitol Rotunda where speakers will take the stage at 1:00pm. Jamie Allman of 97.1 FM News Talk will host the event and speakers will include:
* Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer
* Lt. Governor Mike Parson
* Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft
* State Treasurer Eric Schmitt
Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $15,000 from Comprehensive Health Management Inc.
Committee for a Healthy Community - $24,333 from American Heart Association.
MO Beverage PAC - $5,223 from P-Americas LLC.