Q&A #1: Are Things Going to Get Nastier?
Short answer: Yes they are.
I was thinking after a week passed with no additional revelations that things might start to quiet down. But yesterday from various actions, it looks like things are going to get nastier – on both sides. Normalization is not happening yet. The Greitens scandal continues to dominate the chatter in the building.
First, Scott Faughn responded to Jamie Allman’s twitter-attack. (See it here). Faughn has been critical of the governor on Twitter; Allman has been supportive. But things have gotten personal. Allman posted details of Faughn’s run-ins with the law and tax liens. In Faughn’s response he says that the governor’s non-profit created an opposition research file on him and gave it to Allman. “[T]he dark money committees who I’m sure paid for the opposition research file on me that the DJ was posting screenshots of.” That’s a serious charge. If the governor has his “non-profit” investigating the personal life of a member of the capitol press corps, this is a new development in the scandal.
Second, on Facebook I’m seeing multiple people who attended the same high school as Governor Eric Greitens posting that they’ve been contacted by media. The press is digging deeper – apparently decades deeper. I’m skeptical that voters will think that old high school stories are relevant.
Odd feeling to get a message from a reporter asking about someone you went to highschool with. I don't personally have any specific details to share with CNN, but if you want to talk about your past experiences with the current governor of Missouri, I've got someone who wants to listen.
Third, a new anonymous website – presumably created by the governor’s critics/enemies – was making the rounds. It publishes what it purports are excerpts from the husband’s tapes in an attempt to make the case that the governor’s relationship with the woman wasn’t consensual. It’s not pleasant reading.
Neely’s MMJ Gains Momentum
Three more Republicans became co-sponsors to Rep. Jim Neely’s medical marijuana bill yesterday. It now has ten Republican co-sponsors: Nick Schroer, Jean Evans, Bryan Spencer, Phil Christofanelli, Donna Lichtenegger, Shamed Dogan, Robert Cornejo, Cheri Toalson-Reisch, Travis Fitzwater, and Shane Roden. See it here.
Earlier this week, Neely filed a bill (see it here) to allow inmates receiving the death penalty to donor their organs. The means of execution would have to be “in a manner that allows consenting inmates to donate organs.”
What Does Civil Service Reform Mean?
Springfield News-Leader’s Will Schmitt quotes Senate Appropriations Chair Dan Brown as asking “What the hell does that mean?” when considering the governor’s call for civil service reform. The absence of details from the governor’s office has folks in a wait-and-see mode. But one Republican was immediately concerned: “Most state employees are merit based, meaning you get hired or fired based on ability. Country went through huge civil service reform in late 1800s to remove patronage from government hires, which is how we ended up with merit-based employment. [“Reform” shouldn’t mean you] could walk in and fire the entire Department of Education because they don’t believe in school choice.”
Schaaf Admits Mistake
On the Senate floor, Sen. Rob Schaaf asked for a point of personal privilege to admit he was mistaken. “When I say something that’s not correct… I like to correct the record… It turns out the state of Missouri did not actually give a no-bid contract to Express Scripts… The reason that I was upset about it was that Express Scripts had given a donation to the governor’s inaugural committee… But [they] admitted that they gave $10,000 to the inaugural and they put that on their website and they’re being good corporate citizens… and they also told my staff that they haven’t made any donations to A New Missouri either.”
Waters on Schlemeier
Columbia Tribune publisher Hank Waters remembers Terry Schlemeier. See it here.
Terry spent more than three decades communicating with the denizens of the state capitol building. During his heyday, Democrats were in charge of most important offices but a sense of bipartisanship prevailed that is gone today. Terry was like a butterfly, welcomed by all he visited because he could be relied on as an honest purveyor of valuable goods.
After hours, Terry often would go out for a bit of good cheer with members of the state legislature, including both Republicans and Democrats. Though Terry was an avowed Democrat, many of his fellow partisans in those days were conservatives and routinely he brought his entreaties to influential Republicans who could be counted on to provide an open-minded hearing.
James Murphy formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Murphy) to run as a Republican for House 94. This is the father of Jamie Murphy who works for Sen. Paul Wieland.
A fundraising reception for Republican state representative candidates Chris Dinkins, Jeff Knight, David Linton, and Peggy McGaugh with special guests Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson, and State Senator Sandy Crawford at the Missouri REALTORS office, 100 E. High St. at 5PM.
William “Tony” Benz added MO-AG; and deleted Missouri Department of Agriculture.
Jean Paul Bradshaw, Heath Clarkston, Harry Gallagher, Doug Nelson, and Kurt Schaefer added Council of State Governments Justice Center.
Gary Duke added The Christian Science Committee on Publican for Missouri.
Lacey Hirschvogel added Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities.
Jeffrey Fischer Holliday added GoRail.
Ryan Johnson added Exemplar Public Affairs LLC.
Ed Smith added Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
Guy Black deleted Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.
Missouri Democratic State Committee - $20,000 from Mary Neal.
Ryan Horsman for Circuit Judge - $10,000 from Ryan Horsman.
MO Republican Party - $25,000 from American Democracy Alliance – Ridgely PAC.
Mantovani For STL - $5,001 from One on One Services, LLC.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Jim Hansen, Travis Brown, Crystal Williams, and Bill Skaggs.