MOScout Q&A #1: What Happened Yesterday?
Short answer: Wowza. Where to start?
It’s tough reading. The governor comes off as a jerk. And not a jerk like me who sometimes makes thoughtless comments. No, this is the kind of jerk who cheats on his wife, makes plans to do so when she’s going out of town, aggressive to the point of making his lover cry, then fondles her when she’s sobbing, physically stops her when she wants to leave, and slaps her to “claim” her.
In the transcripts, Rep. Gina Mitten introduces a line of questioning that is simple and horrifying. Mitten asks the woman about Eric Greitens’ various advances and acts, one after the other. Mitten asks, did she consent. No, no, no… the answers come.
It’s tough reading.
Dems have all pretty much gone on the record saying that this behavior is unacceptable. Eric Greitens should no longer be governor.
The Republican reaction, though, was splintered. One legislator in the GOP House caucus declared that the report proved the governor “was scum, but we already knew that, and there’s nothing here to impeach.” Some did call for the governor’s resignation, while others said that the House shouldn’t be releasing the report at all.
Attorney General Josh Hawley offered clarity compared to the confused and waffling response from the Republican state representatives: “The House Investigative Committee’s Report contains shocking, substantial, and corroborated evidence of wrongdoing by Governor Greitens. The conduct the Report details is certainly impeachable, in my judgment, and the House is well within its rights to proceed on that front. But the people of Missouri should not be put through that ordeal. Governor Greitens should resign immediately.”
Will the Missouri Republican Party coalesce behind their US Senate candidate on this issue?
Hawley’s statement begs the question. Where are the other statewide officials? Where is Treasurer Eric Schmitt? Where is Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft?
Auditor Nicole Galloway tweeted: Eric Greitens needs to summon the integrity to resign. The Governor’s indefensible actions and the embarrassment he continues to bring to Missouri are causing deep harm to our state.
Governor’s Confusing Statements
Governor Eric Greitens released two statements yesterday. The first was delivered in-person at the governor’s office. He called the House Special Investigative Committee’s report “tabloid trash gossip,” and claimed he was the subject of a “witch hunt.” He repeated that claim four times. The statement seemed detached from reality. The House is a supermajority Republican stronghold. The Investigative Committee also supermajority Republican, made up of the chamber’s most respected legislators. (One GOP legislator texted me during the speech: “He’s got mental issues.”)
Later, as if attempting clean up, Jeff Roe’s PR firm, Clout Public Affairs, issued a new statement. This one didn’t blame witch hunts, but rather human imperfection. Not the governor’s imperfection. The committee members’ imperfection.
“This was an unfortunate process, in which good people, including some on the committee, were left to try and do the right thing and sort through lies and falsehoods without access to the full facts.”
One lobbyist’s assessment: “I think Greitens got outplayed today. Went on the offensive too early and let Richardson have the last word.”
That’s partly true, but it’s more than that. Todd Richardson has been a straight arrow and a straight shooter for eight years. He hasn’t lied to the press. He hasn’t plead guilty to an ethics violation while hollering about how corrupt everyone else is. So when Richardson steps up to the microphone and says – “Yeah what the governor said about a witch hunt, that’s not true.” He’s the one you believe.
Where From Here?
The legislative leadership said they would begin collecting signatures for a special session starting May 18 in case impeachment proceedings are necessary. The House Investigative Committee will continue to investigate the Mission Continues donor list, and look into impeachment.
And of course I must again restate: this is not a single event. This is a continuing whirlwind of scandals and investigations… The attorney general is also investigating the TMC donor list as well; there’s a lawsuit about using Confide and destroying records; and the FBI isn’t sitting around playing Fortnite. Oh, plus the criminal trial next month. Almost forgot about that.
In other words there’s no getting beyond this. Either the governor leaves office or the Republican Party limps on toward Election Day…
Quote of the Day
“His cabinet members have to be furious that they left their lives in other states to go work for [him].”
Might Need to Get A Bigger Room
What one lobbyist refers to as suddenly “the hottest ticket in town…” Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson’s fundraiser tonight… 5:30PM at the Jefferson City Country Club.
Maybe at the fundraiser Parson will explain to folks what the hell his statement today meant. It reads like a political-random-generator statement… “With the recent events that have distracted our great state, I want to say with all sincerity that it is time to unite and put aside our differences. Over the course of several months, it has been a trying time for many people. My heart goes out to the families involved. However, all Missourians must continue to stay focused on the task at hand – moving Missouri forward. We owe it to ourselves and generations to come.”
Office of Public Counsel seeks Director of Policy. “The Director of Policy leads the development, execution, and evaluation of OPC policy, both analysis and advocacy, and supervises technical staff to conduct investigations, develop testimony and testify before Public Service Commission proceedings. The position serves as a liaison and overseer of the work of external witnesses (consultants, etc.) to ensure that priority positions and targeted and advocacy outcomes are effectively achieved. This role works closely with the Public Counsel to ensure the strategic focus of OPC continues to address the needs and priorities of regulated utility ratepayers on an on-going basis…” See it here.
Progress KC - $7,500 from Hunt Midwest Enterprises Inc.
Progress KC - $7,500 from The Kansas City Chiefs Football Club.
CLEAN Missouri - $8,596 from Sierra Club.
Happy birthday to Rep. Courtney Curtis.