April 16 - Assessing Humphreys' Power Move

The legislature is not in session today.  They reconvene tomorrow…

 

Q&A #1: How Important Was Humphreys’ Call for Greitens to Step Down?

Short answer: Among Republican House members, pretty big.

 

One state representative told me over the weekend: “I think the Humphreys thing is huge. Lots of people, including me, have been threatened that if we go against the Governor, we will never get financial support from any of the major donors in MO.  Humphreys name is always mentioned…”

I asked around about it and one building denizen insisted that “it was widespread.”  But at the very least it seemed a fair number of Republicans had it in the back of their heads that they’d be making party bigwigs angry if they made waves.

Another Republican told me: “It think it’s impactful for a dozen [or so] Reps – definitely moves the needle toward impeachment…”

And one lobbyist, who works with a lot of House members, hadn’t heard of the threats, but offered the insight that with Herzog incapacitated, and Sinquefield less engaged, Humphreys’ presence on the donor stage is unrivaled right now. 

 

The Case for Waiting

From a House Republican: The report essentially boils down to allegations, however appalling they may be. We are hearing from the rank and file back home that they are still with the Governor and that this all sounds too much like what the liberal media is doing to Trump in Washington. There is also growing concern that impeachment frenzy is being driven by a group of consultants, lobbyists, and one clearly-biased newspaper who stand to benefit politically from removing Greitens. Members, especially conservative ones, aren’t interested in being a party to that.

 

AG Presser This Week

Word is that Attorney General Josh Hawley will be having a press conference this week. The rumor-mill is getting ginned up that Hawley will “drop the hammer” on Greitens via the Mission Continues investigation.

I did some asking around and wasn’t able to suss out anything on that order.  I think it’s more likely just a presser to update on the investigation.

But – I am told that the AG’s office has gathered information from multiple witnesses involved in the campaign.  And that they’re moving as fast as they can with the investigation.

There is the question of what avenue the AG’s office is pursuing.  One observer thought it would be under the Merchandising Practices Act, presumably protecting consumers who gave information to the non-profit under one pretext only to have it used inappropriately.  However one legal source told me that would be a “novel” application of the MMPA  Not impossible, just “creative.”  Another avenue is to investigate under the AG’s oversight of non-profits, and then refer any misdeeds with criminal implications to another prosecutor.  We’ll see…

 

Greitens Scandal Bits

Scott Charton writes that folks waiting to give Governor Eric Greitens his day in court should realize that the governor will be taking the 5th .  See it here.

 

Washington Post speculates on “how long Missouri’s sex scandal ridden governor will last.”  See it here.

 

Adding Rep. Donna Lichtenegger to my list of electeds who have called on Greitens to resign…  “Many people agreeing with me that for the Good of the State of Mo. the Governor should Resign. I say this with a heavy heart. I had such high expectations like many of my constituents….”

 

Early April Quarters

April campaign finance reports are due today by 5PM.  Here are a couple of interest that came in over the weekend.

In Senate 14 Democratic primary, Rep. Joe Adams raised $17,170 and has $84,091 on-hand; Brian Williams raised $22,550 and has $22,081 on-hand.

In Senate 16 Republican primary, Rep. Diane Franklin raised $102K thanks to a $100K loan to herself.  She now has $104,824 on-hand.

In Senate 30, former Rep. Charlie Norr raised $4,212 and has $18,695 on-hand; undecided Crystal Quade raised $10,220 and has $37,671 on-hand.

In Senate 34, Martin Rucker raised $30,055 and has $37,392 on-hand.

 

Confide Follow-Up

Will Schmitt reports (see it here) that “Attorney General Josh Hawley's office has named five of Gov. Eric Greitens' staffers who admitted to using the Confide application that deletes messages after they are read.  Hawley had previously identified the eight staffers interviewed as part of his investigation, but his office had not acknowledged until today the five Greitens aides who said they "used Confide to discuss matters relating to their government employment." The five staffers were general counsel Lucinda Luetkemeyer, special counsel Sarah Madden, deputy chief of staff Nick Maddux, policy director Will Scharf and deputy policy director Logan Spena.”

Schmitt tweets: Why did the special counsel in Gov. Greitens office — the attorney who handles Sunshine Law requests — need to use a secret texting app for government business?

 

Meet Motherputter

Lobbyist Kim Tuttle gets for her “trendy new golf apparel line, Motherputter.”  See it here.  She laughs, “I’m over 50 and starting a new company.”

Pull Quote: The part-time Naples resident launched her new business last November to great acclaim from women golfers and athletic fashionistas. A company that calls their apparel “girly and gritty” while declaring “it’s about attitude, not age” is appealing to women who are competitive on the links… Motherputter is a new women’s golf attire that is distinguishable by its ultra-modern design, whimsical patterns and edgy aesthetic. Created by Kim Tuttle, the company is committed to empowering women on and off the course… She worked in the financial industry for a while, then in a field that was her second love, politics…  Her stepdaughter, Jacque Bardgett, played collegiate golf. She’s also one of Motherputter’s co-founders. “One day we were talking about how much we hated golf clothes,” Kim remembers, “and she said you need to do something about this.”

 

eMailbag on Parson Fundy

Was at the Parson fundraiser last night. Jam packed room, with a good number of lobbyists and locals. What struck me was how focused Parson was on the challenges facing Missouri: need to rebuild infrastructure, skilled workforce, etc. There was no arrogance or bombastic rhetoric, very statesman-like. Certainly sounded prepared to be Governor. Was very modest in his approach, actually was a breath of fresh air.

 

eMailbag on MOScout Poll

It’s clear the governor’s approval rating must be different in rural Missouri than elsewhere. Eric Greitens’ approval rating was hire than Ron Richard’s in the senate presidents on senate district…

 

eMailbag on Hawley

About Hawley jumping on the bandwagon calling for Greitens to resign, doesn't it strike you as wrong for our chief law enforcement official to speak out in the way he did, with a criminal trial in 30 days?  His comment about the credible evidence before the trial is rank opportunism, and does not place the office ahead of personal ambition.

 

eMailbag on Resignation List

Two more Senators would make a simple majority of the upper Chamber calling for him to

go.

 

eMailbag on Silent Schmitt and Ashcroft

Where are Jay Ashcroft and Eric Schmitt, when almost every other major elected has issued a statement? Is there anything to the hypothesis that they're eying a 2020 primary against a wounded Greitens, and so would prefer to let him let him hang on by his fingernails?

 

New Committees

Robert Bailey formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Rob Bailey) to run for House 135 as a Democrat.

Steve Dakopolos formed a candidate committee (Patriots For Steve Dakopolos) to run for House 124 as a Democrat.

Nora Dietzel formed a candidate committee (Nora Dietzel For Recorder) to run for Boone County Recorder of Deeds as a Democrat.

Debi Cradic formed a candidate committee (Elect Debi Cradic For County Clerk) to run for Clinton County Clerk as a Democrat.

Ron Finley formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Ron Finley) to run for Jackson County Legislature, District 2, as a Democrat.

Dent County Democratic Club was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer is Sanborn N Ball IV.

Jan Brill formed a candidate committee (Brill For 32Nd District Committee) to run for House 32 as a Democrat.

 

Help Wanted

Service Employees International Union, Local 1 seeks Union Organizer.  “SEIU Local 1 has been on the cutting edge of building the power of low-wage workers in service industries and fighting for economic, racial, immigrant and environmental justice. We are now hiring Organizers in St. Louis, MO to work on exciting campaigns to organize higher education faculty…”

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Alexander Munyard deleted Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO.

 

$5K+ Contributions

We Are Missouri - $10,000 from Missouri AFL-CIO General Fund.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Matt Dameron, and Shane Cohn.