Friday, April 27 - Just Bits

Building Talk

State Rep: One of my colleagues who had a visit from the Gov had this to say, "He's either completely innocent or completely insane." He then indicated he believes it's the latter.

 

On Greitens Running Away

One Republican marveled to me yesterday at the episode of Governor Eric Greitens going to call on legislators only to end up with a viral video of him fleeing the media surrounded by bodyguards.

The reason you visit their office, he explained, is to be seen.  To dispel the notion that you’re hunkered down on the second floor.  So, how can you not be ready to offer a few well-scripted sentences to the press?  Isn’t there someone on his staff who understands this!?

 

NYTimes on Garber’s Niche

Yesterday, one of the new lawyers hired by the Greitens administration to help him avoid impeachment registered to lobby on behalf of the governor.  His name is Ross Garber.  There was an article about him in the New York Times earlier in the week.  See it here.

Pull Quote: As he navigates a seamy swirl of scandals, Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri finds himself the newest member of a small, unenviable club: governors so embattled they risked being expelled from office.

But political crackups have given rise to another similarly select group: the handful of lawyers who shepherd governors and lawmakers through the trauma of a possible impeachment. Despite the high stakes and bright lights, the nation’s statehouse impeachment bar is made of up just a few battle-tested lawyers who have improvised legal strategies largely on history and hunches.

So it was hardly surprising when Mr. Greitens’s office brought in Ross H. Garber, a professed “Watergate nerd” who, after representing besieged governors in Alabama, Connecticut and South Carolina, has arguably become the nation’s leading practitioner of a subspecialty whose relevance can be a barometer of political rancor….

“Because so much of what happens isn’t reported or recorded or even known, one of the things I bring to the process is the sense of having done them and spent a lot of time studying them,” Mr. Garber said…

[O]nly 16 governors have ever been impeached, and almost all were before the Great Depression.

Although some governors, like Mr. Sanford, withstand the pressure, modern governors tend to succumb to political or legal realities and leave office before an impeachment can happen…

For Mr. Garber, whose bills are often paid with tax dollars because he is not representing a governor’s personal interests, part of his job is ensuring that politics alone do not settle impeachments and undermine the authority of governors for generations to come.

His goal, he said, is to argue “that our constitutional system is set up so that elections don’t get overthrown because of political whims, that elections have consequences and we don’t throw those out absent very, very serious acts that affect the public official’s office, that are proven with a high degree of certainty after a fair process…”

His record, though, suggests that he will argue, in public and in private, that lawmakers should not hastily negate the voters’ choice for governor and should save impeachment for a most exceptional case.

 

Meanwhile

The legislature continues to chug along…  The Senate – in addition to sending the Budget bills back to the House – perfected a serious rewrite of the civil service system with Sen. Mike Kehoe’s SB1007.  It would make wide swaths of the state payroll, currently covered by the merit system, at-will employees.  See the summary here.

 

Jane Says

Former Sen. Jane Cunningham tweets that she “will vote against any legislator who votes to impeach or calls for resignation of the Governor before both sides are heard and a court finding.”

Maybe this is this why Eric Schmitt has been quiet about gov’s felony charges?...

 

Follow-Up on Richardson Circle of Trust

Readers weighed in on y blurb yesterday about who comprises Speaker Todd Richardson’s “inner circle.”  Two names missing: former Emerson staffer and now lobbyist Josh Haynes, and Republican consultant Joe Lakin“[Lakin’s] been a close advisor of his since [Richardson’s] first term in the House and has proven to be one of the best crisis management experts in the industry…”

 

Another One Bites the Dust?

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed on Facebook: I'm hurting right now because my Blackberry is not working for me. I don't want to divorce my Blackberry. Help!!!!

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Bill Gamble, Jorgen Schlemeier, Cynthia Gamble, Kathryn Gamble, Sarah Topp, and Jeff Brooks added Air Evac.

Richard McIntosh, Zach Brunnert, and David McCracken added Hologic Inc.

Greg Porter, Danny Pfeifer, Alex Eaton, and Rebecca Lohmann added Impossible Foods.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Find The Cures - $15,000 from Bradley Bradshaw.

We Are Missouri - $250,000 from Americans for Fairness.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Thompson Coburn LLP.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Ryan McKenna and Tony Dugger.

Saturday: Adam Schnelting, Tina Shannon, Brian Yates and Abby Zavos.

Sunday: Brad Bates and Belinda Harris.