Monday, April 23 - Burns Under Fire, Rhoads to Exit, Assessing Laub Impact

Dems Call on Burns to Resign

Rep. Bob Burns has been calling into a radio show hosted by an apparently avowed racist, cheering him on.  Listen to some of the clips here.  (Ugly stuff, so careful if you listen to it, where you are. Not safe for work).

Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber: “State Representative Burns actions are indefensible. All sides need to agree that there is no room for racist, misogynistic or homophonic language in America – and the Missouri Democratic Party will absolutely not tolerate elected officials applauding bigoted behavior. I believe he should resign.”

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill“It’s come to my attention that in multiple call-in interviews with KQQZ-AM Radio, Representative Burns expressed public support for - and agreement with - an individual who has delivered a constant toxic stream of racist, sexist attacks on his radio show… I urge him to resign his seat in the Missouri General Assembly immediately.”

House Democratic leadership: “In recent days, House Democratic leadership learned of disturbing recordings of calls by Rep. Bob Burns to a St. Louis-area radio show whose host is notorious for making racist on-air statements. While we acknowledge some of the recordings have been edited, the fact that Rep. Burns repeatedly called into this show is reprehensible given the host’s well-known racist views. As a result, House Democratic leadership has asked Rep. Burns to immediately tender his resignation as state representative. We will not tolerate this conduct from any member of the Democratic Caucus.”

And

St. Louis City Committeewoman Marie Ceselski points out that this could trigger problems for St. Louis City Board President Lewis Reed who has previously been on the show as a guest as well.  See her tweet here.  Reed is up for re-election next Spring.

 

Cooperating Laub?

Folks gaming out the next couple of weeks think that Danny Laub may be the catalyst for the next round of trouble to hit Governor Eric Greitens.  Sources indicate that Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office has conducted a sworn deposition Laub, an early Greitens campaign staffer.  Greitens’ April 2017 settlement with the Missouri Ethics Commission stated that Laub received the donor list from the nonprofit veterans charity, The Mission Continues. Laub’s insights into that situation will likely prove valuable to investigators.

St. Louis Case

Gardner was seemingly confident enough in the TMC donor list case to file Friday’s felony charge without the additional information that might still be gleaned from Laub’s deposition about how the donor list was moved around.

House Investigative Committee

And the Laub deposition is expected to be turned over to the House Special Investigative Committee. They have already taken some evidence in The Mission Continues matter and could lay out their findings as early as this week.  After that the next logical step would be for the Committee to formally shift from investigatory to drafting potential articles of impeachment.

The State of the House

Word is that House Republicans already have at least 90 of their 114 members (with two vacancies) signing the petition to call themselves into special session to consider Greitens’ impeachment. House leaders need 123 signatures to meet the three-quarters threshold for their chamber. The GOP will make the petitions available for the 47 Democrats to sign this week. It takes a simple majority of 82 votes to approve an article of impeachment so this litmus test of exceeding the three-fourths minimum sends a powerful signal to the second floor about the seriousness.

The Next Shoe?

Laub’s testimony will also be critical to whether something in the Greitens-MEC dealings is chargeable.  That’s thought to be part of Hawley’s investigation. The AG cannot file direct charges.  So if Hawley makes a case there, it would presumably refer it to Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson since MEC is headquartered in the seat of state government.

Clouds on Horizon?

Post Dispatch’s Tony Messenger tweets that TMC felony charge “scares the national GOP the most” because it opens “the door to depositions that involve the governor's dark-money schemes during the campaign. That means Nick Ayers and lots of big-money Republican donors.”

Seems a bit breathless for me.

But the notion that there are potentially larger stakes at play is based on the involvement of Michael G. Adams, the Kentucky-based attorney who signed the MEC paperwork along with Greitens and the Greitens campaign treasurer Jeff Stuerman. Adams was representing both Greitens personally and the campaign.

Online sources say Adams was raised in a union Democratic household in McCracken County, Kentucky, and he was the first in his family to attend college. With low-income financial aid, he got into Harvard Law. His wealth has apparently increased significantly – Adams donated $100,000 to seed his own campaign in the 2019 GOP primary for Kentucky Secretary of State.

His campaign website says Adams volunteered at 16 for the 1992 Bush41-Quayle campaign. “His goal was to become an election lawyer for Republicans,” says Adams’ campaign website. He worked for Kentucky Senator and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well as Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Bush43 Department of Justice.

Then he was hired as General Counsel for the Republican Governors Association, where Adams “for the last 11 years has helped them compete in governors’ races in all 50 states.”

Adams’ profile says he has also done legal work for the National Federation of Republican Women and “scores of other conservative candidates, committees and causes.” This includes serving as lawyer for Greitens’ dark-money outfit, A New Missouri.

We’ll see…

Finally

The message one MOScouter thinks is most damaging: Greitens co-founded The Mission Continues and its people do fine work. But Greitens brazenly exploited the larger organization to help himself.  Taking something that doesn’t belong to you is stealing. And Greitens, who reminds us all the time he’s a Navy SEAL, stole from the nonprofit that helps veterans.

 

Rhoads Won’t Run for Re-elect

The Ozark Radio News reports that “Republican Representative Shawn Rhoads, West Plains, announced on Friday at the Howell County Lincoln Days that he would not be seeking re-election for his fourth in the Missouri House.

‘After careful consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided that I will not be seeking re-election in the fall. Serving the 154th District as their State Representative has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” said Rhoads. “I will truly miss the friends I have made here and have full faith that they will continue to make the best decisions for our state. My family has been remarkably patient and supportive of me during my time in office and it is time for me to return home so I can spend more time with them.’”

Rhoads could have run for one more term.  He’s on one of the House’s powerful Rules Committees, and also serves on the House Investigative Committee.

Rhoads will presumably withdraw his candidacy soon and be replaced on the ballot.  His district is strongly Republican.

Some folks think Rhoads will end up lobbying, though there is a six month wait period if he would pursue that in Missouri.

 

Onder for Wasinger

David Wasinger will nab another senatorial endorsement today in the Republican auditor primary.  This one is from Sen. Bob Onder.

“David will be a great auditor for Missouri,” said Onder.  “I have known David for over 20 years, and he will use his successful experience to give back to our great state.  David’s skills and experience, as both a CPA and attorney, will be a great asset in cleaning up corruption and protecting Missouri taxpayers.”

 

Polling In the Field

There’s was an automated poll in the field last night.  One reader reports the questions were about Governor Eric Greitens.

Have you heard about Erc Greitens lately?

Has info about Greitens been negative or positive?

Do you think it’s a witch hunt or he is guilty?

If you knew a defendant was a GOP politician, would you think them more likely to be guilty, less, or dorsn’t matter?

Do you believe in forgiveness for mistakes and second chances?

 

New Committees

John Maloney formed a candidate committee (Friends Of John Maloney) to run for Jackson County Legislature District 4 as a Democrat.

 

Today’s Events

Martin Rucker fundraiser – home of Joyce McInerney, Weatherby Lake – 4:30PM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Sarah Schlemeier added Missouri Academy Of Physician Assistants.

 

$5K+ Contributions

SEIU Local 1 Missouri Division PAC - $15,000 from SEIU Local 1.

Relax PAC - $100,100 from Get Right Management Company.

Relax PAC - $25,000 from Get Right Management Company.

Local 148 International Union of Operating Engineers MO PAC - $10,189 from Local 148 Int. Union of Oper. Eng. IL PAC.

Find the Cures - $128,100 from Bradley Bradshaw.

Heat & Frost Insulators Local 27 Political Education Committee - $72,812 from Heat & Frost Insulators Local 27.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Sen. Gina Walsh, and Rep. Jeff Pogue.