Driving the Day
Jury selection begins in Governor Eric Greitens’ criminal case for invasion of privacy…
See the trial’s “Protocol for News Media and Spectators Attending” here.
Until the conclusion of jury selection, there will be limited seating space available inside the courtroom for journalists or spectators… During the trial, three rows in the courtroom will be reserved for working journalists. Each row will accommodate eight persons. No more than one journalist for each media outlet will be allowed in the reserved area. Per court instructions, one of those rows will be dedicated to local news media who have been covering pretrial matters since the filing of charges. Seats for sixteen additional journalists will be made available through a lottery system 30 minutes before the beginning of trial each day… Use of electronic devices is prohibited during the trial, including smart phones, laptops, digital recorders, etc…
Approximately 50-60 seats in the courtroom will be available for spectators, who will be admitted on a first come, first served basis…
Budget Prioritizes Education
The legislature spent most of the day holding final debate and final votes on the budget. Its hallmark was making education a top priority. The budget fully funded the education foundation formula, a big House priority, for a second year in a row. Neither the governor nor the Senate had proposed to do so. Furthermore the budget prevented big cuts to higher education which were in the governor’s original budget plan.
The legislature delivered its joint Proclamation calling for a special session to the Secretary of State. See it here. One building denizen dryly remarked that unlike the governor’s office, the legislature let Ashcroft sign the document himself.
Greitens to Hawley: Forget You
Springfield NewsLeader’s Will Schmitt tweets that “Greitens does not plan to change the dates of the minimum wage, Clean Missouri or any of the medical marijuana votes if petitioners indeed turned in enough signatures, Ashcroft’s office says. If certified, Missourians will choose in November.”
To varying degrees each of these initiative petitions could boost Democratic turnout. The minimum wage will appeal to working class Democrats while the marijuana questions may help draw out the hippie-dippie wing.
I spoke to one Republican consultant who couldn’t think of a good reason why the GOP wouldn’t rather have these on the August ballot. And the only reason he could come up with that Greitens would leave them on the November is: to hurt Attorney General Josh Hawley’s US Senate race.
What It Means
If Greitens had any national support, they’d rein in such destructive behavior. The fact he’s willing to help Claire McCaskill’s re-election bid in this way means he’s beyond the control of the national apparatus.
Press to Meet
Word among the capitol’s journalists is that they’re looking to meet next week to discuss ousting the Missouri Times from their association. Phill Brooks, founder of the Missouri Capitol News Association, has said Scott Faughn’s actions were “as serious an ethical violation as you can find in American journalism… This is a member of our Capitol news association who is engaged in funneling money to an agent involved in trying to oust the governor of the state of Missouri.”
Hafner Media Tour Continues
Michael Hafner talks to the mighty Jason Rosenbaum. See it here.
Pull Quote: “There was, in the very embryonic stages of the campaign, discussions already being had about C4s and LCs (two types of outside groups) and not disclosing the source of those contributions,” Hafner said… By Hafner’s calculation, “Eric had (at least) $6 million in untraceable money.”
In the New Committees (below) Hafner is the deputy treasurer for a new PAC, Jeffco Now.
SICO To Look at Wash U Grant?
One good source thinks that the House Special Investigative Committee will begin gathering evidence concerning the allegation that Eric Greitens used money from a grant – administered by Washington University – to pay some campaign expenses.
McKee Transactions Questioned
Post Dispatch reported that “[O]fficials alleged Wednesday that a transaction between a property owner in the footprint of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's planned western headquarters and developer Paul McKee was designed to inflate sale values in a scheme to procure more state tax credits. The allegations came out in a trial to decide a long-running challenge to the value of a property the city acquired by eminent domain as it was assembling land for the NGA's future campus in north St. Louis… Ryann Carmody, an attorney representing the LCRA, told the jury that the sale with McKee was not a sale at all. It was designed to trigger the state disbursement of distressed area land assemblage tax credits to McKee, a now defunct state program that McKee lawyer Steve Stone helped write…”
Mayor Lyda Krewson tweeted, “I am shocked at these very serious allegations. We are committed to investigating these claims thoroughly and taking appropriate action.”
And Sen. Jamilah Nasheed blasted out a press release calling on McKee to repay the millions he received in credits.
A New Missouri Bits
In the large contributions below, see that A New Missouri gave $500K to the failed Freedom to Work ballot initiative effort.
Last month Jeff Stuerman had his name taken off the paperwork for the governor’s political nonprofit, A New Missouri. See it here. The new registered agent is Robin Simpson. She was a gubernatorial appointee to the State Lottery Commission last fall.
Finally, while there’s no indication of that from the paperwork filed with the secretary of state’s office, the rumor in the hallways of the capitol is that A New Missouri will be folding soon. Perhaps amid the various swirling investigations, they’ve realized this wasn’t a super ethical idea from the start? We’ll see…
Both the House and Senate are expected to be in session on Friday.
Word is that the Satanic Temple folks were in the Speaker’s office yesterday. They want to lead the opening prayer one day. No joke…
Pierre Duvel, a Democrat, withdrew from House 26. That leaves a three-way Demodcratic primary (no Republican filed) to replace Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty.
Billy Babcock, a Republican, filed an Exemption committee to run for House 10.
Randy Dinwiddie, a Republican, formed an Exemption committee to run for House 59.
Janet Kester formed a candidate committee (Janet Kester For Missouri House District 63) to run for House 63 as a Democrat.
Jeffco Now was formed. It’s a PAC. Its treasurer is James Prater. This appears to be a vehicle to help Republican Sen. Paul Wieland.
Hard Working Missourians, Not Politicians was formed. It’s a PAC. Its treasurer is James C Thomas III.
Erin Kasten formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Erin Kasten) to run for Jefferson County Recorder of Deeds as a Democrat.
Eric Bunch formed a candidate committee (Bunch For Kc) to run for Kansas City Council Person.
Kick-off Fundraiser Mary Elizabeth Coleman (GOP, House 97) at Ortman Concrete 3950 JeffCo Blvd., Arnold – 4PM.
Brandon Peck added U.S. Green Building Council.
Richard Martin deleted Paylock IPT.
Drew Wolford deleted Salesforce.com Inc
Freedom To Work - $500,000 from A New Missouri Inc.
Committee To Elect Steven Privette Circuit Judge - $15,000 from Steven Privette.
Happy birthdays to former Rep. Ron Hicks.