Barnes II Released
The second report from the House Special Investigative Committee outlining the misdeeds of Greitens for Missouri campaign was released.
It found that Eric Greitens deliberately took a Mission Continues donor list – originally compiled for a legitimate purpose – and directed his executive assistant to share it with early campaign staff to create a “call list” for him to raise money for his nascent gubernatorial campaign.
The testimony leaves no doubt that Greitens understood this wasn’t simply his “friends and family” list formatted differently. He didn’t know people on the list and directed one of the staffer to get information on them from TMC.
Danny Laub, Greitens first campaign manager, also testifies that he felt misled by Austin Chambers into allowing his name to be used on the subsequent Missouri Ethics Commission settlement. Laub’s name was inserted into the consent order, and the amended filings say that the list was an in-kind contribution from Laub. That is obviously nonsensical.
Chambers emailed some media outlets a statement disputing Laub’s testimony. But I think it’s unlikely Chambers will voluntarily offer sworn testimony to the Committee rebutting Laub’s recollection. (We’ll see….)
The most shocking moment of Barnes II is in Michael Hafner’s testimony where he alleges that the Greitens campaign actively discussed how to conceal the identity of donors. Ultimately something along this line took place with the Seals for Truth dark money contribution. But I always assumed it was some out-of-state consultant who hatched the scheme in the heat of the race. Hafner indicates the campaign was exploring how to circumvent the legal requirement for disclosure almost from the beginning.
- Based on your work in that campaign, do you believe that, in fact, there was a strategy employed to conceal donors?
- I believe that was an intention of the campaign’s early on.
- Do you believe it was carried out?
There are a lot of little nuggets in the report (Laub remarks on the Ed Martin wing of the party; there is talk of funneling money from foreign sources). It may seem like small potatoes at this point with two felony charges, but there appear to be grounds for additional campaign violation complaints.
Then there’s a recounting that the Greitens campaign also obtained Tom Schweich’s donor list. One MOScouter texted me: A lot of folks who were supporters of Tom Schweich are really pissed to learn that Steve Michael gave Tom's list to Greitens. Causing uproar among some donors (a lot in SW-MO) and grassroots.
Rumorville: Hawley Obsessed?
One tipster says that the Attorney General’s office spent hours with Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson going over this evidence in an effort to get him – unsuccessfully – to file charges.
Sounds like we’re headed to a special session, starting immediately after regular session ends.
Missourinet reports “Another development involves House Minority Leader Beatty, who says the bipartisan Missouri House committee investigating Governor Greitens needs additional time. ‘Based on my conversations with our (Democratic) members, we absolutely need a special (legislative) session. They still need more time to complete their investigation,’ says Beatty. It would take a three-fourths majority of both chambers to call themselves into a special session.
‘As I understand it, there are currently 92 members, all Republicans at this point that have signed on,’ Beatty tells Missourinet. ‘Democrats will at some point sign on as well, probably in the near future.’ Republicans control the Missouri House 115-47, and it will take 123 signatures to get to three-fourths. Leader Beatty believes there will be enough Democratic signatures to get to the required 123 mark in the House.”
Follow-Up on “Skyler”
KCStar’s Lindsay Wise tweets: BREAKING PSA: A Missouri U. law student named Skyler Roundtree wants everyone to know he was NOT the 2nd courier for the Albert Watkins payment. He says he did receive a subpoena from a private investigator while he was studying for finals. It was quashed by party that issued it.
Five-Way Pro Tem Race?
The race to succeed Ron Richard has recently become more complicated. For months now there have been three declared candidates: Sens. Bob Onder, Gary Romine, and Dave Schatz. In recent days two new names have emerged: Sens. Mike Cunningham and Ed Emery.
The race is clearly fluid and we’ll see how it all shakes out. If both Cunningham and Emery jump in, that would seem to split what has been Richard’s core base.
One observer thought that this “chaos” scenario was a positive for Onder – even though some had previously put Emery in Onder’s camp.
Another observer thinks the situation may be impossible to game out until after the August primary when there’s a better idea who exactly will be joining the Republican caucus.
Additionally it’s possible one of these folks would opt for a different leadership race between now and November.
Moody’s Downgrades St. Louis City
Moody’s downgrades St. Louis City’s general obligation debt. See it here.
Pull Quote: Moody's Investors Service has downgraded to Baa1 from A3 the general obligation rating of the City of St. Louis, MO… The downgrade of St. Louis' GO rating to Baa1 reflects the city's weakened reserve position which will remain challenged over the near term despite recent revenue enhancements and policy changes that seek to rebuild narrow reserves. The competition for city resources will remain outsized over the medium term given the city's significant reliance on economically sensitive revenue streams and as resources are redirected to support less essential purposes. The rating also considers the city's highly leveraged tax base resulting from elevated debt and pension burdens alongside fixed costs that consume more than 20% of operating revenues. The rating further incorporates St. Louis' status as the regional economic center with a large and diverse tax base experiencing improved economic development activity.
Minimum Wage Submits IP Signatures
Raise Up Missouri – the campaign to raise the minimum wage – submitted their signatures to put their issue on the ballot. St. Louis Public Radio reports here.
Pull Quote: Business owners and workers from across Missouri met Wednesday in Jefferson City to turn in more than 120,000 signatures for a November ballot initiative to raise Missouri’s minimum wage. The initiative, spearheaded by Missouri Business for Fair Minimum Wage and Raise Up Missouri, would increase the minimum wage, starting next year, to $8.60 from the current $7.85, and gradually increase it by 85 cents a year until it reaches $12 an hour by 2023.
CD-2 Trouble for GOP?
The Washington Examiner talks about polling in the US Senate race (see it here). Among the stunning numbers in the article…
In a recent internal survey for Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., who represents a suburban St. Louis district, Greitens’ unfavorable rating had skyrocketed to 65 percent. Among women with a bachelor’s degree, it was even higher, at 70 percent. Among self-described moderate voters, the governor’s personal disapproval broke 80 percent.
Casey Elliot added Van Matre, Harrison, Hollis, Taylor, Elliott, And Hicks, P.C.
Emily Little added University of Missouri.
Betsy Ledgerwood Aubuchon deleted Judicial Conference of Missouri, and Supreme Court of Missouri.
Missouri American Water Company Employees Political Action Committee - $10,000 from Flynn Drilling.
We Are Missouri - $11,808 from American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
We Are Missouri - $37,486 from American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
Majority Forward - $10,000 from Scott Sifton for Missouri.
Happy birthdays to Sarah Steelman, Rep. Sarah Unsicker, Roy Temple, Joe Carmichael, Alvin Brooks, Steve Danner, Michael Frame, and Susan Henderson Moore.