House Will Investigate Watkins Cash
Wowza. This just gets wackier each day.
Kansas City Star reports that “the attorney for the man who first accused Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens of blackmail said Monday that he received $100,000 from an anonymous source in January. Al Watkins, the St. Louis attorney who represents the ex-husband of Greitens’ alleged victim, confirmed the payments, which came in two $50,000 increments…”
Listen to the mighty Jason Rosenbaum ask Watkins about it here.
I’m told by a very reliable source that the House will investigate the source of the cash. Look for a subpoena of Watkins – if that’s what it takes to get some answers.
Speculation about the source of the $100K in cash was immediately the subject of chatter. Most folks finger the informal “coalition of the disgruntled” that has formed to poke, pester and agitate for Greitens’ ouster. That includes consultants to former Republican primary rivals, consultants to other Republican power centers, and those who have had something to lose from Greitens’ policies – like tax credit advocates.
Rumorville: Chambers Now Drawing Interest of Investigations
With The Mission Continues donor list investigations now revving up, it’s said that Austin Chambers’ role is becoming of more interest. Among the gossiping class, one observer (who’s been right about a number of developments) thinks that the Danny Laub deposition will point to Chambers as a figure in how Team Greitens dealt with the original Missouri Ethics Commission complaint.
A separate source says that at least one of the investigative bodies will be issuing a subpoena for Chambers.
Remember, this is all rumors folks, and that means: we’ll see…
Politico on US Senate Race
Politico has been writing more about the US Senate race in Missouri.
Late last week: After a lackluster quarter, Attorney General Josh Hawley “shakes up” fundraising staff and brings in Katie Walsh to lead his finance team. See it here.
And this overview article from yesterday (see it here), in which Republican consultant John Hancock calls Claire McCaskill a “lucky duck.” Plus this quote: “[Greitens] is jeopardizing the whole Republican Party of Missouri,”said Rob Jesmer, a top Republican consultant who was executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee when Akin made his infamous comments about rape and abortion during McCaskill’s last campaign.
Pence Trip Off
Will Schmitt reports on Vice President Mike Pence “pulling the plug” on a scheduled Springfield appearance. See it here.
Pull Quote: Vice President Mike Pence was expected at an event to boost Republican tax reform efforts next month in a return to Springfield, according to an organization founded by his chief of staff. But after the News-Leader reported Monday evening on Pence's appearance, the organization said the event was not happening… A spokeswoman for the organization said Pence's Springfield event and its registration page were erroneously listed online before final approval was obtained… She said she had "no idea" whether the event listing's cancellation was related to Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' ongoing personal and legal troubles.
One Republican eye-rolls to MOScout: “100% because of Greitens.”
Yesterday I mentioned that some think the ramifications of Greitens’ trouble will extend beyond Missouri. They point to lawyer Michael Adams, who signed the MEC consent order on Greitens’ campaign finance violation and has served as lawyer for Greitens’ dark-money outfit, A New Missouri. One MOScouter spots that “Adams is legal counsel for Vice President Mike Pence’s Super PAC, according to his law firm profile.”
Dems Ding Schmitt on Silence
The press release: In the wake of yet another indictment for Governor Greitens, Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt remains one of the only statewide official who has yet to take a stand on a host of serious allegations against the Governor. Schmitt also serves as Chairman of Missouri Rising, a Super PAC with the explicit purpose of electing Josh Hawley to the U.S. Senate in November.
Bi-Partisanship at Tufts
Tuft University College Democrats are asking for Governor Greitens’ honorary degree to be revoked and the College Rs are joining in. See it here.
Pull Quote: “There’s no place in our party, the Republican Party, for people who assault women violently and then further blackmail them,” George Behrakis, Tufts Republicans president, said.
Behrakis, a sophomore, added that punishing those accused of sexual assault should not be a partisan issue, making the decision to support rescinding the degree “easy.” He added that the Tufts Republicans planned to circulate the Democrats’ petition.
“If we wouldn’t speak out over it because he’s a Republican … then we’re not standing on principle, and the principle is violence is not okay, you can’t assault women and go unpunished,” Behrakis said.
Neely MMJ Perfected
The House perfected Rep. Jim Neely’s medical marijuana bill. See it here. Pull Quote: Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, offered an amendment that would allow people with nonterminal illnesses — such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis — to access medical marijuana. “This is in the spirit of what our voters think when they think of medical marijuana,” Dogan said.
Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden replied to Sen. Jamilah Nasheed’s letter asking for more capitol security following rumors about the governor. Juden said that he inquired of various law enforcement agencies and found no evidence of the rumors about which she referenced. And that Nasheed should contact the Capitol Police Chief if she had security concerns.
And Nasheed “has lodged a complaint with the FCC requesting the federal agency revoke the license of, and issue fines to, 1190 KQQZ-AM in response to Bob Romanik’s regular use of racist language as host of the ‘Kool Killer Kountry’ [KKK] radio show… Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1464, prohibits the utterance of any obscene, indecent or profane language by means of radio communication…. Mr. Romanik regularly uses racist language, including the N-word, to describe the African American community.”
“Word among the St. Louis legal community is that while Mr. Tisaby was disappointed with the judge's decision to disqualify Al Watkins as his lawyer, he will move on with new representation. Sources say that late yesterday he retained a no-nonsense attorney out of California named Bob Loblaw…”
Jeff H Penland (Republican) withdrew from House 11.
Billy Moffett (Democratic) withdrew from House 55.
Scotty Schrum (Republican) withdrew from House 144.
Joan Shores formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Joan Shores) to run for House 57 as a Democrat.
Jason Bone formed a candidate committee (The Committee To Elect Kyle Bone) to run for House 118 as a Republican.
Missourians For Freedom To Work was formed. It’s a campaign committee to support right to work at the ballot this year, and also to oppose the CLEAN Missouri initiative petition. Its treasurer is Greg Hoberock.
Conservatives United For Missouri PAC was formed. Its treasurer is Vicki Szarwinski.
Pam Mason formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Pam Mason) to run for Clay County Presiding Commissioner as a Republican.
Monique Browers formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Monique Browers) to run for Iron County Clerk as a Democrat.
Donna Neeley formed a candidate committee (Campaign To Elect Donna Neeley) to run for Taney County Clerk as a Republican.
New Approach Missouri - $5,001 from Buehler Organics LLC.
Happy birthdays to Sen. Brian Munzlinger.