House Investigative Committee Works
Yesterday the House Investigative Committee passed the Resolution 2 outlining the special session’s rules and process. It then proceeded to read in testimony that the hairdresser gave to the St. Louis circuit attorney, and her deposition under questioning from Greitens’ attorneys. The contrast was stark, and the pages and pages of Greitens attorneys badgering her seemed to have no end, as it was read aloud by various committee members. It was probably a typical disposition in these types of cases, but they seemed by turn to be flailing to find a way to discredit the woman: did she take acting classes? Did she find 50 Shades of Grey exciting? Did she have a belly piercing?
The Scott Faughn sideshow will get some time in the center ring. Chair Jay Barnes announced that Faughn will testify before the committee today at 1PM about his $50,000 payment to lawyer Al Watkins.
After Barnes’ insistence questioning last week of the governor’s impeachment attorneys regarding who they’d been contacted by, and with whom they’d strategized, one can expect similar sharp questions of Faughn.
And while there may be legitimate questions – raised also by Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal on the Senate floor last week – to what extent Faughn uses journalism as a beard while drawing compensation to influence public policy, it’s unclear if the committee really wants to dive down this rabbit-hole with a 30-Day deadline to present evidence on the governor.
Sources: Governor Meeting Reps In The District
Two strong sources say that Governor Eric Greitens is starting to work state representatives by meeting them in their own district. One says these meetings are alone and without staff present.
I’m told that Reps. Cheri Toalson Reisch and Dan Shaul are among those who have received calls.
Another state representative – who hasn’t been contacted by the governor – opines that he hasn’t “heard that but wouldn’t surprise me. Have heard a lot of scuttlebutt about him realizing the a**hole agenda failed and working on a new charm offensive…”
Greitens Back on the Air
Post Dispatch reports that “Missouri’s embattled governor is again taking to the airwaves to try and polish his image. With a House committee investigating his impeachment in the capital city and a court proceedings underway in St. Louis Circuit Court, Gov. Eric Greitens is spending at least $72,000 on television ads that are expected to run across the state for the next two weeks. Records of the ad buy at the Federal Communications Commission did not include a copy of the advertisement and his campaign staff did not immediately return messages Tuesday. The demographic listed for the ad is adults over the age of 55. It is the second time in three months the Republican has tapped his campaign fund to defend himself through an ad, even though he is not up for reelection until 2020…”
Reaction from Republicans
I am sure this goes without saying, but I want to make sure it gets covered. Everyone working on Corlew’s race is furious that Gov making huge buy two weeks before race. This guy is a f***ing psychopath.
Greitens campaign purchased 1,000 gross rating points in Joplin. This must be a priority region to peel off lawmakers to oppose impeachment.
Maybe instead of an ad buy, the governor should just testify before the committee…
Senate Majority PAC Anti Hawley Ad
The pro-McCaskill Senate Majority PAC has started ads in Missouri dinging Attorney General Josh Hawley for his association with Governor Eric Greitens. See the ad here.
See the press release here.
Galloway Follows-Up on Atty Pay
Auditor Nicole Galloway appears to be digging in on the question concerning whether the governor’s new tax-payer funded impeachment attorneys – Eddie Greim and Ross Garber – really should be on the public payroll.
Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today discussed information provided by several state office holders regarding the payment of private attorneys representing the Governor as he faces disciplinary action before the legislature. After initially requesting information on how the private attorneys are being funded, Auditor Galloway received a letter from the Attorney General expressing doubt as to the Office of the Governor's legal authority to hire private counsel. Auditor Galloway has shared these legal concerns with the Office of Administration and Office of the State Treasurer, who are responsible for processing and paying state expenses. Today, after receiving a response from the Office of the Treasurer, Auditor Galloway's office sent additional correspondence. The State Auditor's Office has also requested additional information from the Governor's Office related to the cost, budget and funding source to pay the private attorneys.
Treasurer Eric Schmitt continues to be gun-shy in confronting the governor. One building denizen notes it’s a reversal from when Sarah Steelman was in that position. See an article here about her refusing to process a check during the Blunt administration.
Senate 17 Thoughts
The MOScout poll last weekend showed Rep. Lauren Arthur with a lead over Rep. Kevin Corlew even with a slight GOP tilt baked into the poll’s weighting.
One lobbyist emailed me that he thinks Corlew is “a victim of not having an ideological base. He was for and against legal and labor reforms and now against the governor. It’s hard to excite Republicans for a guy that hasn’t been consistently Republican…” This has echoes of Jeff Roe’s school of thought that successful campaign turn out the base. Twenty years ago, the orthodoxy was quite different. It was that your base was reliable and you needed to go after the “swing” voters.
However another close observer of that district tells me a different reason that Arthur is leading. “Arthur has been up on TV for more than a week and Corlew [recently] started… I’ve already gotten five pro-Arthur mailers, one from Corlew. Tons of Facebook ads too, virtually none for Kevin…”
The Missouri Supreme Court issued a disciplinary order for Eric Zahnd, saying that he violated “Rules 4-4.4(a), 4-8.4(a), and 4-8.4(d) of the Rules of Professional Conduct and, therefore, Respondent should be disciplined.” See it here.
Missouri Ethics Commission dismissed a complaint against Sen. Rob Schaaf alleging a conflict of interest over his employment with Corizon. See it here.
Mark Pedroli, the attorney involved in the Confide lawsuit, posted this document on Twitter.
Constance Garcia (Republican) withdrew from House 109.
Fundraiser for Rep. Martha Stevens – DogMaster Distillery, Columbia – 5PM.
Jack Clemans formed a candidate committee (Clemans For 155 Committee) to run for House 155 as a Republican.
Paul Woody formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Paul Woody) to run for St. Charles County Council as a Democrat.
Charles Hatfield deleted Kansas City Royals.
Missouri Democratic State Committee - $25,000 from Claire McCaskill.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $40,800 from Friends of Todd Richardson.
Friends of Dolan - $15,000 from UA Political Education Committee.
Happy birthdays to Zach Monroe and Meredith Gibbons.
To David Jackson and hi wife, Claire, on the birth of their son, John Francis Jackson! Born May 18, weighing in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces.