The Larger Issue with the SOS “Forgery”
David Lieb recently reported that someone in the governor’s office signed Jay Ashcroft’s name to a document and uploaded it onto the state website as if it was an official document.
One lobbyist imagines how something like this can happen… Maybe you have a young inexperienced staffer. And you have a boss who is concerned about optics. The boss wants his executive order done “on Day One” or some kind of nonsense like that. The secretary of state is traveling or out of his office that day. The staffer, under pressure, thinks it’s a formality and traces the secretary of state’s name without reflecting on stupidity of forging the signature of a statewide elected official.
This is entirely an imaginary scenario – and the most charitable explanation for this baloney.
However this latest foolishness went down, it seems to be another example of the generally ill-equipped governor’s office. From it a different lobbyist sees a broader lesson: it’s ok to run as an outsider, but if you win, hire some folks with experience in government.
In his opinion, when you have inexperience or incompetence in the governor’s office in the political operations, the press operations or the legal oversight, you’re going to have big problems. The Gretiens administrations staffed all three areas with folks who weren’t ready for the job.
It’s not to say that they’re not smart. They may or may not be. But their level of inexperience has overwhelmed any other qualifications they have, and led to routine “unforced errors” and head-shakers.
Consider eight years of Jay Nixon. The biggest scandal was whether DNR was reporting e coli levels at public lakes in an accurate and timely manner. Seems quaint. After hemming and hawing though, Nixon aide Joe Bindbeutel became the fall guy and was fired. They dealt with it and move on.
Greitens, the outsider, seemed charmed by the idea of whiz kids, and unable to impose consequences on incompetence. So Austin Chambers’ dark money outfit can blast out a state senator’s cell phone number and nothing happens; the press folks can spend year barely replying to press inquiries and it’s par for the course; and the folks (like Caleb Jones) who would bring some traditional governing skills quietly step away.
Next for Barnes Committee
It’s said that the House Special Investigative Committee has several areas that they would still like to probe. These presumably include the various misdeeds that have been reported in the press: Confide destruction of government records; misappropriation grant funds for a campaign; efforts to conceal donors; who and why someone signed Secretary of State’s signature to a document posted online; and misuse of social media accounts.
However, it’s also likely that the House leadership is aware of the even with the 30-days of special session starting after regular session, there isn’t an endless amount of time to track down every lead. They may insist that the Committee focus on a few specific actions of the governor to draw up articles of impeachment.
About Finding Jurists
One MOScouter corrects my blurb yesterday about the pool of potential jurors for impeachment. He notes that “associate Circuit judges are judges of the circuit court as well as circuit judges. That adds another 200 or so possible persons who could be legally elected by the Senate, if they want to consider those judges as well…”
And one good source hears that “court of appeals judges have been asked if there is anything on their schedules that would prevent them from serving.” The thinking here could be that circuit judges have dockets on a daily basis, so there may be a preference for court of appeals judges because their regular duties can be assumed by colleagues. We’ll see…
Rep. Shamed Dogan sends a twitter message to Governor Eric Greitens. See it here.
Drew Erdmann recommends Moneyball. See it here.
MRLer Dave Plemmons writes on Facebook… “After much consideration and prayer, I've decided that it's time to seek other career opportunities that may await me. 31+ years on the front end of supermarkets (about 22 of which being in supervisory positions), hiring a couple thousand people, scheduling and troubleshooting...I am ready for a new challenge that will utilize my skills with a better salary…”
On Casenet it looks like unregistered lobbyist Ron Calzone had appealed his lawsuits. Judge Jon Bettem had ruled on both these cases, finding in favor of the legislature. One suit was filed against SB 638 (from 2016 session), and the other against SB 665 (also from 2016 session) alleging the they were Hammerschmidt violations.
Terry Richard formed a candidate committee (Richard For Missouri 12) to run for Senate 12 ad a Democrat.
Larry Goodrich formed a candidate committee (Friends For Bruce Goodrich) to run for House 121 as a Republican.
Kristi Thomas formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Kristi Thomas) to run for DeKalb County Clerk as a Republican.
Geoffrey Jolley formed a candidate committee (Jolley For KC) to run for Kansas City Council Person.
Fundraiser for Cort VanOstran (Dem, CD-2) at Pat Connolly Tavern, St. Louis – 5:30PM.
Birthday Celebration & Campaign Kick-off for Lisa Clancy (Dem, St. Louis County Council) at Schlafly Bottleworks, St. Louis – 6PM.
Linda Barefoot added Purdue Pharma.
Shanon Hawk added Johnston & Associates Inc.
Eapen Thampy added Honuxpress; and deleted One Gro Worldwide Inc.
Brian Wahby added STL Aviation Group LLC.
Middle Class Missouri PAC - $12,400 from Zevan & Davidson Law Firm.
Committee to Elect Steve Ehlmann - $25,000 from August A Busch III.
Missouri Democratic State Committee - $25,000 from CHIPP Political Account.
Missouri Democratic State Committee - $25,000 from UAW Region 5 PAC.
Civic Progress Action Committee - $13,000 from Anheuser-Busch.
Committee for a Healthy Community - $42,000 from American Heart Association.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Jeanie Lauer, and Tom Dempsey.