Thursday May 24, 2018 - Faughn Sideshow Gets Center Ring - Jones Subpoenaed on Confide - Stenger Bits and more...

Jones Subpoenaed in Confide Case

Former Greitens deputy chief of staff Caleb Jones has been subpoenaed in the civil Confide lawsuit.  See it here.

What To Look For

Who will represent Jones at that deposition?  Will it be someone from Team Greitens (like Graves Garrett and/or Catherine Hanaway) or will he retain his own counsel?  The guess is that Jones will bring his own lawyer.  Translation: he’s on Team Jones now…

 

The Scott Faughn Sideshow

It was a good day for the governor.  Scott Faughn’s involvement in the machinations to bring the governor’s affair into the mainstream went from sideshow to main event at the House Special Investigative Committee’s hearing.

The Committee failed to answer its central question: Who was the ultimate source behind the $120,000 that Faughn delivered to the hairdresser’s ex-husband’s attorney?  Or, articulated in a more unsettling manner: “Who’s messing with state government?”

Faughn – on advice of SuperAttorney Chuck Hatfield – refused to answer any questions about how he came to possess $120,000 in cash.

The failure to get a real answer means that questions will persist and conspiracy theories will proliferate.  That’s good news for Greitens.  They’d rather be talking about Faughn than the basement, the donor list, the Wash U grant, the MEC filings…

Perjury?

It was an odd scene.  Faughn was under oath and yet still not believable.

He insisted that the cash, all $120,000 of it, was his.  And yet he had trouble remembering what denominations the bills were in, how it was transported, who he asked to delivery much of it, why he used cash instead of a check or money order, why he received no receipt or made the deal on a handshake or was never billed by Watkins, etc.

At one point Chair Jay Barnes reminded Faughn about the penalty of perjury.

Barnes was incredulous at Faughn’s assertion that he didn’t know there was a subpoena server looking for him, given that it was reported in the news.  Faughn clarified to say he didn’t have “official” knowledge of it.  Rather than being in hiding, Faughn said he took a trip to remember a friend, and stayed away from the capitol to take pressure off his employees.

Faughn said that he no longer had any outstanding liens from the Department of Revenue.  In fact, it looks like he did pay the tax liens on the Missouri Times earlier this month.  However, Casenet does still show an unsatisfied personal tax lien (see it here).

And then there were a slew of answers that seemed disingenuous.  For example, Faughn couldn’t remember who, among the two or three employees in his Clayton office, delivered the second $50K to Watkins.  This after being asked who “Skyler” was.  It’s remarkable that “Skyler” wouldn’t have jogged Faughn’s memory that his Clayton office employee Striker, Ben Striker, was likely the bagman’s bagman for the second $50K delivery.

And he said he didn’t know that his advertiser/sponsor Sterling Bank was involved in low-income housing tax credits even though it been common knowledge in the capitol for a long time.

After the testimony concluded and much of the room cleared, Rep. J Eggleston was heard on a hot mic expressing his skepticism over Faughn’s testimony.  “Give me a break” he scoffed to a fellow committee member, recounting Faughn’s story.

 

Two Hats of Hatfield

SuperLawyer Chuck Hatfield accompanied Faughn to the witness table where he consistently advised him to not answer questions about his business, and more specifically where the $120,000 came from.

Hatfield has previously represented Al Watkins.  It’s an interesting balancing act for Hatfield. Watkins’ previous stories have been quite different from Faughn’s.

 

Impeachment Math

Scott Faughn’s unwillingness to share the source of his sudden good fortune – folders of cash appearing just as the opportunity to buy some tapes occurred – gave the governor’s supporters something to cheer about: the perfect deflection from the governor’s misdeeds, and more fodder for a conspiracy to oust their conservative outsider.

Dispassionate observers of these twists and turns have tried to calculate the impact on the sentiment of the House of Representatives. The consensus remains that there will be a constitutional majority to impeach the governor, assuming Barnes’ committee delivers the expected litany of wrongdoings. But some wonder if merely meeting the constitutional requirement is enough.  They think the House needs over 100 votes to make it a strong statement.  Days like yesterday may make that bar harder to clear.

It’s hard to hold the high road when the bagman won’t come clean.

 

Lost in the Faughn Storm

Chair Jay Barnes declared yesterday that the governor’s attorneys have refused to comply with House subpoenas.

 

STL CC

The mighty Jason Rosenbaum reports on tension in the St. Louis County Council.  See it here.

Pull Quote: St. Louis County voters approved the tax last year aimed at going to public safety services, such as police departments throughout the county. Some Justice Center employees who weren’t given raises have been speaking at council meetings for months. And the council eventually passed legislation that gave $600,000 worth of raises to certain employees and nurses that work in the Justice Center.  But Stenger said on Tuesday that the bill the council passed is “unenforceable,” because he contended the council didn’t follow the proper procedures. He told reporters that he believes nurses that work in the Justice Center should be paid from the health fund — not from Proposition P…

The dispute over the raises is yet another chapter in Stenger’s acrimonious relationship with members of the county council. Most of the council members are antagonistic toward Stenger, which means that, depending on the issue, they can go against the county executive’s wishes.

And

An email blast from the Montovani campaign touts their momentum.

We are less that 80 days to the Primary and our momentum heading into the summer is extremely strong. On the endorsement front, every Democratic Township to date, as well as the Fannie Lou Hamer Coalition, the largest organization of African-American elected officials in the region, and nearly 20 other municipal mayors and elected officials have put their stamps of approval on our efforts. 

 Even more encouraging are the results of our recent poll. A national pollster said that he has “rarely seen an incumbent as weak as Stenger.” Just 31% of voters support him strongly; his positive job rating is only 37% (currently lower than Donald Trump); and none of his positive numbers improved after his initial run of ads.

 In the trial heat, we are within single digits and holding Stenger to under 50%...

 

Help Wanted

KCUR seeks Reporter for Missouri Government and Politics. “KCUR 89.3 is ramping up coverage of Missouri politics from the midterm election cycle through the 2020 gubernatorial elections — and we’re looking for an ambitious multimedia reporter to join the team.  Missouri is a unique state: at once rural and urban, spread out and concentrated, conservative with liberal pockets. This new beat reporter will pitch and report spot news and long-form audio/digital features, contribute to and/or host KCUR’s Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, discuss developments on talk shows, and perhaps host events…”  See it here.

 

Missouri Coalition for the Environment seeks Communications Director.  “The Communications Director is responsible for coordinating marketing and communications materials to increase awareness, involvement, and understanding of the organization, its mission, and programmatic work among the community, current and prospective donors, partners, and other stakeholders. The Communications Director works with various staff members to approach goals and objectives as a team. Working with the Development Director and the Executive Director, the Communications Director supports fundraising efforts…” See it here.

Today’s Events

Joe Patterson fundraiser (GOP, House 95) at Bottle Cellars, St. Louis – 5PM.

Dana Kelly-Franks fundraiser (Dem, STL City License Collector) at The Stage, St. Louis – 5:30PM.

 

$5K+ Contributions

UAW Region 5 Midwest States Political Action Committee (PAC) (MO) - $6,000 from UAW Region 5 Exchange Account.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Sen. Jake Hummel, St. Louis County Councilman Sam Page, St. Louis City Alderwoman Heather Navarro, former Rep. Byron DeLear, and Gregg Christian.