Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - Parson Staffing Talk - War-Chest Talk - Senate 17 Talk and more...

Resignation Speech

See the text of Greitens’ resignation here.  See the video here.

It was a pretty terrible resignation speech.

He claimed that he was resigning because he “can not allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love.”  As if the idea just occurred to him after five months of this mess.

But the speech’s fatal flaw was its lack of remorse.  He didn’t express any regret for any actions.  The closest he came to apologizing was saying that he knows that he is not perfect.  Without acknowledging any shortcomings, there was no way for the speech to find resolution.  So he ended with a delusional “We have a good and proud story to tell our children.”  Huh?

 

The Charges

Post-Dispatch reported yesterday we’ll be hearing of  a plead on the computer tampering charge today… St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner statement on Greitens: "We have reached a fair and just resolution of the pending charges.  We will provide more information tomorrow."

But the statement from Jean Peters Baker, special prosecutor on the invasion of privacy, indicated things there will continue for now: "In short, our investigation continues. In the interest of pursing justice to its fullest lengths, we will continue until our work on the case is completed." "no deals were made by my office,' she says.

 

Bills Due to the Governor Today

Today is the constitutional deadline for the legislature to deliver its Truly Agreed and Finally Passed bills to the governor.

I asked one source with ties to the governor’s office, if it’s possible that Greitens would take any actions on these final day before his resignation is effective.  The answer is that he won’t, with the caveat that if there was something non-controversial, a consent bill perhaps, with some special importance.  Then maybe Greitens would sign.  Otherwise, no.

 

Signing or Vetoing

One source says that Parson has been reviewing bills since “late April, early May” in order to not get flat-footed in just this type of situation.  But this is clearly the first order of business and perhaps drives his immediate hirings.

 

Staffing Talk

The speculation started immediately about who and how Parson will staff his team.

Some names mentioned for chief of staff: Ward Franz (current COS), Aaron Willard, and Robert Knodell.

 

About a month ago, one hallway source told me that the Parson folks had done some thinking about staffing.  I was told that the plan – at that time – was for current staffers to be asked to submit resignations and reapply.  One would think some high-profile appointees are already booking flights back to their home state.

But for others – Sarah Steelman is an intriguing example – it’s not so clear cut.  Steelman was an early and ardent supporter of Greitens, and the office of Administration is the nerve center of any administration.  In theory you’d want your own person there for sure.  However some in Parson-world have very good relations with the Steelmans, so that might actually be a holdover.

And

One knock on Parson revolves around his abilities as a personnel manager.  His former staffer, Bubs Hohulin, literally made a commercial opposing his former boss during the campaign.  While Hohulin’s degree of disgruntlement may be extraordinary, other capitol denizens note that Parson hasn’t held onto staff for long periods of time.  We’ll see if that evidences itself in the governor’s office under his watch.

 

Parson Political Future

There had been rumors that Parson would simply serve out the remainder of his term if he were elevated.  Be smart and forget that.

Nobody gives up real estate in politics.  One operative already texted me his support for Parson in 2020.

And

According to the state’s term limits, Parson can’t finish this term and then do two full-terms.  He finishes this term and then can do one more term.  See it here. No person shall be elected governor or treasurer more than twice, and no person who has held the office of governor or treasurer, or acted as governor or treasurer, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected to the office of governor or treasurer shall be elected to the office of governor or treasurer more than once.

 

Senate 17

How will this impact the tight race in Senate 17 to replace Ryan Silvey?  There was some Twitter of a “Greitens drag” after the last MOScout poll showed Lauren Arthur with a lead over Rep. Kevin Corlew.  Does that melt away a bit in this final week with the governor’s resignation?  Or, as one Republican wondered to me last night, does this “cause the Greitens zombies to stay home?”

We’ll see…

 

What of the War-Chest?

Greitens for Missouri showed $2,512,422 in the bank on their April campaign finance filing.  There are three possible futures for these millions of dollars.  First, the campaign could return the money to donors by some method (pro rata, or small contributors first, or last in, first out); Second, the balance could be donated to a cause which would generally please the Republican base (the Missouri GOP Party, or the campaign to beat back the RTW referendum); Third, it could be transitioned into an ongoing committee as was the war-chests of former speakers Tim Jones and Steve Tilley.

I am told that the third option is very unlikely.  But we’ll see…

 

Bad Day List

Claire McCaskill – five months for MO Republicans to bury the image of Eric Greitens, and her opponent Josh Hawley can crow that he helped rid Jefferson City of the corrupt governor.

Tony Luetkemeyer – Some think his close ties to the governor have been the key to his successful fundraising in Senate 34.  Does it dry up now?

Curtis Trent – After spending the day cross-examining Michael Hafner, this is his reward?

 

eMailbag: Parson Fan Mail

Mike Parson was the person responsible for passage of the bonding bill a few years ago that paved the way for significant renovation projects at higher ed institutions and the state capitol.  At the time, everyone thought it was dead but Mike...he quietly kept working it to gather support.   He understands compromise and the need to work with others to get things done and build trust over time...rather than throw bombs at anyone who doesn't agree with you - a refreshing change of pace for the legislators, regardless of party affiliation.

 

Today’s Events

Reception for Steve Stenger – Café Napoli, Clayton – 5:30PM.

Fundraiser – Sen. Jake Hummel – Das Bevo Mill Biergarden, St. Louis – 5:30PM.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Brice Stewart - $7,500 from Brice Stewart.

We Are Missouri - $6,230 from Pipe Fitters Local Union 533 Volunteer Political Fund.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $15,000 from Eastern Missouri Laborers.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Missouri Realtors PAC Inc.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $15,000 from United Food and Commercial Workers International Union AFL-CIO.

Lobbyists Registrations

Andrew Weber added Wall Street Realty DBA Ancob Construction Inc.

James Harris added Lathrop Gage Consulting On Behalf Of Navigant Consulting, Inc.

Guy Black deleted Phoenix Family, and Robinson Construction.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Galen Higdon, and Stacy Reliford.

 

My Apologies

Over the weekend, I sent an update out in which half the list was cc-ed instead of bcc-ed.  If you find your email has been recently added to a political email list you didn’t sign up for, that’s probably the source of it. Sorry for the mistake.