A new source of untraceable cash has been set up to fund a nonprofit called A New Missouri to help Gov. Eric Greitens hide from the media. Oops, I mean to promote his agenda for the Show Me State.
True story: On Thursday I mailed a contribution to A New Missouri so I, too, can start pushing my weight around in dealing with the Greitens administration.
Check out what Austin Chambers, the governor’s senior adviser, said about what he called Democratic “operatives” (some also known as duly elected members of the General Assembly) and reporters raising concerns about yet another “dark money” fund set up to do Greitens’ bidding.
The real people of Missouri, Chambers sniffed, “are interested in the kitchen table issues that Gov. Greitens ran on.”
One of those reporters — Jason Hancock of The Kansas City Star — broke the story about A New Missouri and quoted experts pointing out problems with this hidden funding for Greitens’ work.
— “If you want to take a massive check and you don’t want people knowing who’s behind it, this is what you do,” said Jordan Libowitz, spokesman for the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
— “What I find most troubling is that everyone knows that these forces are political organizations that deserve scrutiny and regulation,” said John Messmer, a political science professor at St. Louis Community College at Meramec. He called the Greitens political operation a “shadow government” that is “anchored by unnamed mysterious forces.”
— “Creating a nonprofit to act as a washing machine for donations and gifts wouldn’t be stopped by any of the ethics reform bills we’ve debated,” said state Rep. Gina Mitten, a St. Louis Democrat.
Sure, Greitens ran on a platform that included cracking down on the very real ethical abuses that have existed for decades in Jefferson City.
So far, though, Greitens has insisted on telling other people to clean up their act while being totally unaccountable for his own actions. Taking millions of dollars in “dark money” that no one had to reveal to the public as he won the governorship last year makes Greitens a Grade A hypocrite.
As I wrote earlier this week, Greitens also is unwilling to say who paid how much for helping put on his inauguration and for him to fly around the state and country.
Now along comes A New Missouri, where people with millions of dollars sitting around can funnel money to Greitens to promote their agendas.
Oh, I mean his agenda. I’m sure they’re the same thing.
Back to my contribution.
Sure, it wasn’t much. Just $5, so I’m not sure how much influence peddling that will buy in the state capital.
Also, I sent it in as a cash contribution. Don’t yet trust the Greitens team with my credit card number or checking account figures.