No wonder Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens tries to avoid talking to the press. When he did it Monday, Greitens got caught blatantly trying to mislead the public on two major issues.
The governor’s credibility is imploding less than four months after he took office because he lacks the political spine to be honest with Missourians.
Fellow Republican lawmakers on Monday continued to rightly criticize Greitens’ reliance on hiding behind dark money to fund his various political schemes and on his claims that he’s all for better ethics in Jefferson City.
The intramural political fight is imperiling final approval of crucial bills before the General Assembly adjourns next month.
Jason Rosenbaum, political journalist for St. Louis Public Radio, caught up with Greitens at a bill-signing ceremony Monday. Greitens issued holier-than-thou comments on his battle with GOP Sen. Rob Schaaf as well as a hollow defense of how “open” he has been about his deep-pocket supporters.
— Jason Rosenbaum (@jrosenbaum) April 24, 2017
Greitens was extremely disingenuous in saying the social media attack ads on Schaaf came from a group that “I have no day-to-day responsibilities with. It’s an organization that’s separate from the governor’s office.”
In reality, “A New Missouri” exists solely because of the fact that Greitens is governor. His supporters helped set it up. It’s funded the way Greitens likes it: with secret donations. And its priorities mirror the governor’s.
Oh, and that Greitens comment about his hands-off policy? It’s bull.
The Kansas City Star’s Jason Hancock reported in March that Greitens senior adviser Austin Chambers said “there will be coordination between the nonprofit, the governor’s campaign and the governor’s official state office.”
In the Monday interview with Rosenbaum, Greitens also claimed “we obviously released all of the donors to our campaign.” And “we released a list of benefactors” to his January inauguration.
What a bunch of misleading malarkey.
As the media chronicled in 2016, the dark money behind Greitens’ winning gubernatorial campaign stayed hidden for months. Even when the names of some groups finally surfaced, there was still no way of knowing who the actual contributors were.
Despite his protests of openness, Greitens remains complicit in hiding the names of the people who got him elected.
Regarding the inauguration, Hancock previously reported that “Greitens repeatedly refused to disclose how much each donor actually gave, how much was raised or how much he spent on his inauguration.”
All of this sleight of hand by Greitens comes with a political price.
Republicans like Schaaf, Sen. Ryan Silvey of Kansas City and others can point out the governor is a big hypocrite for calling for a crackdown on lawmakers’ ethical behavior while he continues to engage in highly unethical acts himself.
Greitens came to power claiming he was an outsider who wanted to clean up Jefferson City. As the last few weeks have shown, the governor already has become swallowed up in that swamp.