With his smarmy smile firmly in place, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens loves to bash what he calls “career politicians” and the “liberal media.”
Call this his Trump-lite act, in (dis)honor of the president’s scurrilous attacks on lawmakers and the press.
But this week, Greitens has been correctly chastised by Kansas City Mayor Sly James for vetoing promised state funding for UMKC’s downtown arts campus.
And he’s been schooled by critics after taking to Twitter to whine about the media’s reporting on a costly, unneeded and still-ongoing special session on abortion-related legislation.
— When he vetoed the $48 million in state bonds in late June, Greitens slipped in an ignorant swipe against artists.
“This year, (politicians) passed a bill that would put taxpayers on the hook for over $75 million to build and run a conservatory for dancers and art students,” Greitens said on his Facebook account.
The veto and the slam of artists didn’t play well in Kansas City. Civic leaders bemoaned the short-sighted decision by Greitens not to match $48 million in private money for the campus.
James weighed in on his own city page Wednesday, with a piece titled “‘Dancers & Art Students’ Are A Proud Part of Kansas City’s Heritage.”
James wondered why Greitens tried to “create some political excuse” by slamming students who are “at the heart of what makes Kansas City a national hub for the arts.”
Then came the money quotes, figuratively and literally:
“In 2015, the arts added an astounding 7,515 jobs to our local economy. It also added $7.9 million in revenue to our local government and $10.9 million in revenue to the state government. I don’t hear the Governor saying he doesn’t want the revenue our arts community creates for the state.
“If the Governor thinks politicians are “addicted to spending taxpayer money” and cites the arts as a an example of the problem – – then may the taxpayers of Kansas City have that $10,900,000 back, please?”
UMKC and MU officials have said they will put together some kind of plan to make up for the huge amount of lost state funding. But only days after that happened, Greitens cut millions of additional dollars in higher ed funding.
Good luck on getting that great downtown arts campus now.
— On Wednesday, Greitens put on his best Trump-lite face to say the “liberal media” were attacking conservatives in Missouri.
The liberal media is spreading lies about conservatives in Missouri. It's literally fake news. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/bi7PcQ7J40
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) July 6, 2017
However, Greitens didn’t provide any evidence of something wrong printed or televised by the major newspapers or TV stations in Missouri. Instead, a story in Newsweek was slammed as being inaccurate, as were reports in a few other publications. And Newsweek corrected its reporting.
But the best part of Greitens’ temper tantrum came in the Twitter comments section.
People correctly pointed out that Greitens had caused some of the questionable coverage with his odd call for the special session.
Responses also hammered Greitens for his continued hiding of the dark money that put him in office, and his refusal to say who’s helping push his agenda in Missouri.
Some of the best:
Do you have any original thoughts and ideas or is your plan to parrot Donald Trump until you're elected president?
— Patience (@payshhh) July 6, 2017
Or you could tell us how much taxpayer $$ was wasted on "special session" for abortion laws that have 0% chance of standing up in court?
— Mark W (@MarkDWalter) July 6, 2017
It's sad to see you become a talking head for DT. I respect yr service and yr work w/ vets. Don't tarnish your reputation with this baloney.
— Reyna Ronald (@treebenz) July 6, 2017
You're the only elected official in America who makes Trump look smart.
— DJ1028 (@Dj1028Peck) July 6, 2017
You're as phony as they come Eric. Secret big corporate donors, secret tax returns.Scary liberals around every corner. Start doing your job.
— Cantbuysmarts (@cantbuysmarts) July 6, 2017
And, finally, a very good point:
You could have easily addressed the "lies" without using "fake news" or "liberal media" angle. We are Missouri constituents period. Grow up!
— MsMissTee (@MsMissTee1) July 6, 2017