Keeping Tabs on Governor Eric Greitens
A year has passed since Eric Greitens was elected Governor of Missouri and a lot has happened, although not much of it can be considered "governing." Greitens has consistently ignored traditional media and tried to exclusively make statements and reply to questions through Facebook, he became the first sitting Governor in state history to be fined by the Missouri Ethics Commission for violating campaign finance law, and has spent much of his time attending out of state fundraising events with mega-rich donors or with Republican party insiders in Washington DC. While it's no secret that Greitens' #1 priority is he own personal ambition, he does still have a job to do in the state that elected him. But maybe we would be better off if he didn't.
In recent weeks, Greitens has violated the law by removing State Board of Education member Melissa Gelner from office after she refused to support his clandestine plot to oust Edpartment of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven. Reports claim that he plans to do the same with a second member for the same reason. State statutes say that the Governor cannot do this without written notice and a hearing on charges of malfeasance. The Governor's motivation for this is widely believed to be an effort to weaken local control of public education and expand charter schools.
The Kansas City Star decided to group all of his politically motivated but ultimately damaging decisions in an editorial on November 13th, saying "Eric Greitens doesn't care about schoolchildren any more than he cares about veterans, or the elderly, or the disabled, or college students, or other Missourians." Each category includes an area where Greitens has gone out of his way to damage or ignore. The full editorial with links can be read here.
Most recently, his administration voted to end the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. The program accounts for roughly $140 million, matching federal low-income housing aid. These projects are typically for elderly or disabled residents and includes an $80 million project in Kansas City that is now at risk of being nixed. Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, also a Republican, sits on the board. He opposed the governor’s action, arguing that the projects spur affordable developments all over the state, especially in rural areas. Backers say the credits are needed to keep rent lower for low-income residents, and note that thousands of people are on waiting lists for low-income housing.
- Michigan for a fancy dinner with Betsy DeVos and other wealthy political donors
- Virginia to campaign for notorious DC lobbyist and now failed candidate Ed Gillespie
- Nebraska for a political event with other anti-worker politicians like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
- Iowa to give a speech, because of course Greitens has already registered a website for a Presidential run
- In front of a camera to shoot a TV ad for an Illinois politician who gave his campaign $100,000 last year
- Committee for County Progress: Annual meeting, December 7, 5:30pm at law firm of Spencer Fane (1000 Walnut, 14th floor). Guest elected official will be announced shortly.
- House Victory Committee Fundraiser: Tuesday, December 12. Event will feature Jason Kander and several members of the State House. 5:30-7:30 at Travois (210 W 19th Terrace KCMO).
- Jackson County Democratic Committee: Quarterly meeting, November 28th, 7pm at the Jackson County Courthouse, 415 E 12th St. KCMO.
- Freedom Inc Holiday Party: December 14th at Freedom HQ (1202 Brooklyn Ave KCMO)
- United Eastern Democrats Holiday Party: December 13th at Courthouse Exchange (113 W Lexington, Independence) 7pm. Heavy appetizers served.