BRENTWOOD, Mo. – The Missouri Democratic Party and the Eric Greitens campaign for governor hosted dueling press conferences about which candidate would be worse for women at the Brentwood Community Center on Thursday.
The Democrats focused on the revelations of a Post-Dispatch article that Robert Murphy, the veteran who narrated Greitens latest ad, posted a meme about rape on his Facebook page. Murphy also posted memes about Muslims and President Barack Obama that the Democrats have called racist.
Their press conference included rape survivors calling on Greitens to reject Murphy as a spokesperson for his campaign.
— Mindy Mazur (@MinMaz) September 29, 2016
On the other side of the community center, the Greitens campaign held their own press conference “to expose the truth about career politician Chris Koster’s record on women’s issues.”
— Dallas Ernst (@DallasErnst) September 29, 2016
The Greitens campaign cited a Koster vote against the state paying for rape kits for victims and said Koster took money from lobbyists for sex traffickers to explain that he was “wrong for women.”
The Koster campaign rejected the Greitens attack and said that Koster had spent his career as a prosecutor putting rapists behind bars.
“Once again, Eric Greitens shows his lack of understanding of Missouri’s criminal justice system,” said David Turner, a spokesman for the campaign. “The idea Attorney General Koster wants rape victims to pay for their own rape kits is beyond ludicrous. The Attorney General has led the way to increase protection for domestic violence victims, including his 2011 recommendations to better protect victims, which passed by the Senate unanimously.”
Turner said Koster voted against the rape kit bill because of other provisions that he didn’t agree with.
“Chris Koster joined the Senate after spending a decade prosecuting killers, rapists, and other criminals,” he said. “This bill contained a blanket provision that could allow convicted murderers whose trials occurred decades earlier to get out of prison, based on potentially manufactured evidence. He couldn’t support that and for that reason opposed the bill.”
Other Republicans to vote against the bill that year were then Representatives and current Sens. Mike Parson, Ron Richard, Bob Onder, Ed Emery, David Sater, Mike Cunningham, and Jay Wasson.
Others observers and interested parties have been miffed by Greitens’ decision attack Koster over contributions from Dentons, a well-known national lobbying firm, including in Missouri. Their hundreds of corporate clients have included cities, credit unions, universities, and telecommunications companies.
Greitens’ campaign tied the contributions to Koster’s investigation of the website backpage.com, which has been connected to sex trafficking.
They said Koster “suddenly he fell silent,” about the website after the contributions from Dentons, which represented the website. “Apparently, campaign cash is worth more to Koster than protecting Missouri’s children.”
Dentons has also supported Greitens charity, the Mission Continues, over the years. In 2013, they were listed as a silver level sponsor for the foundation’s Veterans Day Gala. Greitens was still in charge of the organization at that time.
Even more confusing for some, the attack allowed Greitens’ critics to return to one of the biggest thorns in his side this election season, a $1 million contribution from venture capitalist Michael Goguen, who has been accused of keeping a woman as a sex slave.
The claims dogged Greitens during the primary with opponents calling on him to return the donation. Those attacks surfaced again Thursday after the press conference.
holy lack of self awareness, batman https://t.co/gQnXSiqRnR
— Sean Nicholson (@ssnich) September 29, 2016