This Week in the Governor’s Office: Week of June 12
Special Session: Part Deux kicked off this past week after Gov. Eric Greitens called for more regulations on abortion. As he did during the last extraordinary session, Greitens held a rally in the Capitol Wednesday. Hundreds of anti-abortion advocates turned out for the event, and he stood alongside St. Louis alternatives-to-abortion leaders.
“We are proud to be pro-life,” Greitens said to the crowd. “We want to protect life, we want to defend life and we want to promote a culture of life here in the state of Missouri.”
However, not everyone in the Capitol was as excited as the rallygoers about the prospect of the special session. A separate rally held earlier in the building from abortion access advocates drew just as many people. Several lawmakers also grumbled about returning to the Capitol in June for a session they did not believe met the constitutional basis. Sen. Jason Holsman filed a resolution to amend the state constitution to make Missouri’s General Assembly a year-round legislature. However, Sen. Scott Sifton said he would bring forth his own method of putting teeth into that opposition on the Senate floor late Wednesday evening after a long day of deliberation, off-floor discussion and compromise in the upper chamber.
“For every day we are called back on something I do not believe meets the test, I will personally see to it that we burn two days next regular session,” he pledged. “If we’re going to abuse the call, I will enforce the constitution by myself at a time of my choosing. This is not a consequence free environment.”
Sifton and Holsman were also two of the six senators who called for a formal investigation into Greitens’ association with political nonprofit A New Missouri, Inc. and how his campaign came to obtain a donor list from Greitens’ former nonprofit, The Missouri Continues, of which he was founder and CEO.
Alongside the two Democrats were four Republicans, including Sens. Doug Libla, Rob Schaaf, Bob Dixon, and Ryan Silvey. Silvey said the investigation was necessary because of the mystery that has surrounded some of these scenarios so close to the governor.
“We can no longer turn a blind eye to the unprecedented games being played by Gov. Greitens’ and his political machine, especially in light of this consent agreement with the Missouri Ethics Commission,” Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, said in a statement. “You can’t ignore possible unethical behavior by the governor or his campaign, just because you share the same party label. Missourians deserve to know what happened, and it’s the duty of the Senate to find out.”
Thus, Greitens’ relationship with the upper chamber continues to deteriorate, even though he hasn’t even been in office for half of a year. Parker Briden, a spokesman for the governor’s office, called the resolution a “temper tantrum” by senators.
Greitens also signed two important pieces of legislation this week. Monday, he signed the REAL ID bill into law, though he did not invite Silvey, a veteran lawmaker who has worked on that particular issue for the better part of seven years, to the signing ceremony even though Silvey was the Senate sponsor of the bill. Silvey said he was ultimately just happy the legislation was signed, though he did not spare himself from throwing some shade the governor’s way.
“Frankly, I’m just a part-time legislator, and he’s a full-time politician, so he needs the cameras more than I do,” Silvey said, using the now-common refrain of “career” or “full-time politician” Greitens uses to describe the legislature.
The governor also signed the steel mill bill passed during the last special session on Thursday, after several senators criticized him for not signing the legislation before calling this current special session.
Greitens also attended a meeting of several Republican governors to visit with President Donald Trump. He even managed to get in frame on CNN as Trump delivered a message of unity after the Congressional shooting that occured earlier this week.
President Donald Trump: Rep. Steve Scalise may have brought some unity to our divided country https://t.co/0BcBqGC0l8
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 15, 2017