JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Governor Eric Greitens made several media appearances in the week of October 8-13, 2017, to include posting a video with Luke Bryan, allegedly blocking a resident because of an emoji, and made a pitch to Amazon on Twitter – only for it to be quickly deleted. He also made several judicial appointments and failed to meet with protestors in St. Louis.
On Sunday, he liked an article posted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch outlining the Governor’s social media use. Greitens does not seem to be very active on Twitter as he has liked only a few hundred tweets and the last tweet he liked was in August. The article outlines his professional versus his political use of social media and includes allegations from Patsy Roach that the Governor blocked her for her use of a puking emoji and sent her a voicemail message explaining it to her.
Later that Sunday, Greitens posted a video with Luke Bryan announcing a proclamation for ‘Here’s to the Farmer’ Day. Bryan has been raising support for his campaign, ‘Here’s to the Farmer,’ a tour after his song of the same name. His tour, partnered with Bayer Pharmaceutical, will donate a meal through Feed America each time Twitter users share their hashtag. Greitens announced a proclamation for ‘Here’s to the Farmer’ day.
Great to join @LukeBryanOnline to celebrate MO farmers and ranchers! #HeresToTheFarmer pic.twitter.com/Jf8iRP1HrQ
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) October 8, 2017
On Monday, he announced a plan that would allow Missouri residents to use their driver’s licenses to board planes, even though the REAL ID extension expired. A spokeswoman a the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said: “residents can expect no function or operational changes at this time due to the implementation of a grace period.” In a letter in September, he outlined a two-step plan that would make Missouri compliant with the federal stipulations by 2021.
On Tuesday, Greitens lost a case in the Western District Court of Appeals where he was named a defendant. A woman identified as Mary Doe sued Greitens and Attorney General Josh Hawley, saying that the requirements to hear her fetus’ heartbeat and read a booklet before her abortion violate her first amendment rights to freedom of religion. Doe is a member of the Satanic Temple, which does not believe that human life begins at conception. The case will be heard before the Missouri Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, Greitens announced he will add 800 jobs to Missouri’s National Guard, he said they will have a $15 million dollar economic impact.
Greitens did not dismiss the idea of independent investigators at a news conference on Tuesday. He was asked about if he would be open to an independent agency like the Missouri Highway Patrol to investigate police shootings.
“I haven’t thought about that deeply,” Greitens told St. Louis Public Radio. “I’d want to make sure I talk with the Missouri Highway Patrol and also police chiefs and sheriffs around the state. I think it’s really important that we have tremendous confidence in our justice system and confidence in our law enforcement officers.”
St. Louis Public radio mentioned he made a similar comment in 2016.
On Wednesday, he appointed Lynne Perkins to the Associate Circuit Court for St. Louis City. Perkins will replace Judge Theresa Counts Burke, who was appointed to the Circuit Court Jude this year. “Lynne Perkins is a veteran, dedicated member of the St. Louis community, and an experienced practitioner, all of which uniquely qualify him to serve as judge,” Greitens said. “His temperament and work ethic will serve St. Louis City’s Associate Circuit Court well.”
Aaron Perlut, the managing partner and founder of a St. Louis Marketing agency, tweeted a video of the Governor pitching to Amazon, outlining why they should come to Missouri. The tweet was taken down later that day. Press secretary Parker Briden said the video was only a part of a series that will come together later to attract Amazon to the state.
Also on Wednesday, Greitens went rock climbing at a facility owned by Andrew Potter, an army veteran. At the event, he announced a proposal to eliminate start-up business fees for Missouri veterans. “I am proud to announce that this January we’re going to be pursuing legislation to eliminate all start-up business fees for veterans in the state of Missouri,” he said. “We also want to let veterans around the country know that if they’re an entrepreneur. … We will welcome them right here in Missouri to start that business.”
He posted on social media, talking about his military commitment to the American flag. Greitens mentioned his routine of saluting the flag and how it acts as a key symbol for service members. He did not directly address controversy regarding NFL players protesting during the national anthem, but titled the post, “The flag brings real patriots to their feet, not their knees,” and said “It’s a shame that some people would use our country’s greatest symbol of selfless service for a selfish act.”
The flag brings real patriots to their feet, not their knees.https://t.co/UOOMqYiyOS pic.twitter.com/y9pjsRvC5o
— Eric Greitens (@EricGreitens) October 11, 2017
On Thursday, he appointed Katie Fowler to Circuit Judge for St. Louis. The position was previously held by Edward Sweeney, who retired. “I am proud to announce the appointment of Katie Fowler to St. Louis City’s circuit court,” Greitens said. “Katie is a seasoned litigator with a distinguished career in private practice. She will bring her knowledge of complex litigation to the bench and will serve the court with distinction for many years to come.”
He also appointed Kevin Walden as Circuit Judge for the 8th Judicial Circuit. He will replace David Miller who retired in October. Walden previously served on the Associate Circuit Court as a Judge for Carroll County. “Kevin Walden’s breadth of experience and familiarity with the circuit make him well-qualified to serve as a circuit judge for the 8th Judicial Circuit,” Greitens said. “He will serve with distinction and respect, and I am proud to appoint him.”
Also Thursday, the Governor went to the St. Louis fire department headquarters and trained with local firefighters. He put on the firefighters’ heavy gear, climbed tall ladders, and put out a controlled burn fire. He says this was a part of the October fire prevention month and distributed 200 smoke alarms and ladders to residents of St. Louis. Greitens repeated his message announcing his plans to allow jobs to allow veterans to have preferential treatment.
“A number of the guys I was with today are vets of the U.S. military. When they come home and have the opportunity to serve in the fire department. They provide a great service to the city of St. Louis,” he said. “What that means is that if a number of people apply for a job; that the business can choose to hire that vet coming back, with skills and lessons that come from military service.”
Thursday evening, he attended a fundraiser at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in St. Louis. While inside the hotel, St. Louis protestors asked him to come outside and talk to them. The protestors were a part of the movement that has been protesting the verdict that found Jason Stockley not guilty in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith. They waited outside for about an hour, according to the Post-Dispatch, but Greitens never addressed them.
On Friday, he appointed Brouck Jacobs as Circuit Judge of the 13 Judicial Circuit. He would replace Christine Carpenter who retired this year. “Brouck Jacobs is committed to serving the people of Boone and Callaway Counties,” he said. “As a prosecutor, he has worked tirelessly to promote justice and has served with integrity. I am pleased to appoint him as the newest circuit judge for the 13th Judicial Circuit and look forward to him serving for years to come.”
He also appointed Melissa Lawyer as Circuit Judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit. She would replace Randall Jackson who retired this year. “I am excited to appoint Melissa Lawyer as Circuit Judge for the 5th Judicial Circuit,” Greitens said. “She has devoted her career to public service, and I am confident she will serve the people of Andrew and Buchanan Counties with the same devotion as circuit judge.”
Michael Layer is a reporter for the Missouri Times and the Missouri Times Magazine. He joined the Missouri Times in August 2017 after graduating from Goucher College the previous May. To contact Michael, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @_MichaelLayer