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This Week in the Governor’s Office: Week of April 24


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – This week, the governor’s office featured far more chalupas than anyone probably thought it would.

Okay, so it was just the one chalupa, but that was probably one more than you were expecting. Gov. Eric Greitens marked his signature of Rep. Kirk Mathews and Sen. Bob Onder’s transportation network company legislation, which establishes a statewide regulatory framework for ride sharing companies in Missouri, by getting a Lyft to take him to a St. Charles Taco Bell, where he ordered a steak chalupa.

“As many of you know there are ridesharing services around the country… that are really convenient for people, and most importantly, help thousands of people earn a little bit of extra money,” he says in the above video. “For too long, special interests and lobbyists created all of these regulations so that we couldn’t do that here in Missouri.”

Greitens signed the bill in St. Charles Monday, his fourth piece of legislation this session. The bills were widely popular, but that didn’t necessarily stop others from poking a bit of fun at his FourthMeal craving.

However, it wasn’t all SUV rides and munchies for Greitens, as he continued to be hammered in the legislature for his connection to a political nonprofit that published Sen. Rob Schaaf’s personal cell phone number on social media advertisements. Sen. Ryan Silvey’s tweet above was one example and several other senators spoke out against A New Missouri, Inc., calling it a dark money group on account of it not needing to release names of donors.

Schaaf also defended himself from New Missouri Monday at the start of session in the Senate. He also offered the body an ultimatum: force dark money groups to disclose their donors or fail to pass anything but the budget.

Hoskins, Schaaf call out Greitens’ senior advisor for ‘dirty politics’

“The only way it can be stopped, and we can move forward, is to pass ethics legislation that discloses the dark money that’s being used against us,” Schaaf said. “Else, every single one of us will be under the threat of the governor using his newfound power and stopping us from having a fair discussion that we have to be able to have.”

Sen. Denny Hoskins also criticized Greitens’ chief political advisor, Austin Chambers, who works both in the governor’s office as well as at the nonprofit.

“When Austin Chambers, the senior advisor to the governor, throws out corruption charges against my colleagues, I take offense to that,” he said. “In my heart, I know that my colleagues here, whether Republican, Democrat, liberal, or conservative, they are not corrupt.

Greitens distanced himself from the group by saying he does not oversee the day to day operations of the nonprofit and he criticized New Missouri for releasing Schaaf’s phone number.

In other news, Greitens appointed Jackson County Circuit Judge W. Brent Powell to the Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon.

“In his years on the bench, Judge Brent Powell has established himself as an outstanding jurist,” Greitens said in a statement about the pick. “He has received high marks for being humble, fair-minded, and of the highest integrity. I am confident Judge Powell will be committed to strengthening and improving our court system and guarding the rule of law as a judge on our state’s highest court.”