COLUMBIA, Mo. – Following reporting yesterday that Josh Hawley appeared to violate Missouri law by voting in the wrong county, Missouri Scout is calling out Hawley’s “unforced error,” with one Republican deadpanning that it was finally “a documented case of voter fraud.”
“Josh Hawley, Missouri’s top law enforcement officer, is either lying to Missourians about his residency or violating a state law,” said Meira Bernstein, Missouri Democratic Party Communications Director. “Unfortunately, Hawley’s apparent belief that the law doesn’t apply to him is exactly the type of arrogance that Missourians have come to expect from Hawley, a typical politician who promised he wouldn’t climb the political ladder but is already planning to abandon that promise just eight months after being sworn in.”
From Missouri Scout:
Hawley’s Voting Snafu
The Jefferson City News Tribune reported that Attorney General Josh Hawley voted in Boone County’s special election last week. See it here. Good, right? We all love our elected officials participating in democracy.
But there’s a small wrinkle…. From the JCNT article: Hawley’s action appears to violate a state law, which says: “The attorney general shall reside at the seat of government and keep his office in the supreme court building.” The Missouri Constitution defines the seat of government as Jefferson City… He said in February he was renting a two-bedroom apartment in Jefferson City’s limits and planned to use it when he is working late — but noted the quarters are large enough that his wife and two children also can stay there. “I will stay there as needed to make it a true personal residence (for legal purposes),” Hawley said, emphasizing that his primary home will remain in Columbia. Of Missouri’s six statewide elected officeholders, only the attorney general is mandated by law to reside inside Jefferson City’s corporate limits. A state law defining voters notes: “Any person who is qualified to vote shall be entitled to register in the jurisdiction within which he or she resides.”
One Republican dead-pans to me: Thanks to the AG, we now finally have a documented case of voter fraud…
What It Means: It’s an unforced error on Hawley’s part. It serves as a reminder that although he’s talented, has huge money ties, and is an elected statewide office-holder, he’s still new to the game of politics. To beat “vulnerable” McCaskill, he’ll need to bring his A-game.
The complaint also alleges that Hawley violated federal laws that require any money spent to “test the waters” of a federal candidacy to comply with federal campaign finance restrictions on corporate money, union money and the individual contribution limits.
…[Hawley has been] shelling out almost $170,000 in campaign funds for media production, direct mail and other promotional services in the past few months, even though he isn’t formally running for anything.
None of the campaign-funded material specifically mentions the Senate, but it promotes Hawley. If that’s meant to lay groundwork for a 2018 Senate run, it could raise questions about whether it skirts federal campaign rules, since the money wasn’t raised under federal fundraising limits.
MDP Chair: ‘Hawley needs to let Missourians know where he stands on this disastrous bill, which would make Missouri’s opioid epidemic worse — especially if he and some millionaire megadonors, who would get a big tax giveaway from this bill, already think it’s time for him to hold a higher office’
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As an independent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is detailing how the Republican healthcare overhaul in the U.S. Senate would make the opioid epidemic worse, the Missouri Democratic Party is highlighting that, after campaigning against the Affordable Care Act and thrusting himself into the opioid epidemic spotlight with legal action, Attorney General Josh Hawley has been silent on the healthcare overhaul from Republicans in DC.
In particular, the Republican healthcare overhaul in the U.S. Senate slashes Medicaid by over $770 billion, which has been a crucial tool for providing treatment for individuals suffering from opioid addiction. According to the Associated Press: “Medicaid cuts resulting from the GOP legislation would hit hard in states deeply affected by the addiction crisis and struggling to turn the corner, according to state data and concerned lawmakers in both parties.”
Additionally, the Republican healthcare overhaul in the U.S. Senate “would give states more power to run their health care systems” in a way that “allows states to waive key provisions of the law.” That includes gutting the same Essential Health Benefits that have been critical for providing health coverage to individuals seeking opioid addiction treatment.
According to one of the latest polls, only 17% of Americans approve of the GOP’s healthcare overhaul.
“By gutting Medicaid and eliminating the requirement that insurance companies cover substance misuse treatment, the Republican healthcare overhaul would be a drastic setback for efforts to end the opioid epidemic,” stated Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber. “Josh Hawley needs to let Missourians know where he stands on this disastrous bill, which would make Missouri’s opioid epidemic worse — especially if he and some millionaire megadonors, who would get a big tax giveaway from this bill, already think it’s time for him to hold a higher office.”
As Missouri’s top statewide Republican officeholders – Governor Eric Greitens, Lt. Governor Mike Parson, and Attorney General Josh Hawley – remain silent on the GOP’s healthcare overhaul, national reports are highlighting how the legislation would force statewide officials to make critical decisions about the future of healthcare for their residents.
Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber added, “Working Missourians are worried about their wallets and supporting their families – the least they deserve is to know whether or not their top statewide officeholders in Jefferson City are planning to use this new authority to gut their healthcare or not.”
Here’s what national reports are saying about how the Senate healthcare bill puts pressure on statewide officeholders:
- NBC News: “It would also cap the amount of funding states can get on a per-recipient basis rather than continue the current system…To make up the difference, states would either have to raise taxes, cut programs elsewhere or reduce benefits and coverage for recipients.”
- CBS News: “States will be allowed to set their own standards for what insurers must offer on various policies.”
- New York Times: The bill offers “states the ability to drop many of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, like maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment.”
- NPR: “The draft bill would let states ask permission to reduce required coverage, also called ‘essential health benefits.’”
- Associated Press: The “Senate measure would also limit the federal funds states get each year for Medicaid.”
- McClatchy: “The Senate bill would give states more power to run their health care systems outside of ACA regulations…which allows states to waive key provisions of the law.”
- Washington Post: “States would be allowed to waive ‘essential health benefits’ — 10 categories of benefits such as hospitalization and prescription drugs that the Affordable Care Act required to ensure quality coverage.”
- CNBC: “It would loosen rules in a way that could lead to states allowing insurers to offer less-generous health plans.”
- CNN: “Insurers could provide skimpier coverage in states that get waivers for essential health benefits.”
Both Greitens and Hawley are Running Hand-in-Hand Away from Their Promises to Clean Up Jefferson City
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – As Governor Eric Greitens continues to face criticism for the non-stop ethical questions swirling over the Governor’s mansion, Attorney General Josh Hawley is rebuffing bipartisan criticism —and is instead rushing to defend Eric Greitens, telling the Kansas City Star that Missouri’s Governor is “leading by example” on ethics.
Hawley’s glowing remarks of how Greitens has handled ethics come as the Governor, who ran on cleaning up Jefferson City, is facing a bipartisan group of lawmakers who are calling for an investigation into how his campaign obtained a donor list that’s already been the subject of an ethics violation from the Missouri Ethics Commission. Greitens has also been criticized for failing on his promise to deliver ethics reform, opening up a dark money group that’s been the focus of seemingly endless controversy, and refusing to disclose details of donations for his inauguration, among other unethical behavior.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise since Josh Hawley has been ignoring allegations of pay-to-play and corruption in Jefferson City – despite his campaign promises to open up a “Public Corruption Unit” that would end corruption. Like other members of the Republican establishment in Jefferson City, Josh Hawley has also received millions of dollars in campaign donations from GOP megadonor David Humphreys.
“Eric Greitens and Josh Hawley are proving that they’re just run-of-the-mill politicians only looking out for themselves as they continue running hand-in-hand away from their campaign promises to clean up Jefferson City,” stated Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber. “Greitens has been a complete and total let down for Missourians with his non-stop unethical behavior and growing allegations of corruption – and it should worry all of us that Josh Hawley thinks that’s more deserving of praise than of investigation.”
In case you missed it, Attorney General Josh Hawley is once again breaking from his campaign promises to clean up corruption in Jefferson City – as a bipartisan group of senators, including four Republicans and two Democrats, have called for a special investigatory committee into Governor Eric Greitens and allegations of violating campaign ethics laws.
The Kansas City Star reported that “experts in laws governing tax-exempt organizations” made clear that serious questions remain about how Eric Greitens received a donor list – which was already the subject of an ethics violation – from the non-profit charity he used to run. However, the Kansas City Star continues to add that Hawley ducked from the issue and declined to comment, despite his campaign promise to end corruption and the fact that the “state attorney general’s office enforces Missouri laws regarding charities.”
“For all his secrecy, if there’s one thing Governor Eric Greitens has actually opened up, it’s opportunities for Josh Hawley to follow through on his campaign promises to clean up corruption,” stated Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber. “But instead of living up to what he told Missourians he’d do – Josh Hawley is proving that he’s just another typical, self-serving politician.”
In case you missed it, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that Missouri’s Republican Governor Eric Greitens, Lt. Governor Mike Parson, and Attorney General Josh Hawley are silent on the Trumpcare bill that passed in the House with support from all of Missouri’s Republicans, writing that Greitens “has not offered any public comments,” and “Hawley, too, has remained mum on the topic.”
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the silence from Missouri’s GOP leaders is troubling State Senator Jill Schupp and House Representative Lauren Arthur, who issued a joint letter as leading Democrats on health care committees in the state legislature to Greitens, Parson, and Hawley. The letter says it’s “increasingly important” that they share their views “because a key provision of the health care overhaul would allow state leaders in Jefferson City to cancel critical protections for people who have previously been sick and have a pre-existing health condition.”
The letter continues that the silence of Missouri’s Republican statewide leaders is in contrast to their campaigns last year that “vigorously” opposed the Affordable Care Act, along with other Republican Governors from around the country like Ohio Governor John Kasich and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson who are opposed to the GOP’s health care overhaul.
In response, Missouri’s statewide Republicans stayed silent: Greitens’ “spokesman did not immediately respond…Neither Hawley’s office nor the lieutenant governor’s office immediately responded to a request for comment.”
Read the letter here, and the full story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch below:
Missouri lawmakers want to hear from Greitens on Obamacare repeal
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Kurt Erickson
May 31, 2017
Two Democratic state lawmakers are calling on the governor and other top Missouri leaders to weigh in on Congress’ latest attempt to repeal Obamacare.
Sen. Jill Schupp, a Creve Coeur Democrat, and Rep. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City, issued a joint letter Wednesday calling on Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Josh Hawley and Lt. Gov. Mike Parson to share their thoughts on a plan approved by the U.S. House that would give states more power when it comes to health care spending.
The two lawmakers said the trio of GOP statewide officeholders campaigned “vigorously” against Obamacare during the 2016 election season and should outline where they stand on the latest attempt to repeal it.
In particular, they said provisions that would allow states to no longer pay for insurance for people with pre-existing health conditions.
“While current law bars insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more to people who have a pre-existing health condition, the plan crafted by Republicans in Congress would allow Missouri’s state leaders to `opt-out’ of those provisions,” they wrote.
In March, Greitens expressed concern about a House-led repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but later urged congressional leaders to move forward on its passage. That plan, however, failed to advance.
He has not offered any public comments on the latest version and a spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for information from the Post-Dispatch Wednesday.
Hawley, too, has remained mum on the topic. He ran on a platform largely based on his role in a lawsuit against the ACA that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
As a private attorney, he worked with more than a dozen lawyers on a case in which Hobby Lobby and other businesses challenged a federal requirement to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives for employees.
Neither Hawley’s office nor the lieutenant governor’s office immediately responded to a request for comment.
Schupp and Arthur, who sit on key health care committees in the Legislature, said other Republican governors, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, have expressed opposition to the House version of the legislation.
“Sharing your views is increasingly important, because a key provision of the health care overhaul would allow state leaders in Jefferson City to cancel critical protections for people who have previously been sick and have a pre-existing health condition,” the letter notes.
The U.S. Senate is expected to take up the legislation when it returns to Washington D.C. next week. It remains unclear whether they will attempt to change the House version of the plan or completely restart negotiations after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the House version would knock 23 million people off the insurance rolls and trigger spikes in premiums for seniors and those with pre-existing conditions.
“We are deeply concerned that Republicans in Congress are pursuing a health care bill that independent experts say will significantly hike costs for older Missourians, and result in thousands of Missourians losing their health insurance. But even more pressing is whether you will support canceling critical protections for Missourians who have been sick in the past and have pre-existing health conditions,” Schupp and Arthur added.
In case you missed it, the Kansas City Star is reporting yet another link between Senator Ron Richard and Republican megadonor David Humphreys, who have both been the subject of an alleged pay-to-play scandal, “The relationship between the Missouri Senate’s leader and an emissary for one of the state’s most prolific political donors is raising eyebrows in the statehouse.”
The Kansas City Star continues:
“Now, new details about Richard’s association with Paul Mouton, widely considered to be Humphreys’ eyes and ears in the Capitol, are rekindling the long-simmering accusations. Mouton is not a registered lobbyist, but he was routinely seen walking the Capitol corridors early in the 2017 legislative session. At the same time, Richard’s office was regularly providing a parking space for Mouton in the Senate’s private garage…His campaign committee has paid Mouton $24,000 since 2014 for consulting and research, including $1,000 in January, February and March this year. No other candidate has reported any payments to Mouton is the last three years.”
In April, the Missouri Democratic Party called on Attorney General Josh Hawley to investigate the growing pay-to-play questions, following criticism of the alleged scandal from a government watchdog group, Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Missouri, and the Kansas City Star Editorial Board. However, Hawley reversed from his campaign’s tough posturing on corruption when he declined to take action, telling KCUR the misleading excuse, “My office does not have criminal jurisdiction over pay-to-play allegations.”
Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber added, “Every day that allegations of corruption grow in Jefferson City, it becomes even clearer that Josh Hawley is just another establishment politician willing to break his campaign promises in order to give a free pass to his campaign’s big donors and his own political party.”
In case you missed it, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board this week pointed out the hypocrisy of Missouri’s Republican officeholders who spoke out loudly about the handling of classified intelligence last year, but are burying their heads in the sand now that President Trump has revealed highly secret intelligence to Russian foreign officials. Trump has also reportedly tried to interfere with an FBI investigation.
The Editorial Board asks: “Where are those voices of condemnation now?”
To shine a light on this issue, the Missouri Democratic Party released a list of previous quotes from Missouri’s Republican officeholders about the handling of classified information, including Attorney General Josh Hawley. As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Hawley has been remarkably silent especially given his own statements last year that focused on standing up to dysfunction in DC and specifically said this kind of “outrageous conduct” is why he needed to be Attorney General to “win for the rule of law.”
Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber added, “If Josh Hawley continues to hide while the President reveals classified intelligence to the Russians and reportedly interferes with an FBI investigation, then he’s making clear once again that he’s willing to break his campaign promises and ignore his role as Missouri’s top cop when it’s his own political party.”