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Missouri Democrats file ethics complaints against Republican Eric Greitens

Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens won Missouri’s GOP gubernatorial nomination on Tuesday, but the state Democratic Party’s chairman has filed several ethics complaints against him.
Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens won Missouri’s GOP gubernatorial nomination on Tuesday, but the state Democratic Party’s chairman has filed several ethics complaints against him.

The chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party filed three ethics complaints Thursday against Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Greitens and a pair of organizations that supported him during the GOP primary.

The complaints, filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission by party Chairman Roy Temple, say Greitens illegally coordinated with a pair of groups called LG PAC and SEALs for Truth and worked to conceal the identity of their donors.

Greitens won a four-way primary Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for governor. He now faces Democrat Chris Koster in a race to replace Gov. Jay Nixon, who can’t run again because of term limits.

Austin Chambers, Greitens’ campaign manager, released a statement calling the ethics complaints “ridiculous politically motivated filings that are designed to distract away from Chris Koster’s 20 year record of epic failure and serial corruption.”

LG PAC is based in Kansas and registered with the Federal Election Commission, not the Missouri Ethics Commission. Its treasurer and custodian of records is Richard Monsees, with an address on 83rd Street in Prairie Village. Monsees was seen by KMBC attending a Greitens campaign event in Kansas City shortly before the group started running TV ads across the state attacking Greitens’ rivals for the GOP nomination.

Both Greitens and Monsees denied any coordination between the campaign and the PAC.

Temple’s complaint says if the TV ads were coordinated, then Greitens was required to disclose them as an in-kind donation, something his campaign did not do. A second complaint says the campaign and PAC attempted to conceal where its money came from. The group reported on July 15 that it had raised $2.3 million, all from one nonprofit organization — Freedom Frontier.

Because it’s a nonprofit, Freedom Frontier is not required to disclose where that money came from.

The third complaint focuses on SEALs for Truth, another federal super PAC formed in June. It gave Greitens’ campaign a $1.9 million contribution, the largest single donation to a candidate in Missouri history. It won’t have to disclose where its funding came from until October.

Temple’s complaint says Greitens and SEALs for Truth worked to conceal its donors in violation of Missouri law. A similar complaint was filed by a former Republican legislator shortly before the primary, but the Missouri Ethics Commission said it couldn’t launch an investigation because state law prohibits it from accepting any complaints within 15 days of an election.

Chambers said the complaints were “full of lies — exactly what we would expect from desperate Democrats.”

Jason Hancock: 573-634-3565, @J_Hancock

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