Government & Politics

Origin of $1.9 million donation to Eric Greitens remains a mystery

Republican Eric Greitens received a $1.9 million donation from a group called “SEALs for Truth” shortly before the GOP gubernatorial primary.
Republican Eric Greitens received a $1.9 million donation from a group called “SEALs for Truth” shortly before the GOP gubernatorial primary.

A group that gave Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Greitens what was at the time the largest single donation to a candidate in Missouri history was finally required to release a list of its donors over the weekend. Yet the disclosure did nothing to reveal the actual source of the money.

A federal political action committee called “SEALs for Truth” cut Greitens a $1.9 million check prior to the Aug. 2 Republican primary. According to a disclosure form filed with the Federal Elections Commission, all of the group’s money came from a Washington, D.C.,-based nonprofit called the American Policy Coalition Inc.

The American Policy Coalition website contains no information about the group at all, and it appears to have filed no paperwork with either the FEC or the Missouri Ethics Commission. But the group is connected to an Ohio attorney who the Center for Public Integrity labeled the “nexus of one of the nation’s most mysterious networks pouring secret money into elections.”

Where the money actually came from may never be known.

In a statement released by “SEALs for Truth” shortly after making its donation to Greitens, it claimed former Navy SEALs made up “the largest number of donors to our organization.”

Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, also hinted during a meeting in August with the Missouri Farm Bureau that the group’s money came from Navy SEALs, saying “I'm honored to have my fellow SEALs standing behind me.”

Democrats filed an ethics complaint against Greitens and “SEALs for Truth” back in August, saying they worked to conceal the group’s donors in violation of Missouri law. The complaint was dismissed by the Missouri Ethics Commission because the group would eventually disclose its donors to the Federal Elections Commission.

Greitens’ campaign did not respond to a request for comment Monday morning.

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Koster’s campaign issued a statement over the weekend accusing Greitens of running a campaign “with no regard for ethics or integrity,” noting that the Republican nominee has made cleaning up politics in Missouri and ethics reform the centerpiece of his campaign.

While the $1.9 million donation from SEALs for Truth to Greitens was at one time the largest single donation to a candidate in Missouri history, it was surpassed by a $2.5 million check to Greitens from the Republican Governors Association.

Related stories from Kansas City Star

  Comments