Government & Politics

Cost of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ inauguration still unknown

Eric Greitens sworn in as Missouri's 56th governor

Eric Greitens took the oath of office Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 on the steps of the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City. He is the state's 56th governor.
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Eric Greitens took the oath of office Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 on the steps of the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City. He is the state's 56th governor.

Missouri taxpayers paid $50,000 last month to help fund the inauguration of Gov. Eric Greitens, although the true cost of the festivities is unknown because Greitens is keeping that information secret.

The $50,000 covers things such as the cost of equipment rental and overtime pay for state employees assigned to inaugural activities. The figure was compiled for The Star by the Office of Administration.

In 2005, Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, spent no taxpayer money on his inauguration. Instead, he relied solely on private money raised through a nonprofit. He ended up spending less than $250,000 on the inauguration, and the nonprofit released the names of every donor and a budget of expenses by category.

In 2013, the state spent about $39,000 on the inauguration of Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat. Nixon used his campaign committee to pay for inaugural festivities, spending about $156,000 that year. All donations and spending were disclosed to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Greitens used a nonprofit to raise inaugural funds, but is breaking with tradition by refusing to say how much was raised, how much was spent or how much each donor chipped in.

So far, the only thing he’s been willing to share is a list of “benefactors” he says helped finance the inauguration. Among the companies that donated were Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, Centene, Enterprise, Express Scripts, Kansas City Power & Light, Kansas City Southern, Monsanto, Pfizer, Uber and Wal-Mart, as well as numerous Jefferson City lobbyists.

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