Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Greitens campaign shell game, first noted in 2016 Turner Report, to play key role in impeachment hearing

If Gov. Eric Greitens is impeached, it may be due to a transgression that was revealed exclusively in the October 15, 2016 Turner Report and later reported on by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In the accompanying  video from KC Action News 41, it is noted that the House Investigations Committee uncovered evidence that Greitens used shell companies to hide the identities of donors to his campaign.

Though the report does not go into details, the Turner Report noted in the 2016 post that the so-called Seals for Truth organization, which contributed nearly two million dollars to the Greitens campaign, at the time the largest contribution in Missouri history, did not exist.

The group had already been the subject of a Missouri Ethics Commission complaint by Carl Bearden, but the Ethics Commission ruled the contribution was legal because the documentation provided by the Federal Election Commission when the group made its quarterly report would show who was giving Greitens the money.

When that report was filed, however, it showed that all of the money came from one source, which was connected to a firm that had been the subject of FEC complaints.

From the October 15, 2016 Turner Report:

At the time, it was the largest contribution in Missouri history.

A political action committee named SEALS for Truth contributed $1.975 million to Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens July 18, just in time to help Greitens continue the multi-million dollar advertising campaign that launched the former Navy SEAL to the GOP nomination.

The PAC's October financial disclosure report, filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicates that when it comes to SEALS for Truth, there are likely no SEALS and no truth.

The report shows the PAC only received one contribution, $2 million from something called the American Policy Coalition, on July 18, with most of that passed on immediately to the Greitens campaign.

The American Policy Coalition would appear to be a 527 committee, which is not allowed to contribute money directly to candidates, but which can participate in a laundering process by giving the money to another group, in this case, SEALS for Truth.

The American Policy Coalition website is only one page and has only three words- American Policy Coalition- on it, in bright red, accompanied by an American flag.

The FEC report only shows a Washington, D. C. post office box for the American Policy Coalition's website- P. O. Box 26445.

Coincidentally, the only address shown for SEALS for Truth is also a Washington, D. C. post office box- P. O. Box 29525.

In addition to the $1.975 million it contributed to the Greitens campaign, SEALS for Truth also paid $6,305.50 to the Clark Hill law firm for legal services and $5,000 to the Jackson-Alvarez Group for "research/consulting services."

Jackson-Alvarez has been involved with campaigns in Maryland and New York in which FEC complaints were filed, charging candidates with coordinating with PACs in violation of federal law.

Incumbent Rep. John Delaney, D-Maryland, filed an FEC complaint September 21 alleging that the husband of his Republican opponent Amie Hoeber was funding her campaign through the Maryland USA PAC, which was not spending money on any other candidate. Hoeber's husband, who was also working on her campaign, contributed $2.1 million to the PAC, which only received $1,000 from any other source.

Jackson-Alvarez also provided its services to the New York Jobs Council PAC, the recipient of an FEC complaint, which noted that not only was the firm advising the PAC, but also advising the Congressional candidate, Andrew Heaney, with money from companies owned by Heaney being funneled through the PAC.

The SEALS for Truth contribution also brought on a complaint, this one filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission by former Rep. Carl Bearden, who claimed Greitens did not follow the procedures for accepting contributions from out-of-state committees and was playing fast and loose with state laws.

The Ethics Commission ruling, issued August 31, said the Greitens campaign did not violate state law because contributors to SEALS for Truth would be named when the PAC filed its FEC disclosure report.

It appears that Bearden was correct in his assessment of how the Greitens campaign was dealing with state laws, though not necessarily in his belief that state law had been violated.

The SEALS for Truth FEC filing only indicates that the Greitens campaign violated the spirit of Missouri election laws by keeping Missourians from being able to trace the source of nearly $2 million by laundering it through two committees that appear to have been created solely for that purpose.


Anonymous said...

Pretty savvy for a newby politician. Who do you suppose coached him? As always, follow the money ...

Anonymous said...

He acts like he is one of those kochroaches!