Missouri: Show Me the Corruption

Yesterday the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which provides protection for same-sex marriages from the corrupt Supreme Court. These twelve Republicans voted with the Dems: Roy Blunt (Mo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Susan Collins (Maine), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Cynthia M. Lummis (Wyo.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Todd C. Young (Ind.).

Roy Blunt is about to be replaced by Eric Schmitt. I never liked Blunt, but Eric Schmitt is a walking shit show. And the Kansas City Star has turned up something suspicious about him. The KC Star tends to be behind a paywall, so I’m linking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here:

While Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt in the past year traveled around the state and even out of state whipping up controversy to aid his U.S. Senate run, who was footing his travel bills? Schmitt isn’t saying. An investigation by The Kansas City Star has turned up more questions than answers.

The newspaper reports that Schmitt’s state office claims to have no travel expense records for Schmitt since 2020, even though he clearly was traveling during that time. If the taxpayers funded it, they have a right to the details. If his Senate campaign or its supporters funded it, that would seem to be evidence that Schmitt was in fact using his state office to campaign for the Senate. As if further proof was needed.

It has long been obvious that Schmitt abused his official powers to file ideologically loaded lawsuits designed to fire up the Republican base — against Missouri schools, against the federal government, against China. As part of those efforts, he preened for the cameras in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Mexican border and elsewhere.

Unless Schmitt is now acknowledging that it was all a political roadshow, rather than legitimate work for the Missouri taxpayers, how does he justify refusing to divulge who paid for the plane tickets and hotel rooms?

“Missourians have not paid for Attorney General Schmitt’s official travel,” Chris Nuelle, spokesman for Schmitt’s state office, told the newspaper. That’s an odd statement in itself. It also contradicts Nuelle’s own statement last year that Schmitt’s October 2021 trip to Texas’ southern border to showboat about immigration reform was in fact tax-funded. So which is it?

And if Schmitt’s official travel wasn’t tax-funded, why not? Schmitt claims these trips were necessary in his official capacity as Missouri’s attorney general. If that’s true, the taxpayers should be paying for them.

So who did pay? Nuelle demurred (“I’m only able to speak to what was paid for by the official office”) and there were no indications that Schmitt’s Senate campaign paid for it.

It would have been nice if this had been turned up before the midterms. It may not have made a difference, of course. I remember that when Claire McCaskill was running for re-election in 2018, it was revealed she was doing some of the campaign travel on an “RV tour” on her own private plane. This was blown up into a huge scandal that may have put the odious Josh Hawley in the Senate. But a Republican doing the same thing wouldn’t have caused so much as a raised eyebrow.

See also Democrat alleges Missouri investigating hospital in retaliation for ad critical of Eric Schmitt and Missouri’s aging Sunshine Law is too easy for politicians to ignore. Strengthen it. From the latter: “As attorney general, both Josh Hawley and Eric Schmitt made pursuit of public records almost impossible. But government documents belong to the taxpayers, not politicians.” Yeah, Hawley was state AG before Schmitt. They both used the office to get themselves noticed and to campaign for the Senate.

11 thoughts on “Missouri: Show Me the Corruption

  1. The old state's rights notion crossed several bridges to far it seems.  Intrastate conflicts are causing numerous problems as states grab for control without wisdom as far as the unintended consequences of their actions.   It is good to see some sensibility from some republicans on this matter.  No sensibility shown from my state again.  Pity. 

  2. "Follow the Money."  I'll be the first to admit it's not always and only about the money but if somebody other than the taxpayer is picking up the tab for a public official, that always deserves some examination.

    One of the most significant changes in Florida by Governor DeSantos is undermining the old standard of transparency. "Sunshine" laws now cast a lot of shade on what's happening. Litigation has brought some things out so they're in overdrive trying to block the media.

    On that topic, Trump's tax returns were delivered to the House this afternoon. The first major candidate to run for POTUS finally had to cough up the documents. The last crook to try to hide his taxes in the WH was Nixon.

    On very few things, I trust Trump completely. There's a reason he fought all the way to the USSC to hide his finances. Tax returns will be one strike. The case against Trump (business only) will be strike two. The third strike next year will be the civil case which starts in October. It won't make a difference to the cult but to everyone else, Trump's bubble as a business genius is gonna burst. 

  3. Herr Eric Schmitt has 3 too many consonants in his last name: a "c," an "m," and 1 too many "t's,"

    You should have stayed in NY, maha.  I spent almost 10 years in NC, and while it's a beautiful state with many wonderful people, it's still battling the Civil War.  I couldn't wait to move back to NY.

    What Missouri has "shown you" recently, maha, is the dark underbelly of Midwestern KKKonservatism.

  4. "People in California tend to view the rest of the country as the Outback" – Hunter S Thompson, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

  5. The 11th Circuit did it – they pulled the plug on Judge Loose Cannon! The decision was basically that she was totally out of her lane when she tried to rewrite the law for The Former Guy.  How much am I distorting their decision?

     “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so.”

    The 11th Circuit said that either approach would be a “radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations” and that “both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations.”

    To continue from the CNN article quoting the three-judge panel (all appointed by Republicans)…

    "To create that “special exception,” the 11th Circuit wrote “would defy our Nation’s foundational principle that our law applies ‘to all, without regard to numbers, wealth, or rank."

    Trump can appeal to the USSC. He will. It will create a two-week delay (my guess) because the USSC won't hear the case. It will dawn on some that there's a lot of conservative judicial firepower that won't support Trump's lawbreaking. 

  6.   <i>. If his Senate campaign or its supporters funded it, that would seem to be evidence that Schmitt was in fact using his state office to campaign for the Senate.</i>


    This seems wrong.  Is it missing a negative?

    • Not missing anything I can see. For two years he was doing all kinds of traveling that was advertised as state business. *If* his campaign was funding the traveling, it suggests it really wasn't state business and the guy wanted to avoid the kind of campaign finance violations that tripped up other Missouri Republicans. I want to know if dark money funds were involved. 


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