By TIM ROWDEN
Jefferson City – Two years ago, Josh Hawley, a major benefactor of RTW-backer David Humphreys’ campaign funds, pledged to “create a corruption unit to tackle misuse of public office” in Jefferson City as part of “a series of ethics-related policies” he proposed during his run for Attorney General.
But since taking office, Hawley, the Republican frontrunner to challenge Democrat Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate, has not only failed to deliver on his promise to clean up corruption in the Capitol, he has contributed to it, using his office to protect his donors and allies.
Hawley ignored calls to investigate allegations of blackmail against Governor Greitens, relying on the Missouri Legislature to look into it instead and allowing another prosecutor to take the lead in investigating whether the Governor’s conduct was criminal in nature.
Hawley last week called on Greitens to resign, but only after a special House committee released a damning report against Greitens that contained graphic allegations of blackmail and sexual misconduct by the governor.
CHANGE OF COURSE
Hawley’s about-face on his support of the governor comes as little surprise given the allegations in the report, but it is a remarkable change of course given his history since taking office:
• Much of Hawley’s time in Jefferson City has been spent on mock investigations and outright refusal to investigate misconduct and ethical allegations involving the governor and his backers:
• After Governor Greitens contributed $50,000 to Hawley’s Attorney General campaign, Hawley cleared the governor of any wrongdoing in a sham investigation of Greitens’ use of the text message-deleting app Confide.
Hawley did not attempt to retrieve any of the text messages in question, relied heavily on staff testimony, and did not attempt to interview Greitens or challenge the governor’s assertion of executive privilege.
• Hawley repeatedly passed up opportunities to investigate Governor Greitens for allegedly using the charity he founded, The Mission Continues, for political purposes.
Hawley has jurisdiction over state law regarding charities but waited nearly a year after the Governor admitted wrongdoing to announce his investigation –– and only then after the St. Louis prosecutor’s office announced it was looking into Greitens’ possible use of the charity.
• Hawley ignored bipartisan calls to investigate GOP mega-donor David Humphreys for an alleged pay-to-play scandal involving legislation to weaken the state’s consumer protection law.
Humphreys, provided financial support to Greitens and key lawmakers in the Missouri Legislature to ensure passage of anti-worker “right-to-work” (RTW) legislation, and gave Hawley nearly 75 percent of his individual donations for his Attorney General’s campaign.
An effort to overturn the RTW measure will appear on the ballot this fall. Vote NO on Prop. A to defeat RTW.
HAWLEY’S SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES
Despite his promise to be a champion for ethics reform in Jefferson City, Hawley has remained silent as the state legislature has failed to pass meaningful ethics reform and the public corruption crisis has worsened.
“Since becoming Attorney General, Josh Hawley has objectively failed to deliver for Missourians on his promise to clean up corruption in Jefferson City,” said Missouri Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Brooke Goren. “He has shown that he will always put his own political ambitions – along with his donors and allies – before his obligation to uphold the law and root out corruption.”
Hawley’s out-of-state billionaire donors dump millions
into misleading tax reform ad against Senator McCaskill
With Josh Hawley hosting millionaires and billionaires at a recent $50,000/person fundraiser attended by President Trump, his out-of-state billionaire backers, the Koch Brothers, are ramping up Hawley’s campaign against Senator Claire McCaskill by dumping millions of dollars into a misleading TV campaign about the recent tax cut bill.
Despite the Kochs’ best efforts to use their dark money group, Americans for Prosperity, to support Hawley’s candidacy, they can’t change the facts:
• The tax bill has provided over $50 billion to corporations and big drug companies, who are providing billions to their shareholders while continuing to raise the cost of prescription drugs for Missouri families.
• This bill gives windfall profits to the health insurance industry and makes it easier for them to raise premiums on Missouri families.
• The tax bill will increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion dollars – and Republicans have suggested taking money away from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to fill the hole they’ve created.
• This bill will result in thousands of people in Missouri losing their healthcare coverage.
FIGHTING FOR MISSOURIANS
Despite what the misleading ads say, the truth is that Senator McCaskill has worked hard for Missourians:
• Sen. McCaskill reached across the aisle for a bipartisan compromise on tax reform that would help small businesses create jobs and provide real tax relief for the middle class. She met with President Trump, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and offered amendments during the markup process on the bill. But despite big talk from across the aisle, Claire’s attempts at bipartisanship were completely rebuffed.
• McCaskill has a long record of working with Republican colleagues on tax reform and job creation. She partnered with Republican Senator Susan Collins to write the bipartisan Jobs Creation Act to expand tax cuts for small businesses and hard-working Americans.
• She supported the Small Business Jobs Act to help bolster job-creation through tax cuts and helped to pass the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which provided tax credits to employers hiring veterans.
“This tax bill was a windfall for corporations and big drug companies. These companies have given billions of dollars to their shareholders while hiking the costs of prescription drugs for Missouri families. It’s disgraceful,” McCaskill for Missouri Communications Director Meira Bernstein said.
“No amount of dark money from Josh Hawley’s out-of-state billionaire donors – who personally stand to gain at least $1 billion each year from this bill – will stop Claire from speaking out about it.”