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MO Governor's Fundraiser Controversy Underlines Need for Transparency

An investigation led to the resignation of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, but watchdog groups want it to continue. (Michigan Works! Association/Flickr)
An investigation led to the resignation of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, but watchdog groups want it to continue. (Michigan Works! Association/Flickr)
July 9, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Although Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigned last month amid a campaign fundraising controversy, the fallout continues and has gained national attention.

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is calling for further investigation into the possible connections among Greitens' staff, his nonprofit organization and a major donor.

Noah Bookbinder, CREW’s executive director, stresses voters should continue to follow the investigation.

"It's important for people to know who is paying to try to influence their votes in elections,” he states. “So here you had $6 million going to try to influence people to vote for Gov. Greitens and it was set up illegally in a way that was meant to prevent people from finding out whose money it was."

Recent published reports in The Kansas City Star detail emails in which the former governor's top campaign fundraiser set up meetings between a government official and a campaign donor.

A House committee began investigating Greitens, leading to his resignation last month.

Bookbinder says understanding what happened could prevent future instances of fraud in campaign fundraising.

"It's not too late for investigators to dig in and find out who was influencing votes,” he states. “And the people of Missouri still have a right to know who was meddling in their election, if only so they can be wary of those people trying to influence elections in the future."

Because the governor resigned, the House abandoned efforts to enforce its subpoena and shut down its investigation.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - MO