Posts Tagged ‘Missourinet Radio News’

50 Shades of Greitens?!

I live in Missouri and have since 1993. Our family survived the giant flooding of the St. Louis area back then as we chose a suburb on high ground that wasn’t affected too much by that natural disaster.  I bring that up as an introduction to a political disaster that has hit Missouri this week, brought about by one person’s hugely bad choice.

 

I woke up on Wednesday morning, as I typically do, and proceeded to make the morning coffee, turning on the kitchen radio and listening to the news.  First up was ABC Radio News, at the top of the hour, 7:00 am.  What then followed almost caused me to do a spit-take of my first sip of coffee, at 7:05, with the Missourinet news report.  It was reported that the state’s governor,Eric Greitens, who had campaigned as a conservative republican, a family man, a US navy seal, had had an affair right before he ran for the governorship and that blackmail was involved. Missourinet went on to report that St. Louis’s  CBS tv affliate station KMOV was reporting this, that the station had done a special investigative report all about this breaking news.  I quickly went over to the computer and searched for KMOV and found their report, with lurid details about the governor’s tawdry affair with his  hair stylist, and how he supposedly had blackmailed her into never revealing this affair.  KMOV   had interviewed the hair stylist’s former husband who had provided details about his then-wife’s blackmail threat.    I was shocked by this news and quickly texted my husband about it all as he had already gone into work that morning and had missed this news story.  I then texted our kids about it and one of them came up with the quip that I used for my blog’s title; the hair stylist’s husband’s commentary for KMOV mentioned some strange methods one would use in an affair, which made all of us think of that 50 Shades movie and book.

Since all of that news came out, the governor’s office has issued several statements. First, Mrs. Greitens and the governor acknowledged that their marriage went through a rough patch prior to the campaign, that they have healed their marriage and Mrs. Greitens has  forgiven her husband.  Mrs. Greitens also issued a statement, really a warning of sorts, for the gossip mongers to leave her and their two young sons alone.  The governor’s latest statement is that while he did have the affair, the story about blackmailing the other woman is untrue.

One of my favorite radio podcasts, The Three Martini Lunch, discussed this story.  I had to agree with podcast hosts Jim Geraghty and Greg Corombos that the audio of the blackmailed woman, given to KMOV by the woman’s now ex-husband certainly sounds authentic-her choking voice trying to confess to her husband about the affair is heart-breaking as she mentions the blackmailing.

At all of this news that hit Missourians this week, I have some advice.  If you are ever, ever thinking about running for a public office, please don’t do so if you have made lousy choices in life.  Breaking your marriage vows being an example of a lousy choice.  If you haven’t made such a lousy choice and want to run for public office, consider some safeguards in your public life: don’t go to a hair stylist if your’re a guy, just go to the nearby neighborhood barber shop.  Also, adopting Vice President Pence’s policy of not eating dinner alone with a female isn’t a bad policy, or if you have to, make sure the wife is with you!  Voters don’t want to find out after they’ve voted for you that you are an idiot!!

From listening to another podcast during Christmas break, Need to Know, hosted by Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger, I discovered a possible solution for Governor Greitens.  In 1961, in Great Britain, the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, had an affair with a 19 year old model.  In March 0f 1963, this information was leaked to the British press and Profumo, at first, denied all of the accusations. (If you have watched Netflix’s original series, The Crown, Season 2 mentions this a bit.)  A few weeks after making his denial speech to the House of Commons, Profumo  confessed and admitted to the affair.  What also made this such a scandal is that the model in the affair, Christy Keeler, was also fooling around with a Soviet naval attache who was stationed in London, and that there may have been a security risk; British government info Profumo may have blabbed about to Keeler getting relayed to the Soviet guy. Profumo resigned  and here’s the rest of the story I learned from the podcast.  Instead of trying to rally  his political career, Profumo accepted that his political life was over, and turned to a quieter pursuit,working as a volunteer for a charity based in the East End of London.( If any of you are fans of Call the Midwife, it is set in the East End of London.) He basically disappeared into that life, atoning for what he had done and worked at that charity for 40 years as a volunteer.

My advice to Governor Greitens, is to finish out your term as governor, if you’re not forced out.  Bow out of a political life and find a charity to support quietly as a volunteer, as Profumo did.  When Profumo passed away at the age of 91, he was surrounded by his wife and children, showing that forgiveness did indeed happen for that family and I do truly hope it can happen for Missouri’s govenor and  his family.   

Here’s to hoping Missourians won’t be hit with a news story such as this in the weeks to come. Hopeful that we can get to Spring safely and dodging of the flu and bad weather will be all that we in the Show-Me state will have to contend with!

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Zeroing in on Wasteful State Spending

Two news reports in the month of June have made me angry at State of Missouri government officials.   One report is about the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Social Services(DESE and SS for the remainder of my post) and the second report is about the new, shiny airplane that  Governor Nixon has benefited from, and that  the State Highway Patrol ordered it and we taxpayers paid for it.Dollar signs

First up under my microscope, the wasteful spending by DESE and SS jointly.  Missouri’s State Auditor, Tom Schweich, released a very critical report detailing how both departments spent $171,000 on 3 programs that ultimately failed and some of  the monies went down the drain.   DESE and SS  awarded money to 3 different enterprises that were going to provide childcare facilities.  $22,500 was awarded to a facility that was to provide in-home childcare but unfortunately, no children ever attended the facility.  Poof!  Where did that money go?   $89,000 went to another facility to create 24 new childcare openings.  At this facility, only 14 new children came and then the owner(s) sold the business.   Was that loan returned to DESE and SS?  $60,000 was spent on a childcare facility that wasn’t built! Poof!  Again, has the money been returned?  DESE and SS gave these monies out through their joint “Start Up and Expansion” program aimed at helping early childhood centers, aka daycare centers.   The recipients of the money awards signed a contract promising that they would  return the monetary award if for whatever reason they didn’t stay in the “Start Up” program.  From one news report about this that I read, only one of the 3 recipients cited in the Auditor’s report has been paying back the award money to DESE and SS;the other two have not, and good luck getting it back, I’d say!  Common sense would dictate that if a business enterprise fails, the enterprise will also not be reliable on repaying back a loan.

Second under my microscope is the $5.6  million new, private jet that the Governor is flying around in and that the State Highway Patrol ordered and authorized it’s purchase.  State Auditor Schweich released his report on this yesterday, June 25th, and his findings are a prime example of money being spent when it really didn’t need to be spent.  As of 2012, the state of Missouri already owned and used 5 private planes.  2 are owned by the State Highway Patrol and the other 3 are owned by the Conservation Department.  One of the State Highway Patrol’s planes has a pressurized cabin, and only one of the Conservation Department’s planes has that feature.  State Highway Patrol spokesman Captain Tim Hull essentially said that the state needed to have this new plane because it had a pressurized cabin, which gives a more comfortable ride, that often the two existing planes with the pressurized cabins were both signed up for and that meant if a third state agency needed a plane for travel it could’t use the nicer planes, and that they did purchase the new plane for a discount!  Auditor Scwheich, in his investigation, looked at the numbers for 2012 as to how many times any of the existing 5 planes were actually used.  58 days, the pressurized cabin planes were used.  159 days, the pressurized cabin planes weren’t used.  113 days, none of the 5 planes were used.  Auditor Schweich asked was this purchase actually needed at all?  I ask, who works at the state agencies that use the planes? Adults or 16 year olds who only want to travel around in Daddy’s fancy car?  Common sense would dictate that if you have to have a plane to travel in for state business and the 2 comfy planes are already signed out, then pull up your big boy pants and ride in the non-comfy plane!  Not spend $5.6 million on an other comfy plane!!  Another interesting bit of info I read about is that for the first 3 months of 2013, only Governor Nixon traveled in the new plane and if another state agency employee had to also travel with him then that state agency got the bill for the plane’s costs for that day, not the Governor’s office!  Fortunately, the Missouri State Legislature got wind of that bit about financing the plane’s travel costs and had a bill added to the budget that stops the Governor’s office from doing that.

A private jet-not the one that was recently bought by MSHP.

A private jet-not the one that was recently bought by MSHP.

I want to thank State Auditor Schweich for uncovering these wasteful expenditures.  I hope the DESE and SS truly relook at their “Start Up” program and make the lending of the monetary awards more stringent and that they will also have better ways of getting the money back if a recipient drops out of the program;they have said that they are doing this.   I also hope that the State Highway Patrol(an agency I loathe to criticize because of the important work that they do for the citizens of Missouri)will think a lot harder before they spend a large amount of money on a machine that may not really be a need but a desire.

I would also like to recognize and give credit to the following that aided in my research for my blog post today: Mr. Bob Watson, with News-Tribune.com, Missourinet Radio News, and KMOX Radio.