Yesterday I mentioned the governor of my state had been indicted on felony charges for sharing nude photos of his former mistress to get back at her. She claims the photos were taken without her knowledge or consent.
Which sparked some debate in my state… How could he have taken them without her knowledge. I find that easy enough to believe. In This day and age when everyone has a camera, cell phone, and internet at their fingertips it has become much easier to take pictures on the sly.
Even if the flash did go off, by then the picture has still been taken and it is invasion of privacy because she did not consent before it happened. Governor Greitens has not bolstered his populator in the two years since he was elected, because he enacted legislation that Missourians have voted down several times, primarily Right To Work laws.
When the story first broke over a month ago, I knew two things: one Greitens would most likely be found guilty due to his unpopularity and two that a debate would arise as to how he managed to take the pictures without her knowledge.
In a case of ‘Imagine that” the Governor’s supporters have denounced the charges and the media coverage saying the indictment was spurred by fake news. I have trouble believing the prosecutor for the City of St. Louis filed charges based on fake news reports. I’m sure there is more evidence than that in their arsenal. I am so tired of hearing the term “fake news” which seems to be a convenient label to put on any news report that doesn’t agree with someone’s opinion. It makes me a bit nostalgic for the days when The Onion was the biggest fake news outlet and it was obvious that it was fake news.
The point is, it will be hard for either side to get a fair trial in this case because the governor is a public figure who has damaged his own credibility in many ways by forgetting to mention his political standpoint on issues that were key to this state. We have voted on Right to Work legislation the last three or four elections and it has always failed in the State of Missouri and failed miserably. The majority of our state is rural. However, we have tons of skilled laborers from drywallers to concrete finishers to plumbers and Governor Greitens has attacked those in skilled labor multiple times, not just with Right to Work legislation that the state did not get to vote for this time, but by trying to pass legislation that would ban Unions in the state.
Which means the governor’s guilt may or may not be decided by his reputation. Furthermore, if he does go to prison on felony charges, which is looking like a possibility, will the replacement governor repeal some of the legislation that Greiten’s signed into place, which is something the acting Governor, in this case our Lieutenant Governor could do and in the state of Missouri the governor and the lieutenant governor run separately and we have had massive disagreements between the two positions in the past because one has been a Republican and the other a Democrat… For the record, our lieutenant governor was not pro-Right to Work nor was he interested in making Unions illegal in the state of Missouri, so repealing Right to Work laws would bolster the Lieutenant Governor’s position if Governor Greiten’s goes to prison…
Also there is a lot of “he said/she said” in this case. The difference between which side you believe is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. If she knew the picture was being taken, it’s a misdemeanor not a felony. Which is why there is debate about whether you can actually take a picture of someone using your cell phone without their knowledge. Which is why it is so important to figure out whether she knew or not that he was taking a picture of her nude before he did it.
However, part of me can’t help but wonder, if it was the other way around, if the mistress had snapped a picture of the governor nude without his consent if the discussion would be the same. One of the things you learn very quickly as a history major is that history is written by those with the best publicists. Usually the rich and powerful which his mistress is not… She is not famous, she is not a person with serious means like the Governor is, she is just a woman who went through a divorce and ended up having an affair with Governor Greiten’s while he was still just an attorney in the city of St. Louis. That raises another question for me though… Greiten’s was an attorney, that’s where he made his name and money to run for Governor, meaning he should have known what he was doing was illegal and it becomes an ethics violation… So even if he isn’t found guilty, could and would he be disbarred by the Missouri Law Association?
Because while he may not have realized it, his political career ended the day he signed Right to Work legislation because Missourians have always been so incredibly anti-Right to Work. The state is full of billboards that remain in place saying “Right to Work, Wrong for Missourians”.
The best publicist in the world isn’t fixing that, they did manage to sign it very quietly. There are a large number of Missourians that still don’t realize Governor Greiten’s went around the vote and just signed Right to Work into being. I believe it goes into effect in 2019, so they will know by the end of next year. That has been the habit of the Governor’s office since he took his position, no announcements, no fanfare on the news, he just does things and hopes someone can make it sound better when Missourians figure it out.
That is the part that I think will affect this trial. The Attorney General of Missouri has investigated the governor on ethics issues since he took office. Using non-secure messenger systems to communicate with staff, using systems that makes data from messenger and emails non-recoverable or obtainable by the public… He and his inner circle of staff began using an app called Confide to communicate. It does not store any data, you can’t take screenshots of messages, nothing… Greiten’s has claimed that Attorney General Hawley is out to get him, but Sunshine laws stipulate that all communications coming out of the Governor’s office should be accessible by request from the people of the state of Missouri, using an app that doesn’t allow that to be possible does seem like a violation of his oath. The Governor and his staff have quit using Confide in theory, since the investigation began and Greiten’s claimed not to know the finer points of the Sunshine Laws… Which seems unlikely since he was an attorney in the State of Missouri before he was governor.
In a rarity, I actually voted for Greiten’s, I don’t normally vote for incredibly conservative political candidates. I don’t give a shit that he had a mistress, that doesn’t actually surprise me and it has no influence on my opinion of Governor Greiten’s. What does surprise me is the zeal at which he has gone back on everything he said he stood for, I am particularly attached to Right to Work and Unions since my father was a truck driver, concrete finisher, and heavy equipment operator for most of his life. For someone that was supposed to stand for Missourians and their right to earn a living, Right to Work is a betrayal of that tenant. Much like the billboards say “Right to Work, Wrong for Missouri.” The fact that it was voted down on three occasions proves that it is not something Missourians wanted or needed, most of the states that surround us have Right to Work laws and we’ve learned by example that they are problematic for earning a wage in a job that requires some technical skill. However, part of the reason I voted for Greiten’s is because he failed to mention he was pro-Right to Work while his opponent was very vocal about being pro-Right to Work. When he first passed the legislation the only news outlet to have a big story about it was the St. Louis Post dispatch, it wasn’t until the following day that other news outlets began to cover it.
I mention this because up until recently the St. Louis Post Dispatch has been mostly pro-Greitens. Now they are reporting on Greiten’s in the news in a different manor… Oh how the mighty have fallen. See, I’m willing to acknowledge there is a bias in news reporting. It is human, as reporters are nothing more than mere humans who have biases based on beliefs and experiences. It would not be as effective if they were all completely unbiased, the news would read like sterile pieces of writing that failed to capture our attention. We watch the news as much for the hosts as for the news itself. We all have our favorite anchors and newspapers… because we are as biased as the reporters of the news.
As there are more developments I’m sure I will post about this again. A grand jury has indicted the Governor of Missouri on felony charges stemming from him sharing a nude photo of his former mistress… It is something to be followed…