Missouri elected Governor Eric Greitens (R) to office this past November. For someone with no political experience, the 43 year old governor has many accomplishments underneath his belt.
Greitens was born and raised in St. Louis in a Jewish household. After high school, Greitens attended Duke University. He then earned a masters degree and PhD at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
After he finished his academic studies in 2000, Greitens enlisted in the Marines. Greitens served four tours as a lieutenant commander of the Navy SEAL. The governor earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart among other accolades.
His military experience inspired him to found a non-profit, The Mission Continues, and write three books. Greitens’ second book, The Heart and the Fist, was on the New York Times Bestseller’s list. Greitens was listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 “Most Influential People in the World” and Fortune Magazine’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”
Governor Eric Greitens built his campaign platform on ethics reform. As a former ethics major, he had experience in the study of ethics. Yet, ethical violations clouded Greitens’ message.
During the campaign cycle, Greitens’ campaign was under suspicion of secretly receiving “the benefit of a list of prospective donors, for which [Greitens] did not pay.” On April 28, 2017, the Missouri Ethics Commission fined him $1000. The Commission “determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of law occurred.”
The Governor’s scandals continued. He accepted funds from a super PAC during the election, and continues to receive support from a new non-profit “A New Missouri.” Both the Governor’s Super PAC and the non-profit are able to protect their financial contributor’s identities. When a governor’s campaign is clouded over with dark money, it ultimately undermines one’s goal of placing limitations on government officials accepting lobbyist donations.
Greitens’ cause is supported by Missouri legislators on both sides of the aisle. In fact it has more support within the Democratic party, of which he was a member until 2015. However, his scandals have kept his ethics bills from ever reaching his desk.