Eric Greitens, Republican candidate for governor, refuses to answer questions about the source of millions of dollars he has received to finance his campaign.
So far he has refused to disclose who exactly gave him what is called “dark money.”
Wednesday, Missouri Democratic Chairman Roy Temple asked the Securities & Exchange Commission to investigate whether the source of the “dark money” donation to Greitens violated Pay for Play laws. Temple said, in Missouri, you can take as much money as you want from whomever you want, “yet someone went to great lengths to make this donation to Eric Greitens secret.”
Temple added, “The SEC’s Pay to Play rule prohibits going indirectly through other entities what you can’t do directly. So today (Wednesday), we’re asking the SEC to investigate whether this ‘dark money’ contribution to Eric Greitens came from a source prohibited under Pay to Play rules.”
Greitens has taken $1.975 million from a group called Seals for Truth, which has kept its donors secret. The $1.975 million is the largest political contribution in Missouri history, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Financial records analyzed by The Associated Press show Greitens has received nearly $2 million from donors who previously gave significant amounts of money to The Mission Continues, a group formed by Greitens, supposedly to help veterans. Greitens took a salary of about $700,000 from The Mission Continues and used that group to begin his campaign for governor. The Associated Press reported that of the more than $525,000 he raised during the initial two-month period in 2015, about 85 percent of it came from donors who previously gave to The Mission Continues.
The Post-Dispatch investigation said the money from Seals for Truth passed through a complex process designed to hide its origin. The newspaper quoted a political science professor from St. Louis Community College at Meramec, John Messmer, as saying the process when done by drug dealers, “it’s called money laundering.” Apparently, there’s a loophole in the federal election law that may allow for this. It will be interesting to see if the SEC will investigate.
Greitens may think this “dark money” issue is going to go away. It will not. He’s going to have it as long as he is in politics if he continues to remain silent about it.