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Gov. Greitens’ nonprofit zeroes in on GOP state senator in online ad

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks during his first State of the State address in Jefferson City.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio
Gov. Eric Greitens' nonprofit is taking aim at a GOP state senator from St. Joseph.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. with Kansas City Star receiving comment from Chambers — Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf has his hands in a lot of important legislation this session, yet he’s still made time to criticize Republican Gov. Eric Greitens over his new nonprofit.

A New Missouri Inc., which isn’t beholden to campaign finance laws and doesn’t have to disclose its donors, is fighting back, publishing a digital ad this week that says the St. Joseph Republican is “siding with liberals” and “playing personal political games.”

The ad also gives Schaaf’scellphone number and encourages people to call him.

Schaaf long had been one of the main barriers keeping Missouri from passing a prescription drug monitoring program measure, which would help the state’s opioid crisis, though he has changed course in recent weeks.

But he and other Republicans and Democrats also have decried Greitens’ use of “dark money.” Schaaf even filed Senate Bill 73, which would establish the “Dark Money Disclosure Act” and compel disclosure of expenditures or “covered transfers” that exceed $2,000 in an election cycle.

Grietens has two 501(c)(4) nonprofits: A Committee for A New Missouri raised money for his inauguration, and A New Missouri Inc., was set up this year to, as Greitens put it recently, “advocate for our agenda.”

The Kansas City Star was the first to report on the ad against Schaaf. The Republican told St. Louis Public Radio that the ad itself was paid for with dark money.

“I’m just going to continue to try to get the people of Missouri to understand what’s going on and to try to stop this corruption … I’d kind of like to know who the contributors were who paid for the attack ads,” he said. 
Greitens’ chief advisor, Austin Chambers, who is not on the state’s payroll, also tweeted a few times about Schaaf on Friday. Chambers didn’t immediately return St. Louis Public Radio’s requests for comment, but told the Kansas City Star that Schaaf was being targeted due to "important pieces of reform" that are "being held up because Sen. Schaaf is playing personal political games.”


Greitens, who was in the St. Louis area Friday, said he couldn't comment on the ad because he hasn't seen it.

As for his phone, Schaaf said he hasn't decided whether he'll change his number.

"As soon as I clear any of it out, there's immediately a whole bunch more calls clogging up my voicemail, so ... I've talked to a few of those people and when they find out about it, they're kind of enlightened," he said.

Marshall Griffin and Wayne Pratt contributed to this report.

Follow Erica on Twitter: @ehunzinger