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Politically Speaking: Taking stock of a startling week in Missouri politics

Governor Eric Greitens greets guests at the Governor's Mansion after being sworn in.
File Photo |Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Gov. Eric Greitens greets guests at his residence in Jefferson City after being sworn in on Jan. 9, 2017.

On a special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies talk about Gov. Eric Greitens’ admission of an extramarital affair — and allegations that he blackmailed a woman to prevent her from speaking out.

The startling report from KMOV-TV came out Tuesday after Greitens gave his second State of the State address. The governor admitted to infidelity before he was elected governor. But his attorney is forcefully denying that he took a compromising photo of the woman as a way to make her not reveal the affair.

The KMOV report featured the woman’s ex-husband, who the station granted anonymity. The woman declined to comment for the story and has yet to speak on the record. Some journalists questioned whether KMOV should have run the piece without having the woman, as opposed to the ex-husband, tell the story.  The attorney for the woman asked for privacy on Friday afternoon.

In any case, the story seriously damaged Greitens’ national political prospects. And it’s an open question whether he can stay in office — especially because elected officials he previously derided aren’t rushing to defense.

In addition to analysis from Rosenbaum and Mannies, the podcast features comments from:

  • State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis
  • GOP political consultant David Barklage
  • Former Missouri Republican Party chairman John Hancock
  • State Rep. Jean Evans, R-Manchester
  • State Rep. Gina Mitten, D-Richmond Heights

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Music: “Beware” by Deftones

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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