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With political future in peril, Greitens holds off on tax plan tour

Amid a sex scandal that threatens his political future, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has canceled plans to hold an event Tuesday in St. Peters to promote his tax-cut proposal.

 

Greitens was scheduled to appear at Arrowhead Building Supply, which provides building materials to contractors.

The visit was part of a statewide tour that appears to be on hold, as Greitens deals with the aftershocks of his admission last week that he had been involved in an extramarital affair in 2015. That occurred before he launched his 2016 bid for governor.

The governor’s spokesman, Parker Briden, said that the governor still plans to roll out the details this week of his tax plan, and will reschedule a statewide tour to promote it.

Greitens had made his tax-cut proposal a key part of his State of the State address last week. But within hours of that speech, KMOV had broke the story of Greitens' affair.

The St. Louis television station aired portions of an audio recording last week that it had obtained from the ex-husband of the woman apparently involved in the affair. The husband had recorded her comments without her knowledge. In the recording, she said that Greitens had taken an intimate photo of her and threatened to use it if she went public about their relationship.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is investigating whether Greitens had been involved in attempted blackmail. The governor has denied taking any photographs of the woman, or making any threats.

An attorney for the governor stressed that Greitens is not resigning. But some Republican lawmakers, including ones that aren't politically hostile to Greitens, believe he should step down if the blackmail allegations turn out to be true.

Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies

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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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