Within days after Mike Hafner began work in January 2015 as a full-time campaign staffer for Republican Eric Greitens, Hafner says he was presented with a copy of the donor list for The Mission Continues, the charity that Greitens helped found.
“We had set a meeting to discuss the donor list, so I could get notes from Eric and build a fundraising plan for his potential candidacy,” Hafner said in an interview Wednesday.
Hafner’s primary job, at that point, was to set up “a master tracking list’’ for Greitens to use to make campaign-related phone calls to the donors who already had given to the charity.
The donor list was crucial in those early months of fundraising, Hafner said. The Associated Press has calculated that at least $2 million was raised from the donor list for Greitens’ successful campaign for Missouri governor.
Hafner suspects the tally could be higher, because some of the donors broached early on the idea of forming nonprofit groups so that their contributions could not be tracked. “There was, in the very embryonic stages of the campaign, discussions already being had about C4s and LCs (two types of outside groups) and not disclosing the source of those contributions,” Hafner said.
At the time, in early 2015, Hafner says he and allied consultants still thought Greitens was exploring a bid for lieutenant governor – not governor.
Hafner says he also was unaware when he drew up the call list that there could be legal problems with using The Mission Continues donor list without the charity’s specific approval.
And it gets worse.
Hafner said he simply wants to make sure the record is correct about his involvement in Greitens’ early campaign, and why he believes the public should pay attention.
“I do believe in transparency in campaigns,” Hafner said. He contended that Greitens was misleading the public when he appeared on St. Louis Public Radio’s Politically Speaking podcast in January 2016, and declared that his campaign was transparent and his donors would be public.
Although Hafner was with Brunner’s campaign by then, “I knew what they were already planning’’ with the secret money going to outside groups.
By Hafner’s calculation, “Eric had (at least) $6 million in untraceable money.”
Eric has been quite the industrious type, hasn't he?
Hope that serves him well in prison.