- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Eric Greitens‘ nonprofit group is planning a statewide television advertising campaign pushing the governor’s promise to balance the state’s budget without raising taxes.

Papers filed this week with the Federal Communication Commission show A New Missouri Inc. has purchased about $78,000 in air time on Springfield station KYTV and nearly $70,000 in air time on KMOV in St. Louis, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/2tOcr6z ).

Austin Chambers, the governor’s senior adviser, said the campaign will reach five major markets in Missouri, with ads running Thursday through July 26. The amount of money to be spent on the other markets hasn’t been released.

He said the television buy will advocate “that the governor continue to balance the budget without raising taxes.”

The Republican governor recently withheld $251 million in spending to balance Missouri’s $27 billion budget and vetoed a bill designed to prevent cuts to in-home and nursing home care for 8,000 disabled or elderly Missourians. In doing so, he declared, “I will not raise your taxes.”

Only the Legislature can vote to raise taxes, and Missouri voters must approve substantial tax increases. The Legislature last placed a tax hike on the ballot in 2014.

A New Missouri Inc. was founded in February by the governor’s political team. Chambers, Greitens‘ former campaign manager, works for the nonprofit, not for the governor’s office. Greitens‘ sister-in-law is the executive director and the group was founded by Greitens‘ campaign treasurer and attorney.

Despite his many connections to the nonprofit, Greitens insists he has no daily role with it.

A New Missouri is not required to disclose its donors. That’s drawn bipartisan criticism from legislators who contend relying on secret campaign contributions invites corruption.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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