JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Missouri’s new governor started his first full work week Monday. Governor Mike Parson knows that after the Greitens' controversy and resignation. He has a lot of work ahead of him. He sat down to talk with Fox 2 anchor Vic Faust in an exclusive St. Louis television interview.
Not long ago I sat down with former Governor Eric Greitens in the governor's office. He was in the midst of scandal and it was a dark time for Missouri politics. Today, you could say a breath of fresh air was blowing through the capital. New Governor Mike Parson making sure everyone knows he will be different in many area's staring with the so-called dark money.
What does transparency mean for you and for your team?
“To the dark money that’s not going to happen. If they donate, people will know that. If we are doing state business you're going to know that. We're not going to use the confide app either. We will have a policy in place. We will be totally open and to the media and the public,” said Governor Mike Parson.
The 62-year-old former Army vet, sheriff, and lawmaker says he was saddened more than anything to see what has transpired with the former First Family.
Did former governor reach out to you?
“I haven’t talked to former governor. Maybe I will, maybe I wont.”
Greitens canceled low-income housing tax credits. Then said quote, “rip off artists in the states low-income housing program were behind his legal troubles.”
I asked Parson if the tax credits are good for Missouri?
“I think low-income housing has a purpose in the state. We're not going to do it this year. But I will put a commission together, put a plan together now and then the first of the year I want to do some real reform. Make it efficient.”
What is the most important thing to get down now or in the term?
“In the short term its unity. Bring everybody back together. Make sure they know everything is ok. I think for people to make sure they know government is here and there is a part to play and that we are here for them,” said Parson. Governor Parson has a meeting set up with both the Kansas City Mayor Sly James and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson this week. He is well aware of the major crime in St. Louis City. He says the former sheriff in him can’t rest until the situation gets better.
“The only way you’re going to change the criminal rate in Missouri is you have to do something. Can’t just talk. I plan on reaching out to other organizations to see what they have done to make them more successful.”
Parson is not making changes in his cabinet. He says he has some good people and many more have been blowing up his phone offering help. Including former CEOs' both Republican and Democratic. He's also thrilled to have his wife Teresa as Missouri’s First Lady.
“I’m proud she is the First Lady. Anxious to show her off. Let people know who she is. You’re going to see her around the capital a lot.
If there was ever a dream job for Mike Parson. It's Missouri governor.
“I love this state. When I came back from the Army I said I would never leave again. I’m not going to DC. I love the people of the state.”
Governor Parson says he needs a Lt. Governor in place asap to help him with everything he has planned for Missouri. However, right now the only position he can’t appoint in the state is that one. He hopes he can get that changed as soon as possible.