Senator Chappelle-Nadal stripped of committee assignments
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, made national headlines last week when she posted a comment on Facebook saying she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated.
Her comments received the rebukes of several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, and over the weekend, the embattled senator held a press conference Sunday, in which she issued an apology to the President and his family.
But the question is this: is it enough?
The immediate answer seems to be no, judging by the latest statement from her own party.
“It is important that the Missouri Senate conducts their work without distractions. With that in mind, Sen. Chappelle-Nadal has been removed from her committee assignments. This will help to ensure the success of the Senate, and the state, going forward,” Senate Democratic Leader Gina Walsh said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Senate Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, also released a statement on Tuesday regarding the future of Sen. Chappelle-Nadal’s appointments to Senate, Joint, and Statutory Committees.
“I support the decision of Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh to remove Sen. Chappelle-Nadal from all of her Senate committees. I am also removing her from all appointments under my authority.”
Governor Eric Greitens and Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson both called on the Senate to expel the Democratic senator last week, and in a statement issued Sunday afternoon in response to Chappelle-Nadal’s press conference, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson said it wasn’t enough to change his opinion of the matter.
“Senator Chappelle-Nadal’s statement today changes nothing. The United States of America is a nation of law and order, and there are consequences for your actions, especially if you are an elected official. The Senator has until veto session to resign, or my colleagues and I will move to expel her. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior, and it is an embarrassment for our country and the State of Missouri.”
Parson says he has spoken personally with over half of the senators, saying they are in agreement her actions are unacceptable.
The Missouri Times also reached out to the Governor’s Office for comment on whether they would continue supporting a move for her expulsion by the Senate, but no comment has been provided at this time.
But another point to be raised is that even if the senator stays, her ability to work effectively as a legislator could be severely hindered, with her own party most likely regarding her as a politically toxic figure who could damage their ability to work with their Republican counterparts.
The removal of her committee assignments just goes to show how ineffective her next session could be if she remains in office.
Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.