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Fashion faux pas leads to stripping of committee assignments for senator

Last week, Sen. Mike Moon stood on the floor in a tan sports coat, white dress shirt, blue striped tie, and brown dress shoes — as well as blue jean overalls. 

And on Wednesday, Moon took to the floor to announce he’d been stripped of all of his committee assignments

It wasn’t just the fashion faux pas that led to the removal of his committee assignments, said Senate President Pro Tem David Schatz, but the getup and a lack of an apology certainly didn’t help.

Moon, along with other members of the Conservative Caucus, have notoriously clashed with GOP leadership in recent years — but more visibility this session than in ones past. 

The hardline Republicans launched a marathon filibuster of a congressional redistricting bill — they argued it needed to have seven of the eight districts safe for Republicans — causing leadership to table the legislation while issuing a public rebuke of the conservatives. 

The coalition also successfully blocked Gov. Mike Parson’s pick to lead the state health department earlier this year. Moon, who sat in Gubernatorial Appointments, grilled Donald Kauerauf on his stance on abortion and vaccine mandates. Kauerauf said he was opposed to both, but Moon wasn’t convinced. And Kauerauf ultimately wasn’t confirmed

State Sen. Mike Moon speaks on the floor on the first day of session as conservatives decry Republican leadership. (PROVIDED)

This week, they’re holding up Fast Track legislation from Republican Sen. Lincoln Hough, a bill that’s been deemed a priority for Parson

Last week, Moon loudly took to the Senate floor to ask what he had done wrong, saying a senator had threatened him because of what he was wearing. (The upper chamber’s rules do not specifically mention attire or overalls although male senators generally don slacks, jackets, and dress shirts — or seersucker suits in summer months.)

In a statement, Moon said:

“Senate tradition(s). What are they? Liquid containers allowed in the chamber, ingress/egress from your desk, types of shoes worn, women’s purses, etc. I was stripped of most of my committee assignments Wednesday as punishment for wearing overalls on the chamber floor.

When I inquired of Lt. Governor Kehoe (while he was at the dais), about which tradition or rule I had violated, he responded that he was not made aware of any violation. To remove me from my committees without providing credible cause is a serious action. I believe Sen. Schatz owes me an apology for employing such an extreme action.”

This week, the southwest Missouri Republican was stripped of nearly all of his committee assignments: Gubernatorial Appointments, Professional Registration, Small Business and Industry, and Ways and Means. 

Moon remains on the Progress and Development Committee, the only one chaired by a Democrat, Schatz said in a text message. 

Moon is also a candidate for Congress in Missouri’s 7th congressional district. 

This story has been updated to include a statement from Sen. Mike Moon.