After Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal posted “I hope Trump is Assassinated” on her Facebook page in August, numerous officials, Democrat and Republican alike, called on her to resign.
But the Democratic senator, who soon deleted the post, remained adamant. She would apologize, but not resign.
On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Senate voted 28-2 to censure her, falling short of the required two-thirds majority needed to expel her, as Gov. Eric Greitens (R) had urged. She still could be expelled later, Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) told the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
The vote marked the first censure in the Missouri Senate’s history, Kehoe said. The two “no” votes came from Democrats.
Chappelle-Nadal, who is black, said she posted the Facebook message out of frustration with President’s Trump response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August that left one woman dead and many others injured after a car driven by a Nazi sympathizer plowed into counterprotesters.
The president initially blamed “both sides” for the violence. He eventually denounced white supremacists, but later defended his initial remarks.
A few days after her Facebook post, Chappelle-Nadal called her comments a “mistake” and issued an apology to Trump.
“President Trump, I apologize to you and your family,” Chappelle-Nadal said. “I also apologize to all of the people in Missouri. I also apologize to my colleagues in the Missouri legislature for the mistake that I made. I will continue to fight for issues that are really, really important to me.”
The vote to censure her was followed by more calls on her to resign. Chappelle-Nadal insisted “an overwhelming number” of constituents encouraged her to remain in office, the Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, the Missouri House on Wednesday opted to open an ethics review of Rep. Warren Love (R-Osceola), who is white, for an August Facebook post in which he called for those responsible for defacing a Confederate monument in Springfield, Mo., to be “hung from a tall tree with a long rope.”
After that post, the Missouri Democratic Party called for Love’s resignation, saying his words brought to mind the lynchings of black people. Love said his words were “cowboy slang” and not a call for lynchings. He soon apologized “to all who this post offended.”
“That’s just a Western term and I’m very much a Western man,” Love told the Post-Dispatch after the backlash. “You know, I dress Western. And, you know, I’m the cowboy of the Capitol.”
The Missouri legislature was widely criticized for the different treatment of the lawmakers. An ethics review is less serious than a censure, which is a formal reprimand. After her Facebook post, Chappelle-Nadal was stripped of committee assignments, but Love remains on committees.
On Twitter, public attacks on Chappelle-Nadal were highly racial and many unfit to print.
“Republicans have repeatedly said whatever happens to Sen. Chappelle-Nadal should also happen to Rep. Love, and Republicans have yet to stand by that,” Assistant House Democratic Leader Gina Mitten told the Associated Press.
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