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Our Opinion: Senator shatters decorum, wastes Senate’s time

March 10, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

The Missouri Senate has enough work and challenges without a member breaking dress decorum, then wasting chamber's time to complain about his punishment.

Last month's incident in which Sen. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, wore bib overalls on the chamber's floor should be a lesson to all senators and future senators.

The Senate is the Legislature's upper chamber and should command respect and adherence to its traditions. It's no place for bib overalls.

For as far back as we remember, it's been a tradition and an unwritten rule male senators -- and male members of the press back when they shared a table on the Senate floor -- wear a coat, tie and dress pants. Women, likewise, are expected to dress properly. It shows respect to the office, to senators' constituents and to all Missourians.

Moon reportedly wore denim overalls with a jacket and tie.

Senate President Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, rightfully stripped Moon of his committee assignments. Moon initially accepted his punishment before deciding to filibuster in the chamber to complain his constituents were losing a voice on his committees.

So while the Senate was trying to work on a supplemental budget dealing with billions of dollars and finalize congressional redistricting -- both pressing issues -- Moon read a book about an American prisoner of war in Japan during World War II, according to Missouri News Network.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Moon said he had been cooking breakfast for constituents and didn't want to get pancake batter or eggs on his dress pants. He said he was simply wearing the attire his constituents wear to work.

Since then, he apologized and was reappointed to his committee assignments.

"I know there has been turmoil since Day One in this chamber. Some will point a finger at me and say I've been a part of that turmoil," Moon said, according to the Post-Dispatch. "I'm not meaning to be unkind or uncivil. My intent was not to offend."

He was a part of the turmoil and he should have known wearing bib overalls on the Senate floor shows a lack of respect. We hope such actions don't sidetrack the Legislature's work in the future.

News Tribune

Print Headline: Senator shatters decorum, wastes time

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