The full text of the St. Louis American endorsement of Maria Chappelle-Nadal reads as follows:
Maria Chappelle-Nadal has six years of experience in Jefferson City and is a proven, stalwart progressive battler. Her youthful energy also gives her the edge over Joe Adams, the only other candidate in this race who is free of the taint of major funding by Rex Sinquefield. While we have some concern for her, at times, brash behavior and penchant for picking fights she doesn’t need, we feel she has learned some painful lessons in this regard. It is with raised expectations that we endorse MARIA CHAPPELLE-NADAL IN THE 14TH DISTRICT.
It’s amusing that the St. Louis American would qualify their endorsement with a note of concern, because that concern is well-warranted.
I pointed out in my most recent diary, Rep. Chappelle-Nadal completely altered the American’s endorsement to say that she was the only person in the race who had not received contributions from Rex Sinquefield. Even if that were true, that’s not what the newspaper’s endorsement said. The endorsement expressly stated that Joe Adams also has not received contributions from Sinquefield. And Chappelle-Nadal’s claim in the mailer, independent of the fact that she falsely attributed the claim to the St. Louis American, is simply not true as far as I can tell. Sinquefield didn’t contribute to Adams in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010. So naturally I felt pretty comfortable calling someone who completely misrepresented facts a liar.
Understandably, Maria Chappelle-Nadal was not happy to be called out for lying. I received a number of e-mails from Chappelle-Nadal expressing her disappointment and telling me that I was incorrect, but when I requested evidence to the contrary, she was not forthcoming in specifics. The only thing she was willing to say was that Sinquefield money paid for an Adams mailer back in 2006 (I’m assuming during his last re-election campaign for University City mayor), but when I requested a copy of the mailer in question, or contact info for a person who had a copy, I was told only that she wasn’t going to do my research for me. The last e-mail I got from her stated that a formal announcement from the AFT concerning the mailpiece would be forthcoming, and that I should expect to hear from her attorney.
Back to that St. Louis American endorsement. Can anyone have confidence that Chappelle-Nadal has learned “painful lessons” in regards to her “brash behavior” and “picking needless fights”? The easiest thing for her to do would have been to send me a scan of mailer that allegedly was paid for by Sinquefield along with some evidence that it was indeed paid for with Sinquefield money, or put me in touch with someone who could provide that information, and I would have gladly posted an update. Instead, I got the threat of legal action.
Now, as a state senator, it’s not enough to be right on the issues. It’s not enough to make a nice red meat progressive speech, as I’ve seen Chappelle-Nadal do on more than one occasion. These are all well and good, but you’ve got to cobble together coalitions with allies who have been with you for a long time as well as allies that might only be with you on that day, or else you’re not going to get much done. This is doubly true in the State Senate, which is much smaller than the General Assembly. Given this personal interaction with Chappelle-Nadal, I have a hard time believing she’s going to be an effective legislator for the citizens in the Missouri’s 14th Senate District.