Politicians React to Graham's DWI
About 10 p.m. on Saturday, police went to the scene of a three car accident on Green Meadows road in south Columbia.
Police say Graham hit the rear end of a stopped car, which then hit the car in front of it. Police say Graham admitted he had a few drinks in the two hours before the accident, but refused to take a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test. Police say Graham's eyes were bloodshot his speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol.
Officials at the state Republican party office say this is just another example of what they call ethical problems within the Missouri Democratic Party. Not only does the G.O.P. call for Graham's resignation, but also claim the incident will have an effect at the polls.
"When you have a public official who's entrusted to protect the laws, to obey the laws, and to make the laws, and to have them break that, and violate that trust by taking this kind of action, that's obviously very serious. And I think it's one people are going to consider going into an election year," said Paul Sloca from the Missouri Republican Party.
Sloca says this incident only adds to a list of Democrat's legal run-ins. He cites the February arrest of Representative Ray Salva on DWI charges, as well as recent charges against Representative Joe Aull and Senator Jeff Smith for fake ID use at a casino.
Senate Democratic leader Maida Coleman says Republicans have their own ethical issues.
"Recently, a Republican state representative from Cape Girardeau was indicted for his unethical practices as an attorney," said Coleman. She was referring to former representative Nathan Cooper, who resigned in August.
With elections more than a year away, this political fight might last awhile. Coleman can remove Graham fron the Senate Judiciary Committee, but says she is going to wait until the legal process ends.
Graham represents the 19th Missouri Senate District, which includes Boone and Randolph Counties. Voters sent him to the state senate in 2004.
Before that, Graham served four terms as the 24th District representive. Graham got his start in state politics after working as the Missouri Coordinator for the Americans with Disabilities Act Project at MU.
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