North Carolina’s State Ethics Committee has just opened up a major problem for their state — they just made it legal for lobbying firms to purchase prostitutes to service politicians. The Committee’s determination that sex had no value and that sex between a lobbyist and politician was nothing to report or in any way questionable means that a major loophole has opened up for lobbying firms. Now lobbying firms can hire people with the explicit goal to seduce and fornicate with politicians in order to garner favor.
In other terms, lobbying firms can hire people who can offer sexual services for politicians, and they don’t even need to register.
Now, before it is said that it is being misinterpreted, here is the actual letter from the Ethics Committee, titled “Sexual Favors or Sexual Acts as a Gift or ‘Thing of Value.'” In it, they declared that these relations have no monetary value, so do not need to be reported. In addition, they declared that if the person is not registered as a lobbyist, there was never any point of concern, even if the service was paid for by a third-party. In other words, lobbyists can hire people expressly for a politician to use in a carnal manner, even if the politician asks for or otherwise indicates their desire for such a service.
Even more disturbing are the long-term implications. Let us say a politician does partake, yet the person who paid for the night of temptation was a less than honest broker. A few hidden cameras, some veiled threat that did not cross the line into blackmail territory, a night of infidelity could put a politician into a less honorable group’s pocket without major cost, and all now rendered perfectly legal by the Ethics Committee of North Carolina.
Lobbying is a practice which needs to end for the good of the republic. When our founders agreed that the people have the right to redress grievances and to petition the government, that did not mean corporations or trade groups being granted superior access to the people themselves. Money is not speech, liberty is not anarchy — freedom for all, not just for the elite.