You have to love the Republican party. They call themselves the party of “family values.” They hold themselves to a “higher moral standard.” They think they are spiritually superior because they statistically go to church more often than Democrats. All of those things, however, are underscored by the one thing that defines Republicans more than anything else: Hypocrisy.
The GOP-controlled Missouri state legislature is considering a bill from Rep Bart Korman that would require the “gift” of sex with a lobbyist to be disclosed, but not with a monetary value. Take your time and read it again; your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The actual wording of the bill states:
“the term ‘gift’ shall include sexual relations between a registered lobbyist and a member of the general assembly or his or her staff. Relations between married persons or between persons who entered into a relationship prior to the registration of the lobbyist, the election of the member to the general assembly, or the employment of the staff person shall not be reportable under this subdivision. The reporting of sexual relations for purposes of this subdivision shall not require a dollar valuation.”
So….yeah. If you’re married to a lobbyist or are in an actual relationship with a lobbyist you’re good, but if you’re boinking one for political gain you have to report it without attaching a dollar value. That little stipulation would presumably keep parties involved from being charged with solicitation.
There is some speculation that the bill has its origins in a political quagmire of corruption that Korman himself is at the center of. According to our friends at Freak Out Nation:
What we have here is a classic kindergarten game of “if I can’t have it, neither can you” that dates back to a kerfuffle related to a fancypants dinner “meeting” held in January 2015. The House Telecommunications Committee, which is led by none other than Rep. Korman, held a “meeting” at the Jefferson City Country Club, where the men dined on fancy steaks and other high priced entrees. Oh, and this dinner was fully paid for by a lobbying group that the Committee oversees.
The press got wind of it and the public was so incensed that Speaker John Diehl ordered all future meetings be held at the Capital. Rep. Korman tried to justify the Committee’s actions by saying that meeting at the club for dinner was the only time the group could congregate.
So here we are, one year later, and Rep. Korman proposes this quite bizarre Bill that requires sex be listed as a “gift.” What does that mean, though? Is he insinuating that lobbyists are engaging in sexual activity with lawmakers on a regular basis? Is this directed specifically at Speaker Diehl or another member of the House? So many questions and no answers…yet.
Political shenanigans need to be called out on this one for sure, but alas…Missouri is Missouri. Republicans in red states seldom feel the need to explain themselves. Should the public become concerned with issues they don’t want to deal with they can simply introduce a bill limiting abortion, taking food stamps from children or removing any and all gun restrictions on the books.
Shiny object politics at its finest.
Featured image via Wikipedia