Bart Korman, a Republican lawmaker in Missouri, introduced a bill that would require any lobbyist to report sexual relations between themselves and lawmakers or any staffers of lawmakers as a ‘gift’ on public lobbyist disclosure forms.
At first, this may sound too good to be true. A REPUBLICAN making a law that discourages SEX SCANDALS? It turns out that it really is too good to be true, as you will see below.
Here is the entire paragraph in the bill that deals with sexy time:
For purposes of subdivision of this subsection, the term “gift” shall include sexual relations between a registered lobbyist and a member of the general assembly orhis 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.
Source: Missouri State House archives
As silly as this sounds, and it is extremely silly when you analyze the obvious loophole he included, it is a real bill. At first glance, the spirit of the law seems to be to discourage sexual affairs between lobbyists and the lawmakers they seek to influence. The implied scenario is obvious; the lobbyist buys a vote with sex. It’s totally plausible.
While this law may have a theme of merit, it is more than likely a publicity stunt, because the bill is designed to fail at its job.
Pay attention to the following passage:
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
This sabotaged the entire implied intent of this bill. How can anybody possibly prove that two people were not “in a relationship” before one of the mentioned factors occurred? It’s literally impossible because we do not have relationship registration as a thing in America.
All anyone has to say is that they have had a relationship with <insert name here> that has been casual, or infrequent, but ongoing for any number of years and bam! – there’s your get out of jail free card.
Only a Republican would be both bold and stupid enough, to make a “no sexual affairs with lobbyists” law that ensures the legality of having sexual affairs with lobbyists.
Featured image via Flickr