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Sex Between Lobbyists and Lawmakers Should Be Disclosed as a 'Gift,' Says Missouri Lawmaker

A state bill would require lawmakers or their staff to report sex with a lobbyist to the state Ethics Commission but would not require them to assign a specific dollar value.

by Olivia Becker
Jan 8 2016, 4:14pm

Photo via Flickr

Having sex with a politician is generally an activity you want to keep to yourself — barring, perhaps, a close circle of friends — and it's certainly something to keep off the public record. But if you're a lobbyist and live in Missouri, you may no longer have that privilege.

State representative Bart Korman, a Republican, introduced a bill this week that seeks to define sex between lobbyists and lawmakers or their staff a formal "gift" and thus require it be reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission in monthly disclosure forms, reported the Kansas City Star.

According to the bill's text "... the term 'gift' shall include sexual relations between a registered lobbyist and a member of the general assembly or his or her staff."

There are some caveats. If a politician is married to a lobbyist, the measure would not require them to disclose every time they have sex — no doubt much to the relief of both the couple and the Missouri general public. 

And in a provision that will avoid some very awkward conversations, the bill also specifies that "reporting of sexual relations ... shall not require a dollar valuation."

Lawmakers are already required to report any gifts they receive from lobbyists to the Ethics Commission, but that usually applies to free steak dinners or courtside tickets to a basketball game.

The current session of the Missouri state legislature began on Wednesday and has made ethics reform its top priority, according to the Star. Two lawmakers stepped down last year following public sex scandals with interns, including former speaker of the house John Diehl, who admitted to engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 19-year-old intern.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has made it clear that Missouri politicians need to get their ethical ducks in a row. "These problems are real, and they are undermining the confidence of the public in the government it relies on," Nixon said in an address on Tuesday.

Representative Korman told CNN that his unorthodox bill was just another way to make sure state politicians don't get tempted by special interests.

Or fetching lobbyists knocking on their doors. "I hope it deters any of that activity," said Korman, "but that if activity does occur, it's at least transparent."

Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter:  @obecker928

Photo via Flickr