New bill in U.S bill defines sex between lobbyists, lawmakers as ‘gifts’
Lobbyists in Missouri who have sex with state lawmakers or their aides would have to disclose that activity to the state ethics commission, under a bill introduced this week by a Republican state representative.
The measure, pushed by Rep. Bart Korman, defines sexual relations between lawmakers and lobbyists as a “gift” to be reported on the disclosure forms that lobbyists file on a monthly basis. The bill does not assign a “dollar valuation” to the gift of sex.
Korman’s proposal, reported early Thursday by The Kansas City Star, quickly gained attention on social media, and Korman told USA TODAY that he was fielding calls from reporters around the country, demanding to know more about his unorthodox proposal. “I guess this has gone viral or something,” he said.
He views his plan, part of a renewed state focus on ethics after several scandals, as the simplest way to “add some transparency and accountability to our governmental process.” Two Missouri lawmakers left office last year, following allegations of inappropriate conduct with interns.
Does he think lobbyists actually would report details of their sex lives on a government form? “I hope it deters the activity,” Korman said.
(By the way, the bill excludes the gift-reporting requirement for lobbyists and lawmakers who are married or already were dating before they held their respective jobs.)