Just like a lobbyist would have to declare... any other gift. The precise language would be For purposes of subdivision (2) of this subsection, 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. ...That last part is significant; it implies that the sponsor of this bill (state representative Bart Korman [R]) is being serious with this bill.
Or possibly not. Or possibly... yes. You could go either way on this: Missouri state politicians are having to have a wide-ranging ethics discussion right now - shocking that nobody's reported on it nationally, huh? So such a bill seems timely, given that the former Missouri Republican Speaker of the House had to resign last year after it came out he was had an affair with a former Democratic gubernatorial staffer and current lobbyist. Don't tell me, let me guess: you didn't hear about that one, either? Or the one about the Democratic state Senator who also had to quit in 2015 after being creepy towards his interns? Heck, state Rep. Korman himself had to explain why he scheduled a House committee meeting to take place at a country club dinner. It would appear, in fact, that Missouri is a veritable playground for state legislators looking to party. They should cut some direct-to-video shows.
Well. OK. They should not. But still.
Facetiousness aside, I'm going to break a rule and agree with the radical Angry Left site Jezebel* about something: this bill is going nowhere, but it's not entirely a horrible idea. Because, let's face it: many of us already consider lobbyists to be prostitutes, and those of us show any delicacy in saying so do so because they consider the comparison to be mildly insulting to prostitutes. The idea of viciously reminding lobbyists of that particular negative reputation admittedly appeals to me a little.
But seriously, yeah, this bill isn't going to go anywhere. Because it's always a chore to get politicians to regulate the lobbyists that routinely wine, dine, and entertain those politicians. Particularly when you've got a Democrat in the governor's office... oh, did I just type that out? My bad.
(Image via Shutterstock)
*No, I won't link to them.