Republican “family values” politicians get caught with their pants down so often these days it’s hard to call it news anymore. It’s also not exactly a shocking revelation that large business interests will provide politicians with sex, as well as money, if that’s what it takes to get their votes.
So what makes the tawdry tale of blow-hard Assemblyman Mike Duvall noteworthy isn’t that that he was spanking, and having sex with, women other than his wife, or even that those women were being provided to him by industries with billions of dollars riding on his vote. What sets Duvall’s story apart is what it reveals about the prevailing attitudes and atmosphere within the Assembly’s Republican delegation.
Unlike family values hypocrites in other parts of the country, who needed to hide their behavior from their colleagues (“wide stance,” “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” etc.), Duvall felt free to brag about receiving sexual favors as bribes – even to a member of the Ethics Committee (a committee that’s very purpose is to investigate and put a stop to this kind of corruption).
And he wasn’t crazy. He was safe laughing over his hypocrisy and corruption with his Republican colleagues. No one reported him and, were it not for his mistake in telling stories too close to an open mic, he would still be a member of the Assembly. Treating the values of the conservative voters who elected them with complete contempt is apparently so common among Assembly Republicans that Duvall’s remarks didn’t even raise an eyebrow.
The fact that Republican, Jeff Miller, the Ethics Committee member, showed no surprise while listening to Duvall should tell you all you need to know about the values and standards of the people who are closing our parks, strangling our local governments, cutting off assistance to the disabled and disadvantaged, sending tuition costs through the roof, etc. rather than compromise their “principles.”