Sleeping with the enemy, Californian GOP-style

An assemblyman caught boasting about sex begs for privacy. Maybe he shouldn't have been screwing with the public

Published September 9, 2009 8:48PM (EDT)

Mike Duvall, the California Republican Assemblyman who was caught on tape boasting about his sexcapades with two different women, has resigned.

The Sacramento Bee reports his mea culpa:

Duvall issued an apology on his campaign Web site. "I made a mistake and I sincerely apologize," the statement said. "I deeply regret the comments I made in what I believed to be a private conversation. This is a private matter and I ask that everyone respect the privacy of all involved."

Much of the lefty schadenfreude I've seen so far directed at Duvall focuses on the ever-popular spectacle of a married, holier-than-thou, family-values Republican caught with his pants down. Requests for privacy tend not to play well when you are busy telling other people how to live their private lives. There's also plenty of salivating going on about Duvall's pornographic explicitness.

I like a good family values hypocrisy-fest as much as the next guy. But I'm also plenty willing to concede that people do stupid things when blinded by lust, and I can well appreciate wanting to keep the gorier details "private." But sexual peccadilloes are hardly Duvall's most egregious sin, in this instance.

Duvall was vice-chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. One of the women he was sleeping with was a utility company lobbyist.

When a legislator who is entrusted with overseeing the utility industry sleeps with a utility industry lobbyist, we're no longer talking about a private affair. We're talking about betrayal of the public trust. Duvall deserves every last bit of ridicule and humiliation he receives.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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