Everybody makes mistakes and many people even have affairs. Not everyone has the opportunity, though, to brag about their multiple affairs to a fellow assemblyman during a California Assembly State Appropriations Committee -- in front of a microphone. But "family man" Republican State Assemblyman Mike Duvall managed to do just that on Tuesday night when he was recorded by an open microphone talking candidly about his affairs with a female lobbyist and another woman, both of whom clearly were not his wife.
NBC's TMJ 4 local news ended their broadcast last night with the audio visual clip that resulted in Duvall's resignation this week. In it he recited some of the hot and heavy details, including, "She wears little eyepatch underwear....So we made love Wednesday, a lot!" Not the kind of intellectual banter that one would hope an assemblyman would limit himself to while on the job. Both the male and female newscasters had a good chuckle, and then quickly moved on to mention Jay Leno's new prime time show. As funny as the quote was, I was surprised that that's all that was said about it. I realize that this does not constitute local news for Wisconsin, but the implications of this type of indiscretion go across the board in politics.
Some serious issues that Duvall's case brings up:
- Sex in exchange for political power/votes. One of the women he had an affair with is said to be from a major utility company, Sempra Energy. Duvall voted multiple times this year against renewable energy.
- The taxpayers pay for political scandal. Because of Duvall's resignation, a special election will be held that will cost between $330,000 and $440,000, according to Orange County Officials.
In addition to the political and financial implications of Duvall's words, I find his juvenile descriptions of the affairs more than a little disconcerting. I had thought that common sense--and even the most miniscule amount of experience -- would be enough to make someone aware of how not to talk in the work place, or State Assembly for that matter.