Duvall Probe Could Look At Other Lawmaker-Lobbyist Affairs

Sacramento Bee Staff Photo/Newscom
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Here are the additional major developments in the “Hot Mike” Duvall story, in which the married California GOP lawmaker and family values crusader resigned yesterday after a hot mic picked up his bragging to a colleague about his sexual encounters with two women — one of whom is reportedly a lobbyist for an energy company before the committee of which he is vice chair:

• Duvall’s resignation will not stop lawmakers from investigating the matter, including whether Duvall traded votes or other influence on utilities issues for sex, according to Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, a Democrat. Indeed, one member of the ethics panel that will oversee the investigation told the Los Angeles Times that it could expand to look at other lawmakers’ affairs with lobbyists.• Other progressive-leaning groups have joined the Courage Campaign in calling on the state’s attorney general, Jerry Brown, to conduct his own probe of the sex-for-votes issue. Brown declined to comment.

• The LA Times reported that, several times this year, Duvall voted against renewable energy measures opposed by Sempra Energy — the employer of the woman reported to be one of the subjects of his lewd boasting. But the measures — which would require utility companies to produce more renewable energy — were opposed by the GOP caucus broadly, so it’s far from clear that Duvall’s apparent relationship with the lobbyist influenced his votes.

• The LA Times and the AP identify Duvall’s interlocutor for his raunchy chat: Rep. Jeff Miller, also a Republican. According to the AP, when Duvall informed Miller at one point that he enjoyed spanking his lobbyist mistress, Miller asked whether she liked it too. Which seems only polite, really.

• The director of the Capitol Resource Institute, the social conservative group that had earlier this year extolled Duvall’s commitment to family values, said in a (under) statement: “It is always disappointing when a champion of traditional values does not practice the same in his private life. And this appears to be the case with Assemblyman Duvall.”

And remember that, as we’ve reported, both Duvall and the lobbyist in question, Heidi DeJong Barsuglia, are denying a sexual relationship. So there are still a lot of unanswered questions here…

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