They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

How 'Girls Gone Wild' Scored A Congressional Internship

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Pryor's office said earlier this week that they called in federal authorities because they believed the auction to be a "hoax" and that someone had impersonated the Arkansas democrat.

The 39-year-old Francis insisted it wasn't a stunt.

"It was confirmed with his office as far as I knew, it was never a hoax," Francis told TPM in a phone interview Thursday afternoon.

As it turns out, the soft-porn mogul was right -- the son of a lobbyist has admitted to creating the mix-up over the internship.

In a letter apologizing for the "embarrassment" he caused Pryor, Los Angeles businessman Chad Brownstein -- son of Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck partner Norman Brownstein -- said he told someone organizing an auction benefiting the Wilshire Boulevard Temple that "pending approval of [Pryor's] office, I thought it might be possible to auction off an unpaid month-long summer internship for a high school student with your office."

The letter was circulated by Tamara Taylor of Sitrick and Company, who told TPM the public relations firm was retained by Brownstein directly and that his father's law firm had no involvement.

Francis, of course, is pretty much loving this. His press release announcing the internship on Tuesday said that women's rights "have been completely assaulted by the Republican candidates during this year's Republican primaries," and that he wanted to do his part.

"When this opportunity presented itself, I felt there was no better way to empower women than to send the winner of Girls Gone Wild's 'Search for the Hottest Girl in America' contest to Washington D.C.," his press release said.

Francis told TPM that he was bummed that Pryor's office got "cold feet" and that it would have been a great chance for a "lucky young lady" to "trade in her bikini for a business suit."

"If it was anybody else who won it or any other girl of a wealthy American, I'm sure she would have been sitting there for four weeks this summer in Washington, D.C." Francis said.

"I just don't want to upset the apple cart any further. I've said my piece, now they've conceded it was not a hoax in fact," Francis said. "I just wanted to clear my name, I just think he had no right to come out and say these things."

So what happened to that FBI investigation Pryor requested, if there was one? We may never know. An FBI spokesman wouldn't comment on whether they were looking into the matter, citing bureau policy.

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