Hey, Big Daddy
I hear rumors all the time about legislative staffers having affairs with lawmakers, especially the women with their male bosses. Big Daddy, you know women. What makes legislators so enticing?
–Baffled in Sacramento.
Stories about sex between legislators and staffers are nothing new. In the 1960s, Assemblymen Willie Brown and Phil Burton allegedly worked their way through the building in alphabetical order, claiming their conquests one by one.
But these tales of dangerous Capitol liaisons raise fundamental questions that continue to perplex me about today’s mistresses of California politics.
I don’t question the seductiveness of power, but is a state car and a per diem really the definition of power?
President? I get it. Senator? Sign me up. But I simply don’t understand the sexual lure of the legislator. Power is plenty seductive, but the state legislator, as a species, just ain’t that powerful anymore. He can’t fix your traffic ticket, score you a private parking space or even get you a corner office. Thanks to Senate and Assembly Rules, a legislator can’t even get a girl a decent pay raise for all her efforts between the sheets.
About the best you can hope for is a corner table at the Esquire, and you could probably get that on your own if you just show a little leg.
Yeah, I know, balding, unattractive men with arm candy is nothing new. But usually these overachievers have fat bank accounts to match their beer bellies, condos with a view and at least one private jet. More importantly, they surround themselves with people who are paid to keep their mouths shut.
Most of the time, they are smart enough to keep their mistresses comfortable in private apartments so they don’t have to bunk with the secretary down the hall who spills all her girlhood secrets after consuming only one rum and diet coke.
And any girl who thinks twice about a member of the minority party is just begging for a Dr. Laura intervention. Let’s face it, that the frustration of never getting a bill through committee most certainly projects on a man’s sex life.
Bill frustration equals sexual frustration. Honey, it’s not you he’s thinking about, it’s the flag burning resolution that’s he’s been introducing for the past five years. Do you really want to cuddle up in bed with a straight man who obsesses about gay sex? How about a man who can rattle off the price of a baby ear on the black market but can’t tell you the price of a loaf of bread?
Here’s a little advice to the per diem diggers: If you’re looking for an older man with a good salary and the ability to help you get ahead, start with the lobbyists. They can get you box seats to sporting and musical events (and we’re not talking River Cats). The price of a fine meal is no consideration — it’s called an expense account. They take a lot of out of town trips and can take you with them (insist on a five star hotel — you’re easy but that doesn’t mean you’re cheap).
Put down the cold pot stickers that you hid in your purse at the last fundraiser because you can’t afford to buy groceries on the $25K a year you make as a legislative scheduler, and dump him. Dump him before he dumps you. Before you know it, your boyfriend will be termed out of office. Unemployed. Moving back to the mortgage payment in his district in the neighborhood where you will not be welcomed.
The state singles registry — otherwise known as the Secretary of State’s Web site — has all the information you’ll need to assist you in your quest for an upgrade. There, you can find your dream date’s list of clients and how much money their firm made last quarter.
And hey, they even have photos listed for your perusal.
Ed. Note: This column, an editors' pick as one of Big Daddy's Greatest Hits, originally appeared in Capitol Weekly in 2005.