|FEATURES |summer 2008
After Ms. went to press with our Summer 2008 issue, Sen. David Vitter—the sanctimonious pro-family Republican from Louisiana who went uncensured by the U.S. Senate despite his connection to the notorious D.C. Madam case—continued to amaze us with his hypocrisy.
Despite his alleged ties to the prostitution ring run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, Vitter still waxed warm about marriage, at least politically: In June of 2008, he was one of a handful of sponsors of a reintroduced “Marriage Protection Amendment,” which would engrave a ban on gay marriage into the U.S. constitution. Vitter’s fellow promoter of heterosexual marriage included none other than Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after being arrested for lewd conduct in a men’s public bathroom.
Then, in early July, Vitter again made news by asking permission from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to pay his legal and public relations fees related to the prosecution scandal—totaling more than $200,000—from campaign funds. But a draft opinion from the FEC released on August 20, 2008 shot down most of that idea: Vitter would only be allowed to appropriate $31,000 from his campaign coffers for legal expenses related to the Senate Ethics Committee investigation.
Vitter would not be allowed to use campaign monies to pay the legal fees for trying to quash the subpoenas requiring him to testify in the Madam case, nor could he use campaign funds to pay the expenses he incurred to monitor Palfrey’s trial.
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