Do As I Say …

Posted July 10, 2007 at 6:37pm

Sen. David Vitter might just have been against abstinence before he was for it. Although the Louisiana Republican on Monday ’fessed up to being a client of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the infamous “D.C. Madam” who allegedly ran a high-price call-girl ring catering to Washington’s elite, it was only last month that he was extolling the virtues of abstinence and remaining faithful to one’s spouse. [IMGCAP(1)]

The lover of family values (and, apparently, escorts) was one of the chief backers of a bill to reauthorize the program that gives states money to conduct abstinence education. A letter he and a handful of colleagues sent to the committee working on the bill includes this line, rendered particularly relevant in light of the Senator’s Monday confession: “These

programs have been shown to effectively reduce the risks of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases by teaching teenagers that saving sex until marriage and remaining faithful afterwards is the best choice for health and happiness,” the letter reads.

Let’s see if we follow this. Vitter is saying that being faithful is the best way to avoid STDs and out-of-wedlock pregnancy. Might HOH suggest another method of doing just that — namely, not hiring call girls?

A disclaimer: Vitter didn’t specifically admit to having sex with the madam’s gal, only that he had committed “a very serious sin in my past.” And Madam Palfrey, meanwhile, contends that she offered only legal “fantasy” services. Calls to Vitter’s office went unsurprisingly unreturned.

But in more evidence of Vitter’s recent pro-abstinence stance, on May 22, which apparently was Abstinence Day on Capitol Hill (oh, how HOH had wished she had known there was such a thing), Vitter also got a visit from some fellow abstainers, according to Louisiana Tech University, which sent a student to Washington.

During the third annual Abstinence Day, Louisiana students met with members of their Congressional delegation, including Vitter.

“I never expected to have the opportunity to influence leaders in Washington on such an important issue,” Louisiana State University sophomore Caitlyn Turner gushed of the visit, according to a press release touting the event.

In other Madam-related developments, Hill staffers on Tuesday were rushing to run their boss’s numbers (and maybe their own or those of their political enemies) through dcphonelist.com, a new site set up to make the madam’s phone records searchable. The phone records were posted Monday on the Madam’s own Web site, deborah jeanepalfrey.com, but the records simply list numbers, not names, making the staggering amount of data difficult to sift through. It wasn’t immediately clear who set up the new Web site, since it was running from an anonymous server.

And here we thought August recess would be dull.

History Repeating. How quickly Washington tongues started wagging over the revelation that Vitter was a client of the D.C. Madam’s alleged call-girl service. Maybe that’s because our city is no stranger to the plotline. Yes, we’ve certainly been there, and, as the saying goes, done that: Member of Congress hires (or tries to hire) prostitute, gets caught, scandal ensues.

As a public service (and here you thought HOH’s raison d’être was merely to entertain), HOH brings you a sampling from the archives of Congressional naughtiness, pulled from news reports. We’ll call it “Hookers Through History.” Just settle back while HOH puts on her elbow-patched professor jacket …

Former Rep. Allan Howe (D-Utah)
Hooker: Two undercover policewomen in Salt Lake City posing as prostitutes.
Busted: Howe was convicted of attempting to solicit the prostitutes in 1976.

Former Rep. Robert Bauman (R-Md.)
Hooker: A teenage boy.
Busted: Bauman was arrested in 1980 for allegedly soliciting the boy.

Former Rep. Joe Waggonner Jr. (D-La.)
Hooker: An undercover police officer.
Busted: Waggonner was arrested in 1976 for allegedly trying to solicit the decoy.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Hooker: A male prostitute named Stephen Gobie.
Busted: The House ethics committee and the House reprimanded him in 1990 for fixing parking tickets for Gobie, whom Frank hired as a personal assistant. It also was revealed that Gobie used Frank’s apartment for prostitution.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.)
Hooker: A convicted prostitute in Corona, Calif.
Busted: In 1993, police discovered Calvert and the prostitute in a car, where the prostitute allegedly was performing a sex act on him, according to a police report.

Former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.)
Hooker: Defense contractor-provided prostitutes allegedly spent time with Cunningham in a Hawaiian hotel suite in 2003.
Busted: Cunningham resigned from Congress and is serving prison time over bribery and related charges, but the prostitution connection was revealed in bribery charges against contractor Brent Wilkes.

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