Every now and then, a story breaks through the drumbeat of anti-Trump reporting. It is usually a brief interlude, to be sure – but too compelling to totally ignore. Such is the case of California Congresswoman Katie Hill. (When the story broke, I just knew she would be from California.)
Her campaign for Congress was noteworthy since she was openly bisexual – or as we used to note, doubled her chances of getting a date on Saturday night. In these days of recreational sexual promiscuity, her admission was not a showstopper, and obviously not a political liability – at least not in California.
Unfortunately for the freshman legislator, Hill’s sexual appetite and how she sated it shattered in public in more pieces than Humpty Dumpty’s “great fall.” You may need a scorecard to keep track of all the pieces.
It was not only a matter of her bisexuality, but her alleged involvement in extramarital fairs and group sex. Well, if you are bisexual, I suppose that should be expected.
As more accusations emerged, Hill was said to have had an inappropriate relationship with a young congressional staffer, Graham Kelly – which she denied. She was also accused of having a sexual relationship with a young campaign worker – to which she admitted.
In the latter case, the young lady involved is alleged to have confided in Hill’s husband, Kenny Heslep, that it was an abusive relationship. That would certainly put the #MeToo Movement in a bind.
All this was going on in the middle of one of those ugly divorces from her husband, who had been a willing fellow traveler in the world of threesome and more-some sex frolics. Hill’s explanation for all the fuss is that she is “… going through a divorce from an abusive husband who seems determined to try to humiliate me.”
In the spirit that a picture is worth a thousand words, there surfaced photographs of Hill with her campaign staffer sans clothing. She accused her soon-to-be-ex-husband of what has become known as “porn revenge” – putting compromising photos online as a result of a bitter breakup. I give her accusation high credibility since she would certainly know who took the pictures – and he admitted to being in a ménage à trois with Hill and the staffer. And I am betting that they are not the only photos on the hard drive.
Hill, who was one of the rising stars of the left-wing Democrats, is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Rising to her defense, however, is a most unlikely champion – the very conservative, very pro-Trump Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz.
As much as we all might enjoy seeing political adversaries falling from grace – especially if it is the pathway out of office – Gaetz raises some worthy points in Hill’s defense. It is the separation of personal morality and public duty – sort of a church-state separation at a personal level, if you will.
For generations, the personal peccadillos of our public officials have not been deal-breakers. Thomas Jefferson was widely known to have been engaged in a relationship with his slave, Sally Hemmings. Benjamin Franklin was a regular Casanova. President Kennedy had an enormous sexual appetite. President Clinton put the issue of private naughtiness versus public service on the front burner with his Oval Office dalliances with Monica Lewinsky.
Hill’s one vulnerability, however, may be that allegation of an affair with a congressional staffer. Hill has every reason to deny it. If that is where it ends, the Congresswoman has less exposure than her photos suggest. A nasty divorce and an alternative lifestyle are no longer the terminal scandals that they once were.
Being a bit of a Libertarian, myself, I never like when government becomes the arbiter of personal moral conduct between consenting adults. That being said, I still cannot understand why Gaetz found it necessary to rise to her defense.
So, there ‘tis.
AUTHOR NOTE: The above commentary was written prior to Hill’s abrupt resignation from Congress. She is said to be fearful that more embarrassing stuff will be appearing on the Internet. As predicted above – that more salacious photos are likely to exist – some reports are now saying that as many as 700 may see the light of day. Can videos be far behind? Hill could rival Stormy Daniels as the trending porn queen of the day. Ouch!