This Republican Politician Voted For Stricter Anti-Prostitution Laws. You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next.Photo by John Moore/Getty Politics Features Republican Ethics
Pardon the boilerplate clickbait headline, but I couldn’t resist. Jon Stanard had served in the Utah House of Representatives for five years as of last Tuesday, and among other legislative acts, he voted in 2017 to make the state’s prostitution laws stricter. Then—in accordance with the GOP Irony-Hypocrisy Principle that has become so prevalent lately—he got busted for soliciting a prostitute. Stanard resigned last week, but it became clear over the weekend that he paid for the hotel room in his saucy rendezvous with taxpayer money. Per CBS:
…a prostitute, Brie Taylor, said Stanard twice paid her for sex last year during business trips to Salt Lake City and that he arranged the meetings with a number for a state-issued phone listed on his legislative profile.
“I already knew who he was because I screen all my clients using a phone number service and I Googled him,” Taylor told the Daily Mail…
Stanard’s 2017 campaign finance report shows he submitted an expense on March 10 for $1,510 for “extra hotel expense session lodging” at the “Marriott Residence.”
Text messages in the Daily Mail story indicate Stanard was arranging for a visit with Taylor at the Marriott Residence Inn on March 8.
Stanard is more or less small potatoes on the national scene, but what makes this story remarkable is how it follows the ongoing pattern of Republican politicians railing in public against the specific vices they’re guilty of in private. It’s not just Republicans, of course—we all remember how vociferously Eliot Spitzer fought against prostitution—but the overwhelming majority of the hypocritical cases belong to the GOP. I mean, the list of hardcore anti-gay Republicans who get caught committing the acts they decry has enough chapters to fill a book.
As we’ve seen lately, Democratic politicians are not immune from charges of sexual harassment, from having affairs, or from soliciting prostitutes. But what makes the the Republican scandals unique is the blaring hypocrisy of it all—the “family values” representatives who consistently fail to practice what they preach. And then there’s the absurd, mind-numbing reality that while Democrats resign in the face of sexual harassment scandals, Republicans (with relatively few exceptions) don’t. That is not normal.
Rep. Stanard, welcome to the club.