Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Just What This Country Needs

Another Republican who can´t keep his zipper zipped:

Are recently divorced House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Philip Morris lobbyist Abigail Perlman headed for the altar? Word around town is that the two lovebirds -- whose romance has been raising eyebrows and giving fits to self-appointed ethics cops -- are planning to announce their engagement soon. Perlman didn't return our phone calls and Philip Morris spokesman Dave Tovar dismissed concerns that the relationship might bend House rules governing personal transactions between members of Congress and lobbyists with legislative business before Congress. "We have a very strict compliance and integrity program. As far as our lobbying is concerned, we are confident that we are in full compliance of all legal and ethical obligations," Tovar said. Meanwhile, Blunt's press secretary, Burson Taylor, told us: "I have a policy of never commenting on Congressman Blunt's personal life."

Email Howard Kurtz at kurtzh@washpost.com and ask him why the extra-marital affairs of Republicans don´t ever seem to concern him.