Florida State Senator Mike Bennett is anti-abortion. And yet, during a floor debate on a bill requiring abortion seekers to pay for an ultrasound, the cameras caught him looking at topless pics on his laptop.
Debate over the bill — which has no exceptions for rape, incest, or endangerment of a woman's life — has been heated, but it failed to hold Bennett's attention. Just as Senator Dan Gelber, a Democrat, was saying, "I'm against this bill, because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida," Sunshine State News service's cameras caught Sen. Bennett looking at a photo of topless girls, and then watching a video of a dog shaking itself dry. Per the same source:
Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman "who happens to be a former court administrator."
"I was just sitting there, bored as they were debating the abortion bill," Bennett said.
As hypocrisy gotchas go, this is a good one. But it's actually significantly more disturbing, if unsurprising, how little interest Bennett took in a crucial bill in which presumably he'd vote the party line. (Update: To be fair, we should note that while he is usually a reliable anti-choice vote, Bennett opposes pre-abortion ultrasound requirements — but his web-browsing preferences are what they are.)
Then again, perhaps he thinks the only choice a woman should exert over her body is taking off her bikini top.
Second Update: Bennett has threatened the reporter, Lane Wright, who exposed him:
"What kind of man are you?" he asked, then ascribed other attributes to my character such as "pathetic" and "voyeuristic".
"What kind of man sneaks over people's shoulders like that?" Bennett questioned.
Who're you calling voyeuristic, Senator? He also said, by the way, "I will do everything in my power, everything — I don't know what that is exactly — but I will do everything I can to make sure your days at the Capitol and reporting are over." As TrueSlant contributor Joseph Childers put it, "If you're going to threaten someone, don't hesitate mid-threat to ponder your ability to carry it out."
Sen. Mike Bennett Caught Looking At Porn On The Senate Floor [Sunshine State News]
Abortion Bill Requiring Ultrasounds Passes Florida House [Miami New Times]